This instructable will show you how to make a simple Sam Browne belt, with a steampunk style.
A Sam Browne belt is a leather belt with a strap that goes over one shoulder and has a fastening for a sword. Army officers wear them and Sam Browne who invented it only had one arm so he needed some way to carry his sword in such a way as to hold it in place while he was drawing it from the scabbard. Sadly some political extremist groups also wore these so we must make every effort to make our sam brownes look as unlike that as possible.
You will need:
2 belts. ideally the belt that will be going round your waist should be wider than the belt we will use to go over your shoulder, but it doesnt matter too much. I got some nice but cheap belts at one of our many local One Pound shops. They look like leather but I dont think they are.
Some thick wire. Coathanger wire would be fine but I used some of the copper wire I found on the beach because it is shiny and pretty and somehow more steampunkish.
Because I want this for a steampunk outfit, I have added some brass accoutrements which i will describe later. Any useful items, like a compass, fob watch, portable time vortex machine etc could be used.
Scissors and craft knife.
Thin nosed pliers.
Optional - hole punch, rivetter
Step 1: Making the Shoulder Strap
1 belt is the waist belt and the other becomes the shoulder strap.
Take the second one and break off the pointy bit of the buckle that normally goes through the belt holes. This belt was so cheap that a quick bend with the pliers and the bit just broke off. Now you have a buckle that wont buckle!
Slip the waist belt through the shoulder strap buckle and put the belt on. Bring the loose end of the shoulder strap over your shoulder and loop it round the belt at your front and adjust so that it fits neatly in a diagonal over your shoulder and across your front. Hold onto the loop as you take the whole thing off, so that you know the position of the loop for the next step..
Step 2: Fixing the Loop
Take your wire and make two "staples". Each one will be a U-shaped piece of wire with the bottom of the U flattish and about half the width of the shoulder strap.
Make two pairs of holes through both thicknesses of the shoulder strap, enough above the loop to allow it to move freely along the belt. You can make holes with a hole punch if you have one, or the awl in your penknife or a sharp pair of scissors etc. Make sure the holes in each part of the strap correspond.
Push a staple through a pair of holes, from the front of the strap and bend the two legs of the staple across each other. Hammer them flat at the back of the strap. I decorated by making spirals out of the same wire.
Metallurgical note: if you work the copper a lot it becomes stiffer (called "work hardening") and will be brittle and break. You can correct this by heating it up, which softens it again. Put it in a flame or under the grill (NOT in the microwave).
Step 3: Accoutrements
Because I am Dr Greensteam, steampunker extraordinaire and not some fervid political extremist, I want my sam browne to look fun, friendly and useful, so I have attached some useful accoutrements that will be handy in any circumstances.
The sundial is based on a medieval german design and can be used in all sub-arctic northern latitudes. The telephone bell is for summoning aid, of course. I plan to make some pouches for small items and currency.