Introduction: Airship Mechanic Tool Vest

Tool vest developed for SteamCon III using typical leather working tools. While not describing the leather tools use, the sequence of assemble follows.

I acquired a vest near my size, from a thrift store, and cut it apart along the seams to make a pattern. Once the latigo leather was cut to the pattern, I punched holes along the seam locations, added "eyelets" and laced the parts together so fitting could be adjusted and tools placed. The four seams (2 sides, 2 shoulders) lacing was secured by squeezing the lace ends through red glass trade beads from Africa. I cut the pattern so a "7" brand on the hide was visible behind the calipers.

The tools were laid out on the vest in various patterns until I found one I liked, and then each tool carrier was cut and fitted to a specific tool. The calipers, square-nut wrench, and oil can I found at different swap meets, the other tools were from my tool box.

When I saw the marks on the vest from the caliper tips I hammered a small pouch out of copper to fit the tips, and riveted it to the vest to control damage from the ends. As the pouch ages, it looks better. I added rivets near the ends of the screwdrivers for the same reason.

The sheath was fitted to a hand-made knife made by a tool maker; Joe Rollins, from Rodeo, New Mexico. When I decided to sell the vest I changed the sheath to fit a slightly smaller knife, as I will keep Joe's knife.

The lower right pouch was made to be removable, held on with a short belt-like strap held to the vest with snaps, which may be removed and worn separately on a regular belt. There is also a small inside pocket, sized to fit ID's and a small amount of cash.

Two of the decorations are a metal, art-deco, button (near antique), plus a Canadian made, pewter, art piece, the subject of which is the globe. The third piece I made from a Balloon Pilot's Wings and a Lazy Dog.

As the theme of SteamCon III was "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", I tied a Monkey's Fist (generally made much larger for a heaving line) around a stainless steel ball-bearing, and added it to a strap. The strap buckles are buckles ment to adjust vests with straps on the vests back.

Since this image I have riveted a very small brass handle near the sheath so the knife may be secured with a wire "zip- tie" to meet the overly restrictive Californian laws.

A small "tassel" of turquoise and purple suede strips is attached to one shoulder for a hint of colour. Rivets were then added to all the cut edges as a finishing touch. The vest was accepted well at SteamCon III, and an image, or two, has been posted on flickr. As stated in an earlier reply, this posting was inspired by a suggestion from SHIFT!. (Sold at Clockwork Alchemy)