Leathercraft Tips

What is the best edger size for your leather work?

Having attractive smooth edges on your leather work projects is more than likely one of your main goals. As LeatherHeads, we all want that super clean edge.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information out there on different edge finishing techniques. One of the things that isn’t talked about much is using the correct size edger for the material you are working with.

This video is focused on using the best edger size for your leather work projects.  Simply using the wrong size edger can be the difference between a good looking edge and an edge that just doesn’t look right.  

Hole Punches You Need for Leather Work

One of the most important tasks performed by anyone in leathercraft, or even just someone attempting to repair something made of leather, is making a hole in it.

There are a few ways to accomplish this task and a few different tools to help. If you are working in leathercraft then you will need to have a few different sizes and styles of tools to be able to punch holes in leather.

In this quick video, I go through what I use and prefer.

How to Install an Inlaid Seat in a Saddle

Most of the saddles that we build in the shop are what we call “hard seats.” This means that there is not a padded seat in a saddle where the rider sits in the saddle.

Padded seats are common in rope saddles, trail saddles, and barrel saddles. But the clients that we build for, even our ropers, prefer a Hard Seat saddle. These saddles’ main advantage is that there is no padding to break down over time changing the way the saddle sets. A hard seat saddle will ride the same for its lifetime.

With that being said, this does not mean that our clients don’t appreciate fancy additions to their saddles. One of our most popular additions that can be made to one of our custom saddles is an Inlaid Seat.

Our inlaid seats do not contain any padding so the client still gets the benefit of the hard seat while adding some chrome to their saddle. We can do padded seats with many colors of chap leather, exotic leathers, as well as tooling them for a unique personalized look.

This video shows the process we go through installing an inlaid seat on a custom saddle we are building. This particular seat will be tooled with the client’s brand and floral tooling.

Non-LeatherCraft Supplies I Have in My Shop

Every leather shop has a need for items that are not necessarily LeatherCraft specific.

In my shop this can range from two part epoxy to baby powder. There are just things that every shop needs to keep in their supply cabinet. These are not items that will be used on a daily basis, but when the need arises they are extremely valuable.

Check out this video to see what items you may be missing in your shop!

How to Make a Premium Leather Clutch Wallet

In this project video, I show you how to make a leather clutch wallet with more of a Premium set of Interiors. The interior of this wallet includes a few more slots for cash and storage as well as a zippered coin pocket. We also show you how I create and install a “T” pocket system for credit card pockets.

If you are looking for a “step-up” project, then this is a great one. The interior of this wallet is more challenging than our previous clutch wallet video that we created.

If you would like the Companion Pattern Pack that goes along with this video, then you can purchase that DIGITAL PDF file by Clicking Here.

This pattern pack includes all the cut patterns for all the pieces as well as line up marks. There is also 8 different floral tooling patterns included as well.

*Note: This is a digital pattern that you download and print out on your own printer… we do not mail this pattern to you. You have instant access to it after purchase.

For the double sided tape that I used in the video, visit https://makersleathersupply.com

For leather sewing machines and equipment, visit https://leathermachineco.com

For the best tooling leather in the industry, visit http://www.hermannoakleather.com

The DG LeatherCraft Newsletter and its Future

As we have grown over the last few years we have added the DG LeatherCraft component to the mix. This component basically creates and promotes educational resources for anyone wanting to learn more about the leathercrafting industry. We do this through our expanding brands such as DG LeatherCraft Academy, this Blog, DG LeatherCraft Facebook page, Instagram, Our YouTube Channel and most importantly our DG LeatherCraft Newsletter.

I say “most importantly” because this is our most efficient tool for communicating with you directly. 

We have been working in the first quarter of 2021 studying our available tools to better serve you and have learned that this very newsletter is by far our best tool. We also rely heavily on social media and our youtube channel to communicate with the LeatherHead community.

But as we have all seen over the last 6-12 months, we are not in control of these platforms. These platforms are operated by the companies that own them and if we choose to participate then we are to play by their rules. And understandably so. I have no problem with that, but as business owners we have to understand that we are not in control of the delivery of our message. 

As valuable as these different platforms are to us, we as a company also have to be in control of the biggest portion of our marketing foundation.

I have understood this for quite sometime and this is why everything we do works to promote dgsaddlery.com as our home base. All our marketing points back to the main property that we as a company own and operate. 

Another extremely valuable and efficient property that we own is our newsletter and email list. Although we have not used it to the best of its ability in the past. 

