Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall


Homemade tab

Messages posted to thread:
Pinwheel 10-Nov-17
George D. Stout 10-Nov-17
cubdrvr 10-Nov-17
Pinwheel 10-Nov-17
Dan W 10-Nov-17
Rick Barbee 10-Nov-17
Bob Rowlands 10-Nov-17
Mountain Man 10-Nov-17
2 bears 10-Nov-17
Pinwheel 11-Nov-17
Douglas Tubbs 11-Nov-17
Bowlim 11-Nov-17
Bowlim 11-Nov-17
Bowlim 11-Nov-17
Mountain Man 11-Nov-17
GF 11-Nov-17
Jim Keller 11-Nov-17
Thumper 11-Nov-17
Sailor 11-Nov-17
Sailor 11-Nov-17
Bowlim 11-Nov-17
Bowlim 11-Nov-17
Bowlim 11-Nov-17
Thumper 11-Nov-17
Bowlim 11-Nov-17
Sherwood Poacher 11-Nov-17
bowyer45 11-Nov-17
fullcircle 11-Nov-17
Dubber 11-Nov-17
Dubber 11-Nov-17
Codjigger 11-Nov-17
Ulmar 11-Nov-17
2 bears 12-Nov-17
Babysaph 12-Nov-17
Pinwheel 12-Nov-17
Coyote 02-Dec-17
Cameron Root 02-Dec-17
2 bears 02-Dec-17
Dry Bones 02-Dec-17
Coyote 03-Dec-17
Dry Bones 03-Dec-17
Bowlim 03-Dec-17
Bowlim 03-Dec-17
Bob Rowlands 03-Dec-17
Bowlim 03-Dec-17
Dry Bones 03-Dec-17
gluetrap 03-Dec-17
Wild Bill 03-Dec-17
Wild Bill 03-Dec-17
Wild Bill 03-Dec-17
Wapiti - - M. S. 04-Dec-17
Dry Bones 04-Dec-17
Longcruise 04-Dec-17
2 bears 05-Dec-17
Sailor 05-Dec-17
Dry Bones 05-Dec-17
CStyles 05-Dec-17
CStyles 05-Dec-17
Bowlim 07-Dec-17
Bowlim 07-Dec-17
Dry Bones 07-Dec-17
dean 07-Dec-17
From: Pinwheel
Date: 10-Nov-17

Pinwheel's embedded Photo



Anyone make their own tabs? Over the last 30 years I have tried just about every tab out there. I have been making my own for about 10 years now. Every once in awhile I still buy and try others, but I keep going back to the ones I make. I use a thin layer of leather for the backing material and a thicker tight grained leather for the face. I stitch and glue the layers together. Makes for a simple yet durable tab. If you make your own post up a picture. Thanks

From: George D. Stout Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 10-Nov-17




I like seeing folks make many of their own accessories...very cool.

From: cubdrvr
Date: 10-Nov-17

cubdrvr's embedded Photo



Mine is 2 layer same leather so I can shoot both left and right with it.

From: Pinwheel
Date: 10-Nov-17




I really enjoy making as much of my gear as I can. I just picked up some more leather today, so I should be able to make enough tabs to last the rest of my life.

From: Dan W
Date: 10-Nov-17

Dan W's embedded Photo



Made these many years ago. One left (cordovan) & one right (Good hunk of cowhide) Very simple; just a sharp blade & good leather. Better than all my store bought ones.

From: Rick Barbee
Date: 10-Nov-17

Rick Barbee's embedded Photo



I make all my own.

Here's the last one I made.

Rick

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 10-Nov-17




I thought you were out of biz Rick?

From: Mountain Man
Date: 10-Nov-17

Mountain Man's embedded Photo



Hahaha,,,i herd Rick died couple months ago ; )

It must be a marketing thing : 0

Ive made some,,,no where near as good as Ricks

From: 2 bears
Date: 10-Nov-17




Rick was it planned or did it just turn out that the stitching and the back of the tab form a B Pretty cool either way.>>--->Ken

From: Pinwheel
Date: 11-Nov-17




Great looking tabs. For those that don't make their own, what is your favorite?

From: Douglas Tubbs
Date: 11-Nov-17




I make and use the same exact tab as Dan W. Used these for years/works for me.

