Where to get leather for armor

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Where to get leather for armor

Post  Izec on Mon Nov 24, 2008 4:02 pm

I go to Tandy Leather, located in Capital Plaza. Here is the info:

Tandy Leather #108 AUSTIN
Toll Free: 888-498-9881
Manager: Dennis Guerra
5318 Cameron Rd Austin, TX 78723
austin@tandyleather.com
512-302-4440 fax: 512-302-9881
Map link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=5318%20Cameron%20Rd,Austin,TX+78723

What you want to get is 12-15 oz. leather. I think they have sides for $89. A side of leather should make you some torso armor plus some extra depending on your size.
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Re: Where to get leather for armor

Post  Izakd Inedikey on Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:06 am

So, Izec, how much extra do you think I'd get, being the size I am?
(It's me, Willard.)
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Re: Where to get leather for armor

Post  Casimir on Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:20 am

Depending on the style of armor you are going to make, you may not need to get a side of leather. My armor is going to be able to be made of scraps, which might make it cost more in the long run, but it allows me to pay for it as I am building. What are you planning on doing?
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Re: Where to get leather for armor

Post  Izec on Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:00 pm


Hey, Daedrom, a side of leather will go a long way with you. A lot of it will depend on the patterns you use, but a pattern without a lot of overlapping leather will probably make you a torso cuirass, bracers/arms, and probably legs, too. If you cut it out smart you might even get a helmet out of it, too. Keep in mind, though, that there are other costs involved with making armor.

First, tools are going to cost some money. You can get started without too much expense by just buying basic tools and being wise about where you buy them. Tandy sells all you need, but you can find some basic tools at Harbor Freight for less. I know you can get hole punches at HF. Instead of using punches you can use a drill if you have one and use a bit that works with the rivets you use.

Speaking of rivets, the absolute cheapest option will be to use roofing nails. You can find an explanation of how to do that here. Beyond that, the most cost effective rivets will be tubular rivets and you'll need a tubular rivet tool. Those cost the least and hold better than just about anything else. The only problem is that riveting two pieces of 12 oz. leather together is difficult because they don't make them long enough. For that you can do a few things. You can use the previously mentioned roofing nail rivets. Or, you can use copper rivets, and beyond that I like to use Chicago screws. The good thing about chicago screws is that you can remove them and reuse them with no hassle.

Another thing you will need is a mallet. Again, Harbor Freight will have lower priced options than Tandy's mallets. You might be thinking you can just use a regular hammer, but that hard metal face will ruin your tools. Your best bet is a plastic or rawhide mallet, or maybe even the soft face mallet from Harbor Freight.

Beyond that, you will need something to cut the leather out with. You can use a good, strong box cutter for that. I personally use an angled utility knife from Tandy.

I would say those are the absolute basic tools you would need to make something simple, like lace up bracers. The more you want to do the more tools and stuff you'll need. I hope this helps.

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Re: Where to get leather for armor

Post  Izakd Inedikey on Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:31 pm

Yes, that does help, Izec! The only thing there that I don't already have, really, is the box cutter, and I should be able to get my neighbor to let me use his.

What I was planning on doing was having a layered kind of leather armor with chainmail hanging off the arms and torso. I was also planning on making the bracers and leggings leather, but without chainmail.

I'm still working on designs for the torso, though. bounce
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Re: Where to get leather for armor

Post  Izec on Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:13 pm


This site has plenty of patterns:
http://www.armourarchive.org/patterns/

Most of those patterns are for steel armor. With that in mind, remember that the leather is going to be thicker than steel and that can affect how the armor works, especially when it comes to articulation. Also, always, always make a test pattern out of cardboard or foam sheets that you can find at Wal-Mart in the craft section. Leather is expensive, so make your mock up out of cardboard or foam to make sure it fits before wasting many $$$ worth of leather.
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