Reproduction Western Belts

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by Mr Badger, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Nice work, those patterns work brilliantly with the jacket!
     
  2. Slago

    Slago New in Town

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    19
    Location:
    Sassari, Italy
    Great work!!!
     
  3. injunjack

    injunjack One of the Regulars

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    123
    Location:
    Finland
    Thanks.
     
  4. kyboots

    kyboots Practically Family

    Outstanding work guys! Very impressed.--John
     
  5. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    I must stress to Paddy & co that this is a hobby at the mo', not a business! So please don't move the thread! :D

    Took voluntary redundancy a month back and am enjoying the time off (am cooking from scratch every day, taking care of the housework, doing lots of reading, plus some home improvement stuff!) after 25 years of solid work! :D

    Some job interviews in the offing, but meanwhile I decided to get a small collection of studded & jeweled belts, wallets and wristbands together, to sell at the twice-yearly vintage fashion fair here in Bath, which I DJ at... here's the logo I designed:

    [​IMG]

    Sourcing the wristbands and wallets, plus some leather thonging for the wallet lanyards, & chap buckles via Ebay was no probs. I then ordered more decorations from Standard Rivet in Boston. So far, so good – however, what was annoying me was the idea of paying over-the-odds for 'blank' belts with snaps on, without knowing the quality of the leather (I'm not about to start cutting belts myself yet!), having been a bit burned by flimsy products.

    Happily, I had a eureka moment and, via some friends with a vintage store, sourced a clothing wholesaler who we went to visit at the weekend... nabbed a whole sack of vintage American-made belts, most of 'em tooled or with the classic basketweave pattern, for a very reasonable price:

    [​IMG]

    Amazingly, there was a tack shop just down the road from the vintage dealer, where I bought some excellent leather rejuvenator – I've started to sort & condition the belts already, in some cases shortening 'em (amazingly, 90% were size 38" or 40"!), and begun working out some 'standard' decoration patterns...

    While I'm waiting for the buckles and stuff from Standard Rivet to turn up in the mail, I've constructed a sales stand, which just needs a print of the above logo affixing to the top:

    [​IMG]

    I used a water-damaged panel from a 1930s dressing screen that was tucked away under the stairs, which got stripped of its manky cloth and endless upholstery nails... then I covered the whole thing in the leftover wallpaper from our upstairs hallway, PVA'd it all over, built a stand out of some scrap lumber & a pair of hinges, and added hooks to hang everything from...

    [​IMG]

    The middle panel was leftover material from when I made a new grille cloth for my Fender Champ amplifier, and I used some wonder web to hem it, spray starch to give it some rigidity, and drawing pins to tack it on...

    [​IMG]

    To give the thing some balance, I varnished some MDF I had lying around and screwed it to the back of the frame, then added a pic of old Marlon to keep up the western / motorcycle theme...

    [​IMG]

    So here's the stand, laden with a few of my non-production belts, etc... all it needs now is the logo adding to the top panel, and then when the buckles, studs and jewels arrive, I can get on with making the stock to fill it up with!

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, there's swingtags to be made, using my new custom stamp... I'm also gonna scan this neat-o tag from a deadstock 1940s tie and use a print of it on each swingtag, with the belt size & price written underneath!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  6. mattfink

    mattfink Practically Family

    Messages:
    833
    Location:
    Detroit
    You better get that Indian Head off your logo Mr. Badger....too close for comfort.....

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Blimey, sorry Matt! Really didn't even consider that, was just looking for two logos that made plain the western / motorcycle angles...
     
  8. mattfink

    mattfink Practically Family

    Messages:
    833
    Location:
    Detroit
    Thanks man, no offense but I just don't want anyone to be confused about the origin of the belts.
     
  9. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    All sorted, changed the logo in my post above... wouldn't want folks to get the wrong injun!

    Truth be told, your amazing work and that of Ace, combined with a lack of cash (and a large amount of home improvement phobia!), actually inspired me to think about having bash at making my own belts... so the previous version of the logo may have been subconscious, but was in no way intentional!

    I could never compete with your work, Matt! The artistry and know-how that your work exudes is far beyond my capabilities – I use a hammer, a pair of pliers, a screwdriver and an old bread board to work on!

