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Author Topic: Leather Wrap Tutorial (pic heavy)  (Read 15414 times)
chicago.jedi
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« on: July 18, 2013, 02:22:42 PM »

By special request I am doing a tutorial on how I make leather wraps on my sabers. This will cover my method for making and stitching a wrap around the switch. I am not good with videos so bear with me on the pictures.
Step 1:

I used a piece of goat skin leather from Tandy. I cut it 2 ½” wide and just under 5” long. The width is up to you but the length  should be pretty close to this though you may need to adjust it depending on the thickness of leather you use. Cut long and trim as needed. I then made my tool for cutting a perfect hole. I used a piece of ½” copper pipe and cut it with a tube cutter (pictured left) to get a perfect cut. I then used a pencil reamer (pictured right) to ream the inside of the pipe to a very sharp edge.
Step 2:

I used the tool I just made and my wooden mallet to punch my hole. Measure where you need it, in this case it is centered, and set the edge you just sharpened on the leather. Then hit it with the mallet until it has gone through the leather all around. I use an old piece of counter top to do my cutting and stamping on. DO NOT  do this on your coffee table as it will leave a nice ½” ring in it.
Step 3:


Next I punched my stitching holes. I used a four hole punch sold by as a hobby shop to do this. Draw lines on the leather where the holes will be , I went 1/8” from the edge, set your tool so the prongs are on the line, and tap it with your mallet. It does not take a lot of force. The tool punches 4 holes at a time. In order to keep your spacing true, put the first prong in the last hole you just punched so after the first time, you will only punch 3 new holes. In the end you must have the same number of holes on each side and they must line up and be spaced correctly.
Step 4:

Do whatever dyeing, stamping, or carving you want to at this point. I just made a few lines on the edge and dyed it russet. Now is the stitching. You need thread, a needle or two, and tape (and of course a saber)
Step 5:

Pop the leather over the switch. The hole we made in step 2 should be a little smaller than the switch body but that is ok, the leather will stretch and mold itself to the switch guard.
Step 6:

Make a loop with the thread. A big loop. Tape the looped end near the emitter, past the edge of the leather. On the other end, tape the short end of the thread to the hilt. Leave the long end free and put the needle on it. Keep an eye on these loops as you stitch because it is easy to pull too tight and pull them out of the tape without noticing.
Step 7:

Pull the edges of the leather together and get ready to stitch. Put the needle through one of the end hole from underneath and pull it topside.
Step 8:

Then bring the thread straight across and put the need through the matching hole on the other side going from the top down. As the needle goes through the hole, angle it to the next hole on the other side from underneath.  Look at my low tech drawing for a better idea. The blue parts are on top of the leather, the red parts will be underneath and not seen. You may have to play around to get the hang of it.

Step 9:


When you get to the emitter end and you have made your last stitch, pull the thread through to the under side and THEN, go through the loop we made in step 6. Now comes the trick to it all.
Step 10:


Gently pull on the free end towards the pommel end where we started. This will pull the loop on the other end under the wrap and capture the end of the thread that had the needle on it. Here is another low tech drawing of how the loop looks under the leather.

Step 11:


Once you have the loop about centered under the leather (you need to guess as you cannot see it), clip the ends of the thread. NOTE, there is no knot that holds all of this together. It is all held together by the interlocking loops pulled under the wrap. I have never had one of these come undone.
Step 12:


Enjoy and show off your saber. If you have further questions, feel free to ask on the forum or PM me. If you can’t figure it out, send your saber to me along with a six pack and I will do it for you. Wink
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Deadcow
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2013, 02:31:29 PM »

Thank you!  for the life of me i could not figure out leather wrapping.  This helps a lot!  Have a point!
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Tsurabisu
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2013, 02:35:20 PM »

Great tutorial! Glad to see someone else who works with leather.
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Ninja-Jedi
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2013, 03:21:35 PM »

nice tutorial I gotta run down to tandy leather in my neck of the woods now lol
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Zren Tobas
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2013, 05:50:31 PM »

Nice. I might do this to my Liberator V3 when I get it. Dark brown will look good because the blade fill be FO. =] I'll make sure to get pictures up.
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 12:02:18 AM »

Awesome tutorial! I prefer the picture tutorial over video anyway, this is very helpful and very well thought out. Thank you! Point(s) from me!

