There is no better reference book than Al Stohlman's book on Holstermaking.
It shows you how to design your own holster and how to build various variations into your holster.
But there are a few points I want to expand on. For example, none of Stohlman's holsters in that book were lined. And nowadays there are many methods of wet-molding that can make a difference to the technique you follow.
First, let me suggest this sequence of making a holster:
- I would first make the paper pattern, transfer it to a piece of leather and make a prototype just to make sure the basic pattern translates to a leather holster as expected.
- Then transfer the corrected pattern to good leather.
- Now tool the leather and dye it. Do NOT seal or condition the leather - you have to be able to get it damp for the wet-forming step.
- Now cut it out, mark the stitching lines and stitch the holster - remember that the leather will be vulnerable until conditioned.
- Get the leather damp and wet-form it by pushing your seran-wrapped gun into it. Work careful so that your tooling is net affected - stretching tooled leather while wet-forming, can diminish the depth of your tooling.
- Let the holster dry and then apply sealer conditioner on the outside and conditioner on the inside.
This post will be added to as I get seasoned holster makers to give me their input.
Here are useful comments I have received:
From JR Parker:
"Holster making is one of those skills you learn by doing. The above book is a good general reference for "field" type holsters (but it is dated). It is not a reference for modern practical gun leather.My best suggestion it to take a class or 3 from someone who is skilled at the craft. Master the basics before trying to teach others.I'm of this opinion simply because a holster is not like a billfold, wallet or belt. If you get it wrong it may have dire results and someone cold be injured.Think of it like saddle making. Would you buy a saddle from someone who doesn't know anything about horses or saddles?"
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