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Thread: My DIY leather holsters

  1. #1
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    In the past month or so, i have gotten addicted to holster making. I bought an industrial leather sewing machine and all sorts of leather and various supplies.

    Here are a few examples i've created so far:












    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will watch the watchmen?)

    I am not a lawyer. Nothing in any of posts should be construed as legal advice.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    Nice work. If I might presume to make one suggestion ... Consider double row stitching. It adds a lot of strength and improves wear resistance.

    Keep at it, the designs you are using are very functional.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    thanks for the tip. I have been double stitching all of my holsters, but double row stitching is a good idea too.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will watch the watchmen?)

    I am not a lawyer. Nothing in any of posts should be construed as legal advice.

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    Are you by chance taking orders? I'm looking for a holster for a Ruger P95 9mm for a shoulder rig. I plan to make the harness myself, but would like a nice holster that isn't too bulky.

    Please let me know.

    Thanks!

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    yes, i can do that. pm sent
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will watch the watchmen?)

    I am not a lawyer. Nothing in any of posts should be construed as legal advice.

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    Regular Member Damiansar-15's Avatar
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    Very nice work...do you line with suede? Also, have tried to make one for a pocket carried .38?

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    I have not yet made any pocket holsters. Give me a week to look at a few then and try to copy one and try it out.

    Will your pistol fit into one made for a .38 special Taurus?

    --jason
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will watch the watchmen?)

    I am not a lawyer. Nothing in any of posts should be construed as legal advice.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Damiansar-15's Avatar
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    I have not purchased one yet...I had a hammerless Ruger and S&W J-frame, but sold them since I did not have a good way to carry them. I don't think an ankle holster will work for me, and I never really liked how a .38 printed when I just kept it in my pocket by itself. I think a pocket holster would help on how it prints, as well as allow a consistent grasp position. I like some of the new revolvers out there which are utilizing new materials, e.g. Ruger

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    Looks good. I wouldn't double stitch. One line of quality stitching is more than strong enough. Double stitching actually decreases strength and longevity as it provides another line of perforations. While your molding looks really good I would suggest moving your stitch line closer to the gun.

    Eugene

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    Crackshot wrote:
    Are you by chance taking orders? I'm looking for a holster for a Ruger P95 9mm for a shoulder rig. I plan to make the harness myself, but would like a nice holster that isn't too bulky.

    Please let me know.

    Thanks!
    Let us now how it turns out. I am always looking for a good holster for my P95. I have one for CC and a Fobus for OC. Something with a thumb break would be nice.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    swcr wrote:
    Looks good.┬* I wouldn't double stitch.┬* One line of quality stitching is more than strong enough.┬* Double stitching actually decreases strength and longevity as it provides another line of perforations.┬* While your molding looks really good I would suggest moving your stitch line closer to the gun.

    Eugene
    This additional weakening of the leather probably explains why all of the high end holster manufacturers use double row stitching.

    Actually the leather is not as likely to tear as the stitching is to wear and fail. The double row provides a backup to this most common of holster failure modes. In fact some designers actually put rivets at the highest stress points. But with the close outline designs you are making the stress on the stitches is very high and a double row helps. Take a look at any old well used holster and see what is closer to failure or has already failed the leather or the stitching.

    Regards
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    I have been making holsters for over ten years and have yet to ever have a problem with my stitching. This topic has been addressed many times on different leatherworking websites by various custom holster makers, including some with bettern than 30 years experience, and the consensus has been that the benefits of double stitching are outweighed by how much it weakens the seam. Most custom makers will double stitch if the customer wants.
    I personally have a holster made by a friend of mine 30+ years ago and carried daily as he worked on his cattle ranch. This holster was not babied it was used in the sun, snow and rain, never cleaned or oiled. While it doesn't look very good the stitching is still as good as new.

    Eugene

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    ohhh if i only had a gun to use a holster...lol

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    thanks for that bit of wisdom!

    i am pretty new to leather working, but worked a few years in an industrial sewing shop, and they double stitched everything. That's where i picked up the habbit.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will watch the watchmen?)

    I am not a lawyer. Nothing in any of posts should be construed as legal advice.

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    Lone Star Veteran Gator5713's Avatar
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    Lookin good! Can you price competitively? I might be interested in one for my 1911 and if you do any 'western style' holsters (complete with belt?) for my Super Blackhawk 44mag! And as mentioned above, suede lined would be nice too to alleve some 'holster wear'...

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    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Can I ask how you form the leather to the pistols. You rwork looks really nice, and form-fitted...

    Do you work it wet, and bone-form it by hand, or do you use some sort of vacuum-forming rig?
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionŚand this is hogwash."
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    Got any more pics of your sewest creations? and keep up the good work its a lost art

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    What sewing machine do you have? I wonder if I can do this with my Tuffsew Straight Stitch machine? I have the 9" model.

    https://www.tuffsew.com/straightStitch.php

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    D_Weezy wrote:
    What sewing machine do you have? I wonder if I can do this with my Tuffsew Straight Stitch machine? I have the 9" model."

