How-To: Leather Buttons and Toggles

Posted in Tips & Tricks on June 21st, 2016 by The Cyberwolfe

Working a project and need a cheap-and-easy method of fastening two things together? A button sounds like just the thing. We’ve been using them for a few millenia, but surprisingly enough the button pre-dates the button hole by several centuries.

Before the button hole was invented, folks would make a loop of leather, cord or twine and push the button through that. It helps to have a wider button with this method, so they made toggles, which can really be anything vaguely stick-shaped – or even a stick. Antler tips lend themselves to the task well since they polish up nice, but a scrap of leather can work just as well.

Here I’m going to show you one way of making a leather toggle. There’s always more than one way to do something like this though, so feel free to improvise.

ButtonToggles

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Making use of vertical space

Posted in Projects on June 19th, 2016 by The Cyberwolfe

Bows On the Wall

Since the move to the smaller apartment, the archery equipment has been relegated to the bedroom closet, and the Wife thought it should be out where people could see it – and more importantly, clear out valuable shelf space. With that in mind, I came up with using a couple of spare belt blanks to act as the anchors, and some simple loop-and-toggle pairs to secure the items to the straps.

Loop and toggle detail

Just a simple loop of lace wrapped up and around the toggle. Yes, my stamping is a little off. I wasn’t measuring.

Button? Toggle?

Those toggles are just a strip of leather rolled up with a bit of lace run through it to secure the roll – and I just decided to do a tutorial on those as a separate post – come back tomorrow for that. Unless you’re reading this at some point in the future, in which case you probably just read it.

Timelines are hell.

Anyway, for those that are interested: Yes, I made the quiver on the right, see this post. The quiver on the left was left behind with the bottom bow.

From top to bottom:

  • Das Flingenstick, a 35# English-style longbow. Red oak backed with linen.
  • My daughter’s 25# Samick recurve
  • A wimpy flatbow a buddy left behind when he moved out. It’s mostly decorative.

Workbench 2.5

Posted in Projects on June 11th, 2016 by The Cyberwolfe

After about a year with the modded computer desk as a primary workbench, we’ve made some adjustments. One of these is we balanced a board between my right-hand drawers and the computer case on the left at the back of the desk to keep the kitten from playing in the cords back there. This of course turned into Kitty Highway 101, and eventually to both cats deciding my desk was an onramp, no matter what sharp bits may have been laying out.

This was starting to piss me off pretty good. Plus, I have all these sharp bits laying out and needed more organization. So, viola! Pegboard walls to block the cats and hang my tools on.

Workbench 2.5

Home Despot carries pegboard in 1/4 sheet “hobby boards”, and the birch 2×2’s were easy enough to trim to length with my jigsaw. The walls were screwed to the 2×2’s, and then I ran a pocket screw through each of the uprights and down into the work surface. So far I haven’t needed to brace it any.

Rose Handbag

Posted in Projects on February 7th, 2016 by The Cyberwolfe

My lovely wife requested a handbag, and chose a rose motif for the carving. I’m not very good at floral carving, but I can follow a good tutorial as well as the next guy, so I went out and found a few good tutorials. And a vintage pattern – I think my mom used to have a purse much like this one way back in the day.

There are a couple things that need some tweaking if I ever do this again, but all in all, I’m pleased with the results.

Rose Handbag

 

Upcoming events

Posted in General on January 16th, 2016 by The Cyberwolfe

Can you guess what’s next?

The Pawprint O' Quality

Field Notes Wallet

Posted in Projects on November 11th, 2015 by The Cyberwolfe

I took advantage of a downtime at work and talked the boss into giving me a week off, so I’ve been tooling around the last few days trying out a few new ideas and working on my skills.

One of the dreams in the back of my head is to someday quit my day job and just be a leathercrafter as a paying trade, so I keep my eye out for things I could sell. One such item is a combination wallet and cover for a notebook.

They have a version of this on the Field Notes website, and I’ve seen a couple variants on Etsy sites, so I thought I’d whip up my own version:

Notebook cover   Full Cover

This is basically a prototype, so I just kept it simple and natural rather than dying it. At this point it’s just burnished edges and a swipe with some saddle soap to clean up the scraps I used to make it.

The height of a Field Notes notebook means you have a little extra if you place the card pockets as shown here, but I haven’t come up with a good way to get around it yet. The double row of stitching seems to be the consensus as the way do deal with it. The next one may have vertical card slots instead. Behind the cards is another pocket for notes or paper money.

full interior   Loaded inside

This ended up being the slightest bit too small, an annoying trend in my prototypes. It takes a little finagling to get the notebook properly ensconced in its pocket, and the back pocket on the left side could be a tad shorter – or the whole thing could be a tad wider making for a larger “middle” space between the sides.

All in all, however, I’d say it’s a success. Now to figure out a good way to get a pen loop in there…

Ducky new wallet

Posted in Projects on October 26th, 2015 by The Cyberwolfe

My older brother was impressed with my Firefly wallet and his birthday is this month so I made him something to show off.

Finished design

And the inside:

Wallet interior

Each of those diagonal slots will hold two or three cards, so there’s plenty of space.

Scrapbin Quickie

Posted in Projects on July 4th, 2015 by The Cyberwolfe

Several years back the wife tripped across the SHARPEST GORRAM KNIVES EVAR, and we’ve had to create new rules for dealing with them around the house lest we inadvertently lose an appendage. (Seriously, these things are like eating with a lightsaber. “Oh, I’ll just cut off a piece of this steak, mmm, wait, why did the table fall apart?”)

So, considering we have a bin for keeping tableware in when we go camping the chances of randomly losing a finger while looking for a spoon were pretty high, and the wife asked me to do something about it.

Voila.

Camping sheath

(On a side note, pretty new slab under the sheath there. Woot.)

Workbench 2.0

Posted in General on June 7th, 2015 by The Cyberwolfe

I may have come up with a solution to the lack-of-a-workspace idea. Since I couldn’t set up a dedicated workspace, I decided to multi-task one of my existing emplacements – my computer desk. Here you can see the humble beginnings…

Humble compy desk

That desk is either from IKEA or someplace spiritually close to it. I picked up the desk way back in 1998 (ye gods) and I’ve been dragging it around ever since. (Shockingly enough, the cam screws are just as tight today as when I assembled it so many years ago.) It’s decent enough, but the wood is MDF and likely to fall apart on me if I do any serious work on it.

Additionally, I’d need to get the monitor and speakers up off the desk – they would get bounced around too much anytime I needed to set a rivet or grommets, and the prolonged tappity-tappity of tooling would probably do bad things for the monitor’s backlight. Read more »

Short hiatus

Posted in General on May 6th, 2015 by The Cyberwolfe

The World has impinged itself upon my reality once again, and it appears I will be on a temporary hiatus from leatherwork while I figure out some changes. We ended up having to move last month, and ended up in an apartment without a garage – which has always been my workspace.

The new apartment is on the ground floor, so I can probably get away with the noisy aspects of the craft (if for no other reason than the noise generated by the posse of rugrats that roams the grassy areas outside my windows), but we have a pair of cats, and one thing I know for certain is that cats + dye = 6 different kinds of mess.

So, it may be a month or so until I sort this all out. Come back later this summer and see what I’ve managed.