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Han Solo ANH gun belt tutorial
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ladysolo14 ()
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:45 am    Post subject: Han Solo ANH gun belt tutorial Reply with quote

I've had a lot of positive response regarding my ANH and ESB gun belts to the point I've been inundated with commision requests. Unfortunately I just don't have the time in my schedule to take up doing commissions, however I'm going to do one more gun belt build to help one of my fellow base mates get his ANH Solo approved. Therefore I decided to put together a really detailed tutorial of the build in hopes it helps some people out.

Please note I am by no means an expert leather worker. I've never worked with leather before I made Solo belts and learned everything from the internet and lots and lots of YouTube videos along with pointers from other members and their build threads. Some of the things I do might not be proper technique but it works for me. With this build I'm going to try a few new things since I'm not giving myself I crazy deadline to complete it by.

So to start here are the two gun belts I've made to date:

ESB:




ANH:






What you'll need:

HARDWARE
If you can get it I highly recommend the belt hardware from Todds. Both of my belts use his hardware and my base mate also bought his hardware.

http://www.toddscostumes.com/costume-supplies/han-solo-holster-rig-diy-hardware-kit/

I also recommend buying some extra snaps even though the Todds kit comes with everything you need.

Line 24 Nickel Plated Snaps - https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/line-24-snaps

Also having a variety of extra rivets comes in handy for attaching the holster to the drop strap an attaching the pouch that has a top flap closure.

A little rivet set such as this will work:
https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/easy-to-do-rivets-setter

Make sure not to get rapid rivets but instead you want the two part ones.

LEATHER TOOLS

You will need lots of leather tools. Below is a picture of everything I use:


Rotary cutter - used for cutting the leather (this will cut 8/9 oz leather) but can be challenging to cut more detailed areas. You will also need to buy a special rotary cutting mat. I like the Olfa brand for the mat:

http://www.joann.com/olfa-gridded-cutting-mat-12inx18in-/1921436.html

Leather Shears - also for cutting leather. I use a combo of the rotary cutter and leather shears. The rotary cutter is easier on your hands because if you just use leather shears your hands will hurt after awhile.

Diamond Stitching Chisels - These are used to pre punch stitch holes before sewing with the awl. They can have different shapes of hole they punch thus the reference to the diamond in the name. It depends on how you want your stitch to look in the end. I chose the diamond chisel because the shape of the hole is really close to the shape of the needle for the sewing awl I use.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010WGFZB0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Leather Punch Set - used to make the holes for rivets and snaps.

https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/mini-leather-punch-set

Snap Setter - used to attach the snaps to the leather

https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/craftool-deluxe-snap-all-rivet-setter-set

Rivet Setter - used to attach rivets to the leather

https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/craftool-rivet-setter

Skiver - used to shave down the leather on the flesh side where the leather might be too thick to make a fold.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036KZ9KC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Edge Creaser - used to crease the leather to mark a line where you want to stitch.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XU4RKSS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Stitching Groover - used to cut a groove in the leather where you will eventually stitch or to add subtle border detail to the leather.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NEEYII/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Lock Stitch Sewing Awl - used to sew

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A2C8M6K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Natural color wax thread

Thick Cutting Board - used under the leather when using punches or chisels

Poly Mallet

LEATHER

Depending on your waist size you will need to buy one or two 2 inch wide belt blanks. I used:
https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/economy-veg-strips-48-long

Single Shoulder 4/5oz veg tanned leather - for pouches, drop strap etc

Single Shoulder 8/9oz veg tanned leather - for holster

Itís always good to have some extra leather to test out techniques such as dying and then you also have extra to cover unfortunate mistakes.

DYE

I like the Eco-Flo Waterstain because I can use it a lot like watercolors on the leather to get the color I like. Since it is water based you will have to put a sealant over it and I use a clear gloss finish. Iíll go into this more when I get to actually dyeing the leather.



