Forums Latest Members

Adventures in strap making

  1. Duracuir1 Never Used A Kodak Feb 28, 2023

    Posts
    2,695
    Likes
    28,516
    Working on a 17 tapered to 14 with fine stitching. Squirrel has seen better days. I fed it a slice of bread with peanut butter! Pranced away! And will leave my bird feeders alone for a few hours. FA33A13F-3095-41E6-985C-891FDB549F3A.jpeg 1E02F503-BD8C-42DA-B790-842C698649F2.jpeg 00522F3D-8E77-49BE-8A51-1B1B39BE47AA.jpeg 5F09A7E7-BAA4-4021-A7EA-747295FC8A06.jpeg 89FB6648-CF11-41D5-82ED-B5873EC8548A.jpeg
     
    YYTIN, KeithS, Kik_Kat_Kish and 15 others like this.
  2. redpcar Feb 28, 2023

    Posts
    3,692
    Likes
    7,894
    For a second there, I thought you were going to say "squirrel skin strap". ;)
     
  3. Duracuir1 Never Used A Kodak Feb 28, 2023

    Posts
    2,695
    Likes
    28,516
    Well that poor squirrel is almost ready to become one….
     
    DaveK likes this.
  4. M'Bob Mar 1, 2023

    Posts
    6,396
    Likes
    18,165
    Your straps just keep getting better and better…really nice to see the skill level continue to escalate.
     
    Duracuir1 likes this.
  5. FREDMAYCOIN Mar 1, 2023

    Posts
    1,076
    Likes
    1,718
    Strap looks great. What is all that white stuff on the ground?
     
    Duracuir1 likes this.
  6. Duracuir1 Never Used A Kodak Mar 1, 2023

    Posts
    2,695
    Likes
    28,516
    Haha! I can’t complain too much. We have had very little this year.
     
  7. Duracuir1 Never Used A Kodak Mar 15, 2023

    Posts
    2,695
    Likes
    28,516
    I recently picked up an old pair of Ferragamo loafers at the thrift store. These sell for hundreds new but after a long life the owner moves on (or steps away :)).

    The leather is very nice and does not smell like feet!

    I took the shoes apart… EE113816-FC53-4D1F-B962-7620972868A5.jpeg F76607DA-CF7B-4174-BA92-F9AFF8736694.jpeg They were made with one single piece of leather. Except for the tongue and an extra part at the rear, above the heel. They still did not yield a lot of leather but the usable pieces were wonderful. So smooth.

    I thinned out the single pass strap but left the wider piece at full thickness. The strap measures 9 1/2 inches and at its widest is 17 mm and tapers to 16.

    Since I sold most of my watches I had to borrow my wife’s Bulova. It fits well but that watch has long lugs. My Vulcain Cricket did not fit so well. 2AB501E3-9594-4423-AC81-0E8258ED7F0B.jpeg 9A97A036-BE58-45A3-8284-757864869580.jpeg 6C32F1A4-84FD-4EBF-9AC2-91769C6683B5.jpeg 06BEDEFC-1412-486D-92A7-502AD5AFC58A.jpeg DBD401AF-48C6-4C64-819D-9BF555740EB9.jpeg 5804D7AD-D92B-4A6A-B301-2992187247E1.jpeg 6A682FD3-0CAC-49FB-AC91-4631F4C3C43C.jpeg 109242DC-E04B-4348-93C6-9262321171CB.jpeg B8EB3B0E-5C03-40C0-A1B6-D87126792701.jpeg 60082D22-3D82-4BEB-B218-683EE829663F.jpeg 22C7A0FB-30D6-4431-A5E5-1B96D8623E7E.jpeg E1CC2B25-6EB3-4422-9736-4DA798C4DC25.jpeg 081D74DA-AB3E-4551-904A-738F8FA69267.jpeg Amazing leather and super smooth. I used an old strap that I picked up at a garage sale as a guide. image.jpg
     
    89-0, Walrus, meglos and 6 others like this.
  8. sheepdoll Mar 15, 2023

    Posts
    1,811
    Likes
    2,987
    Careful you are giving me ideas. I have a lot of scrap pipe organ leather ...

    Gents ties (often silk) are a great source of material for making doll's clothes. Thrift stores are a great source of raw materials. Too bad they got greedy about the watches.

    I took a shoe making class once. (still have the shoes.) On of the other members had a pair of expensive Italian shoes. They were almost impossible to take apart being so well made.

    Curiously, stiletto and shank are the name of metal parts inside the shoe that supports the heel. The reason we were dissembling shoes was to get these parts.
     
