Leather Holster Making
June 11 – 15, 2018
Does not include leather, which you will need to purchase when you arrive (see tool list below)
Continuing Ed Only – not for college credit
This class was created to teach students how to construct quality gun leather using methods and techniques requiring a minimum number of leather tools. Since the work is by hand (no sewing machines, etc.) reasonable hand strength and dexterity is necessary for class participation.
Students will learn the methods I used to design, layout, stitch, wet mold, edge, burnish, apply oil or antique finish, and basket stamp holsters. As the class progresses, each student will construct two holsters for guns of their choice. I would suggest a pancake holster for a semi auto (model 1911’s are great) as well as a revolver holster of either a conventional or western design. You will have the opportunity to basket stamp one of these holsters if you so desire. Students may wish to bring two personal handguns to use in constructing these holsters (no scoped handguns, please). If time permits, we will discuss construction of gun belts, cartridge loop sewing, magazine cases, saddle scabbards, and knife sheaths.
Instructor Robert (Bob) Calkins is an active shooter, hunter and firearms collector who has made gun leather for himself, friends, and customers for over 50 years. In 1990, he and his wife, LaVon, decided to establish 3 Cross Custom Gunleather as a part-time business. Upon retiring from the Department of the Interior in 1994, gun leather became a full-time occupation. Bob crafts gun rigs for cowboy competitors, which has included State, National, and World Champion shooters. Hunters, outdoorsmen, casual shooters, and concealed-carry holders, make up the balance of his business.
At age 75, Bob has cut back on working hours, but still produces several holsters and gun belts every week. In his opinion, there are numerous good leather craftsmen. However, he believes an individual with a true appreciation of firearms and their use is essential to building a truly functional piece of gun leather.
Bob Calkins 505-598-0208 (h) 505-716-3231 (c) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Leather Holster Making Tool List
Quality leather will be made available to students for an additional fee. Contact the instructor with a description of the projects you’d like to make.
Needles, thread, oil, stamping tools, etc. will be furnished at no charge by the instructor.
¼” light weight electric drill
Dremel tool with sanding drums
Clear safety glasses
Sponge and quart size water container (large butter tub is great)
Straight edge ruler
16: x 20” piece of ¾” plywood with smooth side
Exacto knife with blades
Rawhide #4 Mallet (such as Tandy #3300-04)
Craft Tool Leather Shears (such as Tandy #3050-00)
Grooving tool (such as Tandy 8074-00)
Edging tool (such as Tandy #8077-03 or Osborne #127-4 preferred)
Craft tool Overstitcher #6 (such as Tandy 8079-06)
#14 Punch (such as Tandy 3777-14)
#9 Punch (such as Tandy 3777-9)
12” x 12” Granite piece (minimum 1” thick)