OTHER MATERIALS

- poster board - for creating templates
- craft foam - to make a mock up
- binder clips or other clips - to hold leather in place for wet molding
- rubbing alcohol - used to clean off leather before dying
- disposable gloves - to keep your hands clean while dying
- small paper plates - to blend dyes
- cotton balls - to apply dye (this is not a preferred technique by most, when using water based dyes other people prefer to use sponges but this works for me)
- wool daubers - also used to apply dye and I use them to blend colors
https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/wool-daubers

I think thatís it for now. Iím sure this list will get updated as I go through the build.[/url]


Last edited by ladysolo14 () on Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:33 am; edited 3 times in total
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ladysolo14 ()
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:18 am    Post subject: Templates Reply with quote

The most important items of this build are the templates. Without good templates your belt won't look right and you may end up having to remake parts, which isnít cheap to do when dealing with leather. Take your time on this step and make sure you get it right before moving onto actually working with the leather.

I already have my templates from my previous builds so I wonít go into exact detail of how I created them but I will share some references.

Below is a picture of my templates. I have two holster templates as the holster is slightly different for ANH and ESB. The ANH holster is the one on the right.



In order to make the templates, I did a lot of research and it was a ton of trial and error. Don't expect your first templates to be perfect. You will have to go through a few revisions to get them right.

Below are some of the references I used to help me create the templates:

Han Solo Holster - Screen Accurate Pattern by Crazylegsmurphy
http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=62421

Han Solo belt build - WIP by CaptSolo77
http://www.forum.rebellegion.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=33136

How to make a pattern for the holster
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkE01G8PLwQ

NOTE: Eventually the holster will be wet molded which is a process to shape leather by wetting it so itís more pliable. It can then be shaped on a form and once it dries it will maintain that shape. For my holsters I do not use the actual blaster to do the wet molding. Instead, I made a wood form that is of a similar size to my blasters. If you look at the screen worn gun belts it doesnít look like the holsters were actually formed to the blasters. I used this wood form to create the holster template.

Below is a picture of the wood form that I created. I used a wooden dowel, wood molding, and craft foam to get a proper shape and then taped it all together.


Once you are happy with your templates then itís time to make a mock up out of craft foam and the actual buckles you will be using. For the waist belt and holster I use 3mm craft foam and for pouches and drop hip strap I use 2mm foam. I then use duck tape or painters tape to assemble the foam belt. In this build I didnít mock up the pouches or holster because my templates are already refined. I would highly recommend mocking up the pouches and holster out of foam and using a regular needle and thread to simulate the stitching if you are creating new templates.

Below is the mock up I ended up with and will be fitting it on my friend this Saturday.
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Crix (Thomas Turner)
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is fantastic! Thank you for sharing.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:17 am    Post subject: Wet Molding Part 1 Reply with quote

Since I need to wait to fit the mock up foam belt on my friend, I thought Iíd get started on the pouches. The pouches are made from the 4/5 oz leather. When tracing the patterns on the leather, I try to keep everything as close as possible to minimize material waste. I also trace on the backside (flesh side) of the leather. Depending on your comfort level you can use leather shears or rotary tool to cut the leather. I find for the pouches, leather shears are easier to use because of all the corners.



Next, you need to create the forms which will be used to mold the pouches. I used foam board and duck tape to create my forms but you can also use wood or some other material that gives you a solid foundation.



For this part of the tutorial Iím only molding 3 of the 5 pouches. I only have 3 forms and I will reuse two of them for the remaining pouches later.

Once you have your forms, itís time to do the molding. I use a pot and fill it with the hottest water from a faucet. Then I place one of the pouches in the water and let it sit for 2 to 5 minutes. You will know the leather is ready to be molded because it will get very soft and will bend without much effort.



The most complicated of the pouches is the one that has a flap closure. Below are pictures of how I wrap and mold it around the form I created. First I wrap it around the block form and then I place it on the flat form.





Now that you have the leather on the form, you need to hold it in place for drying. There are a few different ways to do this. Some people will use wooden blocks and then nail or staple the leather to the block. This will result in a really tight fit of the leather to the form. My technique doesnít get as tight of a fit but it yields good enough results for the pouches. I use paper towels and a variety of clips. Binder clips work great for this and itís nice to have a bunch of different sizes. I place a piece of folded paper towel over the leather where the clip will be placed. The paper towel prevents the clip from leaving an indentation in the leather.



