I like my leather handles with out stitching. I also make bows with bulbous handles and getting a good clean seam on the handle was a problem in the past. I found a way to make the leather fit perfectly no matter how many bumps and humps your handle has in it that I thought I would share.
To begin with you need some thin leather, 1 or 2 oz that will stretch and conform to the curves in the handle. Thanks to David Mims (DCM) I have some fine leather to demonstrate the procedure.
I start by measuring a 4" section below the rest where I want my leather to be.
Next I tape off the area so I have less clean-up after I get the leather on.
I mark a center line on the tape to use later when I cut the seam.
I lke Barge cement for attaching handles but any contact cement will work. Apply cement liberly to the handle and let it dry.
I cut a piece of leather 4 1/2" wide and for this handle 5 1/2" long.
Apply glue to all the flesh side of the leather and let it dry.
After the glue is dry on the leather, roll about 1/8" on the long side(5 1/2" side)in to make a neat top and bottom to the handle after it is applied.You wil end up with a 4" handle after rolling the edges.
Start applying you leather to the bow by putting the edge past the center line you drew previously. The extra past the center line will be cut off later.
Work the leather around the handle stretching the edges to be a neat, even line around the handle.
Whe you get back to the center line with the leather application pull the loose end tightly across the center line, place a straight edge down the center line and cut both layers of leather along the straight edge.
Pull the lower layer of leather and glue off the bow.
Re apply glue to the strip of handle where the leather strip was removed from. Apply glue to the edges of the leather as well so they can be stuck together later. Let the glue dry completely.
Starting at the top end fit the leather edges together by pushing in with your thumbs. The edges should stick together to form a perfect seam if you made a clean, precise cut.Sorry for the fuzzy picture. I didn't notice my camera didn't focus until after I had passed this step.
The end result will be a really nice clean line where the seam is.
The rolled leather handle has a neater appearance than a plain cut one. A little glue clean up by rubbing excess glue with your finger tips any you are done.
This BBO bow is going to be a door prize at the Alabama State Traditional Championship shoot Aug 7th & 8th. R/H, 64", 50#@27". Hope to see you there.
Posts: 3433 | From: Florence Alabama | Registered: Mar 2003
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thanks eric, my son wants to start making walking sticks and he wrapped one with leather last night, how timely! great job. thanks, dave and john
-------------------- "We watch our arrows fly. We watch our friends' arrows fly. We can't wait 'til the next one flies. It's as though we were watching through a child's eyes the same marvelous magic trick over and over." Dean Torges "Hunting the Osage Bow" Posts: 1429 | From: Manhattan IL | Registered: Jun 2003
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Nice demonstration there Eric. I'm sure that will be of great help to many.
-------------------- There is always someone that knows more than you, and someone that knows less than you, so you can always learn and you can always teach Posts: 12891 | From: Cincinnati, Ohio | Registered: Mar 2003
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