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A Satchel in France

January 15, 2018


I received a letter from Stephen in France this week and wanted to share it with you. Stephen recently made a wood and leather satchel, inspired by the one I made last year over on my membership site, An Unplugged Life.

It turned out great Stephen, and I loved reading about the challenges you had to overcome through the build. Thanks for sharing!

Wood and leather satchel

Hi Tom,
just wanted to drop you a note following on from the wood and leather project that you so kindly did following a personal request – that is what is so special and different about you and your vlog. It feels very personal and you actually respond to questions and personal requests. That makes one feel very involved and engaged and this does not hold true with some of the other woodworking subscriptions out there.
You made making this satchel look so easy! For me it was somewhat of an adventure. First off I managed to split one end of the carcase when chiselling as the wood was quite thin as I wanted to reduce the weight gven its use. I managed to fix this thanks to some expert gluing! Next problem came from buying 3mm leather (bridle) which proved to be too stiff for this project…..needed to find some other use for it so I ended up youtubing ’leatherworking projects’ –  I came out of this rabbet hole 2 months later having made some belts, knife sheaths and a purse! Nonetheless I cracked on with a little more confidence on the leather side of things. My next problem came from trying to find a rivet long enough to pass through the 12mm thick maple side plus the leather. Not being able to find 15mm long rivets I purchased some copper rivets, old school style. Not easy to fix but they do look really cool – I very nearly shattered the whole thing trying to peen them! I seemed to have had endless problems accessing the work and I realised that doing things in the right order was key. Next one will be a breeze! Here are some snaps – as you can see I stole some ideas from your previous projects as well – I really wanted to see more of the wood. As my wife is a part time firefighter, I used ‘fireman clasps’ which open and shut quickly. I shellacked the flared maple which worked out well. All in all, a very enjoyable ‘little’ project. 
Again thanks for your help, keep up the good work. 
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