To hold down the flap of the pouch for drying, I use loosely wrapped plastic wrap.

Below is a picture of the 3 pouches all clipped up and drying:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto...thank you so much for sharing this information. Even though I don't have plans to make a Han Solo costume, I have always wanted to reproduce his iconic gunbelt/holster
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:23 am    Post subject: Wet Molding Part 2 Reply with quote

So overnight the three pouches dried and this is what I ended up with:



They donít need to look perfect, thatís part of the charm and theyíll take on a better shape once they are sewn to the belt.

Next I still need to form the two other pouches. It is best if you have the canister geeblie to mold its pouch so you end up with a good fit.



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 7:06 pm    Post subject: Sewing the Holster Reply with quote

All of the pouches have now dried and hereís a pic of the final results:



The next part of the gun belt Iím going to work on is the holster. The trickiest part of the holster is adding the cap to the end but Iíll get into that in a little bit. First youíll need a little background on a few different techniques.

There are a lot of ways to assemble the holster. The way that I sew and wet mold mine is what works for me and other people do it differently. Some people will wet mold the holster before sewing but I mold mine after. Some people might glue the holster before sewing but I donít. My best advice is to do your research and decide what you feel comfortable with.

The first technique you will want to practice is sewing. I use a sewing awl which technically means you donít need to pre punch the leather for sewing. However, I pre-punch the leather because my hands donít do well with very intensive tasks so pre-punching makes it easier for me.

YouTube has a ton of videos to learn how to sew. Try out a few techniques on some scrap leather and see what you like the best. Below are two videos that show two different techniques:

Sewing with a sewing awl:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srNya2JJv-g

Sewing with an awl and needles:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHBeQfFpMao

Once you feel comfortable with sewing then itís time to prep the leather for the holster. Unlike the pouches you need to pay attention which side of the pattern you place on the flesh or wrong side of the leather for cutting. I mark my patterns with top or front so I know which way to place them. Below is a picture showing the right side of the pattern and right side of the leather.



The following shows the proper placement of the pattern on the wrong side/flesh side of the leather:


You also need to cut out the tear drop leather piece that will be used for the holster cap.


Once the holster and cap piece are cut out, we need to prep the leather for sewing by adding a stitching groove to the leather using the stitching groove tool. On the holster, the sides and bottom of the holster where the cap will be sewn are given grooves. I use a test piece of leather to make sure Iím happy with where the groove will be cut. If you are uncertain on how to use this tool there are plenty of videos on YouTube.







Once the grooves are cut, it is now time to punch the stitching holes using the stitching chisels and a mallet. I start on one of the sides of the holster at a corner where the cap will eventually be attached. The trick here is to make sure to do a similar placement of the punches on both sides. This is so when you go to sew the sides together the holes line up somewhat close and you donít have too hard of a time getting the holes to line up for sewing:



When you finish the first set of punches move the fork and place the first tine in the last hole so you maintain equal distance between holes for the next set. You wonít always be using the 6 tined fork and will need to switch accordingly based on the size of the space you are having to punch. The smaller forks work well on the curves.



Once you get the leather completely punched, it will look something like this:


Before I start sewing I add two snaps to the holster. One will be used for the blaster strap and the other will be used to attach the leg strap (you can attach the leg strap in different ways, using the snap does mean it can pop off when you are moving around but mine doesnít do it that often) Here is a picture of the placement of the snaps (I have no idea why I have a guitar pick in this picture lol):



Now we are ready to start sewing the cap. This is not an easy step by any means. I had to do a few tests before I figured out a technique that worked for me. It might be a little difficult to explain exactly how I do this but hopefully I can convey at least the essence of what I do.

I treat the holster leather as the top piece of leather and the cap as the bottom piece. What this means is when I go to stitch Iím starting to pierce the leather from the holster side. Make sure that you pull out a very long tail piece of thread from the awl (see the instructional video posted above). The tail piece should be a few feet long. Also notice in the picture below I start about 3 holes in from the edge.





