Cigar style case in turquoise and black (commission)

 

Normally these cases are for supersized pens, this one however is for what I call large pens in the range of 20 mm in diameter including the clip.

The colours chosen are two of my favourites turquoise and black.

The starting point is kydex sheet I have increased the thickness to 1.0 mm.

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From this point the kydex is heated until it is soft enough to be rolled around wooden dowels I then weld the edge of the tubes and round over one end.

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Now that I have a pair of tubes the next step is to line the tube inside and out in fine turquoise suede. Very little of this suede will be visible in the finished case but you and I will know it is there.

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A pair of tubes wrapped in suede

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In this style of case the suede on the pen tubes needs to be protected from the friction fit outer cover. To start with I cut two pieces of 0.5 mm veg tanned leather which I stitched together down the centre.

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The leather was soaked in cold water for around 30 minutes and started to form the leather around the tubes which I have protected with black film.

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Black dye was applied to the leather and the tubes were glued in place.

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Stitching holes made ready for stitching.

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Once I was happy with the finished inner section I started to loo at the outer covers. The commissioner had liked the black leather I had used on the Nintendo Switch case so I decided to use that for this project. I would normally use 2 mm veg tanned leather for this type of project and the black leather is 5 mm so I had to skive by hand the 3 mm. This involves a very sharp knife which has to be regularly stropped (sharpened) to maintain the razor sharp edge. This took many hours over a couple of days while waiting for other projects to dry.

This black leather is called dyed through shoulder the black dye goes all of the way through (as the name suggests) this is a more expensive process than standard dying.

I soaked the leather over night in order to make it as pliable as possible this morning I placed the insert in the middle having wrapped it in black film to protect it and applied some small clamps before replacing them with wood and some larger clamps.

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I made some wooden laths to replace the metal clips as they leave marks in the leather

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I stitched the ends roughly around the clamps to hold the ends. It is very important to stop the leather from shrinking during the drying process.

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This is the first picture without the clamps.

I am not sure if they show up on the next picture but I have made six holes around the edges. I have joined the centre two across the middle of the case to make a cut line on each side.

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At some point today I need to cut the case into two pieces then I will glue the top and bottom sections together using the holes to align the pieces. I may add four more holes either side of the centre line which will also help with the alignment.

Ok after many deep breaths I finally plucked up the courage to cut the two sides into four pieces.

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I must admit I don’t like this part it took many hours to get to this point and the cuts need to be perfect.

Next I turned four pieces back into two by gluing the top and bottom sections together using the holes I had made. I used two awls to locate the two halves and contact cement to hold them while I prepared for stitching.

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Although I think this join is quite tight I still think it is worth while to add a band to cover the join. As the leather is quite thick around 5 mm I had to remove quite a lot to persuade it to take the required shape.

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Things don’t always goes to plan and in this case I removed too much leather leaving the band to flexible.  So here is version two.

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I have also taken a small piece of oak to form the toggle/ pen rest.

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After some shaping I soaked the toggle / pen rest in an ebonising solution for around an hour. I also dyed a length of thong black.

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I re soaked the case to remove most of the marks picked up during the making process leather has marks from its previous life which form the character of the material so these will remain.

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Final assembly next.

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Another project finished

 

 

 

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