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Posted By: Travis S Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/12/19 01:08 AM
Anyone here ever cover a butt pad in alligator leather. I have several hides from hunts over the years and thought a gator covered pad would be a great southern touch to a classic double.
Posted By: SKB Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/12/19 01:14 AM
Does it stretch well? That is key when selecting leather to cover a pad. Bear leather works very as does calf and goat. If you give it a go, post some pics. I'm a bit too conservative to put one on my guns but I would like to see the results.
Posted By: Travis S Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/12/19 01:20 AM
It is pretty stretchy and also real wear resistant.

I have plenty of hide so nothing lost if it does not turn out well. I have never done one but it look pretty straight forward.

Do you suggest something other than water to moisten for forming?
Posted By: SKB Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/12/19 01:59 AM
I use warm water to soften the leather. The key to a good leather covered pad is grinding it undersized evenly.
Posted By: Recoil Rob Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/14/19 02:44 AM
Steve, how was it working with that javelina skin I sent you for my Francotte pad?
Posted By: SKB Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/14/19 06:57 AM
That was not bad to work with, stretched well. Nice leather too.
Posted By: battle Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/15/19 12:49 PM
Originally Posted By: SKB
That was not bad to work with, stretched well. Nice leather too.


Letís pic of that?
Posted By: HomelessjOe Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/17/19 11:45 AM
I'd luv to see that too...
Posted By: SKB Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/17/19 04:07 PM


Posted By: keith Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/17/19 05:49 PM
Who really did that work Stevie? We know you subcontract out a lot of your work so that you can spend all day here.

And since you continually advertise your business here, do you pay Dave Weber $12.00 when you get these jobs??? Or does the customer pay Dave?
Posted By: SKB Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/17/19 06:18 PM


One more on a rifle I built. I think they look best with the .800" thick base pad.
Posted By: Woodreaux Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/17/19 07:06 PM
For burnishing the baselines (can't remember the proper name for them now) what method do you all use? I used two small washers on a screw, but I struggled to establish permanent lines. In fact, I ended up with some burn marks, which you can see in the picture. I'd like to do a better job next time.

Posted By: SKB Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/17/19 08:11 PM
I use a burnishing tool my friend a leather maker made for me. I know some really good leather pad guys file a slight depression in the base of the pad to push the leather into. I am going to try that in the future.
Posted By: Travis S Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/18/19 01:32 AM
I have a solid butt pad coming and will attempt my 1st leather covered pad in exotic genuine Florida gator skin.

It may be a couple weeks but I am going to dig in on this thing and will report back. Nice work to both SKB and Wooddreaux
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/18/19 02:01 AM
Do you think a small gator (four feet or less) would yield a hide better suited to this, or would age matter? Just wondering if a big, old gator might result in thicker, tougher, harder to stretch leather. ???

SRH
Posted By: Geo. Newbern Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/18/19 02:54 AM
Originally Posted By: Stan
Do you think a small gator (four feet or less) would yield a hide better suited to this, or would age matter? Just wondering if a big, old gator might result in thicker, tougher, harder to stretch leather. ???

SRH



The neck skin might work Stan. I may try a piece of the neck skin from my son's 8 footer...Geo
Posted By: Travis S Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/18/19 10:39 AM
I was going to try a smaller hide as it does start out thinner and strethier. I have one from 5-6 foot gator to start with. I also have a few big gator hides that I cold pull from but only after I get my Russel bird boots made.
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/18/19 11:29 AM
Thanks. Please keep us posted on the progress you make with this. Interesting project, for sure.

Best to you, SRH
Posted By: Run With The Fox Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/28/19 10:54 PM
Russell-- New Berlin, WI. I have a well-worn pair of Birdshooters, still fit like the first time I wore them--Best boot ever for all-day upland hunting, following the "dawgs"-Red Wing Irish Setter boots are also top quality- like Russell- NOT Russel, by the by. RWTF
Posted By: bushveld Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 10/03/19 02:10 AM
Use 50% water and 50% rubbing alcohol to soak the leather for about 5-10 minutes before stretching in on the butt stock. I learned this from Jack Rowe.
Posted By: Travis S Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 10/03/19 10:09 AM
I now have all my parts, pieces and the stock I want to work with. I will be tied up with work for a couple days but afterwards will post some pics of start and progress.

Thanks for tips from everyone.

also, if anyone has a pics or tips on shop built line burnisher I would appreciate that very much.
Posted By: Ghostrider Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 11/25/19 11:25 AM
Any updates?
Posted By: Travis S Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/09/21 09:13 PM
OK I am picking back up on my alligator leather covered recoil pad.

I have the pad ground down flush with the stuck now I have to under grind.

Any thoughts on best size radius to grind the rear edges to for best transition?

Also I would still love to see a pic or two of a homemade line burnishing set up.

Thanks

Travis
Posted By: mc Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/10/21 02:54 AM
Has anyone used kangaroo?I have kangaroo leather boots it's light and really tough and it does seem to stretch
Posted By: SKB Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/10/21 01:16 PM
I have not used kangaroo but I think it should work very well. I have used Black Bear in the past and it worked very nicely. I usually use top grain pigskin.
Posted By: Mark II Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/10/21 04:28 PM
Kangarroo should be really good. Goatskin is really easy to work with. Burnishers aren't hard to make, a washer with the edge rounded and polished and warmed with a heat source can work in a pinch. Some guys groove the pad itself to get a deeper more even line.
Posted By: HomelessjOe Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 09/11/21 02:54 PM
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
My J.B. Hill Alligator and Kangaroo leather wallet is holding up pretty good.
Posted By: Travis S Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/08/22 03:13 PM
Update:

I am just about through with my first attempt at covering a recoil pad with leather. Not just leather mind you but alligator leather to make it as hard on myself as possible:)

I had to use leather from about a 4 -5 foot gator to get as thin a leather as needed and the only piece that made since in terms of consistent pattern was the skin under the lower jaws.