As a stitch I flip up the cap so it sits at a 90 degree angle to the holster leather to make sure my stitches donít get too tight. The key here is you want to keep things loose. If you stitch the cap too tightly to the holster it wonít lay correctly. Also donít be afraid to roughly handle the leather to get it to move into the position you need it to. Sometimes you might have to ďfishĒ around for the pre-punched holes. Donít use a lot of force to push the awl through, because that most likely means you will end up punching a new hole in the wrong place. If you have the holes properly aligned the awl should push through the leather without a ton of effort.



Continue stitching until you start to get to where the cap curves. Weíre going to have to do a little trick here because there are more stitching holes on the holster leather than there are on the cap. Bend the holster leather around the cap and see where the stitch holes start to misalign. Pull the tail end of the thread down through the cap leather. We are now going to do a few stitches only on the holster leather without attaching them to the cap so we can get the stitch holes to align again.





Once it looks like the holes are aligned again, I use another needle to pull the tail end back through the cap leather and continue stitching.



You will have to do another adjustment when you reach the other curve.



Hereís a picture of what the stitching looks like from the inside:



Once you reach the tip of the cap you will need to pull the tail end of the thread back through the cap and use another needle to pull it through to the front of the holster leather. Now you can finish stitching the few holes we skipped in the beginning to close up the cap. Make sure to back stitch at least 3 stitches to hold everything in place. If you did everything correctly you should end up with something that looks like this:



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 6:22 pm    Post subject: Holster Part 2 Reply with quote

This weekend I was able to do a fitting of the foam mock up on the extra scruffy looking nerf herder I'm making the gun belt for. We're slowly working together to get his ANH Solo up to RL standards. I also got to switch roles this weekend and try out my ANH Senatorial Leia costume I've been working on.



The fitting went really well and I only had to make a few minor adjustments so I should be able to cut the rest of the leather soon and then I can get everything dyed.

Anyways back to the holster......

After you get the holster cap sewn, it's time to sew the rest of the holster. This is a lot easier than the holster cap. I use binder clips with foam to keep the sides of the holster together as a sew. The foam is used to keep the clips from leaving a mark on the leather.





Remember to back stitch about 3 or 4 stitches once you reach the end of the seam.

Now it's time to mold the holster to the block form. Soak the holster in hot but not boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes, until it's really pliable.



I wrap the block form in plastic wrap before I place the holster on it. Once the holster has soaked long enough place it on the form and make sure the part of the holster for the barrel is completely supported by the form. If you have a little gap near the cap of the holster, take the form out and add a ball of plastic wrap to the tip of the block form to help fill in the gap. Place the holster back on the form and see if the extra plastic wrap minimizes the gap.

I then use additional plastic wrap to loosely hold the top of the holster in place on the form. Let the holster air dry.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:21 am    Post subject: Dyeing the leather Reply with quote

So I haven't abandoned my tutorial. I just got too busy to post updates as I had a deadline to finish the belt for my friend for a con. I totally forgot to get some better pics of the final product but here's a pic of us at the con with him wearing it. I'm pretty happy how it turned out considering it's the first gun belt I've made for someone else.



Ok back to the tutorial. Now that everything has been wet formed, itís time to add some edge grooving to the holster drop strap and the belt strap before dyeing. Here is what the belt and drop holster should look like after adding the grooves:





Now for the fun part, dyeing. There are a lot of different types of leather dyes but the two I see a lot are the Eco-Flo water based dyes and the Fiebingís alcohol based dyes. I like the Eco-Flo water based dyes. The only issue with using them is that you have to put a sealant over the dye or else if the leather gets wet, it can ruin the finish. The water based stains seem to be more forgiving. When I apply the water based dyes, I treat them like water colors and slowly add layers of color to achieve the final result.

I usually just donít use one color but will blend colors by starting with a light wash of one color and then adding another on top. For this holster I used a combination of Eco-Flo Light Brown and Desert Sand waterstain.



