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Login Name Post: Leather rivets?        (Topic#305253)
Louisk 
40 Cal.
Posts: 128
10-15-17 12:48 PM - Post#1648066    


I'm not one who is HC while shooting my GPR, but just acquired a powder horn which I'm going to make a strap for, so thought I might as well make it look halfway authentic. I'm planning to use either stitching or rivets, but don't know how far back leather rivets were used. Any idea? Thanks.

 
Black Hand 
Cannon
Posts: 6545
10-15-17 04:01 PM - Post#1648088    

    In response to Louisk

Sew...

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 6518
tenngun
10-15-17 04:43 PM - Post#1648094    

    In response to Black Hand

Rivits arecknown to at least the Bronze Age. However they were expensive and not very popular. They are almost non existent until after the 1850s. Sew you will be happier with it.

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 6153
10-15-17 09:25 PM - Post#1648128    

    In response to Louisk

Not only were rivets extremely uncommon in the period for most types of leather working, but even more importantly by punching the holes in the strap for the rivet when the strap is usually not very wide, you weaken the leather itself and make it prone to much earlier failure in this application.

Not sure how others sew the strap around the horn, but here is how I found by trial and error it worked best for me. I wrap the end around the horn where it will rest when the leather is dry and sort of pinch it together at the end. I leave about and inch of strap beyond where it goes around the horn and mark the long end where the end of the loop will be stitched to the strap. Then while the leather is still dry, I awl stab a hole in the loop end and fold the leather together into a flat loop with the end laying near the mark and stab through that hole into the other longer side of the strap. Then I use an overstitch wheel to mark some holes towards the center of the loop from each of the awl stabbed holes. Then I wet the leather and awl stab those holes, wrap the loop around the horn and begin saddle stitch sewing from the point of awl stab holes that are furthest from the horn and sew towards the horn. Once a few stitches are made, you can hold the already stitched end in a padded vise, if you wish, and continue to sew and stab more holes to get the stitches to close up the loop as close as possible to the body of the horn.

Hope this explanation helps you, if you have never done it before.

Gus



 
Black Hand 
Cannon
Posts: 6545
10-15-17 10:29 PM - Post#1648131    

    In response to Louisk

Trim the end of your strap so it fits through the staple, fold and sew. If you make your stitches in a U-shape rather than straight across, it will increase durability.

 
Louisk 
40 Cal.
Posts: 128
10-16-17 01:37 AM - Post#1648139    

    In response to Black Hand

Thanks, Gus and Blackhand. I was originally thinking of just making a leather strap with loops to pass a rawhide thong through which I would tie to the horn, but I have seen some pictures of horns with the straps sewn around the horn itself like you describe and the result is somewhat more pleasing.

My horn has a knob at the wide end instead of a staple. I could probably taper the end and sew it around the knob also. I'd also considered just making kind of a buttonhole in the strap for that end.

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 6518
tenngun
10-16-17 01:56 PM - Post#1648207    

    In response to Louisk

I have nobbed horns. I pull the strap around and then sew with waxed linen thread. I have a long tail on each side of the thread. Then I give those tails a few turns in opus it directions around the knob. Tie and trim. Hit it with some melted was and good to go.

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 6153
10-16-17 02:02 PM - Post#1648209    

    In response to Louisk

OK, something I learned both the hard way and from the videos of Eric Myall (who was the Saddle Maker at Williamsburg for many years) is NOT to stitch across the width of straps, because that also sets up a weak point that slight bending will cause to tear across the width of the leather. It won't do it quickly and as long as one regularly cleans and correctly applies some oil to the leather when needed, it is less likely to happen, BUT still can happen as I found out on the first Waist Belt I made for my Private Soldier in the Black Watch impression.

If the strap is not very wide, use a single line of stitches along the length of the leather and in the middle of the width of the leather. On wider straps and belts, you can use two single lines of stitching running the length of the leather, but not crossing the width of the leather.

Some folks attach a strap to a button as you describe on your horn by running a slit along the length of the leather strap near the end, BUT not cutting all the way to the end. Then the long end of the strap is run through the slit to form a loop that goes around the plug. Personally, I don't like that as the loop may loosen in rough country usage.

