Replace a Missing Leather Handle

Introduction: Replace a Missing Leather Handle

You might have some old pieces of test equipment with missing leather handles. Hewlett Packard (now Keysight Technologies) used leather handles in a lot of their VTVM's and signal generators that were designed to be carried around. After 50 or more years, the leather dries out and is usually removed. If you want to keep this equipment looking good and/or move them around from time to time putting on a new handle can be done quite easily. I am going to add a handle to a vintage Hewlett Packard model 412A VTVM circa 1962.


1) Old real or artificial leather strap or belt. Can be obtained at Value Village or Goodwill Industries.

2) Pop rivet gun and rivets. Can be purchased at a hardware store.

3) Scissors. Can be purchased at a stationary or crafts store.

4) Leather punch. Can be obtained at a craft store.

Step 1: Obtain Leather Strap or Belt That Fits Easily Through Loops.

Get a leather strap that gives you lots of length to work with. Size the strap so that you have a comfortable distance to fit your hand in to hold the item.

Step 2: Pull Two Inches Through Loop.

Pull two inches of handle through loop allowing for an extra inch of length to wind around handle. Make sure better looking side of handle is facing up. Put through loop from outside and gather two inches up on inside.

Step 3: Measure One Inch Up From Perimeter of Curve.

Measure up one inch from the perimeter of curve and put a mark at that point making sure it's in the middle of the strap. Take the leather punch and make a hole through the strap and the two inch piece bent back through the loop. Do this on both sides.

Step 4: Put Rivet Through First Hole.

Take your rivet gun and put a rivet through the first hole made. Then use a pair of linesman pliers to squeeze and spread out the rivet on the inside of the strap.

Step 5: Punch Second Hole and Rivet.

Measure about 3/4" up from the middle of the first rivet and mark the point with a felt pen. Take the punch and make the hole through the two pieces of the strap. Of course, do this on the other side as well. Put rivet in second hole on both sides of strap and again squeeze rivet with lineman's pliers to make sure inside is mushroomed so the rivet won't come out easily

Step 6: Examine and Admire New Leather Handle on VTVM

Make sure everything is in securely and feel how much easier it is to have a handle to move the VTVM around when you want to.

Be the First to Share


    • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

      Game Design: Student Design Challenge
    • Big and Small Contest

      Big and Small Contest
    • Make It Bridge

      Make It Bridge