Leathercraft · Watches

Slowly but surely

So an update on my new little hobby: leathercrafting. Making watch straps, as I’ve discovered is not as easy as it looks. There are tight tolerances and a few millimetres off here or there makes for an unco-looking strap! Slowly but surely I am making progress.

My biggest challenge so far has been my choice of leather. I bought a piece of black chromexcel offcut from eBay and I thought “sweet!”. But it turned out to be too thick for watch straps.

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Cloth and Hide · Leathercraft · Watches

Strappin’ novice

So I began my leathercrafting with making some watch straps which is probably not the best thing to start off with. Watch straps have extremely low tolerances and tight gaps and are small fiddly things that you see up close. The tiniest bit of not straight stitching is immediately evident. And the tiniest bit of not straight cutting results in a buckle not fitting or not fitting between the lugs. Anyway it’s too late now, so if I can make straps I should be able to make anything?

First up, the tools. I started off with some basic tools from Birdsall Leather: pricking irons, grooving tool, needles, waxed linen thread, hole punches, and a skiving blade. I had other basics like a rubber mallet and metal ruler at home. Some cheapo wood and chopping boards finished off my beginners kit.

I had some kangaroo leather scraps which I bought from Birdsall leather so my first strap was a double layered strap which was stitched along the length. This is actually the hardest kind of strap to make so I had jumped right into the deep end. I started off by making a template out of some breakfast cereal box cardboard.

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