Modding my 1951 Hercules D-Pocket to resemble studded Buco J-24 from Tanaka book

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by AMan, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. AMan

    AMan New in Town

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    For awhile now, I've admired this studded Buco J-24 D-Pocket from one of Rin Tanaka's books. Tanaka calls it "The coolest leather jacket of this century." Here are some photos:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Lost worlds makes a reproduction of this jacket, but its $2350. (Not to mention the heavy leather.) So I decided to make my own. I picked up this 1951 Sears Hercules D-Pocket on eBay a couple months ago:
    [​IMG]

    I blackened the zippers with aluminum blue, and added most of the spots work already. Also took off the ugly pull on the D-Pocket and added my own zipper pull made from 40s horsehide I had from another project.

    I didn't like the rings of studs on the arms, so I decided to go for something a bit more low-key. I'm not sure if I'll add studs to the lapels either. Still need to add the jewels on the front (I found some cool swarovski jewel studs on etsy) and long studs on the epaulets to get the full look, but I'm pretty pleased with how the jacket is turning out.

    [​IMG]

    As for the back, I decided to reinterpret things a bit since my jacket won't have a belt, and the back of my jacket is a bit different than the J-24. I added this "reflector rivet" to the back of the jacket as the main accent. You see reflector rivets on the backs of Buco belts and kidney belts from the fifties. I guess the idea was that if you were bent over your motorcycle at night, an approaching car's headlights would catch the reflectors on your belt so you could be seen. I thought it was a cool idea to add it directly to the back of the jacket.

    [​IMG]

    Just wanted to share this project since I thought you all might enjoy it. It was reading your posts that inspired me to do it in the first place. I'll post some more pics once it's finished.
     
    Americanaaa Mark, IXL, ton312 and 5 others like this.
  2. Carrie @ Thurston Bros.

    Carrie @ Thurston Bros. Sponsoring Affiliate

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    ^^^Very cool! Did you open the liner to place the spots and studs?

    We did this same project awhile back with an Aero J-106 and a few orignal Buco J-24s. The project was a lot of fun and the jackets turned out very nice.

    Here's the Aero J-106--

    Wade Aero J106 smaller.jpg

    Website window smaller.jpg

    Here's one of the Buco jackets that we did (wish we had photographed this better!)--

    Buco J-24 with studs.jpg
     
  3. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    12,670
    You've done a really cool job but don't listen to Rin Tanaka! That book is a plague. The Sears Hercules originals were in my opinion better and nicer jackets than the J-24 and for the most part, made from a better looking leather. The details make it so much cooler. Top sleeve zippers, the collar and the lapel shape and the awesome back! This style has seen numerous variations but this earliest one that you have, those are the best. You're better off with this jacket.
     
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  4. AMan

    AMan New in Town

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    Carrie -- wow, those look great! I didn't open up the lining because I don't have the tools to sew it back on. Each time I stabbed through with the awl, I carefully pulled the lining away so as to puncture the leather but not the lining. Screwed up a few times, so there some holes, but for the most part it was okay. The flannel lining is too thick to really be punctured easily by the stud 'arms,' so as long as I move the fabric around as I'm hammering, I can keep the lining intact.

    Monitor -- Thank you very much! Yes, I really like this jacket. The leather is very thick, but loosened up significantly after I applied a boatload of Pecard's Antique to it. I've seen other versions of this jacket online, but never one with a red plaid lining. Usually, it seems to be green plaid. Now if only I could figure out a way to get the collar to lay down a bit better...
     
  5. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    Great project!
    For the collar you could try the Hot Water Treatment. Get some tap water really hot and run the collar (backside) under it until it gets floppy (10-15 secs). You can feel when it does. Daub dry it and then fold the collar how you want it. Lay it to dry somewhere out of the sun and heat. Check every once in awhile and flatten/bend as needed. The collar will stay once its dry. It might need some treatment later as old leather gets a little stiff sometimes. I do this to almost all of my collars- especially new ones.
     
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  6. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    The Hercules with the wool lining is nice jacket, you really made it stand out. I've got a mid 50s Hercules and they are substantial jacket.

    Nice work.
     
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  7. red devil

    red devil Call Me a Cab

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    I have to second that, very nice work indeed!
     
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  8. ton312

    ton312

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    11,542
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    Man o man I love this!!! Absolutely amazing jacket and you excuted the mods to perfection! I love these jeweled rider jackets, have for some time.
    This is really impressive and superbly done. My hat is tipped to you sir!
     
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  9. IXL

    IXL One Too Many

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    Great job. Cool jacket!
     
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  10. AMan

    AMan New in Town

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    I used this trick last night and it worked very well. Thanks a lot!

    ---

    And thank you very much everyone. I made a lot of progress on it last night, so I should have more pics of the finished product soon!
     
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  11. Americanaaa Mark

    Americanaaa Mark A-List Customer

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    427
    I like what you did.

    I bit the bullet and got the lost world's homage reproduction.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. ton312

    ton312

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    11,542
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    A dedicated thread with more pics please! Gorgeous jacket!!!
     
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  13. ton312

    ton312

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    Did you add the little rivets above the belt loops? Those are a nice touch and I haven't seen those on other Herc/Wards jackets before.
     
    AMan likes this.
  14. AMan

    AMan New in Town

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    Location:
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    I didn't. They were there when I got them. But I've added studs that cover the rivets up of the same size as the snaps on the lapels and epaulets. I think it aesthetically balances better -- given all of the snaps at the top, and none at the bottom. Pics soon! Just dyed the zipper tapes black.
     
    ton312 likes this.
  15. ton312

    ton312

    Messages:
    11,542
    Location:
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    Very cool project AMan. I love that you're taking the original and modding it to your taste. The result this far is spectacular. Can't wait to see the finished product.
     
    AMan likes this.
  16. AMan

    AMan New in Town

    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hello Everyone, here are the pictures of the finished product. I added epaulet studs, belt loop studs, d-pocket studs, jewels, dyed the zipper tape black, and added big studs by the belt loops to imitate snaps. Overall, I had a lot of fun with this project. The jacket is more wearable than you might think. A lot of the accents shift to the sides when you put the jacket on so they aren't as noticeable.

    Let me know what you think!
     
  17. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    Love It!
    Well done....
    Fit pics please.
     
    AMan likes this.
  18. AMan

    AMan New in Town

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    Thanks, Mike!
     
  19. red devil

    red devil Call Me a Cab

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    That turned out really well!
    And yeah, fit pics please :D
     
  20. AMan

    AMan New in Town

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