From: Bowlim
Date: 11-Nov-17

Bowlim's embedded Photo



Here are a few tabs I have made for myself. They are all sized for me despite the variation in size. The two I prefer are the two in the upper left. The lower right is an old Saunders I customized going way back, at least 20 years, maybe 20. The white tabs are made of a material I tracked down that is supposed to be similar to the plastic in the Saunders tabs, but it isn't all that similar.

From: Bowlim
Date: 11-Nov-17

Bowlim's embedded Photo



Back views.

From: Bowlim
Date: 11-Nov-17




Lets keep the thread on DIY tabs, there are plenty of threads on tabs that people bought and what they thought of them.

From: Mountain Man
Date: 11-Nov-17

Mountain Man's embedded Photo



From: GF
Date: 11-Nov-17




“Lets keep the thread on DIY tabs”

I believe everybody has been doing that so far; just some people got MAD SKILLZ!

I did make one for my boys; used a SAM for the pattern and scaled it down on a copier....

From: Jim Keller
Date: 11-Nov-17

Jim Keller's embedded Photo



Here's what I make. Cordovan on top of reg leather. Jim

From: Thumper
Date: 11-Nov-17




Maybe dumb question, but for Bowlim and others:

How do you stitch through the thick leather on the tabs with the rigid type palm plate? One of those wood handled speedy stitcher deals? Big sewing machine?

I have a Safari Tuff tab that I really like, but have been wanting to make my own with a couple changes.

Thanks to everyone for sharing, some really good looking tabs y'all have made.

From: Sailor
Date: 11-Nov-17

Sailor's embedded Photo



I have always used Bateman Cordovan tabs and awhile back lost one so I didn't have a back up. I decided to make a tab just for a backup until I could get another Bateman. I liked my homemade tab so well I have switched to it over the Bateman. I have made several variations and like them all.

From: Sailor
Date: 11-Nov-17

Sailor's embedded Photo



Another variation.

From: Bowlim
Date: 11-Nov-17

Bowlim's embedded Photo



Thumper, I have a huge sewing machine, but that is a recent acquisition, I have done similar work for a long time by hand, it does take longer. A tab is a small project, but whether I would have wanted to knock out a bunch of prototypes if each one was a bit of a struggle, I don't know. The process you want to YOutube is "Saddle Stitching" I find it tough to get each pass of the needles through, that is probably because I am not using enough of a hole for the needles. if you don't give it the awl, you will pay for it on the fingers.

This is the first heavy piece of work I remember making, I still use this knife and sheath today. I did it when I was about 20, which is 38 years ago. Still holds up, and the only part I don't like is the first stitch I took in the toe. So you can do serviceable work right out of the gate, and the instructions are better today.

From: Bowlim
Date: 11-Nov-17

Bowlim's embedded Photo



I will include another non-tab picture to illustrate a point. This is a holder I made for bear spray. A quick job before departing for bear country. You can see the beautiful stitching, but what I was careful not to show was the toe of the holder where the stitching almost ran completely off the piece. I set my stitches too close to the the edge and given that the material was 24 oz thick at that point, the foot on the machine toppled off to the side, ruining the project. It was the last row of stitching in the project. Well the bears can't tell...

But that would never have happened with hand stitching. And I could never have run up a prototype in an hour from design through to final product, oiled at a later date. But you might think you want a sewing machine, until you get one. I know guys who have never figured out how to use theirs. And I know of guys who do some of the fanciest gear you will ever see, all hand sewn. Hand sewing is supposed to be stronger, not sure about that, but it sure isn't weaker, or less attractive.

From: Bowlim
Date: 11-Nov-17




To answer specifically the speedy stitcher question, I don't think they are all that great. First of all they produce a lockstitch, which is what sewing machines do, that is the weak point of machine sewing. Where machine sewing compensates for that is with incredibly strong thread, which isn't really the kind of thread they use in the SS. I don't think the stitching is as attractive as saddle stitching, which is the form they use on those 20K handbags. And the SS costs more to get into, and weighs more even in an emergency kit. All you need is some thread, needles, wax, and an awl. A star wheel to lay out your pattern is nice. And if you want to get spendy a tool for cutting multiple holes is nice. But unless you make those, they are expensive. Ebay, leather pricking irons is the search.

https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/mlgAAOSw14JZi04B/s-l1600.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=saddle+stitching

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6HOhqaVXW0

From: Thumper
Date: 11-Nov-17




Wow, that's a ton of great info. Thank you very much Bowlim! That looks like some great work you have done as well.

Hope the other guys can use the info too, I certainly can and thank you very much.

