My First Ball Bag

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Brokennock

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When I first saw the thread, only about 4 posts, the OP posted pictures of the bag and the first two comments posted after the OP were basically "its ugly" and "I don't like it" if my memory serves me.
Those posts caused the OP to pull his pictures until others asked to see it.
Thanks for the reply.
Those comments do seem uncalled for. Especially of they offered no perspective and how to correct what they see as wrong.
But, either way, why pull the pics? Grow some calloused skin and ask why they think what they think....
And then move on.

A bag I made years ago drew a lot of negative comments, mostly due to my choice of leather and the pocket design, it was very non-traditional.
It sucks to hear that stuff,,,, but the commentors weren't wrong about what they said. I locked my wounds and moved on.
 
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Thanks for the encouragement folks. I know it's not a professional job, but I'm pretty fond of it.
yeah, and after 5 pages of cudo's,, maybe you can spend a little time hanging around the Craftsmen section of the forum and pick up a few tip's an tricks for making your next one. You learned stitching, that's for sure.
We all started someplace,, nobody here ever saw my first one.
Honest, don't get your feelings hurt like the guy that cut's down a butter knife with an 8" grinding wheel to it a patch knife or the guy that uses the same grinder to make a "bowie" out of a lawn mower blade,,
Don't get me wrong, a mower blade can be good steel,, but ya gotta take it a little bit past the bench grinder stage to show "craftsmanship" while working the steel.
Good luck with your endeavors, your headed in the right direction. Don't stop now, just keep working
 
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I always suggest that makers sign thier work for posterity. I’m just getting into leatherwork as it applies to muzzle loading and am shopping for a custom stamp. That’s a nice bag.
Ralf at RSFXLaser products has made leather stamps for me. His prices are good, and his turn around time is very fast. You can also get maker's mark stamps made of steel or brass, but they are expensive. There are lots of videos on YouTube about how to stamp leather.
Everyone is different, but I usually hide my maker's mark if I use it all. Others feature their maker's mark in their design.
Another suggestion, Scott, is to consider using a saddle stitch, because it is probably the strongest. There are lots of videos on YouTube and Vimeo that show how to do it.
I hope this helps.
 
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I thought this was the craftsman section where folks could share information and learn from each other.
it is,,
it's a great place for learning. I sincerely hope you can take advantage of that as much as I have,,
👍
Dig around the back pages for awhile, look at how others preform and present their work, learn from what has been shared in the past.
Skills can just happen, but for most of us they are developed with observation, experimentation and practice,, there's nothing wrong with that at all.
We all can improve,, with practice, throughout our lives.
 
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Ralf at RSFXLaser products has made leather stamps for me. His prices are good, and his turn around time is very fast. You can also get maker's mark stamps made of steel or brass, but they are expensive. There are lots of videos on YouTube about how to stamp leather.
Everyone is different, but I usually hide my maker's mark if I use it all. Others feature their maker's mark in their design.
Another suggestion, Scott, is to consider using a saddle stitch, because it is probably the strongest. There are lots of videos on YouTube and Vimeo that show how to do it.
I hope this helps.
I thought of getting a set of the steel stamps and I also have a fiber laser that can engrave metal, but it doesn't do well with organic materials.
 
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Uhm,(?)
Maybe, within that aspect of learning(?)
A little focus on maintaining a consistent stitch form around the full perimeter of the leather would serve better, before, moving on to laser metal etching of a makers mark stamp. Can you see any way's that may improve your presentation?
There are many here willing to help.
 
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I originally posted some pictures of the first ball bag I made and received a very discouraging comment from a knucklehead and decided to remove the pictures. But since then I had a lot of interest in the bag and discovered that several others thought it was a worthwhile project and offered some positive feedback. So I am re-posting the pictures for those interested and I'm glad there are more good folks on this forum than bad ones. Thanks for the encouragement folks. I know it's not a professional job, but I'm pretty fond of it.
I like it..."ugly"..no, I would say 'Rustic'.
Several don't like my first rifle bag either but I made it and I like it, its 'rustic' and a one of a kind.
I guess it depends on if you are trying to copy something a master craftsman did or if you are simply using techniques you learned from some and applying that knowledge to do Your own creation.

