camera mini-strap

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Here’s about the simplest strap you could make… but as with most of my DIYs on here, it was created out of a certain necessity. I recently purchased a solid pocket shooter – testing my theory that I might just take more photos if I had a smaller camera. The size is certainly more convenient, but I still am not used to having such a lack of grip. I didn’t want to use a long strap all the time, so I came up with this.

It provides just the right amount of handle, but still be very pocketable. You’ll need a small strip of pliable, yet strong leather. I’m using a small piece of the leather we use on our bags, from SB Foot tannery in Red Wing, Minnesota. About 4.5oz weight works really well for this.

Cut your piece into a 3/8″ strip, about 22 inches long. If you need a longer or shorter grip, adjust to your preference. One one end, we’ll use an oblong punch to create a slot – about 5/8″ from that end. I also cut that end at an angle for decoration.

On the opposite strap end, I thinned the overall width with a rolling blade and ruler. We’ll be tying an overhand knot here, and it looks more elegant with less weight. I thinned about 5.5″ length of this end, to have some overhang after tying the knot.

If your camera has loops like shown, you’re set. If you have a lugged camera, you can buy some small rings to attach first. Make sure your knots are big enough to keep from slipping through the rings. Or, if you’re using detachable rings, you can use the slotted end on both sides.

Feed your piece though the slotted end first, and smooth out the curve. Insert other end though the second ring and knot to the appropriate length. Then cut the overhang length to whatever looks/works best for you.

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Western Fringe Brogue DIY

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Most of the time, I feel like my style is straightforward. I try to be simple, but I have been known to veer to the dandy side with certain details. This DIY is going to be one of them. I grew up in Kansas and remember wearing lace up Justin Ropers about 20 years before UO carried the awkward knock-offs. The Justins were certainly more of a statement than my regular ropers, but I liked them… Especially when really worn in. I wore holes in them, had them resoled and they just got better.

Jump to present day and I’m wearing a pair of Red Wing Brogue Rangers. Somewhat fancy with the brogue details, but just the right amount. Then I’m goofing around on the internet and see a pair from Red Wing Amsterdam’s blog and knew I had to push it a little further. If you’re daring, maybe you’ll want to make them too.

I’m working with black boots, added brown laces and will use brown leather for the fringe. It’s a subtle contrast, but won’t jump out too much. Start with a small scrap of material, you’ll need only a 3x5inch piece to cut both. I even made you a download-able template. These are sized for a 9 boot, so you might need to modify the size for a larger or smaller boot.

You’ll need a sharp knife, cutting surface, an awl for tracing and a hole punch. Print the template out, and cut the outer shape. You don’t need to cut the details, instead just trace and mark them into the leather with the awl. Once the shapes are traced onto leather, cut the details out with a sharp knife, then mark your holes and other cuts with the awl. Lace holes are punched with a #6 tube. You can punch relief holes in the lace slits if you have a really small punch, but they’re not necessary.

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Compass Pouch DIY

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No one wants to get stranded outside in the winter, right? Here’s your chance to sew up a handy compass pouch before you embark on any winter treks. This idea was sparked after talking projects with Michael Williams from A Continuous Lean, who recently visited our shop. He’s published the full post here, and it’s incredibly exciting to be on ACL.

I don’t get too crazy on my adventuring these days, but there’s a few canoe spots near Portland that you could easily get confused and not realize where you put the boat in. Throw in some bad cell reception and maps won’t save you either. What’s a better way to not get lost? Having a compass and mini light on your belt should help. I made this with a small piece of Horween Chromexcel and some simple hardware. The template is provided and should snugly fit your AAA sized flashlight and a standard sized compass. I’m using a Suunto MC-2 and a Fenix E01.

Start by printing out the template file at 100%. It won’t fit on a single page, so you’ll need to select the tiling option and then add an inch of printing overlap. Tape the pieces together securely and trim them out. Find a piece of leather large enough to cut both panels from and trace them out with an awl or pencil. Be sure to mark all your inner holes indicated on the template as well.

Cut the pieces and punch the holes for snaps and the belt loop. I’m using a #3 sized punch tube. Once your parts are cut and inner holes punched, it’s time to mark your stitch holes.

Using a #5 overstitch wheel and a ruler, I marked location of all the stitch holes. Make sure to start at the bottom of each size in the same place, so when folded, your stitch locations will line up.