This gets my vote to be stickied.
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Khaalis
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2013, 01:30:36 AM »

Amazingly Done!  Thank you.  I agree, the pics and descriptions actually work better than video. Video tends to leave people a bit flustered when having to stop, rewind, pause, etc. AND do the work.  This is a very simple to follow tutorial and well laid out.

Quick question.  Where did you get the tube cutter and pencil reamer and what do they run?  Any suggestions if you don't have these tools?
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My Sabers (All customized & Obsidian): Emerald Archon v2.1 (DVA),  Emerald Dark Menace (SY), Emerald Shock LE (BR)

chicago.jedi
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2013, 05:39:31 AM »

Quick question.  Where did you get the tube cutter and pencil reamer and what do they run?  Any suggestions if you don't have these tools?

Glad everyone likes this. Thanks for the kind words.

As far as the tools, the tube cutter can be found at any hardware store. They run about $15-$50 depending on the brand., Ridgid being the best. You really need this as opposed to a hack saw because you need a good straight, square cut. If you have a steady hand, you might be able use a hack saw or Dremel tool and then file the end to be square.

For the pencil reamer, you might need to go to a pipe or plumbing supply place. They are usually on the counter as an impulse buy item and are a few bucks. The pencil style reamer works best because it really shaves the copper well to get a sharp edge. There is usually a reamer on the back of the tube cutter, too, (it looks like a flat, triangle) that is used for burr removing. It will work, but it can chew up the edge as it does it. In stead of this, you could probably use a small round or half round file to sharped the copper. You are only sharpening the inside but the outside is what makes the nice perfect cut, so however you sharpen the inside, should not matter too much.

Ask around if you know someone that is handy with tools (neighbor, friend, grandpa, etc.), they might have these tools. Anyone who does plumbing work should have a tube cutter at least.

When you make your tool, do a few test cuts first on a scrap of leather to make sure it cuts the way you want it to.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 05:42:33 AM by chicago.jedi » Logged


eerockk
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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2013, 07:47:39 AM »

Great step-by-step on this!!

Perhaps a stickied thread is in order here? My vote is yea.
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Molina00
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2013, 07:58:31 AM »

Great tutorial!  I may have to give this a try someday.  I agree with Khaalis, I much prefer pics to video.  It's a lot easier to follow and like he said, the pausing/rewinding/etc. can be a hassle not to mention the camera losing focus.   
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chicago.jedi
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2013, 09:31:44 AM »

I am so pleased so many people are getting something out of this. Please, give it a try and tell us how it works out for you.

One note though, keep in mind that the 1/2" copper pipe cuts a hole that is perfect for the guarded switches. This was just dumb luck that it worked out nicely. If you are going over an AV switch, you may need to modify this procedure a little bit. This tutorial is what worked on my saber and should work on most other sabers, but maybe not all other sabers. However, there should be enough information here for you to go off of and make something that will work for you.

Next time I do one of these I think I am going to do some basket weave stamping on the wrap. Give it kind of a rustic look.  Just another idea of what else you could do with this.

Go nuts and have fun with this!!
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Molina00
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2013, 09:40:56 AM »

Next time I do one of these I think I am going to do some basket weave stamping on the wrap. Give it kind of a rustic look.  Just another idea of what else you could do with this.

Go nuts and have fun with this!!

Patterns on the wrap would be great.  I will definitely be interested in seeing how that goes. 
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Locutis
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2013, 04:59:11 PM »

Great step-by-step on this!!

Perhaps a stickied thread is in order here? My vote is yea.

My vote is yes too! Awesome tutorial. Well earned point! Grin

I have a Tandy Leather right down the street from me. Time for a visit.
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chicago.jedi
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2013, 08:09:15 PM »

I think I need to ask Tandy Leather for a commission!! Cheesy

Thanks for the points!!
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Khaalis
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2013, 08:59:19 PM »

Is goat skin your preference for hilts? Also, do you always dye your own or do have you ever used some of the pre-dyed leather?
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My Sabers (All customized & Obsidian): Emerald Archon v2.1 (DVA),  Emerald Dark Menace (SY), Emerald Shock LE (BR)

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