Grit

CRAFT A LEATHER BELT

Whether you need a place to hang the rodeo buckle you won, or you just want to hold up your pants, a good leather belt is a handy thing to have. Fortunately, a good-looking, long-lasting leather belt is an easy project, even for those with little leatherworking experience.

Choose Your Leather

For beginners, I recommend using vegetable-tanned leather for your belt project, because it’s easy to work with. You can also stamp designs on it or otherwise personalize it, unlike chrome-tanned leather. For this project, I used leather I had on hand, which was already dyed brown. It should be noted that plain vegetable-tanned leather would be a lighter tan.

Leather thickness is measured in ounces, with each ounce being 1⁄64-inch thick. For this heavy-duty belt project, I used 11- to 12-ounce leather, making it about 3⁄16-inch thick. For lighter-weight belts, I generally use 7- to 8-ounce leather, about ⅛-inch thick.

For a heavy-duty belt like this one, I start with a 1½-inch-wide strap. You can purchase belt blanks from a leather supplier, such as Tandy Leather (), but if you want a different look or type of leather

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