After marking the stitch holes, I like to punch them out instead of using an awl while stitching. It makes things a little easier and I can stitch faster this way. I’m using a hand-sewing leather punch, but you can also use regular tube style punch or even a thick awl.

Once every sewing hole is punched, you’ll need to assemble all the hardware parts. Add your snaps, then using copper rivets, you can attach the belt loop.

Now you’re ready to sew the pouch together. I’ve made some stitch ponies for the shop that we use, but you can easily purchase a simple one from leather hobby shops as well. The stitch pony will hold your pieces together securely, keep your holes lined up, and make sewing so much easier. The hand sewing method is detailed on my post here if you want to learn.

After stitching through your piece, give it a couple back stitches and tie off your threads inside. Then you’re ready to attach to your belt and get lost!

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W&F slim billfold

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First of all, when did people stop calling bifold wallets, billfolds? Is this something that only Dads called their wallets? Whatever the case, I’d like to introduce the Wood&Faulk official slim billfold.

I had been using the front pocket wallet for a while now, but wanted something that I could put unfolded dollar bills in. Robert of Beam&Anchor, was also bugging me for a billfold. When he’s out treasure hunting, those old guys selling barn finds are only gonna take cash and the pocket wallet just doesn’t have the capacity. Here’s some pics of mine broken-in, a custom number sewn with butterscotch thread.

Regular billfolds can be bulky. This one is slim, with two full pockets for cards and a western style mini-pocket to keep your most used cards handy. It’s made with Horween Chromexcel leathers and hand-stitched with wax linen thread, like all of our wallets. Available now in our store for $140.

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Official W&F Leather Jar Sleeves

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Well, it has been a looong time since I did the jar sleeve DIY, and they are finally coming to the store. Actually, we’ve been producing some for Japan and some retail shops for about 6 months now, but with everything going on in the shop, I’ve neglected to get them up in our own store!

I think they’re really great gifts for the upcoming season, especially coupled with a bag of coffee beans or a jug of cider. The sleeves are made with English bridle leather from a domestic tannery and come heavy wax cord. Simple utility, ready to hold your favorite hot beverages.

These come with a half-pint jar and lid, available in four colors. Tan, chestnut, brown and black; all sure to mix well with each other or to keep as one-color sets. Stamped out and sewn from our Portland workshop.

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which bag for what?

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We’ve been asked plenty of times, “What bag should I get?” I know the right answer isn’t always ‘one of each’, so let’s talk about what you can stuff into them, intended purposes, and a few other details concerning Wood&Faulk bag sizing.

Let’s start with the 12″ Northwesterner. Here’s some ideas: simple overnight trip; camera, lunch and jacket tourist supplies; six pack protection for the front basket in your bike; or just some regular daily duties. Good for guys or gals. Fits ipads, but probably not your computer. The opening is about 11.5″.

Next larger is the Northwesterner 16″ size. This one is much more versatile and will handle a 15″ laptop with ease. Plenty of room for a business trip, as an overnighter, food and supplies for a picnic, or an everyday briefcase-type setup. One thing to note – the bag has soft sides and you’re gonna want a sleeve on your computer for extra protection.

Preparing for a longer trip? The 20″ Northwesterner is what you need. Always fits in the overhead compartment and can be put under a seat in a pinch. Plenty of room for a few changes of clothes and your laptop. Probably too big for a daily bag, but if you’re traveling  often enough, it’s a perfect alternative to bulky luggage. This is my preferred travel companion.

Hopefully the pics illustrate some fitting scenarios. The one thing I’m missing in the 16″ and 20″ pics is a travel bag or ‘dopp kit’. Both scenarios will accommodate one AND it’s something we’re finally working on as well, so stay tuned.

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Archer’s quiver DIY

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You’ll need some tools:
  • sewing machine
  • leather punch
  • rotary knife
  • ruler
  • cutting mat
  • rivet setting tools
You’ll need a few materials:
  • 8oz. strap leather
  • heavy canvas (vintage army tent here)
  • 5oz. garment leather
  • copper rivets

I took up archery not too long ago and realized it can be super relaxing when things get stressful. The bad news is, I’ve been pretty busy in the shop and haven’t shot much lately. However with all this shop time, I have been working on a quiver. When I finally do make it out to the range again, I won’t have to carry my arrows in a rubber band.

Here’s the instructions to make one for yourself. Like all my experiments on here, there’s lots of ways to do this, and modifications for your own use too. My plan went like this:

Start by cutting your main material into three parts for the body. Two pieces 6”x26” and one pocket piece at 6”x12”. Cut a piece of leather or other thicker material for the bottom at a dimension of 6”x7.5”.

