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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone. I started this project three days ago but have been updating my progress on a leather working forum. I thought I'd share this here as well. This is my second western rig build.
I have recently joined the CFDA and went to my first shoot. If you haven't tried the sport of Fast Draw yet, I highly recommend it. So, considering I dabble in gun leather, why not make my own rig. 'Bout time I made something for myself anyway. Plus, my new Vaquero needs a home.


In this thread I'll be using a template that I bought from Chris Andre of Slick Bald Customs www.slickbaldcustoms.com

Here's some progress pics:
Outer layer cut and stamped


Rough cut liner glued and stitched


Liner trimmed


sanded,edged and dyed


More pics to come as the build progresses. Thanks for looking and please feel free to comment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the compliments so far. Late night at work last night, so I didn't get anything accomplished on the holster. I'm looking forward to getting this finished as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Again, thank you all for the compliments. Very motivating.

Tonight I'm one step closer to finishing the holster. I have sewn, sanded, edged, and re-dyed the seam. Depending on what time the dye dries, I may be able to burnish the seam. But this should give everyone a little bit of an idea of what the finished holster will look like. I also got my concho in today for the loop strap. So, I'm at least going to cut that out tonight while the dye is drying.

Additionally, I'm really glad to see this thread has had over 300 views. Thank you all for taking a look.

Country
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey Country, you are one talented individual, and a beautiful holster. Did you learn this on your own, or this is your trade? Again beautiful holster, and thanks for sharing!
Howdy Para45. Thank you for the compliment. I would consider myself self taught with lots of diligent research. It would be nice if this would pay the bills, but right now I have an obligation to Uncle Sam for another 48 months.
Thanks again for the compliment.

Country
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello Country,

Well, let me tell you my friend, you have a fantastic talent, and hopefully someday you could put to use. That is how most holster makers started their business, by working our of their garage because they couldn't find something that suit them. I wish you the best with this project! You've done well.

What military branch are you in? I'm Air Force with 29+ years in. By looking at where you are, I would say either Navy or Marines. Close? LOL!!!!!

Take care brother!
Thank you Para. Very kind words. You guessed pretty good. Marines. Just passed my 15 year mark this past July and reenlisted today for another 4 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Comin' along really good Country. I mean it, it's awesome. You certainly have a talent for working with leather...keep us posted!
Thanks JK. Very kind words as well. I'd love to persue this full time one of these years. But I figure I'll just keep working and fine tuning until that day comes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I got started on the loop strap this evening and couldn't stop after that. I decided to go ahead and get both the holster and loop strap wet molded. I'll be able to let in dry over the next 8-10 hours and then go back over the edges with the canvas again. So, still a little bit aways from being completely finished. Such as installing the leg tie down, hammer strap, oiling, and finish coat. I figure that by Sunday the finish coat can be applied. Oh, if you're wondering why the toe of the flap is bent up like that is it's because I have a deflector shield installed inside the flap. The purpose of that is that in the event of an accidental or early discharge, the wax bullet will deflect off the shield vise smacking you in the leg.


 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Country! Wow! Well done. You could do this for a living... or at least a well paying hobby on the side. (I don't know how hard it would be to start a new holster business.) Very nice.

I'd like to see it hanging from a belt. Can you show us that?

OH. Have you built and gun belt yet? Next step?
Thanks Tom. That's the dream one day. The belt will be part 2 of this project. Thanks for the kind words and stopping by for a look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Country, that looks absolutely fantastic.
Yep, would be great to see it hanging from a belt.
Howdy James and thanks for the compliment. I'll be working on the belt soon after I finish the holster. I'm trying to pace myself on this so I don't miss something on one thing while I'm working on another. I haven't gotten to the level of being able to multi task yet. Haha. I haven't recieved my buckle yet either. So, I'm kind of in a holding pattern until I get everything I need for the belt. But I'm anxious to get started on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
What modifications are you doing to the Vaquero for the competition?
Nothing right now. I'll shoot my first local competition with it stock in December, then I'm getting transferred to North Carolina early January. That doesn't leave a lot of time to let it sit at a gunsmith. I'll drop it off for an action job when I get to North Carolina. Not sure what all an action job entails, but I've been told that's what I need to do. I'm open for suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Okay folks. Here's the finished holster. The last few things that were taken care of today was adding the hammer strap, leg tie-downs, and a couple coats of natural finishing wax. Stay tuned for part 2 where I'll be working on the belt. Thanks for all the motivating comments so far. You guys and gals rock!






 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Again, great job Country.
Curiousity would have me ask, why a hammerstrap, i.e. how was retention?
James.
Retention is not good and it's not supposed to be for fast draw. Because these type of holsters are fitted loosely around the cylinder and have an exposed trigger guard it's a good idea to have one. My gun would more than likely slide out of the holster in a seated position without the strap. And that's a $600 accident I don't want to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 · (Edited)
WOW :eek:!!!

What a nice job ya did! It looks fantastic Country, very classy lookin'

The color tones of the Vaquero and the holster really compliment each other.

Great job ;)
Thanks JK. It's funny you mention the color tones. I've been second guessing putting on the faux ivory grips when they come in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 · (Edited)
Country, I'm wondering how you will make your belt. I have a friend from Alberta who worked in a saddlery shop for several years. He gave me a tip that I had not seen in instructions and guidelines (from places like Tandy Leather). He suggested I cut two belt straps, then split the full grain side from the felt side. After splitting them, you glue the two full grain sides together (full grain sides out) and sew them together. You end up with a much stronger belt. I didn't have a splitter, so I dropped by my local Tandy Leather shop and talked to them. The guy there split them for me for free, and I was set to go. I can tell you that I was sure pleased with the results. I've made two rigs: one in my avatar with bullet loops (i.e. .44 mag); one without bullet loops but with a leather box on the left side that holds a standard CCI plastic .22 LR ammo box. This second one was for my Single Six. Both belts are dual layer full grain leather.

Here they are on another thread: click here.
Tom...I've only done one other belt (pictured below) and I didn't split the leather. The only reason I can think of for splitting would be if you're trying to achieve a certain thickness and the leather you have on hand is too thick to begin with. It sounds to me like he explained the installation of a liner. I keep 6/7 oz. Hermann Oak leather on hand, as I feel this is a good weight as a single layer that I use for my semi-auto holsters, and it is a great weight leather when doubled up for the western rigs as I did when I was building the holster.

So, what I'll do is cut my outer layer out of 6/7 oz, being very exact to the outline. After that I'll flip that over on top of my leather (grain side to grain side) and rough cut the liner out of the same 6/7 oz leather. Once my rough cut is done I'll apply glue to both layers and mate them together flesh (rough) side to flesh side. Once adhered, I'll lay down my stitch groove on the outer layer and stitch. Once stitched I'll trim the excessive liner off. See holster pic below for an example.

Last belt that was built. 2 layers of 6/7 oz. B-grade Hermann Oak, 1 layer as a liner (inside layer) and 1 layer as the outer belt. Both layers are grain (smooth) side out.


Holster with 2 layers of 6/7 oz. B-grade Hermann Oak, 1 layer as a liner (inside layer) and 1 layer as the outer holster. Both layers are grain (smooth) side out.
 
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