Quick Project: Skirt Chasers

Posted in Projects on June 13th, 2008 by The Cyberwolfe

These little things are designed to help a lady keep her skirts out of the mud – or perhaps show off her petticoats, if she’s of a mind :) It’s just a simple length of leather folded over to pinch another fold with some D-rings in their grip.

To use them, hang them on your belt and pull a section of fabric up through both rings, then run it back through only one of them and pull it tight. (Just like you would for a motorcycle helmet strap.)

I like to use an offset color for the smaller piece. Use a stiff leather for the long piece and a softer leather to hold the rings so they move freely. It helps to skive down the tips of the stiff leather if your rivets aren’t long enough. You can also groove the leather at the fold, but you can usually just give it a couple whacks with a mallet and pound it into submission ;)

A quick note on tools

Posted in Tips & Tricks on June 5th, 2008 by The Cyberwolfe

Actually a double post: tools to have, and how to carry them around!

We’ll start off with a picture:

Tool roll - open

Here we can see some of my most-used tools in the roll-up pouch I made for them. From left to right, we have:

  • a slot punch for belt buckles,
  • my stitch groover,
  • a belt-tip punch,
  • a couple of bevelers,
  • my #2 edge tool,
  • a 4-way hole punch,
  • my folding razor knife,
  • my swivel knife,
  • a selection of hole punches.

I also have a rotary punch, which is an excellent tool, but it’s only good for punching holes less than an inch away from an edge. For holes farther into a piece of work, you need a simple punch like these above.

The swivel knife is of course used for carving leather, and that razor knife makes cutting out the pices so much easier than using shears on heavy leather.

The 4-way punch doesn’t get a lot of use. I don’t do much in the way of lacing leather, and that is the main use of it. The #2 edge beveler next to it, however, gets used on every project to round off the square edges left by my razor knife.

The beveling tools next to that are used on leather carvings after the swivel knife to add dimension to the artwork. The stitch groover has gotten a lot of use lately, what with all the sewing projects I have attempted. The remaining tools are just for making straps – one puts a nice clean end on the strap, the other punches the slot for the tongue of a buckle or the key slot for a Sam Browne closure.

The tool roll was one of the first few things I made after my girlfriend gave me a starter set of tools for Xmas. I like having pockets and hooks for my tools, and this seemed like a good way to keep them stored and organized in my tool bag so I wasn’t always digging through a pile of stuff for them.

I started with a chunk of scrap leather, and only trimmed a little of it off to get the shape you see here. Then I just laid out my tools, folded the bottom over them and drew lines in between for a seam guide. i started on the right, and you can see how I mis-judged how the leather would gather – I thought that pocket would only hold one punch. The one next to it went a little small – that’s the only punch that will fit there. Luckily enough, I had it figured by then and the rest went pretty smoothly.

To finish the project, I whipped up a couple of buckled straps and riveted them to the left side. Here’s what it looks like all rolled up:

All rolled up

With the top flap rolled down over the tools and then the whole thing rolled up and buckled, it keeps everything tucked away inside, and the bundle fits neatly into my tool bag.

There is a selection of other tools in my bag, but the bag itself has many pockets that does the trick quite well. My stamping tools, however, will likely get a new case in the near future since they are currently stacked up in my parts box and I invariably have to dig all of them out to get the one tool I want. (Which is why the bevelers got moved to the tool roll.) It’s getting late though, so I’ll leave those for another post.