leathercraft

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.  

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

The “Lost Trade” Podcast is Live

We have spent the last 2 years researching, debating, and researching some more.  We finally made a decision and today we officially launched our newest addition to the content services that we offer to the western gear making community.

The “Lost Trade” Podcast is now available on Apple podcast as well as Spotify!

This is an interview style show where we will visit with craftsmen from all different areas of the western lifestyle industry.  Our main focus will be those men and women that work daily to hone their skills for the purpose of creating gear and accessories for cowboys and cowgirls.  We will also mix it up with artists, suppliers and business leaders that help to supply the industry and keep it flourishing.

We settled on the name “Lost Trade” as a hat tip of sorts to the all too common statement made to all of us as craftsmen when someone finds out what we do for a living.  How can something be “lost” if we are doing it everyday to provide for ourselves and our families?

Our hopes with this podcast is that it will do its part to shed light on western lifestyle industries that are thriving and very much in demand… far from being “lost.”  Along with that, it will introduce and promote the men and women who have spent years working to improve their particular skill set and have made a space for themselves to be successful in a niche that is known only to those cowboys and cowgirls who need them.

You can listen now to “Lost Trade” on your phone or using the players below.  We have two episodes up as of now and more episodes with amazing craftsmen coming soon.  Thank you to everyone who supported this decision and lets see where this goes from here.

How to Make Leather Knife Sheaths

This project video is one that I should have made a long time ago.  One of the best selling items we have ever made in the saddle shop has been our fold over knife sheaths.  In this video, I show you how to make these from start to finish.

If you are looking for a project that doesn’t use a lot of leather and goes together quickly then this is it.  This is also a great way to use up the scrap leather that may be accumulating in the corners of your workshop.  Floral tooled, geometric tooled, dyed, painted and even plain leather, these items will become one of your most popular selling items.

I have developed a set of patterns to use when making these that will cut out all the fitting issues for most knives.  My pattern uses the tooling window to size the finished sheath to fit a particular knife.  If you would like to purchase the digital companion pattern pack for this video, then CLICK HERE and you can purchase that from us.  This is a digital PDF file that you will download and print the patterns out on your own printer.  Along with the cut pattern for the shealth and the three different size tooling windows that I use in my shop, you will also get 6 different floral tooling patterns for each of the three different windows.  That is 18 different patterns to choose from.

Looking for a good source for Herman Oak leather?  Visit our friends at Maker’s Leather Supply as they are a Herman Oak dealer and can help you get the leather and any other supplies that you may need.

How to Make a Leather Money Clip Wallet

This Project video shows you how to make a leather money clip wallet.  These have always been one of our most popular items to make and sell in our store.  Everyone loves a cool leather wallet.  

This particular style is compact and designed to be carried in the front pocket.  It features a single pocket on each side inside the wallet for a few cards as well as a wire money clip for cash.  I mention in the video that I prefer to use a spring style money clip that is a little more professional looking.  

Here is the link to the clip that I get from Springfield Leather in Missouri CLICK HERE.

UPDATE:  I recently discovered that Maker’s Leather Supply also carries a very nice money clip that would work great with this wallet.  Check them out by Clicking Here!

We are also now offering a Material Pack for this project!  We have offer a Single or a 3 Pack which includes all the pieces of leather needed to make this and all pieces are out of Herman Oak Leather.  Click Here to check those out.

If you are looking for a great use of scrap leather as well as an item that you can make really quickly, then this is it.  I would recommend making these by the 1/2 to full dozen.  They are great sellers! 

I have a Companion Pattern Pack available if you would like to purchase that.  THE PATTERN PACK IS A PDF FILE THAT YOU DOWNLOAD AND PRINT OUT ON YOU OWN PRINTER.  That means that you will have instant access and can get to making some of these right away!  The pattern includes the cut patterns for the liner, body and pocket as well as an optional pocket if you would rather have the cards come out of the center of the wallet.  There are also 12 different tooling patterns included in the pack as well.  This will give you endless options for any customer wanting one of these from you.    

If you would like to purchase the pattern pack CLICK HERE. 

If you are looking for a knowledgeable group of folks to get Herman Oak Leather from for this project, check out our friends over at Maker’s Leather Supply:   

For all your sewing machine needs and the place where I will be getting my next machine to replace the old Singer Machine in this video,  visit our friends at Leather Machine Co.   

How to Make an Easy Leather Cast Iron Pot Handle Cover

I cook with a lot of cast iron in my kitchen.  The handles on these old pots and pans get pretty hot, so I came up with a leather cast iron pot handle cover.  These are really easy to make and of course I couldn’t just make them plain… I added a little tooling to them. 

In this video I show you how simple these are to make.  We go through the entire process of making these and what materials I use.    

There is a companion pack available for this project and this one is FREE!  If you would like to make some of these, click the link below and put your email address in the form to get access to this FREE companion pack!  

Click here to get FREE Pattern Pack:  https://dgsaddlery.com/pothandlepattern/  

The companion pack has the simple cut patterns for this project, as well as 8 different floral patterns that you can use to customize your own set of pot handle covers.  These would also make great gifts.  

Here are some helpful links you may also find useful for this project:  

Slicking edges:  https://dgsaddlery.com/how-to-slick-edges-on-leather/ 

Oiling and Antiquing Leather:  https://dgsaddlery.com/how-to-oil-and-antique-tooled-leather-projects/  

Here is a great source for materials and supplies:  https://makersleathersupply.com  

If you are in the market for a Cobra sewing machine then check out either Maker’s Leather Supply or get in contact with Leather Machine Co directly:  https://leathermachineco.com

Four Popular Leather Types and Best Uses in LeatherCraft

There are four main types of leather that we use in leathercraft and saddle shops.  These are Veg Tanned Leather, Chap Leather, Harness Leather, and Latigo Leather.  

In this video, I give a quick run down of each as well as the products and applications I use them for in my shop.  There are many more types of leathers on the market and many more uses for them.  This is just a summary of the main four types that I keep in my shop.    

Leather is the most versatile material on the planet.  There are great variances in tannages as well as applications, so experiment with as many as you can and see what types of leather work best for what you are doing.  

If you are looking for a good source for leather here are some links to some of my favorite suppliers: 

 https://makersleathersupply.com 

https://lewisleathersales.com 

https://panhandleleather.com 

http://www.hermannoakleather.com