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Any leatherworkers on here? Saddles, leather bar wraps

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Any leatherworkers on here? Saddles, leather bar wraps

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Old 09-17-18, 11:27 AM
  #26  
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I started building these saddles for Sportsman Flyer a few years ago. The saddles went through a few different variations as the complany was growing. I think this was saddle version #3 pictured. Pat supplied the stainless steel seat pans and I was in charge of the rest. His bikes are high end so I used high end leather. Hermann Oak Leather fit the bill and as you can see, itís a beautiful product.
Iím a one man shop and Sportsman Flyer grew too fast and I just couldnít keep up with production. Pat is a solid guy and said anytime I want to get back to building seats I can always hop back in the saddle as they say. I think the most fun was in the beginning when figuring out how the heck everything was going to take shape. The rest ended up just being work.


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Old 09-17-18, 12:28 PM
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Old 09-17-18, 01:30 PM
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Iím liking this last version over the first two. Maybe colors just need to be reversed.... dark brown lug pattern with brown stitching on a saddle tan leather bar wrap.
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Old 09-17-18, 01:38 PM
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Old 09-17-18, 04:39 PM
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Jeez damm that is nice!
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Old 09-18-18, 06:34 AM
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Yeah. That's looking much better to me. It's always cool to see how talented people are in different things. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.
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Old 09-18-18, 06:39 AM
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Nailed it.
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Old 09-18-18, 07:19 AM
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Made a little change to the lug pattern. I used the Versa Groover tool to layout the stitch lines so stitching is now tucked away.


Left side was dyed with Pro Oil Dye saddle tan, right side in dark brown. The lug design is natural veg tan color.
Thanks...,
Yeah itís always good to see an idea start coming together. This beginning lug pattern will be replicated at the end of the wrap so itís just a matter of measuring the full length of this bar and accounting for stretch or shrinkage of the leather during sew on install for that bottom stitched lug pattern placement.
Adding another level of difficulty will be to stitch on a center decorative lug design tying in the brake lever transition on the full leather wrap.
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Old 09-18-18, 10:00 AM
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So. Much. Awesome.

The color variations you've played with all look good but without the context of a saddle it's hard to know which looks "right." Nice that you've kept the original (?) brown vinyl wrap as a reference. So are you keeping the "catalog" look of dark brown wrap, white cabling, black saddle? If so, the dark brown dye is my preference. Clearly, you can go in any direction since you're being creative (SUPER creative!) but I would definitely get the saddle involved in the color coordination.
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Old 09-18-18, 11:39 AM
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davlafont, yes Iím now planning to mostly stay with the original color variations on this 1973 Raleigh Super Coarse. So Iím gong with the dark brown leather oil dye bar wrap.
The original black brooks saddle skin was dry and damaged. I was planing to use the seat frame and make a matching leather saddle with contrasting leather lug work inlay to match this custom bar wrap. Itís going to get interesting by the time I start on the leather saddle.

Creative? Iím not doing anything that hasnít been done before. Looking at the custom automotive and motorcycle industry, itís been done. The tough question when introducing it to a niche market is, will they accept it?
If my work was too overpowering with abstract colors then it would take away from the classic bike design. Iím trying to stay simple but elegant complementing the designs that are already on the frame. For that era correct wall hanger, itís best to just keep it original. This is intended for those riders that have upgraded components making it easier to ride them today.

Thank you for posting photos of your previous bike related leatherwork on this thread. Iíd like for this to move in the direction of sharing knowledge, where to get material information, tools and how to start doing this yourself.
I wonít mind writing step-by-step toutorials on any of my Leatherwork. This is a time consuming hobby and only so much work can be created at a time. We are all still learning and I appreciate your comments on my work. Chris

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Old 09-19-18, 09:43 AM
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Excellent work. Will there be a matching saddle bag?
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Old 09-19-18, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Excellent work. Will there be a matching saddle bag?
the more I think about it.. would be awesome to start a small leatherwork co. producing bicycle saddle bags or day pack bags, tool rolls and C&V related items. Iíve been tossing the idea around for a couple years now but work just gets the way. I even thought of a brand name for these items, ď Lugged Steel LeatherĒ but I just donít think it would ever get off the ground.
It takes a lot of dedication even to build a small batch of products. It takes skilled craftsmen to put these items together.

For now, the leather bar wrap is getting closer to being completed and after making a few sets I can see these not taking too long to complete. Fender leather mud flaps would be another item that wouldnít be a bear to slap together. A small Day riding bag/pack would involve a lot of construction and choosing the right waterproof materials. It all seams possible. Iíll tackle one item at a time.
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Old 09-20-18, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Chriscraft760 View Post

It takes a lot of dedication even to build a small batch of products. It takes skilled craftsmen to put these items together.
You said a mouthful there. I sold several of my saddle bags to the good folks here, but it was a labor of love. But having a Cobra would make the venture a lot easier.
I hand stitched all of mine.
As for skill, looking at those saddles for your motorcycle, I'd say you're well equipped in that department.
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Old 09-20-18, 08:34 AM
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Are these the style of saddle bags Youíre referring to?

Rootboy, the Cobra Class leather sewing machine is perfect for stitching thick veg tan onto the canvas bags. It can sew 7/8Ē thick leather but doesnít like the really thin automotive leather. It will even work well stitching thick canvas welts and edge bindings. When Sewing thin canvas like material, I think youíll need to use a medium industrial upholstery sewing machine like a Consew walking foot machine to put most of the canvas saddle bag together.
I had a really nice Singer 111-W155 walking foot medium duty industrial machine that I had installed an electric servo unit that was geared down to stitch through 3/8Ē veg tan leather. This machine could handle the thinner fabrics too. I ended up selling it since it sat un used after purchasing the Cobra machine. With a small investment to purchase one of these machines, one would be ready to produce some very attractive saddle bags.

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Old 09-20-18, 09:08 AM
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A few years ago I had set out to create a chest harness to carry my fly fishing fly box and gear. Using the same concept in trying to design it to look as if had been created 100 years ago. Hundreds of hours later and after a few different variations, I ended up using nylon webbing instead of a leather strap. The webbing was much playable against my fishing shirt and gave a little more comfort while hiking around the river banks in search of trout. My hand tooled designs added to this elegant piece of fly fishing equipment but also proved to be time consuming. I stopped making these but one day will produce them again.

The crazy thing is trying not to over build the item without making more work for yourself. Sometimes less is more so making samples of the product is a way to achieve this goal.

Rootboy, where are you located? Iím in Bayside, Wisconsin. Just wondering If anyone is local to get together and build something.


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Old 09-20-18, 09:15 AM
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Beautiful work. I like the lever covers a lot!
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Old 09-21-18, 10:54 AM
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Hand tooling



Design layout transferred to cased leather


Hand tooled


Leather acrylic paint


Finished design
A small sample of a hand tooled design with some hand painted color added.
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Old 09-21-18, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Chriscraft760 View Post


Design layout transferred to cased leather


Hand tooled


Leather acrylic paint


Finished design
A small sample of a hand tooled design with some hand painted color added.
WOW. I wish I had a talent like that in....ANYTHING. Very nice.
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