Sep 20, 2015

Leatherworking

Well, just barely leatherworking. Not something I've done beyond stamping my name in a bracelet at scout camp twenty-some years ago.

In a previous post I mentioned wanting (needing) to put a strap on the fore end of the new shortie. That choice was affirmed by several of you, including graphic photo evidence. 

I made a stop at Tandy Leather (they've a shop within easy drive of home, no mail order wondering needed!) to pick up a roll of latigo strap and a few basic tools. Lowe's had the t-nuts and cap screws I needed. 

I ordered a replacement fore end from Numrich to try my hand at - and when I test-fit it, it was an eighth of an inch too small. Derp. Instead of trying to source yet another replacement, I screwed up my courage and started working on the original. 

I learned some time ago that using the right tool for a job makes it a lot easier. I pulled out my Forstner bits and chucked one into the drill press, and just kissed the wood enough to inset the t-nuts. A second pass with a twist bit opened the center up to get the t-nut in, and careful application of channel-lock pliers had the nuts well-seated.

I trimmed the edges and rounded the ends of the leather with a sharp knife, then used an edge beveler to clean up the cuts, and spent a few more minutes burnishing the result. With that done, I punched in holes for the cap screws and attached it to the fore-end.

A few dabs of grease in strategic places, and I reassembled the gun...



Final thoughts... the strap is a bit wider than I'd really like. I may take it off and cut it a bit narrower, then re-finish the edges. It's also a rather spacious loop - as in, I could fit my mitt in there with winter gloves on. With luck, it'll fit around MattG's paws next month... but I fully intend to handicap AD with this when we start flinging clays. :-)

2 comments:

Old NFO said...

Looking forward to seeing it in person! :-)

Brigid said...

Partner loves the stuff from Tandy leather and boxes often arrive at the range from them. He hasn't done any holsters or belts this year with all of the household restoration but has offered to make me a purse if I'll design exactly what I want.

I think I'll take him up on it.