Introduction: Custom Leather Caliper Holster
Ok, So I am a Maker, I am in the shop daily, when I am not in the shop, I am in front of a computer designing something to make. No matter if I am in the shop, or designing something, I use my caliper all day long. That being said, I seem to spend far too long every day trying to find what workbench I left my caliper on. I am constantly loosing it. Because of its odd shape it does not fit in a pocket very well. So I set about making a holster to keep my caliper on my side all day long. I wanted something that would kind-of lock it into place, so that it would not fall out and get damaged. Here is the tale of how I made my holster. Let me start by saying that I am in no way an expert. I barely know what im doing most of the time. I bumble around and try my best, I have a lot of failures, and some successes.
Step 1: Assemble All the Parts
Step 2: Create a Pattern
I did not want to waste any leather, so I made a paper pattern first. I just drew freehand on a piece of paper and cut it out with scissors. I folded the paper into the shape that I wanted the final holster to look like and made sure that the caliper fit the way I wanted. Once I was happy with the pattern, I traced it onto the leather using a normal inkpen.
Step 3: Cut Out the Leather Without Cutting Off Your Finger
I started using a scalpel to cut out the leather, but it was not stiff enough. So I started to use a razor blade in a 3d printed handle. I found out very quickly the flaw of using 3d printed tools. I pressed down a little too hard and the handle broke and the blade went right through my pointer finger. Use quality tools friends....
Step 4: Folding the Leather
I was concerned because the leather seemed rather thick and did not fold easily. So I wet the places where it needed to fold and put a sheet of steel on top of it. I let this sit for about 20 minutes and pulled everything off of it. It did retain the folded shape, but the steel left an odd coloring on parts of the leather due to the scale on the steel. Well, hindsight is 20-20. Oh. well. once it is died it should not be noticeable.
Step 5: Add Snaps
Now that it is folded I marked where I wanted the snaps for the belt Loop. then I marked two holes and used the adjustable hole punch to punch some holes. Once I had the top holes I folded it down and marked two more points through the holes I just made so that they would line up right. I hammered the snaps into place and then Marked, punched, and installed snaps for the tool holder as well.
Step 6: Stamping Name
I thought I would personalize it a little so I stamped my name into with the Tandy Stamps. Kindof silly, but i figure if I ever forget my name, I can look at it and remind myself.
Step 7: Tan the Leather
Now to give it a proper leather look I died it with saddle Tan. I used a foam brush to apply the tan, I think you are supposed to use the little cotton ball on a wire brush thingy, but I don't have any of those. I would recommend wearing gloves for this, as I did not, I had some rather odd looking hands for several days.
Step 8: Finished
Overall I am very happy with this holster, I think if I were to do it again I would probibly change the snaps around a little so that the other side of the snaps would be facing out. This is something that I could change at any time, but I see no reason to waste snaps. I have worn the holster for several days now and I must say that I love it. It holds and protects my favorite tool in such a way that I always know where it is. No more searching all over for my caliper.
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