Leather

Bearcat Leather.

Decided I wanted to start using my Ruger Bearcat more, carry it hunting sometimes. Looked at the official Ruger holsters, and while a nice design, being straight draw, drop looped, I really tend to prefer a higher riding pancake style holster.

Looked around online, but didn’t find anything I really liked, nor anything I could afford.

A couple years ago I made a simple pancake holster for my Bersa Firestorm 380, thats worked out great, been the most comfortable gun/holster combo I’ve ever carried.

And, having the left overs from that leather in the shop… 😉

Since I liked the carry of the Bersa, I copied the shape, size, and carry cant (slightly forward/FBI style) exactly off that holster.

Only change I made was to add a “sweat shield” as they’re called, to the back top. Not really to shield the gun from me, but me from the gun; When you carry in cooler weather, without tucking a shirt in behind the gun, it can be a little cold against you! (The Bersa holster was originally made to be ambidextrous, to be worn on either side, thus it’s straight cut on the top front and back.)

Traced;

Cut, front;

Some glue, yes I know thatd a wood glue… but wood and leather are both fibrous organic substance, the glue doesn’t know the difference!

“Clamped” for a bit;

Holes drilled;

Partially stitched test fit;

Checking where I might put a tension rivet, or a line of stitching closer to the gun.

Finished!

I’ll trim/round the upper corners of the back shield aftercsome carry and use, as I decide how wide, abd high it needs to be.

I decided against the tension rivet or stiches, because honestly with the firm grip it has in such a deep coverage, I don’t think it is necessary. AND, withbthe holsters shape left generally open, I hoped that my Ruger MKII would also fit in it.

Again, deep coverage of the gun, so I decided against a safety strap. I can always add it later if it seems needed.

And yes, it turned out to fit the MKII almost as perfectly!

They’re not fancy, nor perfect, but they work, and that’s what’s important to me in basic field gear. 🙂

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Categories: Custom, Customized, Field gear, Guns, Holsters, Leather, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Slingshot Ammo Pouch

I needed an ammo pouch. Saw a nice one, flat bottomed to sit up nice, on Jas Townsend for $6, but they get $10 for Alaska shipping. Nope.
And besides, if I make the slingshot, I should make the pouch too, right?
Digging around in the shop looking for one set of leather pieces I’d bought, and found some others I’d forgotten. Knew I had them but had forgotten how big they were… it’s thin split garment weight deer hide. The tan a bit heavier.
Went with the light tan for the pouch, the wine for a tie cord.
Wanted the round flat bottom for it to sit up nice. Had to figure out how to do that as I went.
Punched holes with an awl, and stitched round the bottom, then up the side seam.
Turned;
It sits!
Forgot to measure for thus first, lucked out and got it perfect, I cam just get a paw into it to dig stuff out. Only sizing I did was trace around a Min wax stain can plus 1/4″, then a height that looked nice..
Made a sliding knot for a cinch closure lock. Works good.
Categories: Custom, Fabrication, Field gear, Leather, New Gear, Sewing, Slingshots | 1 Comment

Victorinox Leatherman sheath fixed.

Finally remembered to fix the Leatherman sheath that I carried my Vic Spirit in. The Nylon one was working so well, I’d forgotten about it. 

Oil tanned leather strap scrap, and a few rivets. Was going to just restitch the top of the loop shorter, but the lower stitches didn’t look too swift. And no way I could stitch the bottom(OK, it IS possible, but I don’t have the patience or dexterity to do it).  Decided screw it, new loop piece, clear the stich holes with longer length and rivet it, a lot easier!

Light imprint on the loop where I over did the vice (too hard to get these rivets to seat without off setting/bending over with the hammer and punch made for them, so I always just vice press them). It doesn’t show, and I wouldn’t care if it did… 

Forgot about the front snap  (whoops! )when I did them, crimped one spot on its edge. Still works fine… if it messes up latet4, I can replace it no big deal. 

Categories: Custom, Damages, EDC, Fabrication, Leather, Multitools, Sheaths, Uncategorized

Multi Sheaths. 

