Experimenting With Belt Making.

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Mark Larner, Jun 10, 2020.

  1. Mark Larner

    Mark Larner New in Town

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    Location:
    London
    So my wife recently bought me some leather work tools for my birthday. I make my own clothes quite a bit so leatherwork seemed like a natural progression.

    Anyway, I've been learning the ropes with belt making. It's a really satisfying process and I'd recommend it to anyone.
    It feels great to make exactly the thing you want; and the outlay for old hand tools is quite minimal.

    I found some cheapish split hide to work with from a supplier in the UK and also some beautiful 3mm veg tan tooling hide.

    Would love to know what people think!

    Split hide.JPG Veg Tan Antique Brass Centre Bar 02.JPG Split Hide Nickel Roller 04.JPG The Labourer 07.JPG The Labourer 08.JPG The Labourer 02.JPG The Labourer 05.JPG
     

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    Fastuni, michaelagraham and Michael A like this.
  2. Peacoat

    Peacoat Bartender Staff Member Bartender

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    What do I think? I think you do very good work. What type of sewing machine do you have that will sew thick leather like that?
     
  3. Mark Larner

    Mark Larner New in Town

    Messages:
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    Location:
    London
    Thanks man!

    I have an old Singer 99K but it's bloody temperamental!

    I've done all my belts entirely by hand, including the saddle stitching in the pix - split hide is quite thin, so I glued two straps together, stitched along the edges before hand bevelling and burnishing them - helps to seal them up.
     
    Michael A likes this.
  4. michaelagraham

    michaelagraham New in Town

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    I think these look great especially for a first effort. IMO, wearing a belt you made yourself by hand is much more fun than wearing a nicer belt made by someone else.
     
    Mark Larner likes this.
  5. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I agree, there is something very satisfying working with leather. I started making leather hat bands and I especially enjoy doing the hand tooling. Who do you use as the UK leather source? I am still looking for a supplier with a good selection that I can use as One source. Your work looks great. If I didn't have so many belts already I would move up and started making belts instead of just the mini belts for hats.
     
  6. Mark Larner

    Mark Larner New in Town

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    London
    Thanks! I'm just starting out, but it's rewarding to see the little improvements with each thing I make.

    Re leather suppliers - Metropolitan Leather are a great source, not too expensive and dispatch their orders rapidly. I got some pre cut veg tan straps from Artisan Leather too, and they have all the tools and fixings you'll ever need.

    Would love to see some of your work too!
     
  7. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,703
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I will dig out the camera and post a few. I have bought bits and pieces from various sources, Tandy, UK, Europe, China. It would be great to find a single source. I will check them out, thanks.
     
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  8. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

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    17,184
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    Looks like you know what you're doing so I'm probably not saying anything new. Two pieces of 3mm leather ends up being stronger than one pice of 6mm. Go figure.

    Kudos to you for doing the saddle stitching by hand! I've done a bit myself and it is no small feat. A tip of the hat to you for tackling that process.

    I've little doubt your belts will last a lifetime.
     
    Mark Larner likes this.
  9. Mark Larner

    Mark Larner New in Town

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    London

    Thanks man! Once you get in to the rhythm of it saddle stitching can go fairly quickly, but year a whole belt took a while!!
     
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  10. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    4,703
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    I like keeping it simple. The one with the buffalo nickel concho is untouched as I liked just the buffalo as the interest point. The others are just background stamped and overdyed. I guess these are my mini hat belts! CIMG1835.JPG CIMG1845.JPG CIMG1844.JPG CIMG1842.JPG CIMG1842.JPG CIMG1836.JPG
     
  11. Ernest P Shackleton

    Ernest P Shackleton One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,031
    Location:
    Midwest
    Back when they still taught trades in school, one of my first projects was a leather belt. I never wore it. I still have it. Functionally, it would be a nice belt. It's so ugly in design that I'd be ashamed to wear it. Kids. So much crap stamped into the leather. And now I'm a minimalist at heart. Maybe it was that belt?
     
  12. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,703
    Location:
    vancouver, canada
    Ha, I remember we had to take "Shop" classes in the 7th grade. One semester metal work and one of wood work. A cold chisel, and a tin flour scoop and a bird house. Leather work I may have actually paid attention to.
     
  13. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    20,798
    Location:
    London, UK
    Nice work in the OP. I've been looking at belts again recently, as (after nine months of heavy wear) my Rumble 59 version of the Brando belt from The Wild One has begun to split. I'm on the lookout for a replacement.

    If you're looking to go into selling them, I'd highly recommend doing some slimmer belts. Too many nice belts these days are done sized for jeans and you then can't wear them with trousers. I'd love to see some nice repros of the Western-style belts that Bogart wore with his suits in the Big Sleep.
     

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