From: Bowlim
Date: 11-Nov-17




Glad it helps.

I should say if you have a Speedy Stitcher, it isn't as though they won't work. They will for sure, and the stitching on a tab isn't heavily stressed. I only lay into them because I don't think they are better than simpler and cheaper methods. And lighter methods too, since some people carry them into the wilderness.

From: Sherwood Poacher
Date: 11-Nov-17




Where can I get some cordovan leather to make a split finger tab ?

From: bowyer45
Date: 11-Nov-17




I make mine from the tongues of old hunting boots, they work great! single layer only.

From: fullcircle
Date: 11-Nov-17

fullcircle's embedded Photo



This is mine. Thin leather face with kangaroo leather back. Awesome.

From: Dubber
Date: 11-Nov-17




Made

From: Dubber
Date: 11-Nov-17

Dubber's embedded Photo



Made these from a wallet

From: Codjigger
Date: 11-Nov-17

Codjigger's embedded Photo



I take scrap seal pelt and laminate it to leather, maybe even two thicknesses to get it as i like, using contact cement, then i use a tab i have for a pattern clamping it berween boards. When it has set, i cut it to shape with a scissors. A winters project among others. Sandy

From: Ulmar
Date: 11-Nov-17




For stiching a small project look into "Diamond Lacing Stitching Chisel Set Leather Craft Kits" I used one to do a holster.

Not fast, but it worked.

Also some needles are a good idea.

From: 2 bears
Date: 12-Nov-17




Since my hands are so messed up with arthritis,I drill all the holes. Still use the double needle saddle stitch. You have seen a cut thread you could pull and unravel the whole thread? That is the lock stitch a sewing machine uses. A saddle stitch won't pull and unravel.>>>----> Ken

From: Babysaph Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 12-Nov-17




Those tabs are all nice bit I like the rubber thing in the middle of a can't pinch tab.

From: Pinwheel
Date: 12-Nov-17




Great homemade tabs everyone.

From: Coyote
Date: 02-Dec-17

Coyote's embedded Photo



I put this one together with a suede top layer, auto upholstery leather for the shooting surface, pigskin for the reinforcement, twisted leather lace for the finger loop and waxed linen thread.

From: Cameron Root
Date: 02-Dec-17




Rick that looks like the tab you made for me. Hasn't got here yet. Anxious

From: 2 bears
Date: 02-Dec-17




Coyote for the win. Neatest looks. >>>----> Ken

From: Dry Bones
Date: 02-Dec-17




I tried making a few, nothing turned out like I thought it should and I am back to using a glove. Maybe it's a lack of pattern, or maybe I just don't know how to correctly handle a tab??

-Bones

From: Coyote
Date: 03-Dec-17




Thanks 2bears!

From: Dry Bones
Date: 03-Dec-17




May have been posted before, and I can't find in Archives. Anyone have a template or where to find one? I would at least like a few measurements to start with. Could be I have been making tabs to long after looking at what all of you have been posting.

-Bones

From: Bowlim
Date: 03-Dec-17




- Your hand is the template. Part of the reason people have strong preferences for different, but nearly identical tabs, is that our hands are not the same, not just larger, smaller, thicker, etc... But the fingers are often not relatively the same length.

Commercial tabs tend to be long so you can trim them.

The other thing is how and where you anchor. For instance, when I shoot split, I don't care if there is extra material on the top of the tab, but when I shoot 3 under I do to some extent. So you have to sort your own stuff out.

I made a really micro two finger under Mitchell tab using a zero friction material. Ouch, the string came off so fast, and the tab didn't cover my fingers enough. That was an attention getter.

From: Bowlim
Date: 03-Dec-17




"Still use the double needle saddle stitch. You have seen a cut thread you could pull and unravel the whole thread? That is the lock stitch a sewing machine uses. A saddle stitch won't pull and unravel.:"

There is an actual unraveling knot, you probably have come across it on bags of potatoes, or similar. You unravel one end, and then you pull on it, and it all comes out. For some odd reason it is used extensively in jeans manufacture.

The lock stitch they use in sewing machines isn't the equal of a saddle stitch, but it doesn't just come undone either. Almost everything you own with stitching probably has a lock stitch in, it, and if you think of your clothes, they don't just fall apart when the first thread goes.