In other news, the belt loop on the sheath I use for my Victorinox Spirit gave up the ghost about 1.5 weeks ago. 


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Thankfully not completely! It was started at one corner when I left yesterday morning, figured it’d be fine a day or two, since it’s been rough and loose at the stitches, and stretched but not torn for weeks (months probably ). 

Also Thankfully I didn’t lose it! Never ceases to amaze me, I dont deserve it but God continues to be very good to me!

And yes, that’s not a Vic sheath. It’s Leatherman! Made for the original Wave.(for those that don’t know, there have been two Wave models, the first slightly more compact model around 2000ish, the second bigger, and current one from around 2004.)


I never liked the Victorianox sheaths, leather but thick and clunky, and worst of all, velcro closure. Was looking for a sheath for my New Wave at the time I got this, turned out to not fit it. But after a couple months when I lost the Wave, and got the Vic, it got put to use. The Spirit always fit this sheath better than it did the one made for it! 

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It was new, old stock then, wish I’d thoughthe to grab another one… Be impossible to get another now, IF I ever really have to replace it. :(

That was late 2006 early 2007.. 11 or 12 years of almost(have carried the Vic probably 80% of that time)constant use ain’t bad! 

Will make a new loop and stitch it on this week. Might just stitch new loops bottom end to the old loop, so I don’t have to go to the hassle of curved glove needles and working inside the bottom of the sheath.. Gonna use 550 inner strands, or if I can find my roll of Gearward Kevlar string that a friend gifted me a couple years ago, I’ll use that.  

That sheath gets a lot of abuse where I wear it, ran into and against everything, laid on, scraped around on machinery and the ground. If nothing else, I want to try to garrantee the stitches hold!

I actually wrote this post above, about a week ago. Never got it posted.  I’ve also not gotten around to fixing the belt loop.   But I have been carrying the Spirit.  A couple days loose in a rear pocket, but that got old fast.  Dug around for my bag of misc. sheaths, and got out a slim nylon Leatherman version. 



Fits like a glove! A little tight upon re-holstering, but not bad. Yes it’s velcro closure, but it’s actually not been bad so far!  I don’t think I’d want to use it forever,  and I’ll still fix the leather one, but it works perfectly fine for now.  Big bonus is that it’s almost as slim and compact/unobtrusive as the leather one. 


Another bonus, was that it has the room in it to hold the Spirit with the pliers open/handles unfolded!  I must have unconsciously known this, because I suddenly found I’d been carrying it that way for a while during a job.  That can be very handy at times! 

Categories: Daily-cary-log, Damages, EDC, EDC/MT use, Leather, Multitools, Repairs, Sheaths

Spring time catch up.

Been a while. It’s either been a lot going on with no time to post, or I’ve been sick as hell(flu, twice through, laid out for 3 weeks, then almost gone, got too cold working, relapsed, and now running into 6 weeks total) and literally Nothing going on to post about. 

Anyway, here is a random slew of pics from the last couple months.

Moon and Venus.


My first day out snowshoeing.



Recent knives used and the books I was reading that week.(for a forum thread)


Dads stainless handle Sabre jack knife that lives in the den, which is currently the reloading room.


Case hobo and an Alaskan cookbook

225 grain LWN (long wide nose) hard cast .41 caliber bullets I ordered from GTBullets.  100 lubed and sized for $13, even with $6 shipping, it’s almost cheaper than I could cast my own.. And is considering I can’t afford the mould right now! 😉  


Cleaning up an old Schrade USA stockman, a 8OT , that a friend gave me last summer.



Knives and guns, notable pairs, (for a forum thread )

My Beretta. 45, that I’ve now amazingly had for 10.5 years! And the custom Andy Sharpe coffin fighter that it’s come to live with. I rarely ever carry one without the other.


My Mom’s Liberty Mustang .22 and Dad’s Case peanut.


Most sentimental pairing; my Ruger Security Six 357 mag. Which has belonged to both my older brothers,  and my Dad before me. With Dad’s Western brand hunting knife. 

New stuff, second week of March, my takes from the EDCC (edccommunity.com) passaround box.


