12/29/10

Real Leather


For Christmas I received a bit of leather, of adequate weight for holster-making. I have never made anything out of leather up to this point, so I was very excited. I was not at my home during the actual construction process, so in-progress pictures will have to be taken off my cellphone at a later date. Until then, enjoy the pictures of the completed piece.

Specs:
  • Pancake style, OWB holster. Goes on the small of your back.
  • Molded around an (Airsoft) Sig P226
I learned a lot from this holster. Here's a list.
  • A little dye goes a long way, and a lot of dye goes a little way. I ended up making it darker in some regions than I wanted, and too light in others, especially around the laces. I'm wondering if the waxed thread caused problems with dye absorption, or if I just did not allow the dye to penetrate into the indents. In future tries, I will be sure to dilute the dye in a small container, in an attempt to control the dye for a more even coat.
  • Belt loops suck. I need an oblong punch to make smooth belt loops, or perhaps the proper Dremel attachment to clean them out. That is probably one of the worst parts of this holster.
  • I need some way to estimate how much thread to use when sewing leather. I made an estimate for this holster based on a hunch, and was nearly spot on. However, in larger and more professional projects, I will need to know how to accurately estimate.
  • Add a little more extra space than you think you'll need on patterns. It will make the gun fit better in the pocket for wetforming.
  • Apply more pressure when punching holes, and creating grooves in the leather.
  • Be sure not to attempt to bone around the gun with something with sharp edges. I do not own any sort of boning tools, so I used the back end of a Sharpie marker, as well as a toy billy club. The club was a cheap Marti Gras toy, and has seam lines. The seam lines cut into the wet leather, and left an impression.

Here you can get a better look at the overly-darkened slide area. All in all, the holster works like a champ. There's good retention (Mostly from the trigger guard), despite the smooth lines of the Sig P226. This particular model pictured is a KWA brand airsoft pistol. $16 at your local sporting goods store, rebranded by "Cybergun". Nifty little gun. I wish I had used something with a little more detail on the slide and front end of the frame, however. Perhaps next time I will make a Beretta M9 holster. Due to the slide design, it should have more detail after wet-forming, and be less likely to fall out. After using this holster, I have determined that it will keep the P226 in place very well. It will not even fall out if you hold it upside down and shake, with moderate force. A drawback to this holster is that the P226 is a large enough gun to make it difficult to conceal, but that is a different story entirely.
That's the reverse side of the holster. It's much lighter, and perhaps prettier. It photographs really well. The uneven dye job takes on an almost marbled look.
And finally, a picture of it on my belt. I wore it around for a good half hour without my friend noticing, under a jacket. Concealment, check.