Saturday, June 9, 2012

Leatherwork - Fun, useful skill and perfect for vantramping!

After collecting some tools, doing a bit of reading and finally applying some of the learning, I am pretty happy with my first leather creation. These are the pants I made for Heidi's favorite folding knife, "Willy"(yep, we still name everything). Most of the design is my own with the exception of the bushing that helps auto-open the blade when un-sheathing the knife. I had seen that before online somewhere a while back and thought it looked like a good idea.

Leathercraft is definitely a nomad friendly hobby! I enjoy it about the same as doing jewelry work, and it is just as easy to do in the small spaces of a van or RV. Of course I plan to do a lot more of it and have a few ideas even to dress Taj up a bit, but she isn't getting pants! That is just way more hand stitching than I could handle!


  1. Wow! Wow! Wow! It looks wonderful.

    Wish I could have stayed long enough to watch you make it.

    So, will Willy's new pants get a name as well? hummmmm?


  2. Thank Ya Sweet Kris :)

    Well, there is always next time right?! As far as a name, don't think so, at least not like "Steve" or "Jim". Heidi calls them "Willy's fancy pants" so that is sorta like a name eh?!

    We miss you!

  3. Great new hobby Mike and you have done so well with it. Good hearing from you in the blog.

  4. Nice. I'm thinking of getting back into it too.

  5. Hi everyone,

    After considering the alternative of living a "normal" life I've decided to plan to live the life of a vantramp.

    I'm getting a divorce for my retirement present and will have to figure out living situations, jobs and all that anyway.

    My personality is more adept to living in a hole dug in the ground rather than a three bedroom house with a lawn that needs to be cut (always hated that) and neighborhood ordinances.

    Anyway, that's the plan. Any ideas or suggestions will be appreciated.
    Some of the things I'd like to do is pan for gold in some of the western states and metal detect beaches anywhere.
    Looking forward to meeting some of you on the may take a while but, I hope to be out there.

  6. Hey Harry, Thanks for saying "hi" and sharing your plans! I am with you on the lawn mowing stuff for sure! If you haven't already done it, go check out the Yahoo Vandwellers group and (the forum part of the site too). There are a ton of very cool people there that are a wealth of information on van life! Not to mention, they are fun to meet up with out on the road. It is a great lifestyle and I am happy to help anyway I can with your questions, feel free to email me.

    Have fun on your journey!

  7. Great job on the leather knife pocket. I imagine it is quite tough to work with. Looks great for your first time trying.

  8. Harry, Mike is right, you are not alone out here. I have lived in (out of) my van for 2.5 years... and feel very settled and comfy, no matter where I am. Sometimes I forget where I am... as I am ALWAYS home. Welcome.
    Mikey... great job on the leather works. Hope to work in WA next summer and get to see you guys (and my beautiful grandbabies).