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 Post subject: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 7:07 am 
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Firearms Industry
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Location: Colbert, WA USA
I thought you all might like to see how one of my rigs is put together. This one is an IBS, but the steps are pretty much the same for all of them.

The first step, of course, is to pick your pattern and cut the leather. Some times this is easier than others (the clicker makes short work of this). I don't have dies for all of my patterns, so sometimes it has to be done by hand.

Image

Next, the pieces are dyed, stitch patterns are marked, then all the edging and edge detail is done. It is a small step, and only takes a few minutes.

Image

After the edges are finished, the pieces paired up, the gluing areas are marked and the contact cement is applied.

Image

Stitching is next - the key here is to have even spacing along the edges, straight lines and smooth curves. Poor stitching ruins the aesthetics of an otherwise nice holster.

Image

Once all the stitching is finished up, the edges along the main seam are finished up and it is off to the next step.

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The wet molding is done using a dummy gun. This gets you the detail shape and tight fit.

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The final step is the hand boning and finish coat. Boning is probably the most critical of all the steps. If you slip, you will crease the leather (where it's not supposed to be) and ruin the holster. This process takes a long time to master. The moisture in the leather has to be "Just Right".

Image

BTW - here is the stitcher I use. It is a Randall Union Lockstitch. Notice the size of the Pepsi Can in comparison to the machine.

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Here is 4 layers of 8 oz leather...it will easily stitch through 6 layers.

Image

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5 SHOT LEATHER, LLC - Finely Crafted Custom Handgun Leather

http://www.5ShotLeather.com


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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 8:01 am 
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Very cool.... 8)

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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 10:02 am 
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Beautiful workmanship. Heck, that's worth owning even without a gun to go in it!


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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 1:47 pm 
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Very cool stuff....thanks for taking the time to share.


Gunner


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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 4:39 pm 
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Location: Concord, CA
John,

This has been a pretty good day: First, I saw your article about the making of an IBS. Then I took my dogs for a walk, and when I got back I saw that the mailman had delivered the pair of rough-out IBS holsters you made for my 1911.

Thanks for the informative post and the great holsters.


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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:28 am 
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Cool insight of true hand craftsmanship. What percentage of your IBS are being ordered rough in vs rough out?

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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 6:55 am 
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Bob Donald wrote:
Cool insight of true hand craftsmanship. What percentage of your IBS are being ordered rough in vs rough out?


It's probably 50/50. I prefer smooth out myself, since it lets the holster slide inside your clothes when you sit/stand, and doesn't require you to make adjustments all the time.

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John Ralston
5 SHOT LEATHER, LLC - Finely Crafted Custom Handgun Leather

http://www.5ShotLeather.com


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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 2:50 pm 
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Hey John this is a great post. One question in the second picture what are those hand tools and how do you use them?
Thanks rob

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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Those are an edger and an edge beader/creaser. The edger takes off the sharp corner and the beader gives you the crease along the edge. Edge first, then use the beader.

Google Osborne 21 Creaser.

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John Ralston
5 SHOT LEATHER, LLC - Finely Crafted Custom Handgun Leather

http://www.5ShotLeather.com


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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 8:53 am 
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Awesome insight and beautiful holster!
That leather sure is pretty before it gets dyed - is it russet?

Man, I need a clicker...

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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:34 am 
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chris_dickow wrote:
Awesome insight and beautiful holster!
That leather sure is pretty before it gets dyed - is it russet?

Man, I need a clicker...


It isn't russet, just W & C's holster leather.

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I will never forget you Lou......February 21, 2009

John Ralston
5 SHOT LEATHER, LLC - Finely Crafted Custom Handgun Leather

http://www.5ShotLeather.com


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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:40 am 
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John Ralston wrote:
It isn't russet, just W & C's holster leather.

Well it's good lookin' stuff! Really pretty holster!

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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 3:49 pm 
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This is a neat thread. The How and the Why is often over looked and I am as guilty of that as most. Being shown some of the skilled labor and work involved behind these things is something that I always appreciate being reminded of. Thank you for posting.


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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 5:16 pm 
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Beautiful work as always John. Thanks for the pics. Really cool to see the process!


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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:26 am 
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Good stuff and a good post, John.

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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Now THAT's a sewing machine!

Fascinating stuff John.


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 Post subject: Re: The Making of an IBS
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 1:44 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, FL
I carried IWB with Davis holster for a Commander 25 years ago but got away from IWB carry for the longest time. I received an IBS with a pistol from Jason Burton back in early 2010. I followed that up with an IBS for a Glock direct from John a short time later. One of those two IBS's have seen daily carry ever since. These are of such great quality that I know I will still be using them in ten years.

It is great to see what goes into making one, though I am sure that we only saw a fraction of the work. Keep it up John.

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