Archive for custom work

a custom leather project for…me!

Posted in custom chair, custom seat, leather, Leatherwork, upholstery with tags , , on July 5, 2015 by Chris Wright

I have had this chair about as long as Jen and I have been together. It’s starting to show it’s gray as much as I am. The ‘real leather’ is peeling off it’s lamented base leaving flakes everywhere so rather than toss it and get a new one, what’s a leatherworker to do? Start wrapping it in actual real leather!

Arms done so far, 2/3oz red lambskin. Base will be black pebble grain cowhide for strength and back will be black pebble grain cowhide with a red lambskin center stripe when done.

Will probably take me a bit in between other projects but should be slick (and less messy) when done.

custom leather seat project

custom leather seat project


Leather & Titanium Wedding Rings

Posted in custom work, Leatherwork, rings, Three Mutts Customs with tags , , , , , on January 3, 2012 by Chris Wright

Back in November I was requested to make a special pair of wedding rings for a very nice couple. They were looking for a local artist to make them a pair of rings for their upcoming wedding that incorporated metal but needed something that wasn’t a hard band as the soon-to-be-groom has serious carpal tunnel syndrome. They had found a ring online that was a sterling silver plate with a brown chrome tan leather band but the ones available were only made in a half dozen small women’s sizes. Aside from the size issue, the metal was a concern as well since these would be worn everyday and Sterling Silver is rather soft. I discussed their needs with them and after a few conversations they honored me with the job of creating their wedding rings from Titanium & black oil tanned buffalo. Continue reading

How to make a fender bib pattern

Posted in custom work, Harley Davidson Sportster, Honda Shadow Aero 1100, Honda Shadow Aero 750, Honda VT1300CT, Honda VTX1300, Leatherwork, Motorcycles, Shadow Aero 1100, Three Mutts Customs, Uncategorized, VTX1800 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2011 by Chris Wright

I’ve seen this search/request come up a number of times before so figured I would put the information on the blog since I’m writing it up for an in-house project anyway.  Enjoy!

Tools: straight rule or yard stick, tape measure or cloth tape, tools to remove your seat and paper & pen to make notes. (Optional: piece of posterboard to make your pattern).

Step 1) Measure the distance from the back of the seat to the rear pillon bolt (if you have one). This measurement tells us the maximum length of the ‘visible’ area of the fender bib.
Always measure to the center of bolts/holes if possible.

Tooling area length measurement

Step 2) Measure the width of the fender from each vertical side to the other.  Now, from that measurement we’ll subtract 2 1/4″. This determines the maximum width of the bib also allowing space for the 1/8″ thickness of the edge lacing.  I have found that leaving about an inch exposed on the sides of the bib leaves a good amount of fender showing to help “frame” the bib.

fender bib width measurement

Step 3) This one will take both hands but you won’t be holding a camera so you have an advantage already…measure the curvature of the fender itself by laying a ruler from the back of the seat to the seat bolt (measurement from Step 1) and then use a second ruler/tape measure to measure the height of the curve.  This isn’t necessary if you’re making your own bib, it’s for those folks that want to have a custom one made by me.  This tells me how much to roll the bib after it’s made so it lays on the fender a bit better out of the box.

Fender curvature measurement

Step 4) Remove the seat and measure how much area there is from where the seat ends down towards the engine.  It’s nice to be able to secure the from of the bib somehow so either pressure fit, velcro, existing bolts, etc. can be used. Notice on mine, I added three inches to the step 1 measurement to get the overall length (the back of the seat is 1″ away from the card holder).  This is because I am planning a custom seat pan and may move the back of the seat forward an inch or so.  Leaving room for changes!  Note the position of any bolts/ holes, etc. if there are any so they can either be avoided or used in the bib design.

maximum fender bib length measurement

That’s it.  From these measurements & notes a custom bib can be designed for any bike.  All I need to know after that is what kind of profile to give it; triangle, U-shaped, rectangle, spade, etc.

Now, for those folks looking to make their own bib and have their measurements and a blank sheet of posterboard…MOST IMPORTANT THING: fold the posterboard in half and only draw one side (left or right lengthwise) of your pattern.  Layout all of your stud holes, lacing holes, buckstitch, etc. with it folded in half.  Why? Because by folding it first and punching all of the holes, cutting, and so on with it folded in half it will automatically make a mirror image on the opposite side.  All of your curve, hole placements and the other details will match exactly.  Nothing looks worse or distracts an eye more than that one chrome stud that is off by 1/8″ from the rest.  Make the pattern right and everything else is a piece of cake. (For those curious, the picture is of a tank bib but the rule is the same…fold in half first!)

Pattern making - fold your pattern in HALF!