I posted not long ago my first bead project here; I got some good criticism, good information - some I used, some I filed for future projects.
Being my 'first' it came out "Ugly", but I learned from my 'mistakes' and despite my objections my wife insisted it it looks "real" not machine made she says, so I laced it onto my rifle sleeve.
Now the other week we wear at a local Native reservation museum, in the gift shop the curator told us they are setting up a "Native bead exhibit" and a local artisan will be there...my wife said "Show her your bead work" ?!!? I didn't want to, its Ugly and full of Mistakes. Well my wife insisted again so I pulled out my phone and sheepishly showed a Native curator of a museum my crummy work - her eyes opened up, she put her glasses on and took my phone, she enlarged it (my face must have turned Beat Red) and said "That's beautiful..."....??
Was she just being 'nice'? I dont know, I think so, but she want me to bring the piece in once the exhibit is up and their artisan is there and invited us to come to the Native Beading Classes they will be holding later on.

No, your ball bag is not "ugly", it is your creation, made by your own hands, and as long as it is Functional, Solid, and you like it and learned from the experiance - it is Good!
 
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I like it..."ugly"..no, I would say 'Rustic'.
Several don't like my first rifle bag either but I made it and I like it, its 'rustic' and a one of a kind.
I guess it depends on if you are trying to copy something a master craftsman did or if you are simply using techniques you learned from some and applying that knowledge to do Your own creation.

I posted not long ago my first bead project here; I got some good criticism, good information - some I used, some I filed for future projects.
Being my 'first' it came out "Ugly", but I learned from my 'mistakes' and despite my objections my wife insisted it it looks "real" not machine made she says, so I laced it onto my rifle sleeve.
Now the other week we wear at a local Native reservation museum, in the gift shop the curator told us they are setting up a "Native bead exhibit" and a local artisan will be there...my wife said "Show her your bead work" ?!!? I didn't want to, its Ugly and full of Mistakes. Well my wife insisted again so I pulled out my phone and sheepishly showed a Native curator of a museum my crummy work - her eyes opened up, she put her glasses on and took my phone, she enlarged it (my face must have turned Beat Red) and said "That's beautiful..."....??
Was she just being 'nice'? I dont know, I think so, but she want me to bring the piece in once the exhibit is up and their artisan is there and invited us to come to the Native Beading Classes they will be holding later on.

No, your ball bag is not "ugly", it is your creation, made by your own hands, and as long as it is Functional, Solid, and you like it and learned from the experiance - it is Good!
Wow! That sounds like you really sparked a lot of interest from others with yours. One thing that I considered was that most of the people back in the day made their own stuff with what they had. I know some were very talented craftsmen, but I'm sure the everyday farmer or trapper had much more to do than to learn the intricate details of fancy leather and beadwork. They needed something functional that could be made with what they had on hand. I'm sure many of them probably traded for some items when they came into town or ran across others in their travels but didn't rely or wait to buy a ball bag if they needed one. I have some cheap leather tools I bought that help with cutting and trimming leather, although as a novice my skills are greatly lacking, and don't do the tools justice and I wouldn't think the average frontiersman had very meager tools and most likely not much more than a needle and sharp knife. I'd love to see a picture of the one you made.
 
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I like it..."ugly"..no, I would say 'Rustic'.
Several don't like my first rifle bag either but I made it and I like it, its 'rustic' and a one of a kind.
I guess it depends on if you are trying to copy something a master craftsman did or if you are simply using techniques you learned from some and applying that knowledge to do Your own creation.

I posted not long ago my first bead project here; I got some good criticism, good information - some I used, some I filed for future projects.
Being my 'first' it came out "Ugly", but I learned from my 'mistakes' and despite my objections my wife insisted it it looks "real" not machine made she says, so I laced it onto my rifle sleeve.
Now the other week we wear at a local Native reservation museum, in the gift shop the curator told us they are setting up a "Native bead exhibit" and a local artisan will be there...my wife said "Show her your bead work" ?!!? I didn't want to, its Ugly and full of Mistakes. Well my wife insisted again so I pulled out my phone and sheepishly showed a Native curator of a museum my crummy work - her eyes opened up, she put her glasses on and took my phone, she enlarged it (my face must have turned Beat Red) and said "That's beautiful..."....??
Was she just being 'nice'? I dont know, I think so, but she want me to bring the piece in once the exhibit is up and their artisan is there and invited us to come to the Native Beading Classes they will be holding later on.

No, your ball bag is not "ugly", it is your creation, made by your own hands, and as long as it is Functional, Solid, and you like it and learned from the experiance - it is Good!
🙏 some buy some build.
 
