Replacing stirrup leathers on a saddle is one of the most common repair requests that you will get if you open the door on saddle repair in your shop.
Saddle repair has always been a big piece of any saddle shop’s services that they offer. For the majority of my shop’s history that was true for us as well. In fact, we built our business doing massive amounts of repair early on. Though I don’t do much saddle repair these days, I still offer this service to our Custom Saddle customers for their DGS saddles in need of it.
Although this repair does require a little more of a material cost investment than a saddle cleaning, a shop can still make a good profit offering this to their customers. You can either cut the replacement stirrup leathers yourself or order them from a company like PanHandle Leather in Amarillo already cut. The rest of the job is really just labor and time.
I charge $250 to replace a set of stirrup leathers and Blevins buckles on a saddle. This price is for the stirrup leathers and buckles only… we use the original fenders as I show you in this video tutorial. There is a broad price range for this service depending on the shop… some folks charge less and some charge more. I feel like at the posting of this article, my price is probably about average.
Check out this video and see just how easy and straight forward replacing these straps is. If you are offering saddle cleanings in your shop, then think about adding this service as well to expand on your repair business. You will probably be surprised how many of these come your way once people find out you offer this.
The Large Basket Weave Pattern is a hand tooled style of geometric stamping that I really admire. I have seen this type of tooling being done by some really talented toolers over the last few years and I think it looks really unique. I did not invent this style, nor did I start the trend… I am late to the game when it comes to tooling this creative style.
With that being said, I am showing in this video how I tool this Large Basket Weave Pattern. It really is a very simple pattern once you understand what is happening in the tooling. This is a great pattern for wallets, bible covers, notebooks, and even saddles. The only caution that has to be mentioned here is to keep in mind that the bigger the tooling window (area the tooling will be in) the more confusing it can become.
As you will see in the video, the only tools that you will need are listed below and it’s not much. You don’t need to go out and purchase some new fancy stamping tool or line carving device. This pattern utilizes tools you already have in your arsenal but allows you to create a pattern that customers seem to really enjoy. Here are the tools that you will need:
1″ wide or so straight edge (I use a scale which is 7/8″ in width)
vertical lined thumbprint
That’s all ya need!
Check out this video and give the Large Basket Weave Pattern a shot. I bet this will become one of your favorite geometric tooling patterns for your leather craft projects.
The Leather roper wallet, or long wallet, has been popular for quite sometime. We have done a few videos on making different style wallets, but this is one that has been requested that we finally got around to making. If you have customers wanting you to make them leather roper wallets or you just want one for yourself, then check out this project video.
We show you all the steps in making one of the leather roper wallet as well as info on leather used. We do offer a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD pattern pack if you would like to purchase that. This pattern pack comes with all the cut patterns for the parts as well as 8 tooling patterns.
I get my Goat Skin Leather for the interiors at C-Loy Leather in El Paso, TX
The pen I use to mark out the liner pieces is called a Silver Pen and they are used on any full grain finished leathers. They mark well and just wipe off when finished. I got mine from Maker’s Leather Supply
In this project video, I show you how to make a simple leather field notebook cover for a Field Notes notebook cover. This is a great entry level project and a great gift idea project. I make this cover out of 3/4 oz leather with minimal hand stitching. It’s also a great use of scrap leather you may have laying around your shop.
We do offer a pattern pack for making one of these notebook covers. The pattern pack includes the cut patterns as well as 6 different floral patterns. We offer this pattern in either a DIGITAL DOWNLOAD or a PRINTED version.
You can purchase your copy of this pattern by clicking on one of the following links:
If you follow us on social media and/or our YouTube Channel, then you have heard us talking about building a new course for the DG LeatherCraft Academy. After months of gathering information, photos, and videos we have finally completed what we think is the most comprehensive online course on Floral Carving and Tooling that is available.
I will first say, there is no in person or online course that is going to make you a Master Floral Carver over night. Becoming efficient and proficient with leather floral tooling takes practice and study over a long period of time. What I wanted to do with this new course was to consolidate all the information in one place that is easy to follow and offers the best information possible. Along with this information, we created patterns and exercises that help to develop the skills and techniques needed to begin to build a quality skill set.
Our First Floral Carving and Tooling Course is Open for Enrollment!
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.
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.
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 saddlesis 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.
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!