That is changing moving forward. 

The DG LeatherCraft Newsletter will now be our main connection to our LeatherHead Community.

We will continue to use social media and all of our platforms as usual so nothing is changing there. But if something changes in the social media world… as it surely will… DG LeatherCraft will maintain its ability to provide you with quality resources and products to serve your craftsmanship goals.

I believe that social media has helped our industry tremedously as a whole. I also believe that it… or some form of it… will be around for many years moving forward. But I want to be sure that all our eggs are not in someone else’s basket. 

What does this mean for the Newsletter?

At this point I do not have a good answer for this question. I can say, if you decide to sign up to receive it, you will see a more consistent Newsletter and more single topic emails in your inbox. 

If you prefer to catch our news and resources on social media, you will still see that as we will continue posting there as usual.

But we will also begin sharing more through the Newsletter as well. Many in our community are not on social media. Or maybe they are on one of the platforms and not the others. 

This will insure that those of you that want to see our articles, videos, tips, updates, products and resources are sure to see them. 

When someone signs up for the LeatherCraft Newsletter, they are telling us that they want to hear what we have to say and I don’t want to rely on social media to hopefully inform them. 

Thank you so much for being a part of our LeatherHead Community! We are excited about 2021 and bringing you more useful information that you can put to work in your shop. 

If you or a fellow craftsman that you know, can benefit from our content, spread the word and have them sign up for the DG LeatherCraft Newsletter through the form below. There is also a form on the homepage.

Until next time, have a great week in your shop!

Complete Saddle Cleaning and Conditioning

One of our most marketable and successful services that we have offered as a complete saddle shop, has always been saddle cleaning. We call this a Clean, Oil, and Polish… COP for short.

Most customers are very curious as to proper saddle cleaning and maintenance, but unfortunatly do little to keep their gear properly maintained. I have always tried to educate our customers to the importance of saddle cleaning and conditioning so that the repair costs in the future are lessened. Some take the advice, but many of us just simply don’t take the time to follow through.

We have always offered a COP as a service in our shop and the vast majority of our clientele would much rather pay us to do it for them rather than spend their weekend doing it themselves. I completely understand that and we are glad to help them with their gear.

But many times we would get a customer in the shop that would like to clean and condition their own saddle. This is also good and we would openly explain our entire process to them so that they could get the most benefit from their time.

I always wished that I had a video to give to them to show them my saddle cleaning process step by step. This would be very valuable for them and easier for me.

Well now we do!

Below are three videos that we created that show our entire process. From the breakdown of a saddle through reassembly, this resource will show you how we do a COP and explains the types of oil and conditioners that we use in the shop every day.

We also have a playlist on our YouTube channel with all three of these videos together so they are easy to find.

Whether you want to just clean your own saddle, or if you are a shop owner that wants to add a quality service to your customers, this set of videos is a great resource. You will feel good about how well the saddle looks and performs when you are done with it.

For more information on general leather care and maintenance be sure to check out our articles on Oiling Leather and Leather Conditioner. These are not the same thing and I explain the reasons why.

There are many other articles that we have written having to do with gear maintenance. Dive into the archives or click the “Leather Care” tab under the “Blog” tab on our homepage.

How to Make a Leather Checkbook Cover

When I first started my shop, one of the most popular items that we sold was a leather checkbook cover. I quickly learned that this item required very little leather to make and went together quickly. Even in today’s high tech world of Apple Pay and Debit cards, most people still write checks. And of those that still write checks, many of those people like to have a really nice custom checkbook cover. This allows them to whip it out and show off a bit when making purchases that require a handwritten check.

This video is a complete project video that shows you how I make a leather checkbook cover as well as some tips to make the process easier for you. We also created a Companion Pattern Pack, as we do with all of our project videos. In this pattern pack you will find the simple cut patterns with suggestions on leather weights to use. We also created 12 new and different tooling patterns that you can use to create unique checkbook covers to offer your customers. This is a digital pattern pack like all the rest of ours.

If you would like to purchase the pattern pack, click here and you can download and print the complete pack out on your own printer: https://dgsaddlery.com/product/leathe…

While you are here, check out many more videos and blog articles as well as many more digital pattern packs.

For a good source for Herman Oak Leather, visit our friends at Maker’s Leather Supply: https://makersleathersupply.com

If you are interested in investing in a new sewing machine, visit my friends at Leather Machine Co and check out their Cobra sewing machines: https://leathermachineco.com