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LEATHERWORKING+PENS #1: Making a Pen case for sale!

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Blog entry by ccpenco posted 1962 days ago 1521 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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One of the people that my dad works with in my company has asked me to make for him a Pen complete with a leather case + a wooden box for his boss. I guess that he thinks that a good gift will improve his chances of keeping his job. Either way, i have to make it really good.

He has given me pretty much free reign on what wood to use etc. So this will be an important project for me because it is one where i can really see if i’m any good at designing, etc.

I can do the pen and the wood, but the leather? I dunno. I’m still hoping that someone out there is a leather worker, or knows some good instructional websites!

I’ll keep ya posted :) leather pen case



5 comments so far

View epp_dog's profile

epp_dog

58 posts in 2017 days


#1 posted 1962 days ago

If that is the style you are looking to do it is not too difficult. Leather that thin can be sewn on a standard sewing machine with a leather needle (I think their stitch length was too short personally).

The biggest challenge is getting leather so thin (the fabric they used did double duty – hiding the flesh side of the leather and giving the very thin leather some body/shape). Most of the standard leather you will likely come across will be too thick. Ideally you would want thin leather that is supple but not too “drapey”. I am thinking cowhide about the thickness of pigskin.

The rolled edges take a bit of skill but are doable. The “secret” to the rolled edge is skiving or thinning the edge to a feather edge starting about 1/2” from the edge. After the edge is sewn the excess is trimmed off. This thinning/trimming can be done with a surgical scalpel instead of buying special skiving knives.

Make a pattern from light cardboard. I suggest making the first several prototypes in something cheap/easy to work with like denim. Don’t worry about rolling the edge at first. Just concentrate on making a pocket that will hold your pen. Once you have a pattern that will hold your pen then you can worry about adding the extra for the rolled edges and the flap (again working in the denim or such and refining your pattern). After you have a pattern that results in a nice pocket with an appropriately sized flap add about 1/2” to the pattern for the back/flap piece. Mark the original pattern edges. That will be your guide as you thin from that line out the extra 1/2” you just added. The front piece is left the original size. Run a very thin bit of glue to the edge of the front piece and adhere it to the back centered on the the 1/2” skived edge. Run a thin line of glue to the flesh side of the flap and the grain side of the front (just about a 1/16” trail of glue). Fold the flap over and then begin sewing. Make sure to tuck the keeper under the rolled edges – it will probably also need to be skived so as not to leave a bulge. “Fabritac” is a good brand of glue and can be found at craft stores. It is like liquid hot glue and can be quite strong when applied correctly. After sewing the rolled edge use the scalpel to cut away the excess skived leather close to the stitch line.

Now throw that first leather one out and start again working out all the problems you had. You may need to make your pattern a bit bigger as the leather will flex less than the denim you were prototyping with. Practice skiving the leather on scraps before committing to your good leather. Don’t be surprised if you make 2 or 3 leather ones before you get one you really like.

I am sure I have left out several steps but these are many of the highlights. With all that said, I have only made one of these leather cases for my wife’s pen. It is simply not cost effective to make them with the pre-made ones available these days. If cost is not an issue then making the case does add to the romance of the pen set.

Good luck and I will be watching your progress on the pen and the case.

-- David, Florida

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ccpenco

84 posts in 1987 days


#2 posted 1962 days ago

Thanks! especially for that tip about the rolled edges, i wasn’t sure how to do that yet

View ccpenco's profile

ccpenco

84 posts in 1987 days


#3 posted 1945 days ago

i did one sample case so far. it turned out ok i guess, but i still need more practice

View epp_dog's profile

epp_dog

58 posts in 2017 days


#4 posted 1945 days ago

If you can post a picture I will be glad to help you work out any bugs. Glad you tried making one.

-- David, Florida

View ccpenco's profile

ccpenco

84 posts in 1987 days


#5 posted 1944 days ago

I wish i could right now. I don’t have a camera or a webcam or anything, because my old nikon broke a while back. I’ll borrow someone’s tho asap

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