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I think that bag would go great with a Southern Mountain Rifle.. it looks very “ Appalachian” to my eye. The more I look at it the more I like it. I’ve made a few of the these, mine were. “Ok” and are great to hold about a 40 count of 490 roundballs, the biggest issue with mine is /was that I made it with too thin of leather.. they are holding shape after my shaping with sand in hot water… but not holding the greatest. I’ve purchased a few from a member on this site, “ Cutfingers” is his handle.. an excellent craftsmen. Mine pale in comparison to what I bought from him.
 
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Wow! That sounds like you really sparked a lot of interest from others with yours. One thing that I considered was that most of the people back in the day made their own stuff with what they had. I know some were very talented craftsmen, but I'm sure the everyday farmer or trapper had much more to do than to learn the intricate details of fancy leather and beadwork. They needed something functional that could be made with what they had on hand. I'm sure many of them probably traded for some items when they came into town or ran across others in their travels but didn't rely or wait to buy a ball bag if they needed one. I have some cheap leather tools I bought that help with cutting and trimming leather, although as a novice my skills are greatly lacking, and don't do the tools justice and I wouldn't think the average frontiersman had very meager tools and most likely not much more than a needle and sharp knife. I'd love to see a picture of the one you made.
Sorry, I missed your post when I went to visit my folks in Idaho.
Here is a photo of my Hodgepodge bag.
I read a few books on bag making, forget the one that described the The Types of makers of the day:
1 - the professional saddle maker
2- the apprentice saddle maker
3- the novice who builds either out of necessity or just because he can.

I fit #3 and enjoy using crude non modern tools. My stuff ain't pretty but I make sure its functional and durable and try (within my ability and talent) to do it as it would have been.
 

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Sorry, I missed your post when I went to visit my folks in Idaho.
Here is a photo of my Hodgepodge bag.
I read a few books on bag making, forget the one that described the The Types of makers of the day:
1 - the professional saddle maker
2- the apprentice saddle maker
3- the novice who builds either out of necessity or just because he can.

I fit #3 and enjoy using crude non modern tools. My stuff ain't pretty but I make sure its functional and durable and try (within my ability and talent) to do it as it would have been.
Wow! I think they are pretty nice. I never claimed to be good at leather work, but as you mentioned I make stuff out of necessity and just to see if I can make it functional. Right now I am focussed on a Kibler SMR kit, but when that's finished, I'm going to try my hand at making a few rifle scabbards. Thanks for post pics of your bag.
 
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@Trapper Scott
This is a rifle sleeve I made out of some scrap leather my wife brought home when she retired from FOX Studios a few years ago. It houses my .50 cal Percussion. Not brain tanned but it works (I have a nice buckskin one I purchased for my Flintlock that I tried my hand at some beadwork on...my beading is crude but the lady at a local Reservation museum liked it...personally I think she was just being kind)
 

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@Trapper Scott
This is a rifle sleeve I made out of some scrap leather my wife brought home when she retired from FOX Studios a few years ago. It houses my .50 cal Percussion. Not brain tanned but it works (I have a nice buckskin one I purchased for my Flintlock that I tried my hand at some beadwork on...my beading is crude but the lady at a local Reservation museum liked it...personally I think she was just being kind)
Nice! I'd like to make one like that for my Kibler builds.
 

Pietro

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Keep on truckin', Scott - pioneers & native Americans didn't have any patterns or "proper" materials (some die-cut) to work with when they needed/wanted something.

There's only one person you need to impress, and he/she is in the mirror.
 
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I think that bag would go great with a Southern Mountain Rifle.. it looks very “ Appalachian” to my eye. The more I look at it the more I like it. I’ve made a few of the these, mine were. “Ok” and are great to hold about a 40 count of 490 roundballs, the biggest issue with mine is /was that I made it with too thin of leather.. they are holding shape after my shaping with sand in hot water… but not holding the greatest. I’ve purchased a few from a member on this site, “ Cutfingers” is his handle.. an excellent craftsmen. Mine pale in comparison to what I bought from him.
I'm in the process of building a SMR, so maybe I'll keep that bag with that rifle since I am from the Appalachians.
 

powdermeasure

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I originally posted some pictures of the first ball bag I made and received a very discouraging comment from a knucklehead and decided to remove the pictures. But since then I had a lot of interest in the bag and discovered that several others thought it was a worthwhile project and offered some positive feedback. So I am re-posting the pictures for those interested and I'm glad there are more good folks on this forum than bad ones. Thanks for the encouragement folks. I know it's not a professional job, but I'm pretty fond of it.
Me likey,it'll work as good as any. The important thing is that you made it. I posted some years ago about a ballhorn I made. I got about the same reception that you got. After that others have posted about ballhorns and got fawned over. Maybe my address has something to do with it.
 
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