    Duracuir1 and RevZMan123 like this.
  9. Duracuir1 Never Used A Kodak Mar 15, 2023

    Posts
    2,695
    Likes
    28,516
    About 12 years ago I bought several pieces of equipment from an Italian shoe maker who had a shop here in Canada. He was obviously very good. Here is a work in progress that sadly was not completed. He had just died image.jpg I bought more leather from his family than I will ever need, but I still enjoy repurposing old stuff. And Ferragamo being such a legendary shoemaker makes the strap even more special. Here are a few pieces of equipment that I bought from the shoe maker’s family. I plan on making better use of this equipment when our renovation to an old building is complete. 4D000B44-140A-4D03-91DB-6E6847D69883.jpeg A8A458B8-DE86-4820-910E-E3322BC7A59E.jpeg 0C625087-2F0A-4178-8E4F-3E88AF691097.jpeg 39815DF7-B376-49F9-9FC8-9F2A1BFC34F5.jpeg F870F27A-47BB-493E-8EAD-1D25ACD95832.jpeg 1A6C4CAB-F7AA-4906-A1CE-DA0FE30BD0E3.jpeg A295A179-D0BD-458B-8B2B-D7776C41BDEB.jpeg 5F75A71C-4881-489A-ACC9-49757448EABF.jpeg Hand tools that were made in England are my favorite. E536E56F-745A-4575-9CB6-EB303BB7F8E7.jpeg E553653D-E049-44C4-B6EC-29EACF8DF161.jpeg FF75CBCA-FC4E-4A4F-84BA-08655FFD698D.jpeg ED995070-7F91-4BF6-9C5C-818C9C1016EA.jpeg E5614AFF-E7AB-4E0A-B371-FDED7B3DBBB3.jpeg And I insert this Longines crystal tool because I could not find it a while back when someone wanted to buy it. AB76D98F-9EAA-4F10-9215-2C397A742347.jpeg These shoe photos were accidentally shuffled down here. They were supposed to appear above with the other shoe pic.
     
    32624CAD-F58C-44CB-A693-313EAF2700E8.jpeg ABA66108-77FA-42C4-9152-5237B524280D.jpeg
    hen, M'Bob, NikolShep and 1 other person like this.
  10. sheepdoll Mar 15, 2023

    Posts
    1,811
    Likes
    2,987
    I have one of those longines case openers as well. Missing the die rings though.

    Most of my stuff came from Tandy. They had a brick and mortor shop (a few doors down from the Radio shack.) Curious how a store that did mail order could not handle the transition to online.

    Pipe organs attempted in the 1970s to switch to perflex. Pretty much cost the industry. Only leather works in the pnuematics. The best leather is kangaroo, which is technically illegal in this state. Not really that different from sheep and goat. I guess the industrial uses are ignored. It is probably people that make clothing out of it what upsets the soft hearted.

    Pipe organ bellows mostly use horse and cow. And one needs several hides to cover the bellows. A regulator or bellows job can cost 6 figures when done by one of the experts.

    Player piano work uses rubberized cloth. This has become almost impossible to find. The material was used for black out curtains and gas bags in WWII. The smallest leak will cause total failure. Which is why I do not work for others. I do the electronics anyway. As well as doing the work for a volunteer non profit.

    There is not much market for pipe organ (or the associated player piano repair) , although the old guys have a waiting list. The other issue is such things are owned by foundations and other bureaucratic entities.

    It is also impossible to use the natural glues and shellac. Not to mention the Heavy metal alloys that make up the pipes themselves. These have been mostly banned as well. The modern glues and finishes will not stand up to the centuries old methods and materials. Failing in a few years, when the old stuff lasted nearly 100.

    Probably why one can not give them away (Usually strings attached.) The instrument may only cost 2 to 5K but the moving and installation will be 250K and require a maintenance budget of several 1000 a year. Most of the Theater instruments are 100 years old. Concert instrument can be many times that.
     
    Duracuir1 likes this.
  11. Duracuir1 Never Used A Kodak Mar 30, 2023

    Posts
    2,695
    Likes
    28,516
    I was taking photos of some straps and realized that my ruler may be more desirable than I thought. 7AFD01E5-AC40-4CB2-8433-C07AD346F997.jpeg
     
    NikolShep, Archer, meglos and 2 others like this.
  12. Duracuir1 Never Used A Kodak Apr 6, 2023

    Posts
    2,695
    Likes
    28,516
    I took apart a cork purse ($6 at Goodwill) and am trying to make my first strap with this weird material. At our previous house we had cork floors and they were nice and durable. For a watch strap? Not so sure. Don’t call me Duraliege just yet. @Syrte will understand. 546266B6-8EBF-4F00-BC6B-6E4461A36E7A.jpeg 66C6683F-FA3E-45FD-BC93-8FEBCFE9EC9F.jpeg While I was working on the strap, a small repair came in. Small town living. People can find you if they need to… E89FDC56-F5E5-44F8-867E-0EA2A1FEF68B.jpeg D58C00F4-8CA2-4C61-ACD2-D4D75CF601CE.jpeg 0216D6FC-0924-458B-B3F7-5782D17B8C94.jpeg 8D8F2EA4-AA4D-49E4-A901-DB6F03DD1A10.jpeg 05549957-1CD3-47B2-BBE4-4F3887F5AF90.jpeg 7C0BD332-BEBB-4BBB-A070-BD4B65AC8DD9.jpeg 88F039F0-D4B5-4886-8C49-D73A44B66BD2.jpeg 8A99F20B-6B2B-40CC-8FF4-82B1AC00AA59.jpeg To be honest, the watch straps are a relaxing pass time. We are fixing up a historic building in our small town. Once it’s done I may set up a small workshop in there for general leather repairs. Here is the repaired bag. Two snaps changed. Less than 5 minutes. 280CBD32-627B-4B6C-A127-74520FE67C21.jpeg And now back to my cork strap. Will show it if it does not end up looking like a disaster. AF71D0DB-3710-4EB6-8DB0-F94417E72417.jpeg
     
    FREDMAYCOIN, Syrte and sheepdoll like this.
  13. fiberguy Apr 6, 2023

    Posts
    561
    Likes
    1,692

    Expect the cease and desist from Rolex any day.
     
