Been wanting to do a step by step for awhile and I think someone had expresses interest in the process awhile back so here it is. Lighting in my studio is a mixture of color temps but I tried to keep everything close throughout.
_DSF1324 by michicks, on Flickr
First is laying out the template. I draw a lot of my templates in auto cad and print the larger ones like this at a local printer and then glue them to a piece of Bristol board.
_DSF1333 by michicks, on Flickr
Cutting out the main section. I free hand cut as much as I can to speed things up and with this particular bag the only cut end that will be seen are the top so I can afford to be off a little without ruining anything.
_DSF1339 by michicks, on Flickr
Interior pockets laid out.
_DSF1361 by michicks, on Flickr
All the pieces cut out
_DSF1408 by michicks, on Flickr
Marking all the stitching holes. I upgraded to these prickling irons at the end of the year and in most cases I can get holes though all the layers which speeds up the stitching by not having to use an awl for every hole.
_DSF1423 by michicks, on Flickr
Stitching up the interior pockets
_DSF1455 by michicks, on Flickr
Stitched and finished edge on the pocket. I use a product called Tokonole as a burnishing agent and then seal with beeswax. Depending on the leather I use a hand slicker or a rotary slicker on a dremel to burnish with.
_DSF1435 by michicks, on Flickr
Main Body of the bag laid out. This bag will be stitched inside out and then turned so I thin the outer 3/4" all the way around to reduce the thickness where it is stitched together and get the leather to bend the way I want.
_DSF1457 by michicks, on Flickr
My big bag clamp. This bag and the larger ones I made really were a pain to get held into place for stitching so I made this clamp that has ~18" of clamping surface.
_DSF1458 by michicks, on Flickr
Everything Stitched and bag ready to turn.
_DSF1459 by michicks, on Flickr
_DSF1461 by michicks, on Flickr
Inside. I normally had a set of shorter handles that mount on the inside behind the pocket. Customer decided to leave them off after I started which resulted in an extra set of holes above the pocket. The larger d-ring is for attaching keys.
_DSF1460 by michicks, on Flickr
Finished bag. Build time on this style/size bag was a pretty consistently 6 hours but with reorganizing my work space and the new bag clamp I finished this one in right at 4-1/2 hours.
Awesome, thanks for the process explanation, it looks great
You did a great job.
I cut the polycarbonate templates and stiffiners for a leather worker on out laser bed. I can cut 48x96 piece of poly in one pass.
Eeewwww, don't touch it!
Here, poke at it with this stick.
Thanks for posting that! Really interesting to see the process, I love seeing how craftsmen do their jobs!
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
- John Adams
At some point I'll have to get some poly templates made for the ones I use the most and wallets as soon as I settle on a design.
You know I have a sewing machine that will sew through that like warm butter...
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I think I remember you posting when you snagged that machine and was envious.
Scored a deal myself about a month back on 2 Adler 267's and a Singer 107w zig zag machine but haven't had the time or space to get them setup. I'm also a little torn on switching over to machines as things have been growing pretty good with my hand stitched work and to switch over to machine would mean lowering prices and having to produce more work so I'm looking getting set up with the machines to do small batch manufacturing and keeping it separate from my hand stitched work.
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