Lay the pocket piece flipped and reversed onto one of the body panels and sew the bottom of the pocket to the body. Then flip the panel over into place. I added a top-stitch on as well to match the original army tent material’s construction. Sew your leather bottom panel to the bottom of the first body panel, and then the other size to the second body panel. I used tape to align panels before sewing. You can use double-sized tape too, if you want them stuck in place.

After all the panels are together, fold the panels in half, inside-out. Make sure your pocket is in the correct place and then clip or pin everything together. Sew down the side seams, stopping 2.5 inches from going all the way to the leather bottom. While still inside-out, make a tube and push the leather bottom seam to spread the open area and flatten and then sew a stitch perpendicular to the side seam. After sewn, cut the extra material off.

Last steps are to attach hardware to the quiver body. I used copper rivets, leather bits a d-ring and a small buckle to make strap attachment points. Where it attaches to the opening, I folded the end of the strap over, with a d-ring in the fold for extra utility. My strap is adjustable with the buckle at the other end, either hang on my belt loop when I’m shooting or over my shoulder when walking to the range.

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W&F Shop Space

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It’s been a while since I moved things out of my house, and everything has just continued to move faster and faster. So fast that I realized I’ve never even formally introduced my current shop on the blog.

If you follow W&F on Instagram, you’ve seen small bits of the place, but since my dear friend Lisa was in recently taking pics, I want to share and show the place off. As you can see, now there’s more than enough room for tools, work tables, materials and even an expert employee, Anna.

I work out of the Beam&Anchor building, which is the fantastic vision of my friends Robert and Jocelyn Rahm. It’s an old, reworked building located in NE Portland, and I’m extremely fortunate that they asked to have me included. There’s no other way I could have gotten this far and this busy without having such an inspiring place to work.

A major source of the inspiration comes from the other building’s tenants – Maak Soap Lab, Revive Upholstery, Earthbound Industries, Phloem Studio and of course space for Robert to work on his artifacts/creations and space for Jocelyn to paint. Below us all is the retail shop, helmed by Jocelyn, Currie, Robert and Patrick. It’s been an amazing experience working alongside and with such hardworking and creative folks.

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Wood&Faulk + Spartan Guitar Strap

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After some taunting and leaking images in Instagram for a while about my guitar strap plans, the release is finally here. I’ve finally got something I really like and hope you will too. The first dozen are available now at Spartan in Austin, Texas. Partly to commemorate the music festival, but mostly because I love Austin and Spartan. If you’re in town, get there and check them out. I’ll be adding them to the store shortly in the color russet (as pictured) and black is in the works.

They’re made with beautiful, hard wearing harness leather with solid brass hardware. Cut, stamped and built in our Portland shop and will retail for $65.00

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Knotted Keyring

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I was in the shop the other day and Jocelyn (of Beam&Anchor) said, “I love the long keychain thing that’s on the desk.” I realized later she was referring to the shape of the camera wrist strap, but that instantly put an idea in my head of making a key carry with a longer, maybe lanyard-like component.

So, I was playing in the shop with ideas and knots and leather scraps and leather lace and came up with a few attempts. Posting them on Instagram, I realized that folks might like one and why not do a DIY too?

It’s similar to the camera wrist strap, but with a twist. I wanted to get the ends on either side, while keeping a long loop in the middle, but having it tied flat with itself. The purpose of the loop is two-fold – one to be very visible when thrown in a bag or backpack, and two to be able to tie though a belt loop and stick in your pocket.

Start by cutting a 3 1/2″ piece of strap that’s 5/8″ wide. I’ve used a belt punch to round both ends, but you can trim with shears too. Punch a series of six holes that are large enough to easily feed your lace though.

Before lacing, feed a split-ring though the leather and fold in half. If you add the split ring later, you will mar up the leather. Once folded in half, you can start the lacing in the top left hole with a knot in the lace. Pull though to the knot. Turn the piece over and you’ll let the lace form the loop handle and come back up to the other side, top right hole. Once though there, you’ll spiral it down on one side, while creating horizontal loops on the other. These loops will wrap around your long handle segments and keep them flush and straight with the leather body. Once you pull it though the last hole, tie a knot at the very end and then tighten the whole assembly with all your extra forming more of the long loop.

You can customize with with more loops on the body, or a rivet like shown in the last pic, or use d-rings and feed split rings through them… Or any number of options.

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