5 Feb 2017

Briefcase back

As always I cut the back piece to long. When making a new design it is hard to determine the exact dimensions so having a bit extra you can cut off is a really good idea.
As you can see here the back piece is a bit too long.

After making 3 cuts gradually shortening the length I settled with this:

The handle is held in place by a billet with a rivet in it. This was a test piece to figure out the dimensions. As you can see there is an extra d-ring. This is used to secure the shoulder strap.

After having made the test piece I went along and made two identical pieces.

The edges was burnished and holes for the rivets was made. The end of the flap was skived down. Also pricking marks for the sewing was made

A metal strip will help maintain the shape of bag. To keep the outside of the bag free of stitches I will not cover the metal strip with a piece of leather as I normally do. Instead I will make a cover for the metal strip itself.

Alot of holes in this little piece

Glue it together but only at the edges

The back side looks bad but it will never show. My hole making jig does not work well for thin leather.

Before sewing it shut remember to insert the metal strip

Find the holes in the metal strip and punch holes in the leather.

I scribed a line across the bag to help making the holes.

To determine where this line should be I assemble the bag and made a mark at the top.

I made a small dot in the center of the hole. You might be able to see the scribed line also. I pushed an awl all the way through and punched the hole from the front side.

Everything lines up. Now the edges can be beveled and burnished.

Before sewing on the handle I made a small test. The hole at the tip needs to be very small

First pieces sewn in place

The piece was a bit out of alignment but I think its okay. Next time I will start by making a single hole at the tip and see if it is centered. If that the case then I will make the rest of the holes. Actually I did not make all the holes at once. I did one side first - sew it and then made the remaining holes. The reason for this is to avoid the holes coming out of alignment which can happen if the billet moves while making the holes. This could be avoided by punching a few nails through the holes which I sometimes do 

As all rivets are visible both front and back they will need to be polished. The screws however are not solid brass so they will only get a light polish with brasso only.

I made guide lines for every 5 cm to help place the the two pieces together correct.

All glued together. It is really starting to look like a bag

Starting the sewing here:

Going around the first corner before switching thread

At the end stop a few stitches before the top and begin sewing with the new thread.

The sew over the ned thread

It was not possible to use the stitching clamp when sewing the flap so I held it in place between the knees.

There will be a change of thread underneath the clasp.

This will be completely hidden

The Chicago screws have been secured with loctite

I dont have any pictures of the way I cut the rivets to the correct length. What I did was to fold a piece of normal a4 paper so the thickness was equal to 6 pieces of paper. I then cut a hole the size of the rivet and placed it over the rivet which was already mounted in the flap. With the pincers I cut it and then removed it and filed it flat.
To avoid unwanted marks with the hammer I made this little thing out of a cereal box:

Now it is really looking like a bag


  1. Excellent work I like the new way of attaching the handle. No stitching at the top makes the bag look cleaner. You can always use some pigskin (many color available) to line the inside of the bag and hide any stitches. Great work!

    1. I agree no stitching does make the bag look very clean. I have a hard time finding thin veg tan pigskin so I have never tried it.