Old style finned bomb shaped beads are a fad right now, had some shop time so I tried one. LOTS of work to get the rounded nose, and fins. Had to freehand the cutters on the curve, and lots of file work off the lathe. Too time intensive to make many of them, but I might still..


A slew of pocket dumps, in mostly cronological order, late Jan. to now. 



On my knees in a sniw bank digging out firewood at 0F or 10F. Something like that. Proof that I wear my guns working, they’re not babied. (Much.. 😉 )




Simple day last week, hour or two after dark working on firewood. Headlamp and the bluetooth speaker did constant duty… I zip the speaker into a mid layer pocket, hit Google Play, usually Springsteen,  and have music wherever I am while working. 

Yesterday’s carry, 3-15-17, an outside day. been cooped up sick, wanted to get out and work for a while, puttered around with a few projects (most of which involved shoveling snow!). 


Cousins. Both old used and worn, but great Schrade USA stockmans. Large 8OT, and medium 34OT. 


My Titanium Eng1nerd Prangler  (mash up of key dangler and pry bar) is getting some great coppery brass colored wear stripes in its anodizing. The things that swing and rub on it are brass and it sort of burnished onto the area as it rubs. 

And, more of 3-15-17… got the sled out for a bit.And found out how out of practice I am… Was stuck a total of three times! Oi.  Thankfully all within ~100 yards max from the house! God is good to me!


Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Beads, Clothes, Custom, custom-made-tools, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Field Notes, Flashlights, Guns, Hanks, key-chains, knives, Leather, Modifications, Multitools, New Gear, No-pain-no-gain, old tools, Outdoors, Pocket knives, Reloading, Sentimental, Theory/Thoughts, titanium, truck, Vehicles, weather and seasons, Winter, wood processing, Woods tools

Patches anyone? 

 For a while now I’ve been adding non velcro backed patches to things,  but without sewing, or ironing on with the usually included adheasive.. One, I don’t like permanent,  and some things you either can’t sew to or heat.. 

My solution was a roll of industrial strength adheasive backed velcro that I originally bought to apply a holster to the side of a snowmobile gas tank.. think pomelo bag holsters on horse saddles. 

It didn’t work for that, the tank being too rough of a surface, and my trying to stick it on at probably 10°F  I’m sure if I redid it now on a warm tank it’d work… 

 As I recall the roll was originally like 15′ long, about 2″ wide. Comes in black or white. I’ve had this roll for about 8 or 9 years now… takes a while to use it up at 3″ to 6″ at a time.. 😉

 I just cut to shape with a sharp knife (scissors don’t work well at all on it), peel, stick, press with my hands for 30 seconds or so, and use.

 I’m carefull about removal of stuff using it for the first 24 hours, just to let the glue set good.. it does take a little time for full strength grab but the instant tack really is pretty darned good.

Patch here is “life of adventure” by @asildastore on Instagram or Etsy.  It’s headed to being on the front of my journal for a while. 🙂

I’ve had strips of this stuff holding patches onto my Nook case since late 2012. That sucker has been anywhere and everywhere with me, unprotected by any other case or bag 99% of the time, and I have yet to lose or even loosen a patch, or any of the velcro strips. 

I’ve also had it on the front of my pocket notebook cover for at least a year, (actually two I think…) Same deal, it’s stayed stuck the whole time. 

Yesterday I improved a bare Field Notes with a packing tape wrap and a place for a patch. 

And I also extended the velcro area on my leather notebook cover to take my little Alaska flag like wayfinder patch from @fieldandforestco (on etsy).

  I really need to get the rest of these little badges that they make, they’re some cool designs!

The Tolkien wanderer patch is from ShopRedArrow  (also etsy).
 I’ve had all of these patches just laying around since February.  Finally remembered to do something with them. ☺😎

 Leather notebook cover was made by ArtisanGraham on etsy. (Apparently no longer selling there, and I haven’t been able to find him Anywhere else online… )I’ve had it since Oct. 2011 and it’s held up superbly! Really, really well made! 

