Thanks. Good advice. For a slot, what about two whacks with a small sharpened chisel then cut the short sides?Tandy Leather Co. ....match a leather hole punch to your strap hole pattern. Line it up. Whack with the mallet on a cutting board. Voila!
But perhaps not that easy.
I bet one could even fashion said hole pattern punch tool with a little ingenuity, perhaps some tools like a Dremel, diamond bits, mild steel or brass or carbon fiber rod.
Even the right diameter brass tubing with sharpened edges would work. Massage the round to a rectangle as close as you can get to the strap hole. Practice on something else.
this.I’ve tried a regular leather strap hole punch and it worked fine, though the hole was round instead of rectangular.
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make two parallel round holes with a leather belt hole puncher, then cut from one to the other with an x-acto.
this will ensure you don't have to join two cuts at the corners, which will make a vulnerable spot for ripping and will never look quite right.
remember to use a cardboard or something together with the strap that'll allow the puncher to cut all the way through,
don't use the x-acto in a saw like movement, hold it at a 20% acute angle, for example, and try for one single cut only,
again with cardboard or something underneath.
this is the best I've ever managed to come up with, but luck is still 50% of the end result, honestly. .