26 May

Welcome to Drygulch Leatherworks, your place for custom hand-tooled hand-crafted leather goods.

Stock and Custom leather goods:

  • Projects made to order
  • Hand tooled, hand stamped
  • Hand painted and hand dyed

Drygulch Leatherworks features quality leather goods created one piece at a time. I offer stock items ready for purchase, and custom work to order.

Visit my Photo Gallery to view some of my custom projects and stock items. If you see something you’d like, contact me.

    Handtooled leather belts, wallets and checkbook covers are just a few of the items I offer. My custom leatherwork portfolio also includes:

  • tooled leather binders
  • hand-stamped motorcycle seats and grips
  • dog collars with your pet’s name or without
  • headbands
  • book and bible covers with carry straps
  • and more!

Many of my stock items are regularly available through this site and at various regional craft shows, festivals and fairs. Watch for updates that list our upcoming event locations and dates.

Contact me for more information about my work, my projects or other general leather-working information. Thanks for visiting Drygulch Leatherworks.


New Motorcycle Seat Finished

13 Oct

This will be my centerpiece for the Maple Leaf Festival this year.  I did the design and carving, and Baldwin Motorbike Saddles did the foam and upholstery work.  Its on a steel Mustang solo pan for a 2000-2006 Softail.  It has high quality foam and a gel insert as well.  I am happy with the way this came out, and hope it sells quickly so I can make another one.


Horse Leather Strops

19 May

One of the things I learned quickly with leatherwork is that you need sharp knives.  I thought I knew how to sharpen a knife before, but I was wrong.  The last step in getting a knife scary sharp is to polish the steel with a strop.  The strop I had been using was a four inch long scrap of unfinished 2×4 with a piece of 14oz saddle skirting nailed to it.  Over the last few years I have worked quite a bit of jeweler’s rouge into it, so it worked pretty well.  It just wasn’t pretty. 

Earlier this week, my friend Mike Black approached me about needing a strop.  He is an incredible craftsman who makes mandolins.  Check out or for some of his work.  I offered to make him a nice horse hide strop, and realized he might have some nice looking wood in his scrap bin.  He supplied two strips of maple, and I added the leather and rouge.  These are horse leather, which is harder and more durable than cowhide.  I burnished the edges and cemented them to the wood. 

To make a strop, you need a piece of leather on a solid surface.  With the horsehide glued to the maple strip that was covered.  The next step is working a polishing compound into the leather.  I crushed red rouge, and put it into denatured alcohol.  I then brushed this on to the leather.  As the alcohol dissolved, the rouge was on the surface of the leather, and just under it.  I worked it in more by stropping my knives.

I am happy to report that they work really well, and my head knife and swivel knives are nicely polished right now.  This strop actually looks nice, and does a good job.  Not sure if there is enough interest in making some of these for sale, but I might try it to see.


New Wallet Chains In

22 Feb

Today I received wallet chains from Hawkwolf’s Armory and Accoutrements.  These are chain mail style chains.  I hadn’t been able to find nice wallet chains for the biker wallets I am making.  Problem solved.  There are four different types, and will be available on all of my biker or trucker style custom leather wallets.


What’s New in the Drygulch?

27 Dec

It’s been a busy few months.  My wife and I have relocated from Lawrence to Baldwin City, Kansas in August.  In October, I had a space in the Maple Leaf Festival,  That was a blast, and the first big show I have done.  I met a lot of great people.

I opened a store on Etsy,  I will slowly be adding inventory there, and linking to it from this shop.

The remainder of my inventory is currently on consignment at American Leatherworks, in Leavenworth, Kansas. They have quite a bit of other stuff, including duty gear as well.

I have also been working on custom orders, including a motorcycle seat, custom cuff, and wallets.  I am currently working on a bunch of wallets, to offer on this site and Etsy.


Photo Albums Posted

04 Jun

It has taken me most of a week to sort through all of my photos and post them.  I am still working on descriptions, and will be adding more photos as they become available.   If there are any pictures you would like to see, please contact me and I can email them to you.  The albums can be seen here.


Projects going right now

31 May

Right now I am working on multiple projects. I have a seat for sportbike mostly carved, and will have photos up soon. I am also working on building up some stock for a craft festival, so have patterns cut for 12 checkbook covers, and 10 wallets. I have three checkbook covers mostly done, and one in progress. Next on the list will be more headbands. My wife suggested this design, and they have been very popular.


Leather Basketweave Motorcycle Seats

26 May

Here’s a photo showing more detail of the basketweave pattern tooled into the seats for my motorcycle.

Photo showing more detail on basketweave leather motorcycle seats

Basketweave Motorcycle Seat Detail

If you’ve ever tooled a large area of a pattern in basketweave, you can appreciate how tedious it can be. When done well, though, it is a beautiful leather carving pattern.


Hand Tooled Leather Motorcycle Seats

26 May

Here is a project I completed in March of ’09. I crafted and tooled a set of motorcycle seats for my bike.

Hand-tooled Leather Motorcycle Seats

Hand-tooled Leather Motorcycle Seats

I wanted to try to see what I could make for me before I offered to make any for anyone else. I have about 80 hours in the pair of them. Here are some of my notes on the project I shared with a friend.

“I put the last coat of sealer on it, and buffed it out. When I put them on the bike the sun came out from behind the clouds, and the seat just lit up. It was cool! I did them with an oil based antique gel, not the water based ones are all that Tandy carries anymore. Then I sprayed them with Leathersheen, which is a wax finish. I am planning on wearing an old pair of jeans when I ride them the first time, and if there is any rub off, I will get a product called Aussie sealer with Atom wax that is supposed to work well. Its still kind of a learning experience for me.”

I’m pretty excited about how they turned out. I am now taking referrals from a motorcycle shop for custom leather seats.