I was inspired to make a leather toolbox by one I saw made of leather and wood. I thought an all leather one would be a bit more challenging. I am excited to see how this thing ages.
Its made of 3 pieces of leather plus 4 straps, you can make it any size but here are my dimensions
The main body: 16" x 23"
sides including, not including lip: h = 6" w =5.25"
each strap of two straps : 27" x 1"
Straps for clasp both 3.5" x 1"
Step 1: Tools
You wont need many a tool for this project
-Veg Tan Leather around 6 oz
-Leather punch, you could use a punch that you hammer for the whole project but a revolving hand punch makes getting all those holes on the edge easier.
-Waxed thread and needle
-rivets with 10mm stem.
Step 2: Forming the Sides
-I built a little form to mould the sides so that they would lay flat against the front, bottom and back so that it would be easy it stitch later.
It's not shown but I dipped the leather in water for 20 seconds or so and then clamped then into the mould.
One thing I learned was it is a good idea to dry the leather as fast as possible so that mould does not grow on it in the form of little black dots. I use a heater to speed up the process
-Use the mould to trim away the excess leather
Step 3: Personal Touch
I bought a leather kit from Amazon and it came a little carver, I did a pattern but you could carve just about anything with it.
Step 4: Straps and Handles
I wanted the handles to be easy to grab ahold of, I am sure you could do this various way, but this stitching curves the handles towards the tool box and makes them easy to grab.
-Mark out holes, I did them 4 mm apart
-Fold and clamp strap & blow dry, let sit for 20 mins
There are other ways to stitch leather, I had a hammer driven multi punch but that made far too small holes for this size leather and would have been pain staking to stitch
Step 5: Attaching the Straps
-Bend the leather and give it a little bit of a soft hammer so that it will hold a crease
-Use a punch to make holes where you want the straps attached.
-Use rivets to attached the straps.
Step 6: Punch and Stitch the Box
This part is pretty straight forward. Just punch holes on the main body that match the holes on the side panels
**make use you count the holes so you don't make one too many on one piece or the other.
Step 7: Build the Clasp and Strap and Attach
This step is easy if you have metal band saw but you could spend a few extra minutes and do it with a hack saw and a file.
I used some brass sheet metal.
** if you don't have sheet metal there are plenty of buckles you can buy for this type of application
Step 8: Finished
You can finish with any type of leather oil, or you could just keep it raw.
I used "Saddle and Leather Dressing"
And that is pretty much it. By now you have probably figured that it would be much easier to just watch the video and understand the process more fully :)
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