There are lots of videos out on youtube that show you how to work with the Eco-Flo products. Most have you heavily saturate a sponge with water and the dye. Then you completely soak and heavily saturate the leather with the dye. When I first started learning how to dye, I tried this technique but I could never get a light enough brown or achieve a nice worn look. I played around with different ways to apply the dye and ended up slightly saturating a cotton ball with water and dabbing it into the dye, blotting it off a bit on a paper towel and then applying it to the leather. This way I can slowly build up the color saturation and make the leather darker in certain areas to give a nice worn look. The dyeing process is where all your scraps of leather come in. I went through a ton of swatches testing techniques and colors.

Hereís a picture of a 501st garrison mate of mine dyeing some pouches with the technique I taught him. As you see, itís a messy process and you will go through lots of cotton balls. I also highly recommend wearing gloves.



Hereís a picture of the finished dye job on all the separate pieces of the gun belt:



Once the dye dries then itís time to apply the top coat. I like to use a little bit of a glossier finish but nothing too high gloss. I use the Eco-Flo clear gloss.



The top coat is really easy to apply. I saturate a cotton ball in the clear gloss and for this step you do not need any water. Then I just give a generous coating to all pieces of the leather. The clear coat will also make the color of the leather a little bit darker.



My next post will be about finishing the back side of the leather so it wonít shed on your clothes. You can do this before or after dying, I just happened to do it after dyeing.

Also per some requests, when I have a chance, Iím going to scan my templates and make them available for download.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great stuff. Keep it coming!

How much of the thicker leather would you recommend purchasing for the Y connector and holster, and how much thinner leather for the pouches?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kman wrote:
Great stuff. Keep it coming!

How much of the thicker leather would you recommend purchasing for the Y connector and holster, and how much thinner leather for the pouches?


When I originally made my ANH and ESB holsters, I bought a single shoulder of the 4/5oz leather and a single shoulder of 8/9 oz. That was enough leather to make both gun belts. I use the 4/5oz leather for the pouches, the drop strap/y connector, leg strap and blaster strap. I only use the 8/9 oz leather for the holster.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please, let my say that I really love and admire your work, Ladysolo14. You are doing a good job and everything looks fantastic!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:51 pm    Post subject: Burnishing the leather Reply with quote

Now that the leather is dyed, we are almost ready to assemble everything but first we need finish the back side of the leather so it wonít shed on your clothing. There are a lot of different ways to do this. Iíve taken two approaches.

Let me start off by saying that duck tape will totally work Smile This is for the, ďoh shoot I gave myself an unrealistic deadline to finish this costume and now I have a time crunchĒ costumer. I am completely guilty of this. If you do go with this approach, get a color of duck tape thatís light brown or beige and donít tape all the way to the edges of the leather so it wonít show. It completely works and no one will know the difference until you take the belt off.

Now if you give yourself plenty of time or you are making the gun belt for someone else, you probably want to do this properly. The belt blanks I get from Tandy tend to have very rough backs. If you donít finish the backs of these you will end up with leather fuzz and light colored rub marks on your dark colored pants. Here is a picture of the rough back of the belt blanks and you can see all the leather ďfuzzĒ.



The ultimate goal of finishing the back of the leather is to get a nice smooth finish similar to a leather belt you buy at a store. This first step you really only need to do if your leather is as rough as the picture above. You probably wonít have to do this on the lighter 4/5oz leather. To start the smoothing process, I take a skiver and shave off a thin layer of the back leather until it has a smoother texture. A skiver is just like a giant razor, so essentially we are shaving the leather. Be sure to not press too hard or you can create deep unwanted gouges in the leather. It wonít be completely smooth but the goal is to take off most of the leather ďfuzz.Ē



Here is a picture showing the difference between the non smoothed leather (towards the back) and the leather smoothed (towards the front) with the skiver.



Once you are decently happy with the smoothness of the leather we are going to burnish the leather to give it a more professional smooth look. There are a few different products you can use, some people use saddle soap but Iím going to use gum tragacanth. For this step you will also need something to burnish the leather with, I just use the back of a big spoon, and a brush to apply the gum tragacanth.





When burnishing the leather I work in small sections because the gum tragacanth will start to dry and get too gummy and sticky. I generously coat a section of the back side of the leather with the gum tragacanth and then I rub it in with the back of the spoon using quick movements and quite a bit of pressure. We are technically polishing the leather and want to build up some friction. If you are using a metal spoon like I am be careful because it might start getting hot and if it does then you are doing a good job.