    Duracuir1 likes this.
  14. Duracuir1 Never Used A Kodak Oct 17, 2023

    Posts
    2,695
    Likes
    28,516
    Bucket bag for a local lady. She was expecting basic natural leather but I went nuts with the basketweave. She loves it. She cried and I got hugged!

    The basketweave is not a quick job and not a “moneymaker” but seeing her reaction, along with the fact that this is my hobby, was well worth it.

    Next job: a freebie for the mid Atlantic crew. IMG_4755.jpeg IMG_4762.jpeg IMG_4763.jpeg IMG_4764.jpeg And the result… IMG_5011.jpeg IMG_5012.jpeg IMG_5014.jpeg IMG_5015.jpeg IMG_5016.jpeg IMG_5017.jpeg IMG_5018.jpeg IMG_5019.jpeg
     
  15. gbesq Oct 17, 2023

    Posts
    7,841
    Likes
    39,988
    Really nice, Steve. And I feel very fortunate to be a beneficiary of your leathercraft - as does my Ranchero. :)
    IMG_5617.jpeg
    upload_2023-10-17_21-30-0.jpeg
     
    NikolShep, crd and Duracuir1 like this.
  16. Duracuir1 Never Used A Kodak Dec 5, 2023

    Posts
    2,695
    Likes
    28,516
    Yesterday I made my first strap in a long time. A man in his mid 70s somehow inherited his grandfather’s Rolex Sky-Rocket and wanted a strap. IMG_6982.jpeg The watch has a silver case and was serviced.

    Making the strap was easy because I used my own Sky-Rocket. We compared case sizes and they were quite similar. But I would run into some problems… IMG_6943.jpeg IMG_6942.jpeg Pile of leather samples and my watch and strap. He wanted this style of strap. Once he selected his leather I began work on the “bund”. IMG_6947.jpeg IMG_6952.jpeg IMG_6959.jpeg IMG_6960.jpeg I like the look of the bund when the stitching is visible along the watch case. I put a back piece that looked as if it should have been the front. Nice leather. IMG_6964.jpeg IMG_6965.jpeg IMG_6969.jpeg IMG_6971.jpeg IMG_6972.jpeg Everything went as planned and I mounted my watch to the strap and wore it for a bit. I was very happy with it. IMG_6972.jpeg IMG_6986.jpeg IMG_6980.jpeg This morning I was unable to remove the buckle strap. I wanted to paint the edges and ship in the afternoon.

    I ended up cutting the strap off and snipping the spring bar. This happened to me before. Maybe that was one of those spring bars designed for drilled lugs. IMG_6988.jpeg IMG_6989.jpeg IMG_6990.jpeg Better to cut off the strap than to risk damaging my watch. And back to work. IMG_6993.jpeg In the end, the new buckle strap is better than the first. IMG_7001.jpeg IMG_7002.jpeg A bit of edge paint. And ready a few hours later. IMG_7009.jpeg IMG_7012.jpeg IMG_7013.jpeg IMG_7014.jpeg IMG_7015.jpeg Note that in the last photo of my watch on the new strap, well, my watch is simply resting on top.

    I hope he does not like it. I should have made an extra one for me!
     
    IMG_6987.jpeg
    Edited Jan 19, 2024
    crd, DaveK, tmw57 and 3 others like this.
  17. FREDMAYCOIN Dec 5, 2023

    Posts
    1,076
    Likes
    1,718
    Steve, plain and simple! You are the best craftsman and human in the world!
     
    Duracuir1 likes this.
  18. Syrte MWR Tech Support Dept Dec 5, 2023

    Posts
    7,422
    Likes
    20,884
    That print is amazing and that lady is mighty lucky!
     
    Duracuir1 likes this.
  19. CBM1590 We don’t rent pigs. Dec 5, 2023

    Posts
    699
    Likes
    2,358
    Incredible work, Steve! Amazing talent and beautifully crafted wares! Well done, Sir!
     
    Duracuir1 likes this.
  20. DaveK Yoda of Yodelers Dec 5, 2023

    Posts
    4,181
    Likes
    11,843
    That tooling is really nice ::psy:: Great to see you expanding your repertoire.

    I made a case for my stamps this summer. I wanted something to keep them from getting dinged and bounced around while in a drawer, and thought some vintage licence plates would make decent covers for the case. Because of the layers, the leather is pretty thick in parts, making the stitching lines hard for me to do. Oh well, it’s not perfect but I’m happy with the outcome.

    IMG_6001.jpeg
    IMG_5999.jpeg
    IMG_6005.jpeg
    IMG_6002.jpeg
    IMG_6003.jpeg