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New Leather Bag - Feel free to discuss anything related...

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New Leather Bag - Feel free to discuss anything related...

Post  Zwack on Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:03 pm


As I stated the other day I've just started work on a new leather bag. I'm going to take my time on this, but I'm going to document the build process as I go along.

So far I've cut most of the leather out. I've made several sketches and one full size paper template so I already know what I'm planning on doing. I have purchased a double shoulder in 8-9oz leather (about 13 square feet at $5 per square foot) and most of it is going to be used in this one bag. I have also purchased about 10 square feet of lining leather (1-2oz mission grain, dyed dark brown).

The bag is going to have a laptop pocket (lined with part of a sleeping mat) and a 3" deep pocket. I'm also intending on putting three smaller pockets on the front, one with three pen loops inside it.

The leather I'm using is fairly thick and so the bag will remain pretty rigid (extra protection for the contents). The leather was veg-tanned and is natural in colour so I can tool it (I will put some tooling on the outside) and I will dye it.

The bag will be hand sewn together... Hopefully I'll be able to take the first photos tonight.

If anyone has any questions then feel free to ask. To some extent this is a learning exercise for me too as I've never made anything quite this big before.


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Re: New Leather Bag - Feel free to discuss anything related...

Post  Zwack on Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:02 am

First pictures... Aren't working due to an issue with my webserver. Sad

First I cut the pieces. I've still got more to cut, but this is the back (and flap), front, sides and bottom. The sides will be folded on all three edges so a small square is cut out of each corner. As always, measure twice, cut once. A long steel rule and a utility knife work nicely. I also used a metal set square. A long rule is very useful. In fact mine is only 24" and I had to borrow one of my wife's for the back and flap (25"). To give you more idea of scale the cut outs in the small piece are about 1/2" on each side.

The backs of the bottom and sides were marked for gouging. This makes it easier to fold them in the right place. As the bottom will be stitched to the front and back and the sides will then be stitched to all three I need to gouge knowing that.

As I've only just got the gouge I figured I should test it first. Always a good idea. Last time I used a stitching groover to gouge the leather. The adjustable V Gouge is much faster. This is a small offcut of leather that I'm using for testing. It may end up making a small strap or fitting though, so I've been careful to only gouge the edges/ends. You could also just use a utility knife if you are trying to avoid buying tools, but be very careful. You don't want to cut through the leather, just into it.

Here is the bottom with the long sides gouged. Notice that the gouging was done on the flesh (rough) side. This makes it easier to bend the leather in the other direction. The hide (smooth) side will be on the outside of the bag when I'm done.

And the two side pieces gouged and folded. The gouging is on the outside of the fold (although that will be the inside of the bag). These are only rough folds to make sure this will work. The final folds will be done with the aid of a bone folder when the leather has been cased (made wet).


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