You only need to burnish the back side of the leather pieces that will be up against your clothes so this would include the belt, holster drop strap/y connector, and leg strap. Below is a comparison between two pieces of leather, one has been burnished and the other one has not.



Now that the back sides of the leather are properly finished, itís time to start the extra fun step, assembling the gun belt and Iíll cover that in my next post.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:29 pm    Post subject: Belt assembly Reply with quote

Now itís time for what we have all been waiting for, the assembly of the gun belt. I start with attaching the buckles and closure hooks first then I move on to attaching the pouches. The following steps will vary based on the hardware you have. My hardware is from Todds Costumes.

First I attach the front buckle and closure hooks. Here is a picture of one of my finished belts with the front buckle and closure hooks attached.



Each closure hook is attached differently. The left closure hook will be permanently attached to the buckle and the curved part of the hook wraps down around the leather as seen in the picture below.



You will also notice in the picture that Iíve trimmed off the corners to give the finished product a more refined look. Also the leather strap is slipped underneath the closure hook lip which permanently affixes the hook to the buckle.



Once I get the hooks in a place Iím happy with, I mark the holes where the rivets will go with a pencil. I then make the holes using the properly sized leather punch and set the rivets. If you donít know how to set rivets, YouTube has plenty of tutorial videos. I do a similar process for the right closure hook. This hook is a lot easier to put in place because itís not attached to the buckle. The lip of the hook faces up and does not wrap around the leather.





Now with the front buckle and hook closures in place, itís time to fit the belt and get the back buckle attached. One of the issues Iíve encountered is that the 2 inch wide leather belt strap does not fit through the loops on the back belt buckle because itís a bit too wide. In order to get the leather to loop through the hooks on the back buckle some trimming is required. Below is a picture of what we will be attempting to achieve in the next few steps.





In the pictures above, you can see the leather folded towards the back of the belt has been slightly trimmed along the edges and then everything is held together using snaps. I slowly trim the leather down so I can start getting it through the loops of the buckle. Less is more here, you can always take off more leather but you canít put it back on. Iíll trim the leather and then put it through the loops on the buckle, tape it in place using painters tape and then try the belt on. Iíll continue this process until I have a fit Iím happy with.

Next, the leather needs to be thinned out where it will be looped through the buckle. Using a skiver, slowly remove some of the flesh side of the leather where the belt will be folded.





After you remove a bit of the leather test the fold and see if the leather bends more easily. Continue this process until the leather bends easily and lays a little flatter near the fold.



Now itís time to determine where the snaps on the back of the belt will be placed. I use painters tape to temporarily attach the leather to the back buckle so I can figure out the snap placement. If you look at pictures of Hanís belt the snaps are not placed equidistant. The first two sets of snaps closest to the buckle are closer together and then the third set of snaps are set farther away. Depending on the size of your belt these distances will vary. I lay all the pouches and disk on the belt so I can get an idea of how much room I have to work with.

Below is a picture of one of my finished belts vs the belt Iím working on, so you can get an idea of how to do the spacing.



I also cover the portion of the belt where the snaps will be with painters tape so I can mark the snap placement without making visible marks on the leather.



Once I have the placement for the snaps, I unhook the leather from the buckle, and unfold it so the strap lays completely flat. I use a leather punch to make the holes on the outside facing part of the leather which is where the painters tape should still be in place where I marked the location of the snaps. Once I make these holes I then reattach the leather to the buckle and fold it into the final position. I use a pen to poke through the holes I made for the snaps to mark the back piece of leather. I then use the leather punch to make these holes.

Now itís time to set the snaps in the leather. You can learn how to do this by looking for tutorial videos on Youtube, look for things like leather snap setting. One word of advice with this step. I would keep the leather looped through the buckle when applying the snaps. Sometimes it may be difficult to push the leather underneath the buckle loop once the snaps are attached. Below is a picture of how the snaps should look.



Thatís it for now, in my next post Iíll talk about the holster assembly.
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