The old ones were fine, nylon straps with the plastic clips, but I’ve done so much already I’d hate to put the old ones back on when I could make some new ones.
Another one of my hobbies is leather work. Go figure, right. I cut new straps about 3/4 inch wide out of 6-7 oz. leather.
I used an edge beveler on all four edges of each strap. This takes the 90 degree corner off and begins the rounding of the edges.
Then the skiver to shave the under side of the ends that I need to put rivets through. By tapering the end it makes the under side semi-smooth when folded.
The V gouge I use is adjustable for cutting different depths. I used this where the fold will be, right at the top of where I just skived. By cutting this gouge the leather will lay a little flatter when folded rather than round.
I then punched the holes for the rivets, buckle hardware and buckle strap.
Now, if I knew there wasn’t going to be little squash covered fingers touching the straps I would do some tooling on them. So this time I can save myself a few steps now by not tooling and later by not having to try to wipe squash out of the crevices.
To get the edges smooth I use a wood slicker. To use this you must first wet the leather. The is a perfect moisture level you want both when tooling and using the slicker; not too wet and not too dry. In another post about tooling we can go more into that. Then you want to apply a little pressure with rubbing back and forth. This will compress the leather into a smooth, shiny, rounded edge.
While the leather is still damp its time to dye it. Having the leather damp when you apply the dye will help to end up with a more even color as the dye soaks into the leather rather quickly. I like to use oil base dye. Personally I like the color depth it provides.
Usually I put an acrylic clear coat on my projects after this step. Although it says it’s flexible it always seems to crack after a bit of use so this time I didn’t. We will see how it goes.
Rivets are next. Using a rivet setter is pretty easy too. The rivet is two pieces, the cap and the post. The cap goes onto the plate and the post through the leather and into to cap. Using a punch and a mallet simply pound the punch and the post will flatten in the cap and hold securely.
Lastly the straps are screwed to the underneath of the chair. The old ones were fastened with a whole bunch of staples. They might have worked ok with the nylon but not with the leather.
And finally done!