A Leather Tool Box

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About: Hi there My name is Johnny, I make things, and I like to make videos about it!

Hi there.

I needed a bike rack and came up with this.
If you want to watch the video check out the ol' youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k9oOYHZsMs&t=250s

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"

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Step 1: Tools

You wont need many a tool for this project

-Veg Tan Leather around 6 oz

-hammer

-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

-Brass sheet

-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.

Steps:

-Mark out holes, I did them 4 mm apart

-Punch holes

-Wet strap

-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

Steps:

-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 :)

Enjoy!!!

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Leather Challenge

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    13 Discussions

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    CraftAndu

    3 months ago

    Superb craftsmanship!

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    Cherzer

    3 months ago

    Beautiful! I like the idea of wet forming the sides. Did it make the sides a bit more sturdy/structured than the rest of body?

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    LeslieGeee

    4 months ago

    This is a beautiful bag thank you for sharing your tutorial. I was thinking as I was reading your instructions that this would be a lovely travel / overnight bag made in a larger size :) Would you mind posting the link for the leather kit you got on Amazon. There are so many and for a novice yours sounds like it would be a good start. Also dimensions and a short instructional for your wooden mold would be appreciated. Thank you :)

    2 replies
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    Johnny Wikkignaciojo

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thanks man, it actually pretty easy, you could def do it in a weekend. The leather is the only real costly part.

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    TheFischLife

    4 months ago

    Oh this looks so sleek! Nice job!

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    TDPablo

    Question 4 months ago on Introduction

    Great info! Just wondering how thick of leather you used. Thanks.

    P.S. Here's a pic of a book cover I made.

    1 answer
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    TDPabloTDPablo

    Answer 4 months ago

    Image didn't load trying again

    20170507_220039.jpg20170423_194205.jpg
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    spiritwalker6153

    4 months ago

    That is a cool project. I just happen to have some heavy leather like that laying around and I need a classy tool box for my bike. Perfect. BTW, good video as well.

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    Johnny Wikkaudreyobscura

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thanks! maybe a little too nice to get beat up with tools but character right ?