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Hello
New to the Forum but have seen awesome things already that inspire to continue with my new interest of making a watch strap.
I have been looking around the interweb for a few weeks and have looked over many times the Daluca series of postings on YouTube that go over watch strap making. I was looking forward (not) to skiving the leather in order to create the loops which my watch would attach to but coming here I noticed that many of the awesome watch straps appear to not have been skived at all it looks almost like a small hole has been drilled at the ends of the leather to house the tubes for the watch to eventually fit onto. Is this correct are they drilled perhaps by a Dremel or something similar?
Any pearls of wisdom would be gratefully appreciated. :-d
Regards
PixelPilot
 

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No, drilling widthwise through the thickness of the leather would not get you very far. What you are seeing is the leather doubled over, with the springbar end being the bend point. Careful and experienced bonding, stitching, and burnishing will provide a finished product that looks like a single piece of leather with a hole in the thickness.
 

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any ideas on how to make a curved end like the hirsch leonardo?
I'm not familiar with that particular strap, but I've made a few curved-end straps before, and they can be tricky. Some are built for curved springbars - I find those tougher to get right. Usually there is more than just getting the right curvature; there is often thickness to consider. A proper 'integrated' look would have not just the right curvature, but that end of the strap would also be the same thickness as the watch case where the strap meets it. I had the most success in this by creating a plastic insert that the strap was ultimately moulded around. It started with a length of plastic dowel with a 1" diameter I got at the hardware store, and then grinding it into shape with a dremel. I, of course, on the first try grinded it to the exact fit for the lugs/case, and thought "great, I did it". Then I wrapped it in leather, realized it was now not going to fit, and had to walk away for a while out of frustration. I'm sure with more practise I could get it down to a science, but that attempt it took me 3 tries and a lot of time. The reason I don't get more practise is because I won't take an order for a curved end strap unless I have the watch in hand. It is not that those potential customers do not trust me with the watch, but about 80%+ of the time my customers are in a different country, and about 30%+ of the time that also includes them being on another continent. So, they would need to ship the watch to me at their own expense; packed carefully and tracked, that can get expensive. Getting a perfect curvature takes more than just getting it uniformly 'round' at the end. You don't have to be a math wizard to understand that a 46mm watch has a different curvature than a 40mm watch, even if they are both perfect circles.

Years ago, I had a request for a strap with a unique padding design. I had never done a padded strap before, and even though I knew the theory behind padded straps I bought a rather inexpensive one, and took it apart to see what made it tick (no pun intended). All in, shipping included, the strap cost $4 and was shipped from China. It was made from very cheap leather, I could rip it with my fingers. It was padded with - get this - newspaper. It had probably been soaked, then mixed into a pulpy mess, then formed into the shape of the pad and dried out. It couldn't be 'unfolded', but you could certainly see the letters/characters that were once typed onto the paper. Needless to say, I did not complete that order with a strap padded with newspaper (went with leather padding, and I've also used rubber), but I still felt it was $4 well spent - it gave me the direction I needed to complete an order and ultimately satisfy a customer. If you see something you like and want to make one for yourself I might suggest the same - find a cheap version, and perform an autopsy. You never know what you might learn.
 
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