Leather tool bag advice

Looks like you intend a four-piece pattern:

  • one piece for bottom and two sides
  • two square(ish) pieces for the other two sides
  • one U-shaped piece (probably) for the dividers and a partially doubled bottom (this could also be two separate pieces but would need to be stitched to the bottom or parts could slide under these walls and between compartments).

You’ve extended the sides of the longer piece and wrap it onto the two smaller side pieces. You could eliminate the overlap of those pieces back onto the longer piece. This would cut in half the number of stitches and rivets you’d need for the outside. Given the abuse I’ve done to horse tack, I doubt you need both rows of rivets and four rows of stitching in each corner unless you want them for symmetry/aesthetics.

Another option would be to eliminate the overlap altogether and cut a separate piece of leather overlapping both sides. This has several things going for it:

  • This could be done in a contrasting color for style points :smiley:
  • It could be extended UNDER the bottom to reinforce the corners where they contact the floor - a likely wear point.
  • You could also wrap this piece up and over the top of the corner and stitch it in about five stitches to cover the raw edges of the leather, strengthening the upper end and protecting the stitching (another likely wear point as tools are added to the bag).

All the original sewing and riveting would be back, however…

If you made the inner U piece longer, you could integrate handles into both ends and draw them together above the box.


This is how I mocked it up. I cut it out of 1 piece. The base is 8x8, the outer for the sides is 8.5” tall. I added 1” to the exterior sides I cut at a 45 into the base exterior. My thought was it would reinforce the corners.


So wa waaaa… I thought I had a full double shoulder.


Doh! … .:blankspace:

I have a suggestion: rubber feet. Specifically, silicone rubber feet.

I’m actually actually thinking about doing the bottom out of copper now that I’m short leather.

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I Love your doctors bag, and like the medicine in the third pic.


One of these sheets of carbon fiber should work:

That said I would strongly consider using polycarbonate or UHMW as they will take shock and impact better. Polycarbonate is stiffer than UHMW so polycarbonate is probably the right choice.

I would use 3/16 or 1/4 inch polycarbonate sheet. It will be heavier than the carbon fiber but I could see the carbon fiber cracking if you drop a heavy tool into the bag.

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Has anyone had experience with this chisel set?

Also I’m thinking of getting the Saddle Skirting to use for it.

I talked to Joe King @worldcloud on Saturday night & mentioned that even Kevlar may be a good substrate for the bottom.

BTW, Here is a pic of my current bag on the scale, It’s not currently full as normal.

Hence the want to go to a smaller minimal bag.

I dislike that line of chisels from Tandy. The are prone to bending, dull quickly, and make holes that are larger than I prefer.

I use these Seiwa chisels. They are diamond shaped, made from a single piece, and are sharp all along the edges of the prongs, We have these in the Leathercraft cabinet if you want to try them before getting your own.

I got mine from goodsjapan.com but they may be available other places too (maybe amazon?)

the 4x6mm would be a good size with either .8 or 1mm thread.


I have some selected sizes like the ones in the leatherworking cabinet. They’re “good enough” for me, so far.


(these may not be exactly the same but from what I gathered online, they’re very close)

I’d use the ones at the space if I had time to, over the past month I have spent an exorbitant amount of time at the space. I need to spend some time at home, hence buying the chisels. Just trying to walk that line of a full time job, space and my family. Thankfully my wife has been excellent & patient.


I agree with Jorge. I own a Tandy set like the ones pictured. I’ve used them but I prefer a much more robust set like these.https://www.amazon.com/d/Hole-Punches/Vktech-Stainless-Steel-Chisel-Leather/B00CBRMRNI/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1540236366&sr=8-5&keywords=leather+chisel


Are their regular lines ok? I’m in South Ft worth & was going to stop by there before going home.

The only chisels I would recommend from Tandy are the Craftool Fine Chisels at 3.5mm (https://www.tandyleather.com/en/product/craftool-fine-diamond-chisel-3-5-mm )

While those work well, they are a tight stitch. Tighter than may be good for your bag that is.

I may have 5mm seiwa chisels you can use if you don’t mind waiting for me to look this evening. I really think that for the rugeddness you’re looking for in this tool bag a wider stitch with a thicker thread is going to work better for you. I live in Ft. Worth on the southern border of Keller. Maybe we can meet up on the ft worth side if you’re there.


btw that saddle skirting is really nice and will work well for this bag!

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I picked up an Oak saddle skirting as it was on sale, 99.99 for a full side. I wanted to keep my options open as far as dying the bag. I might leave some lighter colors in areas for some contrast.

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Anyone dealt with bagging leather? I’m going to bag my tools to get a better formed fit. I’m torn between doing a foodsaver or just use my vacuum pump and make up a bag system.

I’ve done wet-formed leather knife sheaths, but I didn’t use a vacuum for force the leather around the part. (I might next time, though…) In the past, I’ve just tacked the wet leather around the saran-wrap-protected knife and onto a scrap of wood. I put the tack holes where the stitching will be, and adjust the stitching holes to use the tack holes. You can also use a formed piece of wood to go over the leather and clamp it to the lower board. Jimmy Diresta has a good video of that technique.

(Aside: I like Diresta’s videos because they are tightly edited and communicate ideas and no-nonsense techniques w/out a voiceover so they can be watched with the sound off).

re: chisels
I have two sets of diamond point stitching chisels. I could loan you a set for a few weeks rather than you having to make a 1-off purchase - just let me know.