Friday, August 15, 2008


I mentioned last time that I would go though making handles.

You can get handles basically anwhere, but they usually have poorly made hardware attached, even the ones from the Amish - believe it or not, most of the stuff the Amish sell, they don't make.
Speaking of the Amish... there is a harness shop not too far away from the house. The stuff that they actually do make is really very nice... but most of what is in stock is from catalogs. They do have great prices though. My favorite is watching the yuppie-harley-riding types approach the counter and say "what do you mean you don't take credit cards" and then leave empty handed.

Anyway, enough observations. I make all my handles from scratch. They are simple, but effective. I start with a length of leather - a good firm piece for the strap, usually from the top of the hide. The top starts at the spine, and goes south from there. I then cut a square of thinner 4-5 oz of for the handle itself. Below you can see the two pieces, and a finished handle.

These two pieces get glued, and will have D-rings attached.

After gluing the handle get folded, and then finally stitched. I use the Tippmann for that, since it is the beast of burden. It will sew up to 7/8" thick material. Perfect for handles or really heavy harness stuff. Here's the handle getting stitched.

Once these are stitched, a little tap with a hammer to set the stitches, and it off to be attached. Here you can see a few finished handles for cases currently being made.

They take a little bit of time to make, but it's worth it. I think it adds to the value of the case, knowing how much of it is actually crafted, verses purchased and attached.

That's all for now... next time, cutting the case itself.


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