    I don't think that would work. According to the website that machine will sew a single layer of 8-10oz. leather. Most IWB holsters are made from 2 layers of 6-7oz. leather or heavier and most OWB out of 2 layers of 8-9oz.
    Machines made to sew leather of the weight needed for holsters are expensive. The cheapest one I know of is a hand operated machine that retails for about $1400 and electric sewing machines start at about $1800-$2000.
    You don't need a sewing machine at all to make nice holsters. You can saddle stitch, using one long thread with a needle at each end, a holster and get very nice results that are actually a little stronger than machine sewn ones. The only real advantage to machine sewing is the time savings. These two holsters were hand sewn and have held up fine to ten years of extensive use. As an example, the double loop holster and accompanying cartridge belt took about 3-4 hours to sew where as even with a hand powered sewing machine it could have been done in 30-40 minutes.





    Eugene

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    swcr wrote:
    D_Weezy wrote:
    What sewing machine do you have? I wonder if I can do this with my Tuffsew Straight Stitch machine? I have the 9" model."

    ┬*
    I don't think that would work.┬* According to the website that machine will sew a single layer of 8-10oz. leather.┬* Most IWB holsters are made from 2 layers of 6-7oz. leather or heavier and most OWB out of 2 layers of 8-9oz.
    Machines made to sew leather of the weight needed for holsters are expensive.┬* The cheapest one I know of is a hand operated machine that retails for about $1400 and electric sewing machines start at about $1800-$2000.
    You don't need a sewing machine at all to make nice holsters.┬* You can saddle stitch, using one long thread with a needle at each end, a holster and get very nice results that are actually a little stronger than machine sewn ones.┬* The only real advantage to machine sewing is the time savings.┬* These two holsters were hand sewn and have held up fine to ten years of extensive use.┬* As an example, the double loop holster and accompanying cartridge belt took about 3-4 hours to sew where as even with a hand powered sewing machine it could have been done in 30-40 minutes.
    SNIP...
    Eugene
    Very nice work
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    swcr wrote:
    D_Weezy wrote:
    What sewing machine do you have? I wonder if I can do this with my Tuffsew Straight Stitch machine? I have the 9" model."

    I don't think that would work. According to the website that machine will sew a single layer of 8-10oz. leather. Most IWB holsters are made from 2 layers of 6-7oz. leather or heavier and most OWB out of 2 layers of 8-9oz.
    Machines made to sew leather of the weight needed for holsters are expensive. The cheapest one I know of is a hand operated machine that retails for about $1400 and electric sewing machines start at about $1800-$2000.
    You don't need a sewing machine at all to make nice holsters. You can saddle stitch, using one long thread with a needle at each end, a holster and get very nice results that are actually a little stronger than machine sewn ones. The only real advantage to machine sewing is the time savings. These two holsters were hand sewn and have held up fine to ten years of extensive use. As an example, the double loop holster and accompanying cartridge belt took about 3-4 hours to sew where as even with a hand powered sewing machine it could have been done in 30-40 minutes.
    Thanks for the info.

  22. #22
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    However, you can rent an industrial sewing machine that is made specifically for this, if you live in or near a big city. You can probably get an Industrial Singer for a week for under $200, but you're gonna need a pickup truck and a couple burley friends to move it. The ones I've used (for tent making and leather working) weight about 200lbs...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionŚand this is hogwash."
    --Barry Goldwater, 1964

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    That may be true I've never tried it. If you do your going to want one with at least 3/8" lift on the presser foot for doing modern style holsters and 1/2"-5/8" lift for doing western style holsters.

    Eugene

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    Can I ask how you form the leather to the pistols. You rwork looks really nice, and form-fitted... Do you work it wet, and bone-form it by hand, or do you use some sort of vacuum-forming rig?

    some sort of vacuum forming would be cool....but i cannot think of a method that wouldn't waste a ton of leather.

    i get the leather wet, then i let it sit for about an hour until it is just barely damp. Then i mold the holster around the gun by hand, and with some tools...one of my favorite tools is a sharpie marker.

    as far as western holsters, i don't have any interest in trying to make any right now.....i'm too busy making my standard 2 types of holsters.

    this random google photo looks very similar to my machine. 2 layers of holster leather is at the extreme end of what my machine can handle....it's probably more than the manufacturer recommends. I use titanium nitride needles...they are more slippery than standard needles and provide me with good results.


    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (who will watch the watchmen?)

    I am not a lawyer. Nothing in any of posts should be construed as legal advice.

  25. #25
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    lapeer20m wrote:
    as far as western holsters, i don't have any interest in trying to make any right now.....i'm too busy making my standard 2 types of holsters.
    Thanks for the PM. Your work looks really good! I have in mind what I am looking for for my 1911, and I will probably contact to when I am ready for it! As for the westerns, I will probably be getting one soon, and your prices look about the same as everyone else, so I might contact you first just to see if you are interested/have the time at that time, and if not I completely understand. Keep up the good work!

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