Note: This is not intended to be a full ‘how to’ rather, it is for those who have fitted a buckle before but need some tips as a reminder. Look carefully at the buckle parts before working through the tips that follow.
Establishing the correct strap width:
The leather strap should be the same width as the inside width of the buckle. To establish the width of the buckle in mm or inches, measure the inside width of the buckle along the bar that the prong is fitted to. Adjust the strap cutter to this measurement and test on some scrap leather before cutting a whole strap length. See our videos for how to set and use the wooden strap cutter.
Run a ‘buckle fitting’ test first:
Feed the leather strap through the buckle to check that it’s a really good fit. If the leather is forced upwards on one side of the buckle then the strap is too wide and if you can see gaps between the leather and the inner side edges of the buckle, the strap is too narrow. If necessary cut another test piece.
The tricky bit:
Using a flexible tape or piece of string, measure the curved section of the prong only (see picture). This measurement will be the length of the slot needed for that curve of the prong to sit in. This needs to be a snug fit – if it’s too short the curved section of the prong will be hidden,either partially or fully and will cause a bulge to form. If it’s too long then a gap will be visible at one, or both ends of the slot. Punch through making sure that the slot is straight not angled, as this will cause the buckle to ‘twist’.
The ‘turnover’ allowance:
Now for the real thing:
When you’re satisfied with the result of your test piece you’re ready to cut out the full length of your strap. By now you will already have the strap cutter set to the correct width for your buckle and you will also have established which size slot punch to use.