I went with the Midway tutorial. All in all it went well but the veins in the skin pattern made it, I would think, harder to shape around the heel, toe and under the sides more so than pig skin. Also I do not think a burnishing line will work with the veining.

Although I would definitely do a covered pad again I would have to be pretty motivated or dared to do one in gator skin again.

I am not quite ready to post pics but will do so soon
Posted By: bushveld Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/08/22 06:58 PM
For those of you who want to try your hand at covering a recoil pad in leather the following video will help you---here is real professional showing what you need to know, especially on thinning the leather. You will see in this video the proper way to many of the tasks made easy that you think are difficult. The thinning of the leather is the significant key to the process and I have found that my leather splitter (similar to his) works great. The grade and quality of the leather is very important as well and as he points out not all the skin is suitable for a recoil pad. You will not be able to easily find the goat leather from central Africa like he uses, but you can find other very good goat and pig skin from sources here in America.

If you follow this method you will not end up with a ugly mess of leather needing to be cut away around the recoil pad as you see what the amateur in the Midway video concluded with--what a mess.

By-the-way, James Flynn is the best leather recoil pad craftsman in the world and the quality of his leather is superb. Maybe he will provide some comments some day about his methods.

Posted By: keith Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/09/22 01:36 AM
Bushveld, there have been a lot of posts on this BBS over the years pertaining to the process of a leather covered pad.

Your post and the video provided more good information than any of them I have seen thus far. Definitely one to save for future reference. Thanks much!
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/09/22 12:22 PM
I watched this video a few years ago, but thanks for reminding me of it again, bushveld. AFA how-to videos go, this is as good as it gets, IMO.
Posted By: Travis S Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/12/22 03:03 PM
That is a good video and yes he is a professional but I have to say I am pretty pleased with my 1st attempt particularly with no specialty tools and material that is not the easiest to work with.

Pics to follow soon.
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/12/22 04:30 PM
Im anxious see them, Travis.
Posted By: BrentD Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/13/22 01:22 AM
Originally Posted by Travis S
That is a good video and yes he is a professional but I have to say I am pretty pleased with my 1st attempt particularly with no specialty tools and material that is not the easiest to work with.

Pics to follow soon.

I was really pleased with my first attempt too, and the various jigs I built for it. But I didn't attempt gator hide! That's really being brave! I used eland and it was very easy to work with. Luckily, eland are big.

Cole's video was really helpful, and I have posted it here before. There are others that are helpful when it comes to bending. I also made one to fit a widow's peak. It turned out okay. But I'll do much better at that next time.

Skiving with a perfectly adjusted tool is critical. Cole whips through it quickly, but it took me a couple tries to get it right. Spreading the glue evenly is also critical, but not hard.
Posted By: Travis S Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/24/22 02:17 AM
I am down to finishing the plugs and I will then be ready to reveal smile

I need some help though. The alligator skin will not work well to cover the plugs for a number of reasons but the scale veins in it make it impossible to bend that small.

Would anyone be willing to sell me just enough pigskin or other thin enough material to cover two plugs?

Many thanks

Travis
Posted By: BrentD Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/24/22 03:42 AM
Originally Posted by Travis S
I am down to finishing the plugs and I will then be ready to reveal smile

I need some help though. The alligator skin will not work well to cover the plugs for a number of reasons but the scale veins in it make it impossible to bend that small.

Would anyone be willing to sell me just enough pigskin or other thin enough material to cover two plugs?

Many thanks

Travis

I'd be happy to send you some deep maroon/brown eland leather for plugs. between 0.020 and 0.025" thick
Posted By: BrentD Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/24/22 03:45 AM
Looks like this.


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/24/22 11:58 AM
Travis, you have most likely already eliminated this possibility but, are there any small areas on the gator hide that would have a softer or less coarse texture? I'm thinking maybe under the front legs, like the "armpits". Having handled numerous gators in my lifetime I seem to recall that area being of an entirely different texture.
Posted By: HomelessjOe Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 01/26/22 04:28 PM
I thought I saw you on Swamp People
Posted By: Travis S Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 03/16/22 03:31 PM
OK I am through and ready to post pics. What is the current opinion on best hosting site?

Thanks
Posted By: Stanton Hillis Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 03/17/22 11:39 AM
Travis, I use lunapic to resize the pic (down), then use jpgbox to post it on a forum.

I'd really like to see the gatorskin covered pad.
Posted By: susjwp Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 03/17/22 12:36 PM
One of the better YTs. Thanks Bushveld.
Posted By: battle Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 03/18/22 05:45 PM
IMGBB

no account needed.
Posted By: BrentD Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 03/18/22 10:57 PM
If it will help, email them to me and I'll post them for you. My email is in my profile.
Posted By: Travis S Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 03/19/22 11:50 PM
Thx all . I am in a class the next couple days but will post next week
Posted By: HalfaDouble Re: Alligator skin covered butt pad - 03/20/22 10:35 PM
If you really want an exotic gator skin you have to get one from Colorado;-) Really, https://coloradogators.com/
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