This 8 inch leather Traffic Handle is a super simple project, and very handy for trainers and us normal people as well! I like this because you can leave it on your pooch when you let him run around. If you do not trust your dog entirely off leash, you can hook the traffic handle on, and instead of having a full length leash dragging through mud, water, and possibly poop! you still have something to grab a hold of in the case of an emergency, or just to get a hold of your pup!
This is also an awesome tool if you do agility, this way when you are training your dog doesn't have to have a leash trailing along behind it. This traffic handle is very durable, and is nice to have in heavy traffic situations if you have a reactive dog, or a service dog!
Step 1: Gather Supplies!
- 3/4 inch wide 9/10 latigo leather- but you can use any size you'd like
- Rotary punch (or single leather punch)
- Hammer (if using rivets)
- Screwdriver (if using Chicago Screws- which I like more)
- Measuring tool (it is clear, so hard to see, but there)
- Snap hook (corresponding to leather size, because I used 3/4" leather, I used a 3/4" snap)
- Rivets (1/2") or Chicago Screws (1/2")
- Cutting tool (I use an exacto knife)
Step 2: Measure and Cut
Using your leather, fold over 1-1.5 inches on one end (to form a small loop for the snap). Take the long end of the leather strip to fold over like you see in the first picture to gauge the size of handle you want!
Mine turned out to be around 8 inches
I held where I wanted to cut the leather to end the loop (I keep a 1/2 inch space from end cut to the end of the small loop, where the snap hook attaches. This isn't necessary, I just think it looks cleaner with the space)
Holding where you want to cut, lay the leather down to the measuring tool and cut!
Step 3: Make the Holes
Starting from the end where you plan to attach the snap, 1/2" from the end make a hole. I used the largest setting on my rotary tool, and had to cut a bit more off the insides. *Chigaco Screws are wider than rivets, but since I find the Chicago Screws to be more secure(and easier to attach) I don't mind cutting the wholes larger*
I made the second hole about 1/2" from the end of the first hole. This is about 3/4 of an inch from the small snap loop
Fold the small loop the opposite way, I used my knife to "mark" where the holes will be on the other side of the leather. Repeat the process of punching the holes. At this point, now use the end tail and where you want it to be placed in the final product, using the same technique, mark and then punch holes in this part of the leather.
Make sure all your holes line up, if you marked the leather correctly you shouldn't have a problem!, and you can always move the pieces around a bit to keep it all straight, especially for the putting in of the screws!
Step 4: Put in the Screws
Keeping the leather aligned, push the "female" portion of the screw (the tunnel part). If you used 9/10 leather, you should have the top part of the screw align just at the same level as the leather.
Screw in the "male" portion of the screw to the female part. You can tighten this almost entirely with your fingers, and when you can't use the screwdriver.
If you are using rivets, you want 1/2" inch rivets. make sure that the rivets "snap" together before gently hammering together, and you want to use the Setter and Anvil you get in packs of rivets.
Step 5: Ta Da!
TA DA! you finished, sit back and enjoy the incredible work you just did! test it out on your pooch!.
I used Chicago Screws because they hold together under more stress than rivets. I feel safer using them, especially with a pulling/large/strong dog. Unless you have good technique, you can very easily bend rivets, and they won't work. Please use common sense before using this, I would hate for anyone or their pup to get hurt because of a malfunction in hardware.
Have fun and enjoy your traffic handle, if you liked it, please vote for it in the Dog Contest!