Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Strap, buckle, and box making, reviews, and more
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Phaedros
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Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Post by Phaedros »

Hi,

to shorten the wait for german customs to handle the dials coming in for my current build I got bitten by the bug and started to attempt something I‘m not sure I can pull off... :eh:

I want to make a strap from untanned rayskin - the kind you‘d use for a sword handle. This stuff is tough as nails and about as stiff as kydex. I do love the looks and feel though and you never know when you‘ll have to grind some wasabi on the fly...

I went on and cut a stripe on my bandsaw, softened it with water and skived it down as far as I dared to. Then I contact-cemented it to a piece of 3mm leather taking care to give it the proper bend to start with. After shaping it on the beltsander I dyed it with fiebings and glued and riveted it to form the loop to attach it to the watch.

It is more of a bracelet than a strap right now...

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The copper needs blackening with liver of sulphur.

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I might have to build a custom clasp for this, as I doubt it will conform to a buckle.

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Anyway, this is just a test and I might go and scrap it to get some soft rayskin down the road - I‘m not sure it will wear comfortably. Another problem is that I don’t know if I can trust the cement to hold the strap together. Over time it might come apart and sewing is not an option... well not an easy one at least. Id have to carve a channel into the „pearls“ to lay in the thread and drill the holes to take the stitching.

What do you guys think? Is it worth the endeavor? What kind of clasp would you think could work?


Bests,

Chris.
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Re: Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Post by Yoda »

I wouldn't know what clasp to use, but the work is spitzenklasse! Exquisite!
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Phaedros
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Re: Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Post by Phaedros »

@Yoda thank you! That’s a big motivation for me!

I might have figured out a way to make some sort of reverse buckle but it‘s mostly still in my head... I have aready shaped a sheet of copper over a wooden mandrel but I need to solder it shut and file a lot to get there.
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Re: Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Post by Emilio »

I have only seen bracelets made of ray skin, not straps.

I wish you success in this endeavour
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Re: Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Post by Vesire »

i've tried punching , no channel though, its hard and not good looking when you punch it all
thats why most are without stitches or minimal

Your try looks good, i think the gllue will hold it, just puncha hole or 2 for the buckle
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Re: Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Post by nje2791 »

Nice texture, although the surface can also be polished I think. Very clever idea.
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Re: Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Post by Phaedros »

@Emilio thank you! That‘s how I got the idea.

@Vesire yes, it‘s a pain to work. I found that drilling it at high speed (4000rpm) and feeding very slow makes the nicest holes without tearout. I already thought about micro rivets from .75mm copperwire but let‘s see how it holds up...

@nje2791 thanks! Yes, you can basically polish down the „pearls“ to leave you with just their pattern and a really smooth surface.


I made a little progress today... pics to come later
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Re: Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Post by Phaedros »

Some progress and a large leap backwards...


Sheet of copper bent over the mandrel with a rough layout of the clasp

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i thought to myself „why not use my tig torch to braze the bar in?“... well, this works very well, as long as you start out with something like 15-20 amps

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Not so much if you start out like I did with... say... 45 AMPS :evil: I guess I‘ll start over tomorrow :angel:

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At least the blackening turned out nice... I applied a bit of hammer-texture to the rivet and used a small paintbrush to dab on some solution of liver of sulphur in water

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Some more parts started:

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Let‘s see how far I can take this tomorrow
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Re: Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Post by Yoda »

Learning by doing! Haven't we all been a pit where everything goes south. Keep up the good work!
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Re: Rayskin Strap - work in progress

Post by Phaedros »

It went a bit better today - mostly propably due a friendly encounter I had in a parking lot today :mrgreen:


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I‘ll need some practice to get my soldering skills back up to par but as a proof of concept and a prototype it‘lldo just fine

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