    This is just something to do in between jobs, and if I can make a bit of cash to take on holiday with me, then that'd be grand. At the moment, I'm only planning as far ahead as selling face to face at the twice-yearly vintage fair, doing some belts for friends, and putting a few wristbands into a shop in Bristol... sadly, folks round here are a strange bunch so I don't know if I'm even going to be able to sell anything! :eeek:
     
  10. Boyo

    Boyo One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,966
    Location:
    Long Island NY
    Mr. Badger, very industrious! I like the way you've take a bad situation and turned it in to an entrepreneurial adventure! I wish you luck, and I hope you sell a few
     
  11. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Thanks for the kind words... actually, I had a job interview today and it looks very positive, got a second visit there next week... now I'm wondering when I'm gonna find time to make everything! :D
     
  12. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    I've been cracking on with getting my initial stock together...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Feraud

    Feraud Bartender

    Messages:
    17,195
    Location:
    Hardlucksville, NY
    Looks good. I especially like the bracelet!
     
  14. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Thanks, chap! Well, they're not as high-end as Ace Belts' products or Matt Fink's work, I'm not as skilled and in the UK very few people I know can afford their (entirely justified!) prices. I think folks will like these affordable items, and then maybe then think about getting a finer version from the aforementioned merchants somewhere down the line, kinda like people do with their A2s, fedora, engineer boots, etc... I mean, I'm only charging £15 ($22.50) for a wristband, £30 ($45) per wallet, loop & lanyard, and £40 ($60) for a belt – quite reasonable and affordable, I think... like I said before, it gives me some creative focus while I'm not working and I should make a bit of holiday spending money, IF anyone hereabouts is even interested! :D

    Just mocked up the swingtags, too, gonna meet my pal who's printed out the bits & pieces tomorrow:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Slago

    Slago New in Town

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Sassari, Italy
    Excellent work ... I can afford to give you a few tips?
    In my experience I have come to these conclusions:

    With regard to the plier, I would recommend you use one with the smooth inner surface (so as not to scratch the studs)
    Like this:

    [​IMG]

    To pierce the skin I would recommend you use an awl ... pierces the skin perfectly and allows you to calibrate the size of the hole.

    [​IMG]

    If you make the holes (to adjust the size) I suggest you buy a die cutter like this. Robust and precise ... those poor break now!

    [​IMG]

    If you can recover old vintage jewelry ... make the belt more beautiful ^ _ ^

    [​IMG]

    Try creating models "classics" with inlays of other skin color ... will give you great satisfaction.
    an example:

    [​IMG]

    I am happy to share this passion with someone ...

    Matt will never be as good as you ;-) you are light years ahead!
     
  16. Mr Badger

    Mr Badger Practically Family

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Hey Slago, thanks for the kind words! I do have a few awls, but find the two prong adjustable punch best for marking the holes evenly, then I tap them thru with the awl or a small-blade screwdriver:

    [​IMG]

    I've even used a transparent plastic with evenly-spaced punch holes in it to mark out the diamond patterns...

    I did manage to find a vintage studded belt, but no jewels, so I buy them from Standard Rivet! And if the first batch of products sells well, I'm thinking of putting some panels on the belts, but they may be too flashy for some of the 'non scene' people...

    Hmmm, don't really think I'm up with Ace, Matt or your good self at the moment, but at least I'm trying! :D
     
  17. mattfink

    mattfink Practically Family

    Messages:
    833
    Location:
    Detroit
    Italian sense of humor...:D

     
  18. mattfink

    mattfink Practically Family

    Messages:
    833
    Location:
    Detroit
    BTW, you should get a pair of jewelers pliers...much better suited than commercially available needle nose pliers.
     
  19. Slago

    Slago New in Town

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Sassari, Italy
    Matt noooo!! I hope you were not offended! It 'a manner of speaking Italian .. in the sense that you're better than us! Then you know how much I admire your work!
     
  20. mattfink

    mattfink Practically Family

    Messages:
    833
    Location:
    Detroit
    LOL! I know you were either joking or got it backwards...no offense taken!
     

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