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.
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
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.
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