Tag: leather working

Compare Items Not the Hype About Items

By now, many have heard me say to compare items.  There are those of course who will be interested in something simply because it’s ‘trendy’ to do.  But this is not for those.

Common marketing practices try to take your attention away from the product itself.  Discussions on pricing, ‘trending’ terms, or more recently videos uploaded by the manufacturer (we used to call them “commercials”).  This only makes it more necessary to compare the items yourself.  But how do you compare?

To get to what is “better”, strip away the hype surrounding the item(s).   Remove anything which is not the item.  Strip off ‘colorful’ descriptions; strip off the ‘story’.

Is it ‘rustic’, or just ugly?  By ‘zombie’, do they mean poorly colored?  When a listing (let’s call it what it is – an ad) tells me about a “beautiful, great, hand crafted … whatever”, I think if you need someone to tell you it’s “great”, maybe it isn’t.  Calling it ‘great’ doesn’t improve it one bit.

Here’s a quick test which may help you determine what is fact and what is ‘hype’.

  • If you didn’t have the “story”, would it still interest you?
  • If there was no video, is it still something you would want, or is this video persuading you?
  • Compare items without the video – are they still comparable items? Are you buying the item, or are you buying the video?  I’ll have more about this in a separate article.

Internet shopping won’t let you feel a product, but you can initially compare items visually.  Because images can be ‘photoshop’ed and descriptions can be deceiving, it’s best to compare multiple options in search results.

Truth is, most of the hype you see is trying to sell you something.  Here are just some of the ways that pricing hype is inserted into your searches.

The ridiculous phrase “you get what you pay for…” is routinely used to justify the price of an item.  With it, a seller hopes to imply that because his (hers) is more expensive, then it “must be” better.  Did they think we would just take their word for it?

The retailer may claim he “has to” charge more because he has overhead – lease, electricity, insurance, employee costs, and more.  All of this is likely true, but has nothing to do with the item.  I expect to get what I asked for.  Why would I pay his electric bill when I can get the same goods and still pay my electric bill?!  If I paid $10, I don’t want a $2 item and a pretty story.  This is why stores are giving way to online shopping.

  • Often referred to as “price perception” is the idea that if you charge more people will think it’s “worth more”.  But have you ever seen someone in line at a store asking to pay more so their purchase is “more valuable”?  Ever find an item ‘on sale’ and refuse to take the discounted price?
  • Calling it something else. Years ago, you went to the hardware store when you needed a washer for a bolt.  They were a nickel each.  Now, they’re called “spacers”, and they’re a quarter.  But exactly the same thing, despite the story.
  • Say an item is made for $20, sold at wholesale to a retailer at $40, and sold by the retailer at $90 on the shelf. What is the actual “value” of that item?  Is it “worth more” after the markup?  Or maybe it is the same item in a different package.

Honestly, you don’t need me for this.  If you can read this article you’re already educated enough to see through this cheap hustle.  You may have heard another phrase: ‘if you can’t tell the difference, then why pay the difference?’

There is another side of this same coin as well.  Some items are priced in the same range as other items by the same name, simply because of the same name.  I’ve recently seen holsters priced at $65 apparently because others in his area were priced at that.  But the quality was clearly not as good as others.  Here’s the fact:  calling it the same and pricing it the same does not make it the same.  And talking more does not make it worth more.

Having said all that, I have a few items I offer for a price as well.  But this article is free (and so are the others) and I don’t mind my work being compared.  In fact, I prefer that people compare items.

Holster Stitch Lines –Basis of the Fit

Maybe holster stitch lines should have been covered in a little more detail in the file “about holsters” – available for free download –   since the stitch lines are the ‘base’ of any holster, and their placement can make the difference between a holster which is really a nice fit,  one which is “okay”, and one which is a pain.

more about holsters


Summarizing, belt holsters should be designed with:

  • room to grip the firearm securely;
  • secure attachment points which carry the rig without allowing it to “rock” and shift, and which are high enough on the rig to prevent ‘tipping’;
  • no obstruction of the mag / cylinder release (it may or may not be visible).



