Belt Making; Stories, Demos, Products

hand tooled leather
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This is the story of how I started making belts way back in 1977.  The Maker Monday, and Workshop Wednesday are videos from my live presentations on Facebook.

Here is the story of how Log Cabin Leather by Jan began making belts.

Listen to the video above to hear the stories of how I got started in leather work, back in 1977, and where I purchased leather.  I will explain how leather hides are purchased and how the thickness gauge, the tool from last weeks Tool Trivia Tuesday game,  is used.

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In the video above, watch as I demonstrate how the Belt Stripper is used .  I will demonstrate cutting the straight edge on the hide and the belt stripper in use.

The hide I am holding above is called a Double Shoulder.  Later in the video I will cut a Double Back.  Both of these hides and the differences between them are explained in the first video above.

When I first began making belts, I dyed them all by hand.  Leather is an animal skin and has scars and blemishes.  These can show when the belt is dyed and the dye does not always come out evenly.  The dye absorbs into some areas more than others.  It was difficult and many a belt has been ruined because of this.  Join me the week of Jan. 19 to learn more about my coloring and dying techniques.

When I lost my leather suppliers in Boston I had to look for other sources.  When I discovered Weaver Leather and was pleased with their leather, I began to purchase pre-dyed hides for making plain belts from them.  Belts have always been my best seller and now I save a lot of time, and mess, purchasing the double backs.  The color is uniform and the hides are finished nicely both front and back!

Next week, please join me for Workshop Wednesday , when I will demonstration product creation.  Each month will have a              different theme.


I started making belts back in 1977.  I do not have any original belts to show you.  The mallet shown on the upper left is a picture of the original mallet I purchased back in 1977 on my very first trip to Siegel & Company.

The ends were made of rawhide and could be replaced.  They needed to be replaced frequently because the ends would wear out and would not strike evenly.

The mallets on the right are what I use now.  They are made of plastic.  They are almost indestructible.  They are at least 20 years old and are in great shape!


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hand tooled leather belts

           Next Weeks Topic: How Hand Stamped Designs are Created on Leather Belts

Please join me next week when I share the stories of how my father inspired my hand tooled belts and how he was my Belt Salesman, in the Maker Monday series.  

I demonstrate hand stamping a design on a belt and share how I learned this technique in the Workshop Wednesday series.

On Flashback Friday I will show some of my Dad’s belts that are still in use today.  My Dad has been gone since 2007, but his belts still live on and help me feel close to him.

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