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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Leather Shop (Moderators: Marshal Will Wingam, Ten Wolves Fiveshooter)  |  Topic: Side or Double shoulder 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Side or Double shoulder  (Read 661 times)
Jrice
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« on: September 04, 2017, 06:04:49 pm »


Would a double shoulder typically be large enough to get a pair of holsters and a belt out of, or would a side be needed for the belt? The measurement where the belt will sit is 47-48".  If there is enough left over a set of cuffs and other odds and ends would be done as well.  I'm figuring on making an initial set in a single layer to confirm the pattern is what I want, and then once the bugs have been worked out make a nicer set laminated.   It's been a few years since I did any leather work, and at that time I could go down to the local saddle shop for belt blanks and just give him the dimensions I was looking for.
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Capt Quirk
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 08:09:13 am »

Well, first of all, be careful where you buy, some places will charge premium prices, and send nasty leather out. Next, with any side, there will be a bit not worth using, such as the belly. The belly is usually too stretchy and spongy for quality work, yet places will charge you more to cut it off. So, on to your question... Double shoulders will usually be cut very irregular, so you won't get a whole lot for bigger projects. What you might want to look for is known as a bend. That is cut from the neck to the haunch, and is mostly clean back and side, the back being considered the best part.

Where are you located, and who are you looking to buy from?
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 09:56:43 am »

I have tried to make a gunbelt from a double shoulder. Yeah, it worked but left a soft part at the centre of the belt. The "bend" is best, and cut the belt from the backbone part.
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 10:45:33 am »

Good advice you've gotten so far. One note, though. I've used belly leather to prove holster designs will fit then made the final pieces from a good part of the hide.

Of the 'proof' holsters I've made, I kept one and my pruning shears live in it.  Grin
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Jrice
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 11:01:37 pm »

Currently living in Mesa, AZ.  Locally there is TLF, but honestly while the leather looked better than I remember seeing from them, I was only gong to make the initial set from there.  Once I'm on to a nicer set I was going to order either W&C or HO.  There are a few saddle shops in the area that I may check in with as I suspect I may have a better chance of finding what I 'm looking for there.
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Capt Quirk
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« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2017, 11:31:02 pm »

Hey, if you can lay hands on the leather, pick out the piece you want AND not pay shipping? That is a win/win/win. Get some nice 8oz for the base, and some 4-5oz for lining, or maybe even a little heavier. Sounds like you are off to a good start.
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2017, 07:22:03 pm »

I learned long ago that the most efficient way for me to buy leather is from my local The Leather Factory store, handpicking the best SIDES of their best leather.  I save shipping costs and can actually measure the thickness, which can vary from what they list it at. I take a vernier calipers with me to measure the actual thickness. (I have a conversion table pasted to the back of the calibers that tells me the range of thickness in ounces for the decimal equivalent.  Of course, since I do only custom leather work, I rarely need more than one side of a given weight.
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2017, 07:50:06 am »

I buy sides. Cut belts along the back of new sides. The belly has uses but a lot of it gets trashed.

I agree with Marshall I use belly leather to test new patterns sometimes. I've also used it for small projects that you sometimes want a softer piece of leather and now that I have a splitter I will sometimes split a piece to line some projects with.
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2017, 04:09:26 pm »

I used to work for Tandy and though it is company policy to pick the best pieces available for mail order customers not all Tandy employees are equally knowledgeable.  If you want a side with more usable sq inches get a european side if you can.  They generally don't have range marks, fly bits, barbed wire cuts etc.  Mostly you will find Euro bends though.  Bends are great but they are more expensive unless you catch a good sale.  I have made some great items out of bellies, they dye and tool well and that spongy quality makes them great for small items you want to wet form but I would stay away from them if you want a really fine presentation quality piece as your end result.
I like buying two different weight sides at a time.  Usually 6 to 7 oz and 2 to 3 oz because I use the lighter weight as a liner.  When I do armor I go for the  8 to 9 oz and up and can usually get a side of lightweight saddle skirting for about $150.  The skirting tends to be really heavy, 11 to 12 oz and tough to boot.  I have killed an entire pack of blades for my utility knife on one set of viking armor.
TL:DR
You get more Bang for your buck buy buying sides.
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Leather Shop (Moderators: Marshal Will Wingam, Ten Wolves Fiveshooter)  |  Topic: Side or Double shoulder « previous next »
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