There are a variety of reasons why a well made saddle stitch doesn't just fall apart. Typically it is made with weak linen threads that are heavily waxed so it is almost glues in there. Linen threads are weak compared to today's threads, but the leather isn't Kevlar either. With any leather work, everything with the stitching maters. So hole size and spacing, leather thickness, thread size, thread material, etc... Once you get the right balance, which you do by just copying what other people use, you are going to get a high performance result.

But with any stitching methods, once the thread breaks somewhere, you have a problem, and that is true of saddle stitching also. Well machine stitched products like Bianchi leather, will fall apart from leather erosion, long before the stitching goes. The biggest advantage to saddle stitching is that it cost about 10 bucks to get into. A proper leather machine is 1-4 thousand dollars.

In any case, there are excellent tab designs that don't use stitching at all, and may be easier to copy for DIY designs.

From: Bob Rowlands
Date: 03-Dec-17




I don't make tabs. I DO modify my cheapjack Neet hair tabs by cutting out a layer for better 'string feel'. I also trim the tab to where there's no excess sticking out past my finger tips at full draw. I can't stand thick cordovan tab I like feeling the string. Similarly I don't like scopes on long arms either I'm no sniper. I like the natural view keeps me connected. That's just me.

From: Bowlim
Date: 03-Dec-17




"Those tabs are all nice bit I like the rubber thing in the middle of a can't pinch tab."

I used to rely on those entirely until I learned to just separate my fingers prior to the draw. That probably happened when I moved to a glove at one point. My favourite can't pinch tab was the Saunders.

There are designs that use leather for the can't pinch, and they are easy to execute if anyone wants one.

From: Dry Bones
Date: 03-Dec-17




Bowlim, I fully understand about the hand sizing varies greatly, but for a guy that has never been successful with a comfortable tab, there has to be a spot to measure on my hand or fingers that allows me to make a better fitting tab. I guess the way we "grip" the string probably also dictates the length of the tab. For those who use a deep hook it would need to be longer then those who barely get the curl?

-Bones

From: gluetrap
Date: 03-Dec-17




made a tab out of a piece of football, cut a little split for the arrow nok . made a hole for a long shoe string n tied it to my wrist. it worked ok and looked like uh? what is it? there was a post or thread on here that told what or how to cut a tab to fit you and not smack or scrape your face. I did what they said and it works great, but still ugly. I think I remember they said you need only enough to cover the string when you bend your fingers. got to admit it don't look like it would protect my fingers, but it does...ron

From: Wild Bill
Date: 03-Dec-17

Wild Bill's embedded Photo



My best tabs are four pieces of leather. I use two pieces for the backing and loop,one piece for the face and a small piece for the finger spacer. In the photo, I positioned a piece of feather in slits cut in the backing shapes. These are where the spacer block is fit between and stitched to. The three pieces are stitched together first, the spacer block is then positioned at the notch where the arrow fits at the facing piece, and stitched in place to the two pieces of the backing only. The spacer block is usually two layers of heavy leather glued together. I use a hole cutter tool to make a series of connecting holes, to create the finger loop. I like the overlap that cradle my fingers on either side of the arrow slot. The facing is cordovan and the backing pieces are suede and cowhide.

From: Wild Bill
Date: 03-Dec-17

Wild Bill's embedded Photo



The suede is behind my index finger and the cowhide is below.

From: Wild Bill
Date: 03-Dec-17

Wild Bill's embedded Photo



From: Wapiti - - M. S. Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 04-Dec-17




Very nice tabs that where made, I've made some years ago, But don't know how to post them.

From: Dry Bones
Date: 04-Dec-17




Thanks Wild Bill. I have had the experience that gluetrap mentioned. "smacking my face." does not reall make a person want to keep trying, but I hate paying for the better gloves.

-Bones

From: Longcruise
Date: 04-Dec-17




"Since my hands are so messed up with arthritis,I drill all the holes."

If you have a drill press it can be used to punch holes by chucking the punch up and using a piece of hardwood or much better, a plastic kitchen cutting board under the leather.

FIRST, UNPLUG THE DRILL PRESS. Y use it only for leverage.:-)

From: 2 bears
Date: 05-Dec-17




Thanks Longcruise. Sometimes I do use the drill press on larger items.Something like a tab I use a dremel with a board underneath. It works great with little effort and is fast. No way I can push awls or needles through thick leather any more.>>>----> Ken

From: Sailor
Date: 05-Dec-17




For thick leather I use my drill press and drill the holes with a 1/16" bit. I may have to try your punch method Longcruise.

