Yesterday I made a plaited kangaroo belt and today I put on the finishing touches. The reason that I’m making this belt (which is for me!) is because we’re going on a cruise soon and my normal belt has a buckle. I hate having to take my buckle on and off when going through the airport’s or the boat’s metal detectors. So I picked up some plastic D Rings from David Morgan and this will be my travel belt.
Originally this started as a 15 plait belt:
However after getting about 4 inches into it and comparing it to the D Rings that I was using I decided the belt needed to be a bit wider. I ended up adding two more strands to it making it end up as a 17 plait belt.
It’s a bit hard to see in the picture above, but this belt isn’t just a flat checkerboard plait. It’s what Ron Edwards calls a Little Snake Plait in 15 plait and when I moved it up to 17 plait Ron calls it a Brown Snake Plait.
To make a belt like this one the info in the books Little Snake and Stockmen’s Plaited Belts by Ron Edwards will teach you everything you need to know.
If you don’t have many of Ron’s books and do any plaiting you really should consider getting them. You can find them at: http://ramsskullpress.com. He’s got a lot more that’s of use to a whip maker than just the book How to Make Whips!
In the past I’ve only made a couple of plaited belts, so this was fun for me. This belt was also the first time I’ve reversed the strands so that when the belt is threaded through the D Rings you don’t see the backside of the kangaroo. Below are picks of the front and back side of the belt:
You can also see the attached plaited keeper on the belt. When I was shellacing this plaited belt between coats I gave it a hit of Leather Honey.
This stuff is pretty cool, you put a bit on a sponge and wipe it on. I’ve used Leather Honey on several things and it’s great for finishing flat plaiting, on bullwhip falls and I’ve started using it on the bolsters and cores of the last couple of bullwhips that I’ve made.
Here’s the finished 17 plait belt:
You may notice the variation in the color of the kangaroo lace in the belt. That’s because this was made from leftover kangaroo skin centers. This plaited belt was made from three different kangaroo skins. I kinda like the different shades of tan, it gives it a bit of texture!