If you do run a slit in a tab for the button on the end, I would suggest running some stitches across the slit once the tab is on the button.

However, I would still recommend cutting the rear strap to a width that will fit "inside" the button and nearer to the horn and sewing it as mentioned earlier.

Gus

 
crockett 
Cannon
Posts: 6195
10-16-17 02:35 PM - Post#1648216    

    In response to Louisk

There are harness rivets but I think they would be too large

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 6153
10-16-17 04:05 PM - Post#1648227    

    In response to crockett

One of the very few 18th century items I can think of with rivets and that were made in quantity were the British Waist Belt Bayonet Frogs of the FIW through at least 1805 period and probably later. These were found in excavations at Fort Loudoun, PA and since that fort was abandoned after the FIW, these have to go at least that early. These bayonet frogs suspended the bayonet and scabbard from the waist belt.

In the link below a very nice reproduction is illustrated, though it was made using copper rivets. The excavated originals all had Iron Rivets and the rivets and washers were smaller than the copper rivets used.

http://najecki.com/repro/pouches/Waistbelt.html

When I made some of these, I purchased modern rivets as close as possible to the original size, but chose to use stainless steel. I roughed them up to make them appear as hand formed rivets, though. Stainless Steel rivets look exactly like plain Iron once a little work was done to them, but they don't rust as quickly, so that's why I used them. The original Iron rivets probably had paint covering the bare Iron, but the paint was long since gone on the excavated originals from Fort Loudoun.

So they made some different sizes of rivets in the period and sized them to what they needed, but rivets just were not that common.

Gus

 
Claude 
Cannon
Posts: 13742
Claude
10-16-17 04:19 PM - Post#1648231    

    In response to Louisk

  • Louisk Said:
...so thought I might as well make it look halfway authentic.


For what location and time period?


  • Louisk Said:
I'm planning to use either stitching or rivets,...


Stitching would be a safe bet. I would guess that very few people, who made their own gear, had access to rivets?


 
Louisk 
40 Cal.
Posts: 128
10-16-17 11:47 PM - Post#1648279    

    In response to Claude

Thanks, I think stitching is the plan. Since my rifle is a GPR percussion I was thinking late western exploration/fur trade period, arount 1840 would be appropriate. Were powder horns still common then?

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 6518
tenngun
10-17-17 10:44 AM - Post#1648311    

    In response to Louisk

Horns never went out of style and right up until the 1930s in Appalachia. By the 1840s commercial brass and copper flask were made and sold west. You can be in style for your gun using flask or horn. The steam riverboat Arabia was found with lots of flask in it.
My time is early for flask, but fact is flask just never felt right to me.

 
crockett 
Cannon
Posts: 6195
10-17-17 12:10 PM - Post#1648321    

    In response to Louisk

Just one more thing......
For some reason there is the feeling all powder horns were home made. A lot (most?) were commercially made by horners with a shop however whether they supplied a strap- I don't know.

 
Louisk 
40 Cal.
Posts: 128
10-22-17 11:26 PM - Post#1648884    

    In response to crockett

Thanks again for the great tips and advice. I just found a nicely weathered piece of leather in the house that's just the right length and width for the powder horn strap.....just wish it wasn't attached to my wife's purse!

 
garra 
40 Cal.
Posts: 422
garra
11-05-17 06:24 PM - Post#1650521    

    In response to Louisk

Maybe if you bought her a new one for Christmas you could inherit the old one.



 
Louisk 
40 Cal.
Posts: 128
11-08-17 10:53 PM - Post#1650961    

    In response to garra

Great idea. Trouble is my wife is even cheaper than I am and really wouldn't want a new purse if there's any life left in her old one. She did have another wrecked purse lying around so I used the strap off of if. The leather wasn't quite as nice, but there were rings sewn at each end so I just secured the horn with rawhide thongs on the rings. I'll keep checking the dump and thrift store for more strap material...don't want to spend more for the strap than I did for the horn! I got the lowest priced horn TOW sells as per BrownBear's suggestion and am quite satisfied with it.

 
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