Leather Work Part 1

Hello friends,

I found myself on a leather crafting kick for some time now. Mainly for Axe sheaths, chisel pouches and misc. bags of all sorts.

tourning pouchchiselpouch

With that said I have been practicing a little on small items. I jumped in head first and bought a half a side of leather. Shipped to the house for $70.00. Now I have a good bit of material to make some nice items.
I will show you a few of the techniques I have learned. Most of my tools were bought from Tandy leather or Harbor Freight.
In this project I am making a Haversack for camping and hunting. It is basically a catch all for your gear.
DSC01556 _Medium_nhmilitia
The name ‘Haversack’ originates from its usage to carry ‘Havercake’ and almost certainly related to Hafer, the German word for Oats. Havercake was a rough type of bread simply made from oats and water, with the addition sometimes of yeast to bulk it out. Oats were the staple food of the poor, especially in the textile districts of the north of England, during the privations caused by the Napoleonic Wars. Havercake was made in the form of a thick biscuit as a convenient way to take food to the factory for the mid-day meal, and the haversack was the bag it was carried in. This system, using havercake carried in a haversack, was also used widely by the military for the individual soldier to carry his rations.
I will do a two part series and show you the outcome of this project.
Here are a few picks of my current work.
Now for my demo of what I have learned so far.
I promise to return to some forging and woodwork shortly.

Thanks folks for your time.
Leave a comment, ask a question, or just tell me what I am doing wrong. I learn the most from you!

Please be careful. Some of the things I do are dangerous. It is not my fault if you get hurt. Use your brain, be safe.

17 Responses to Leather Work Part 1

  1. eddieantley says:

    your getting to be a jack of all trades, looking good Dave , thats a fair amount of cow hide there looks like Christmas may be leather ,iron and wood gifts .you may have enough there to make some chaps for your forging ,

  2. JL7 says:

    Cool stuff Dave…….and we got to listen to 5 different genres of music.. 🙂

    It jogged me back in time a bit, when I was a youngster, we would visit the cousins (don’t seem to do that as much anymore) and they would do the leather-craft stuff. They had the embossing punches and things to make wallets and belts. No haversacks…… Looking forward to part 2…..

    Reminds me also of my last visit to Tandy, a guy walked in with the pistol holster he built and words don’t describe how cool that was…….it is really amazing what can be done…..wish I would have taken pictures….

    None of this new learning stuff gets old………in my younger days, I didn’t appreciate it much, but that was then…..

    Thanks Dave…….


    • David Bardin says:

      Jeff I am glad you noticed.
      I thought about the embossing chisels and decided not to get them. I don’t think I would use them that much.
      I have a family member that has a ton of that stuff. I might do a small panel with my maker mark and see if we can do something nice.
      They closed our Tandy store about 20 years ago.
      You can do some amazing work with the leather. Like all materials, wood, steel, leather, you can do whatever your imagination and talent will allow.
      I was the same Jeff. All I was worried about was beer, girls, hunting and fishing. The order was apt for change depending on how much money I had. 😉
      Thank you Jeff.

  3. DIYaholic says:

    Cool project and great tutorial.

    I worked some leather back in Jr. High. I have always wanted to give it another go. Given my procrastination affliction, it may be a while, as I have many a more things to put off!!!

    Bring on “Part II”, as I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product!!!

    • David Bardin says:

      There you are.
      Now I know you have some fine woodworking tools that if you were to transport them, would love to have a lether home to travel in.
      Its coming. hopefully this weekend.
      The strap is killing me. Over a 100 inches of stitches.
      Then the sides have to go on.
      Thanks Pres.

  4. When I was 8 years old my Dad was a scout leader. All three of us boys, my sisters were too young, made wallets, key holders, lanyards, and card holders and anything else we could think of from leather.
    Shaw Shoe had a factory in town where as a kid you could go to the back door and ask for scrap leather. They would give you clippings and skins with wrinkles or scuffs that made them unsuitable for shoes.
    Anyway because we were kind of going nuts with the leather working Dad took a stainless steel fork and cut down the tines to make a punch just like the one Dave is using. We also had a fid or needle that Dad made that was split on one end so you could tuck the lacing into the split and use the fid to pull the leather through the punched hole.

    • Joe Lyddon says:

      A “fid” being something like a blunt ice pick… or a blunt small nail… or ground screw…
      … Good idea… I

      My Small Dictionary: “a wooden pin used in splicing rope”

      Thank you…

    • David Bardin says:

      Well you got an early start with some help from good ole Dad.
      I would have loved to had the opportunity to get some scraps like that.
      Cool tools are the ones you make to get good results. My Dad was inventive like that.
      Now you are going to have me looking at split needles.
      Thanks for the wonderful stories and comment. 😉

  5. Rusty says:

    Dave- looking good! Who did you get the leather from? Rusty

  6. Joe Lyddon says:

    COOL work!

    A few years ago, I got a Full Hide off of eBay…
    I needed to redo arms, seat & back of my favorite chair.
    At that time, it only cost me about $50…
    … so, checkout eBay… you might be surprised.

    Did you make that Fork-lookin slit cutter?
    … That’s better than Punching a Hole; I’ve been one of those Punch-Wheels that work like pliers.

    What are the Specs on those Rivets? Any favorite place to get’em?

    Oh, I always thought you had hair… Was it just getting in your way… and you just cut it off… Winter is coming… might be warmer if you let it grow now… 🙂 🙂

    Thank you, Dave…

Forge a whitty reply.

%d bloggers like this: