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Watch Freek
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm a sucker for durable / quality leathers - and as this guy sounded like a quality maker I ordered a strap - along with the desire to witness its build.

As I'm ignorant about the strap build process I begged for a photographic experience, including tools of the trade; he agreed. Hopefully he'll include real pics (girls, dogs, bloodied fingers), not just a sterile workshop build.

This first pic - the raw starting material (awesome bluish ostrich):
Plant Grass Thigh Water Trunk
 

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Hey neat Wrascal, this was a cool idea by you, as well as very
cool of him ! 馃槑馃弳

You know, I have to admit that I, along with probably a lot of us
don't actually know what goes in to creating a strap. I think some
of us understand it very well, but I actually only know a limited
amount. To me it's almost like magic or something when a strap
is built. 馃槉

You, or we see it on a site, and then presto we order one up. 馃槃
However, we know that behind it all, there is an actually an honest
to goodness artist creating these beauties !

Wow, great stuff sir, thanks a lot for the post, as well as look !!!
 

Watch Freek
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The starting gun has fired - here are the ostrich strap pieces and their backings.

The ostrich leg is from a leather supplier out of Minnesota called The Leather Guy.
The smooth black backing leather is top grain cow hide from the hide house in Napa California.
Wood Rectangle Font Grey Pattern
 

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This is so much fun sir, thanks a bunch !!! (y)(y)

I don鈥檛 know what is the coolest thing about making a strap to
tell you the truth. 馃槉 The strap maker, as well as their talent is
outstanding. However, you have all the different pieces like this
as well. Not to mention how they often have to be sourced from
somewhere else. And how about the tools of the craft?! 馃槻

Extremely cool Wrascal !
 

Watch Freek
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621 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here the 4 pieces are dry-fitted. Not yet cut is another 'middle piece'.
It'll be sourced from yet another piece of the black top grain, then planed down on both sides so as to better accept glue.

It's used because the ostrich leather is thin. When combined both the ostrich piece AND the middle piece will make up about 1/2 the total strap thickness. The other half will be what's shown earlier, the black inner piece.

IF I'm understanding correctly each outer piece is cut diagonally (INWARD?) so that it will only have a single seam around the edges.
Rectangle Automotive exterior Font Sky Electric blue
 

Super Moderator
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Your guess is as good as mine Wrascal. 馃槉馃榾

But you, or we can see why so many straps can cost what they do
in a lot of cases now. (y) I mean between the materials which are
used, the whole amazing process of creating the strap, as well as
sheer amount of time things take, it鈥檚 astounding ! o_O

Not to mention, fascinating, so thanks a bunch for doing this !!!
 

Watch Freek
Joined
621 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
This makers build is much further along than my chosen pics, the delay in posting more pics
is because of my exhaustive followup inquiries. Things that are second nature to him need explanations to me.

He's been very cooperative AND TIMELY in his answers - but sometimes his answers lead me to further questions.

Tomorrow he leaves on a three day river trip! I'll continue to post pics, with my (limited) understandings of what we're looking at.
 

Watch Freek
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here we have the three leather pieces all glued up/ pressed/ and dried.

I may be wrong but as I understand it the holes for springbars have previously been meticulously chiseled out of these, before gluing. Working from the inside allows him to better control that the overall thickness is consistent.
Wood Natural material Floor Wood stain Trunk

I love this old weathered table.
 

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Wrascal, I just can't get enough of your determination to find out
about what goes into all of this. 馃馃弳 It's equally as nice that the
strap maker has been sending all these pics to you like this. ..He
sounds like an extremely cool guy who really enjoys his craft, as
well as talking with customers. (y)(y)

Awesome stuff ! ..Keep em coming, and thank you !!!
 

Super Moderator
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It certainly is Wrascal, wow, look at all of that ! 馃榾

Actually is crazy all that goes into this. 馃槷 Who would have ever
guessed?! I know that I really never realized what went into strap
building sir. ..Thanks a ton for play by play once again !!!
 

Watch Freek
Joined
621 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Outside of the table I also like the buckle; it looks as strong as a tow hook (slight exaggeration).
I've had a few decent straps that were let down by cheap, wobbly buckles.
 

Watch Freek
Joined
621 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Another side view; the thin white part is the original ostrich.

Ref the upper piece, this view better shows two things:
1. there are three layers, a thin ostrich top, a middle black layer and a bit thicker bottom layer.
2. and two, how he's carved out a bit from each black piece to allow for the springbar holes.
Hood Wood Automotive tire Bumper Automotive exterior
 

Super Moderator
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Yet another fascinating, along with informative look into things sir ! (y)馃
I have to admit, although I have seen a lot of straps on everyone鈥檚
watches, I don鈥檛 think I knew all the layers to creating one. o_O

It鈥檚 crazy..crazy cool ! :D Thanks a lot for continuing to share all of
this here with us sir !!!
 

Watch Freek
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In this picture he has punched the holes for my size adjustment AND holes to sew up the outer edges.
He's also dyed the edges for cosmetics and better water protection.

Speculation on my part: the two pieces on top (possible) are for the keepers.

Before he departed on his river trip he decided to purchase some better color match threads (2 different ones). Hopefully it'll come in soon and he can finish this build.

I just realized - I'm wearing the watch that this strap is intended for. Earlier today I mowed the grass and when I came inside it's in full lume (lots of sun exposure).


Wood Rectangle Table Line Wood stain

Watch Analog watch Clock Everyday carry Font
 

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Man, I love these posts Wrascal, and you gotta love all of the
pics he is sending like this. ;)(y)

It lets you see how the straps are coming along. Plus gives you
the opportunity to see anything you do, or don鈥檛 like. It鈥檚 so neat.
And that Boldr is out of this world cool too ! :D
 

Watch Freek
Joined
621 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I've got a video of him hand stitching the edges but can't seem to post it.
I've written him and hope to get some stills (if its not too late).

I was able to get confirmation that the above two pieces are to make the strap keepers.
 

Watch Freek
Joined
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Talk of being on time ...
As I was searching for a way to make a screen grab this pic (and email) came in:

"The strap is clamped in the 鈥渟titching pony鈥 attached to my desk(an old school teachers desk from the 60鈥檚) and I use two needles attached to a piece of thread and stitch the strap by hand. The hand stitching allow for a straiter and stitched strap when using a slightly heavier gauge thread. The thread I use is not a sewing machine thread but what is called a 鈥渂ead cord鈥 which is heavier duty and will not fail as easily as most machine stitching."

Light Wood Flooring Gas Tints and shades
 

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A video, pictures, honestly either of them are a treat to see sir. ;) :cool:
Yowza, have to say Wrascal, you really found yourself a remarkable
strap maker. :D Just the meticulous way he goes about everything
is tremendous. And it seems like he really enjoys his craft, as well as
knows all there is to know about strap making. Wow !

This entire thread has been an absolute joy to follow along with
every day.馃弳馃 I鈥檓 not sure that all of us here realized everything
that goes into making a strap. It鈥檚 pretty incredible, or actually is
really incredible !

A GINORMOUS thanks to both you, along with your strap maker
for all of this !!!
 
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