 It was made for a Moleskine brand notebook, so to fill it I have to stack at least two, (three is a better fill, but too stiff to be comfortable in pocket) Field Notes. The edges also hang over a bit farther with them, but that’s just more protection IMO. 😉

  I’ve been running it with two Field Notes in it off and on for almost two years now. Love it! 

Categories: Custom, EDC, Field Notes, Journal, Leather, Modifications, Notebooks

Almost ten years, still going strong!

My trusty silver dollar holster from simply rugged holsters.

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Little scuffed and worn, but still going strong!(10 years even this fall/Dec. At the latest- I bought the revolver that October, right after the AK PFD permanent fund dividends hit, ordering the holster custom made soon after, and I *think* I received it in Dec, just before Christmas,  or early Jan. ’07 just after the holiday rush. Something like that.)

When new you could invert it and shake the crap outa it, and not drop the gun… Now you only get one good shake, (partly my fault, from modifying the fit/molding by using it for my Ruger Security Six off and on for a few years; it was originally molded for the standard Colt SAA/Peacemaker shape). But straight gravity only, no shake, still won’t drop the gun from it!

Still fantastically secure with belt tension on it too, for either gun, the Ruger or the Beretta.  Originally ordered with the extra cross draw hole, so I could carry it left hand draw SOB(small of the back), but now it spends it’s time right side strong side pull, along the way i learned how un comfortable SOB of a full size gun can be…

It probably has at least a few hundred miles on it from hiking, snowmobiling, atving, hunting, and boating the Alaskan backcountry. and some time as city concealed carry too. 

I had it on 16 hours straight Saturday, and it was comfortable and secure all day, both concealed and carried open, in trucks, woods walking, and around town.

One day last summer I had it on for 10 miles of hiking, No trails, up some slopes you wouldn’t think mountain goats could climb,  across them, down them, woods, swamp, tundra… Creek crossings and ponds too.. It kept my Ruger 357 comfortably secure and in easy reach the whole hike.

Here she is concealed, the “pancake” profile hidding the gun well.

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As you can see though, that shirt is a touch too short to conceal it 100%, so, by AK CCW laws, it was illegal worn that way. (AK carry laws require either 100% concealment,  or 100% “open” visible carry… ANYthing in between is out. So, I open carried for the time I was in town that day.  

It’s actually strange,
I’ve Never been 100% comfortable carrying a gun out of the woods/in towns etc… Was always self conscious and jumpy… it’s one reason I stopped carrying (for a few years in my early 20s I coNcealed carried almosy all the time), either concealed or not…

But, all day wearing it open Saturday I didn’t give it a second thought, and it didn’t bug me. I was conscious it was there yes, but not “self conscious” or nervous…  I never worried about comment on it, or about bothering anyone either. That’s odd for me and open carry.

(Honestly its not likely in this town to ever get negative feedback on a gun, even if I did care to wonder about it… So many people here are registered CCW permit holders it’s not even funny; iIt’s like 80% of the state population…

And the permit is Not required,  so ya gotta figure at least half of the other 20%  is like me, and carries without it.  I’ve actually noticed that open carry is getting rather common too- more than I used to see anyway. )

Amyway, just found it interesting, the change in my own mental reactions and comfort when wearing a gun in social situations/populated areas. Will I start carrying all the time again? I highly doubt it. It will probably stay a random “when I feel like it” thing.

Categories: Alaska-Life, Guns, Leather, Life-Philosophy, Outdoors

New Gloves!

Needed new work gloves for a job a couple weeks ago. Since I was in an auto parts(O’Reilly) that I though carried Mechanix I was gonna grab a new pair for the summer… Nope, they don’t have Mechanix. But they had these from CLC .

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Heavier leather, better fit, thicker padding, but still without the padded feel, heavier and stretchy cloth, longer cuffs, But Cheaper! Than Mechanix by about $5! 

They’ve worn well too, great grip, perfect fit, verry little stretch of the fit. Good durability too, so far.

I think I’ve just swapped brands of prefered gloves! 😎👍 I get about 2, sometimes 3 months from a pair of Mechanix,  will be interesting to see how long these last.

Categories: Leather, New Gear, Outdoors

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