Now, what about those fancy curves.  Well, best way is to buy a French Curve set from your local art/craft store.  They’ll set you back about $10 for a plastic 3-piece set and are well worth the money if you want to draw smooth flowing curves and change directions mid-curve.  If you’re too um, “frugal”, to buy them then many things like coffee cans, soda cans and packing tape rolls make good circles and you can use them in conjunction with a straight edge to make transitions.  Honestly though, just spend the $10 bucks especially if you even think you’ll want or need to make another pattern or heaven forbid, replace the one you’re making now.

French Curve Set

Have fun with it and feel free to post questions/comments below.  For questions on pricing or custom designs click here to contact me.


Steampunk Adornments!

Posted in custom work, Leatherwork, Steampunk, Three Mutts Customs with tags , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2011 by Chris Wright

Finally, a company has come out with a belt buckle and conchos to address the needs of leatherworkers & makers in the area of Steampunk gear.  No, they aren’t quite as innovative as using actual clockworks and such to create a piece but for those that are on a budget, creatively-challenged or simply want something quick, easy & ready-to-use, Tandy Leather Factory has stepped up.  Earlier this year they came out with their Steampunk craftaid set for leather stamping.  Now, 6 months later they have filled yet another niche with a clockwork belt buckle (upper left) and 7 different concho styles, three of which have 2 different mounting methods.  With Halloween, Con Season and Christmas either here or coming up, this is a good thing!  Here’s a pic of the entire collection that should be hitting stores in the next two weeks:

Steampunk conchos & belt buckle

Folding walking cane holster – complete!

Posted in gun leather, Harley ElectraGlide, holster, Leatherwork, Metal work, Motorcycles, Three Mutts Customs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2011 by Chris Wright

Here is a holster I have been working on for my mother-in-law’s cousin to mount on the side of his Harley ElectraGlide trike to keep his folding walking cane close by. Previously, he had to store it in the trunk which meant walking from the back of the bike to mount it while trying to balance using various points on the bike.
This allows him to walk right up and holster the cane next to where he gets on & off making life much easier and safer. It’s made from 6oz. W&C veg-tan with 1.5 oz. pig black skin lining. The welt is 1.5″ wide at the top and tapers to 0 about 1/2 way down the holster. As you can see in one of the pics, the cane has a carved silver dragon handle so I tooled a tattoo style Japanese Wind dragon motif on the side. I also custom made & polished the mounting brackets from 1/8″ thick aluminum plate and kydex to enable it to mount high enough by using the factory grab rails on the passenger seat and an existing bolt location for the left fender at the bottom. The upper bracket is 2 pieces, the kydex clips onto the chrome grab rail similar to a belt clip and then bolts to the aluminum bracket via three 1/4″ screw posts. Here are some pics of the piece installed one of the undyed tooling to show the detail better and one showing the comparison of it next to a normal sized holster…enjoy!

Folding Walking cane Holster - front view

Harley ElectraGlide Trike with Cane HolsterHolster & Cane showing carved handle

Folding Walking cane Holster - rear viewFolding Walking cane Holster - bracket viewFolding Cane Holster compared to a standard revolver holsterFolding Cane Holster tooling detail (undyed)custom polsihed aluminum bracket

Binocular case – replication & update of WWII case design

Posted in Leatherwork, Steampunk, Three Mutts Customs with tags , , , , , , , on December 23, 2010 by Chris Wright

My friend has a pair of binoculars that his grandfather used in WWII and a case that he used but previously belonged to another soldier. Not wanting to subject the case to further damage but still wanting to be able to use the binoculars and store them securely, he asked me to make the same case but to update it with better stitching and 100% leather instead of the cardboard/lining leather they used for the original case. So here is my recreation of the bag but in black/chrome with his family last name initial tooled into the lid. 6oz. W & C leather with 1.5oz kidskin lining on the inside of the flap. I also updated the strap from the 3-4oz. originally used to 8oz to help the new one last as long if not longer than the original. Enjoy!

View of binocular bags open More Pics after the jump Continue reading

Burgundy dye color recipe

Posted in color mixing, Honda Shadow Aero 750, Leatherwork, Motorcycles, Three Mutts Customs, Three Mutts website with tags , , , , , , on December 4, 2010 by Chris Wright

I need a custom dye color mixed for a bib job I’m working on. A Burgundy/ Wine color per the client’s request to match the two tone paint on his bike, black & burgundy. I wanted a true color instead of using a trick like brown antique over red as true burgundy has a hint of blue and yellow per my color charts. So, after some research and mix testing, here it is. Unfortunately, Fiebing doesn’t make some of the colors needed so Eco-Flow was used.

18 parts Scarlet Red
10 parts Evening Blue
4 parts Sunshine Yellow

If you want/need a little darker, add 1-2 parts of Coal Black until you have the shade you want.

I used a liquid medicine measuring syringe from the local drugstore (cost about $3) to do the measurements in CCs. Makes about 4-5 tsp or dye, which a quite a bit when airbrushing it on. Computers don’t show color differences that well, but there are a few sample shots after the jump.  Continue reading

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