Have you ever found yourself working happily on the project that you are most excited about only to have a voice in your head reminding you of that one job you put off for way too long? Those projects you procrastinate on consistently? That one job that you set on the bench in the corner of your shop and feel it staring at you throughout the day? In your mind you know that you need to just put down what you are doing and get it done so you can get back to what you love. But as the days, weeks, or maybe even months continue to cycle by, you make an honest attempt to convince yourself that you will do it “tomorrow.”
In this video I show how to make a pancake knife scabbard. These scabbards are very popular and easy to make. They are a great project whether you are new to leatherwork or a seasoned maker.
The scabbards that I am making in this video are patterned for a double blade trapper knife set at a forward tilt for a more comfortable fit and ease of taking the knife out. In the video I walk you through my entire process from cutting them out to finishing the edges.
If you are wanting to make a few simple items that sell well to your customers, or want to make some gifts for christmas this is the item I suggest.
If you enjoy the video and would like to purchase the companion pattern pack for the video you can purchase it HERE. The pattern pack is an INSTANT DOWNLOAD PDF that includes the cut patterns for both the front and back including stitch lines as well as 8 different tooling patterns to get you started.
The versatility of these scabbards are endless. You can buckstitch them instead of sewing them, you can make them rough out for a more rugged look, you can make them simple by using scrap latigo, or make them as ornate as you would like with tooling, painting, and maybe bling (if your into that).
Thanks so much and I hope you find the video helpful.
For many of us in the saddle making or leatherworking industry, we are a shop of one or maybe two people. This business model has both its advantages and difficulties. Finding time to design the products, build the products and market the products all while keeping a handle on the administrative aspects of our business make for a challenging day to day.
While most of us can not afford to hire a full time office manager or marketing manager, we can use the wonderful technology that is right at our fingertips and virtually free when compared to adding staff.
In this article, I will show you the 7 essentials for a one man workshop in my opinion. There are definitely more apps, tools, and systems that can be put into place to help you accomplish your business goals, but this short list is what I would call the minimum to help you minimize the work involved in running a one man show.
1. Smart Phone
The first in our list is the smart phone. Whether you carry an iphone or Android, the majority of the population to date is carrying some sort of phone with internet capabilities. This little device, although sometimes very intrusive and time consuming, can be your best asset to help you run your small business.
At first glance, the infinite availability of apps for these phones is astonishing to say the least. You can download apps to give you access to all your marketing and social media channels so that you can monitor and update on the go. You can get apps to edit photos and even your website straight from your phone without having to sit down at a computer. You can access all your email addresses and contacts from this device.
Outside of being completely available and connected to your customers all day everyday (which can be hard on productivity at time), the camera available on these devices has brought a quality to our workshop photos that before was limited to only those who dabbled in photography along with their craft.
The ability to capture quality photos of your works in progress, completed works, and videos of work being done has opened our shops up to both interested consumers as well as fellow craftsmen through social media and these devices.
In my opinion the smartphone is one of the most essential tools for any one man craftsman looking to grow his/her business. Never before have we had so much marketing power and access to our customers wrapped up in a device small enough to fit in your pocket.
In this latest short video, I show you how to prep belts for tooling. When tooling belts, they will usually want to stretch some because of the stamping process. This is the method that I use on virtually all the belts that I make to help prevent this.
Many leatherheads will use a heavy packing tape on the back of the belt blank and then remove it when the tooling is completed. I find the tape a bit hard to deal with so I use poster board strips in my belts. I find the added body that it gives my finished belts a nice plus.
This is a short video just to show you how I prep my belts for tooling and should clear up some of the questions that I get concerning this important step. Thanks so much for checking it out and I hope it offers value in your shop!
If you are interested in more information about making custom belts, I offer a short ebook that shows my entire process available for $5. Click this link to purchase “Custom Belt Design and Layout”
Many leatherheads make the claim that the swivel knife is the hardest tool in the leather shop to learn and master. I would agree with that statement, but I also believe that anyone can master it with the right amount dedication and practice.
When I say the word “practice,” I don’t mean practicing on the orders you have or faking it till you make it. I mean actual practice! This is not a tool that you will just bump along with and then one day it will magically become your magic wand of art.
This tool can make or break the final quality and beauty of your artwork. In order to start a project off in the right direction, take the time to put in the hours of practice with this tool. I recommend taking at least 15 minutes at the start of your day or at the end of your day to do nothing but play with the knife. You don’t have to layout a complex pattern in order to practice. Just grab a piece of scrap leather and go to carving and playing around. If you do this everyday for two weeks, I promise you will see improvement within your patterns that you carve.
The simple techniques in this latest video will get you comfortable with the fundamental elements that are required of you in virtually every pattern you will carve into leather. Give this video a look and try practicing them in your shop now.
Thanks so much and I hope you find this video useful and informative. Be sure to hit the subscribe button and if you have any questions or comments send us an email and I would be glad to help.
In our last newsletter, I asked for any questions that I may could answer with a YouTube video to better serve you and we received some great questions.
In this video I answer a question from Chris on how to oil leather to a dark color without over saturating the leather. Oiling leather can be tricky and sometimes can take a good project in the wrong direction. These types of questions are so much easier to answer in a video rather than in a written format. I hope you find this video useful Chris, as well as anyone else who may be wondering the same thing.
If you would like to have your question answered on our YouTube Channel then send us an email with your question and put “YouTube Q&A” in the subject line. I would like to make this a regular series on our channel so bring on the questions and I will work to answer them for you.
Thanks so much and be sure to subscribe to our channel so you get the latest updates on new videos we post.
David Picciuto is a woodworker from Toledo, OH and has a YouTube channel called “Make Something” where he posts videos on creating beautiful art using wood as his primary material. I have been a fan of his channel for a year or so now and I love the way he presents his videos and the things he creates. Although I am not much of a woodworker myself, I find a great amount of useful information from his videos and vlogs.
A video that he did semi recently helped to answer a question that is always a huge topic of discussion for any tradesman wanting to make a living within their craft. This question is “How to Price Your Work?” Continue reading
Designing a new floral tooling layout can be a bit of a task on any project but especially on bigger pieces like notebooks and saddles. In this post, I will show you five tools that will make the experience easier and a lot more fun. Continue reading
In this video I walk you through my antiquing process for floral tooled leather projects. Many times applying antique to a project you spent hours working on can be a little nerve racking, but I hope that this video will help to simplify the process and help you to get a professional quality finish on your next leather project.