Obviously if the stitch lines are too close together the gun isn’t going to fit in the holster.

But stitch lines too far apart will cause the holster to become loose, retaining the weapon less (if at all).  You’ll see ‘holsters’ with stitch lines away from the firearm by ¼” – or even more.  I haven’t included a picture here because those holsters are not mine (somebody send me a pic of one of these and I’ll put it in here).  They generally come “boned” in against the weapon, with a story about the wearer needing to “break in” the holster.

I want holsters with a stitch line that conforms to the gun it was made for.  Otherwise, we could just do like some – put a stitch line anywhere, and bone inside of that (to be clear, I will not be doing that).

When the stitch lines are placed at a distance from the firearm, “boning” inside those lines is pointless.  Articles, posts, and / or videos showing people “boning” a holster between the gun and the stitch lines are deceptive (whether or not it’s intentional).

In this area between the stitch line and the firearm, the layers of leather either (1) are not glued together, or (2) are glued together.

  1. If they are not glued, they will open up quickly as the holster is used, overcoming any form in the leather due to this ineffective (temporary) “boning”.
  2. If the layers are glued, they will more gradually separate (‘break in’) leaving exposed glued areas inside the holster pocket.

Your holster will ‘break in’ up to the stitch lines.  By limiting the distance between the gun and the stitching, you are able to limit how loose the holster will become.

Traditional ‘pancake’ holsters – what I call ‘50/50’ pancakes – may be the most obvious example of this.  By design, they are tighter on the belt than they are when held in the hand.  The ‘retention’ of the holster is not better when worn (it’s the same holster) – they’re simply relying on the flexion of the holster to bind on the gun for retention. This inherent flaw in ‘50/50’ pancake holsters will be covered in more detail in another article.

stitch lines placementFor the moment, the point is that the ‘optimum’ distance for placement of the stitch lines on a leather holster is at the contour of the gun.

Ideally, the inside of the leather holster will be the same size as the outside of the gun (the expression ‘fits like a glove’).

The only way this holster can become loose is to actually stretch the leather which won’t happen if it is used for its intended purpose.

Leather Working: Trimming the ‘Bull’ from the Cowhide

I was a member of another site’s leather working forum – perhaps I still am.  I’ve requested my profile and content be removed but have not verified that it actually was done.

I have no “beef” with any particular person, or any desire to place blame.  No intention to “diagnose” who is responsible (or not).  It’s past the time to trim the fat.

My intention when I post something is the sharing of actual leather working information which is useful to someone.

  • I don’t want my content used to attract the newcomer – intentionally or otherwise – so someone can sell him/her something they don’t need for what they want to do.
  • I don’t want to engage in long conversations with people who appear to have no real concern for the topic and who may simply be lonely.
  • I don’t want to argue with someone who appears to be concerned that my free comments will reduce the number of people they can convince to pay for the same content.
leather working articles
Leather Working Articles

This is accomplished in simple leather working articles, usually using photos and/or sketches.  For the time being, I will be posting those articles on this site.  Without interjections from merchants.  Or ads.  Or plea to ‘like’, ‘pin’, twit, twist, or twinkle.

Some video content will be available also, but know that my position is that a video is not a “how to” if it doesn’t show you how to.  At the end of the video, a person should have the knowledge to do what they were looking for.

Information posted will be either mine, or used by permission.  If someone has already covered a topic well, I am happy to link to that instead of reinventing the wheel (I will need your expressed permission).  Where original art from others is used, credit will be clearly given.

I would love to see a collection of useful leather working videos, and would gladly display it here.  By ‘useful’, I mean there are enough ‘self promotion’ videos out there already, and requiring payment to view it does not make it “worth more”.

If I’ve covered something that was of use to you – great.  If you have a specific question – I’ll try to answer, or refer you to someone who can.

Where time permits, these posts will be available as a pdf download as well as the text form.