From: Dry Bones
Date: 05-Dec-17




Thank you Leather wall. Seriously. I have tried to make several tabs, and never had one that did not create the face slap or other issues. After reading this and a little help from Wild Bill I shot with a very crude, but effective tab today. Most of my issue has been the length was way to long. I tried having them go beyond my finger tips. -The main reason for trying to go to a tab is the last glove I bought was not near the quality I had come to expect. Cheap, thin and irregular finger stalls. My hands are flat and wide, so glove fit is slightly difficult. That's no more thanks to the tab. Hopefully now that I have a successful trial, I can modify and make improvements. Thank you everyone.

-Bones

From: CStyles
Date: 05-Dec-17

CStyles's embedded Photo



Wild Bill, that is a great design. I say that because I make mine the same way, not as meat as yours though. This one in a little broken in.

From: CStyles
Date: 05-Dec-17




Neat not meat, stupid spell check. Also I use a sharpened piece of 1/2" ( 7/8" OD) conduit to punch the finger hole. Slightly ovalized in my vice Chuck S

From: Bowlim
Date: 07-Dec-17




"Bowlim, I fully understand about the hand sizing varies greatly, but for a guy that has never been successful with a comfortable tab, there has to be a spot to measure on my hand or fingers that allows me to make a better fitting tab. I guess the way we "grip" the string probably also dictates the length of the tab. For those who use a deep hook it would need to be longer then those who barely get the curl?

-Bones"

The main thing that changes with a deep hook is that you have to be able to get higher up on your fingers, which seems obvious, but there are features on tabs that make it harder to go that. The slot may not go far enough up; if there is a can't pinch feature it may get in the way; and the way the tabe rides on the fingers can cause problems and pushing the nock further up may cause the tab to bunch up.

Some of those problems don't exist with 3 under tabs, as the nock is not inserted in a slot in the tab.

I don't see much reason to make the tab longer for a deep hook, making stalls in gloves deeper/higher is an issue. AS mentioned the problem is getting the nock more deeply seated. the tab shouldn't normally come all the way over the ends of the fingers, but must cover them enough that they aren't struck. If the tab comes too far down on the fingers, then when you wrap it around the string, you may not be able to get the fingers tight to the face, because material will protrude. This could cause some problems with your face slap, though that is probably more a mater of your release. Get someone to video your facial area for several releases. If you are plucking, that action shoots the string to your face.

From: Bowlim
Date: 07-Dec-17




Just a note on Cordovan leather.

There is a good video on the whole process on Youtube. The leather is very special and expensive, most of the leather I see on tabs, doesn't look like cordavan. Which is hard, and rather brittle.

Big Jim is seelling bits of what he calls cordovan, there is enough wasted in making shoe, because cordovan is a small area on the horse's rump, and when a shoe is cut out, there is a lot lost, and not enough to make another shoe. So I don't doubt there is some commercially available.

That said:

1) there are other great materials out there : Synthetics; regular leathers like veg tan, get some that is hard, or lattigo. Lattigo has built in wax, and should be soft, but it seems to be wearing well for me; shearling is also really great; Calfskin.

2) While I want to make a better tab for me that anyone makes, it is the case that I can knock out another tab in 1/2 hour. So, if my choice of material isn't as perfect as what some people are calling cordovan, say it starts to groove. No problem, I can make another. I am not going to let it slow me down.

From: Dry Bones
Date: 07-Dec-17




Bowlim, Thank you for the response. I am very fsamiliar with Latigo leather and deal some with saddle leathers. Though we use a few different thicknesses, the skirt leather may be a good option for me as it is stiff and take a long time to break down. I should be able to thin it out enough to get what I want. The slap has been caused , as far as I have been able to tell, but trying to make my tabs to long. In my mind the glove covered the tips entirely and so it seemed my tab would also.. Still learning. I like being able to keep modifying some equipment and I agree. If mine do not last as long as a more expensive commercial product. Oh Well. I'll just cut another.

Thanks You,

-Bones

From: dean
Date: 07-Dec-17




When it is real cold out I sometimes stick my shooting glove inside of a warm glove. A fleece glove gives a pretty good release, but the finger tips can still get cold. A few years ago I found a piece of thick soft leather and made a cordovan style that I could wear over my warm gloves. Danged if i didn't borrow it to someone, it's gone. I do not know what kind of leather that was, I need to make another tab that will fit over a glove, neither the brittle stuff nor the thin soft stuff work. What am I looking for? Is it soft latigo?





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