View Full Version : Leather Back Quiver.

09-03-2011, 09:50 PM
I haven't touched much leather in recent times, being occupied by other hobbies. However, this July, I had some free time to do a project for myself. I am going to list the steps in making this project to make this thread somewhat educational. Besides, when I see thinks I am always wanting to know how it is done. So here goes.

1. Draw the pattern on tracing film. This way, I can make another years down the road.

2. Wet the leather (called casing the leather), and using a metal stylus, trace over the pattern. Cut along the lines, and there you have the basic building blocks of your leather project. For this project, I found a scrap piece of belt that will do nicely for part of the harness.

3.Next, decorations. I had done a purse ages ago for my mother using a patter I liked at the time. I re-purposed that pattern (always good to keep a pattern library handy) and made some changes to the basic pattern to fit the theme of the quiver. Anyways, wet the leather and draw your design on the wet leather using a metal stylus.

4. With your basic design done, carve the leather using a swivel knife. Be sure to cut only half way through the leather. Always pull the knife towards you. the swivel knife allows you to do beautiful radius curves. Wetting the leather during this stage helps in the carving.

09-03-2011, 09:51 PM
5. Once you are done carving, the next step is the tooling. Basically, a Leather craftsman uses metal stamps to work the leather and impart a 3D effect to it. I always start off with a beveler. The beveler pushes one side down tricking the eye into thinking there is depth there. Run the beveler on all edges. There are different bevelers out there that will give you different effects. I like a rough beveler for the outside, and a smooth beveler for the inside details.

A quick shot of the beveled design.

6. I wanted the design to pop out. To do that, I used a backgrounder tool. The backgrounder I like is a very tiny miniature meat tenderizer type tool that allows me to get into tight places. I also like the pattern it gives on larger surfaces. This does take a lot of time.

The trick is to only use the backgrounder tool on the background.

09-03-2011, 09:51 PM
The finished product after thousands of strikes. This will pick up the dye differently and be worth the investment in time.

7. Now that the design is mostly finished, time to focus on how this quiver is going to be sewn. Here, I am using a 4 point star chisel to punch sewing holes into the leather. This beats using a rotary wheel and a sewing awl to punch the individual holes. This chisel is a great time saver.

Run the star point chisel along 3 sides.

8. Time to look at the harness. I am going to treat this the same way I treat a belt. I first use an edge Beveler to round the edges front and back. This eliminated the sharp uncomfortable edge.

09-03-2011, 09:52 PM

9. I dislike round punches for buckle bars. Oval is the only way to go.


10. Next, a simple decorative groove produced by an adjustable saddle groover is just the thing. This will pick up more dye.

09-03-2011, 09:52 PM
11. Time to dye the whole piece. Because it was so large, I had to dye sections. I prefer an antique gel. Cover the leather with the gel, and quickly wipe away the excess with a wet sponge. This was taken half way through the dying process. I had to go over a few areas to make everything nice and even colour wise. Yes, that background work paid off.

12. I had some difficulty figuring out how to do the bottom. I got the idea to use a wing divider to do my measurements. Case the leather once again and draw two concentric rings, the outer one being larger then my dimensions needed to be. This will be the part I sew to the quiver.

13. Because I am using 8Oz thick leather, I had to shave some of that off to help me bend it. I am using a leather skiver to shave some of that thickness off.

14. I then case that piece again to bend it into shape. While I am at it, might as well add my mark.

09-03-2011, 09:53 PM
15. To trim the belt tip, I like using a belt tip punch. Far easier then by hand.

16. Dye the harness the same colour as the quiver body and dry fit the hardware.

17. Now that everything is dyed, time to put a finish on the edges. I use several nylon slickers for the job. Wet your edge, and rub the slicker over the edge to get a nice professional edge. Here is one of the slickers with a metal shaft for a Dremel. I use it mostly by hand though.

18. With all the pieces finished, time to assemble them and start hand sewing. I like a saddle stitch. It is very simple, but probably is the toughest stitch out there. To saddle stitch, you need two needles. Start your first hole by drawing the thread half way through with a needle on each side.

09-03-2011, 09:53 PM
Pass the needle through each hole in a figure 8 fashion. Once you get to the end, go back 3 holes and cut off the excess thread.

That is starting to look like something I can use.

19. I wanted to decorate the top with some form of simple lacing. Here I am using a Thonging chisel to punch holes for the lace.

20. A simple pattern using a lacing needle and some lace.

09-03-2011, 09:54 PM
It may be simple, but it does finish the top edge nicely.

21. Time to sew that bottom piece. Probably the hardest part of the project. I used 3 different threads to get everything nice and even.

22. The next step is to clean the edges. The skiver to the rescue.

23. To clean up the edges, another nylon slicker is used.

09-03-2011, 09:54 PM
24. Because every time you wet (case) the leather, you are taking out some essential oils, It is important to condition the end product. I used some Saddle soap to do this.

And the final product.

I hope you enjoyed this step by step journey.

10-02-2011, 06:32 AM
wow! That is incredible! I am amazed by the number of tools that you have on hand to do this project. The average person would not be able to do this without first buying a fortune in tools. I am curious how much this costs you to make, and how much it sells for? It looks very professional and I am sure the profit is high - great work!

03-08-2012, 04:46 AM
totally stupendous...what a great hobby...and you sir are a great artisan!! thank -you
24. Because every time you wet (case) the leather, you are taking out some essential oils, It is important to condition the end product. I used some Saddle soap to do this.

And the final product.

I hope you enjoyed this step by step journey.

03-08-2012, 07:02 PM
Amazing as always Chako, AMAZING!