Adding a Buckle and Conchos to a Belt Blank

Project Summary: A basic guide to making a beautiful, casual belt with a leather belt blank, buckle and screw back conchos. We’ll also use basic leathercraft tools including a leather hole punch tool, scratch awl and English point strap end punch.

Approximate Time to Complete: 1 hour

What You Need:

  • Water Buffalo Belt Blank, 1 ½" (40-0113)
  • Water Buffalo Belt Loop, 1 ½" (75-5005)
  • #Z1572 Belt Buckle, Antique Silver, 1-1/2" (Z1572-AS-11/2)
  • #D5038 Chicago Screws, Black, Plain, 1/4" (D5038-P-BK-1/4)
  • #1847 Feather Concho with Post, Antique Nickel, 1-1/4" (01847-AN-11/4)
  • Quartz Tooling Slab (3238)
  • Poly Cutting Board (65-2916)
  • Master Tools English Point Strap End Punch, 1½" (00078-11/2)
  • Economy Punch (CSO223) or another revolving punch
  • Steel Square (3608)
  • Utility Knife (65-2860)
  • Polyhead Mallet, 9 oz. (65-2521-9)
  • Measuring Tape
  • #4 Heavy-Duty Scratch Awl, 3-1/2" (CS04-2)

Step-by-Step Instructions (with pictures):

  1. Slide the Belt Loop onto the buckle end of your Belt Blank.step1
  2. Push the Buckle tongue through the oblong-punched hole.step2
  3. Slide the Belt Blank end down through the Buckle.step3
  4. Fold the Belt Blank end underneath itself so that the two sets of Chicago screw holes line up.step4
  5. While holding the bend back in place, flip your Belt Blank over and let the Buckle hang off the edge of your Tooling Slab or workbench.step5
  6. Place one Chicago Screw female end underneath the first set of holes (nearest your buckle). Twist in the male end of the Chicago Screw.step6
  7. Slide the Belt Loop underneath your Belt Blank’s flap, and then secure the second Chicago Screw. The Belt Loop should rest between the two Chicago Screws.step7
  8. Now that your Buckle is secured to your Belt Blank, the next step will be to add size holes. Begin by measuring your waist in inches if you don’t already know your size.
  9. Lay your belt horizontally on your workbench. Lay your Measuring Tape vertically above your belt, with 0" starting at the bend back of your belt.step9
  10. Using an Awl, make a size-hole mark on your belt at the length of your waist size.step10
  11. Beginning at the mark you made on your belt at your waist size, move to the right of your measurement (toward your buckle) 1.25" and make another size-hole mark. Return to your original size-hole mark, move 1.25" to the left and make another size-hole mark. Move another 1.25 inches to the left and make an additional size-hole mark. Do this again and make one last size-hole mark. You should have 5 size-hole marks spaced 1.25" from each other.
  12. Set your Economy Punch to the diameter you’d like for your size holes, and punch your five size-hole marks.step12
  13. It’s now to time to begin preparing the belt for the 4 Conchos. Lay your Measuring Tape vertically above your belt, with 0" starting at the Chicago Screw furthest away from the buckle. Measure the length from this point to your first size hole.step13
  14. Take this length and divide it by 5. Your answer is the number of inches apart your concho holes will be. (For example, the length to Chuck’s first size hole is approximately 30 inches. Divide that by 5 to get 6. Each of his concho holes will be 6 inches apart. For him, that means he will have a concho hole at 6", 12", 18" and 24")
  15. Using your specific inch increments, use an Awl to mark where your concho holes need to be punched.step15
  16. Using the Economy Punch, punch the 4 holes you have just marked.step16
  17. Screw the Conchos in the 4 holes you have just made. *Tip: To ensure the Conchos don’t work themselves out of the belt over time, add a little glue to the female end before twisting in the male end of the concho.step17
  18. The last part of this tutorial is punching the belt tip. Move 3" to the left of your last size hole, and make a vertical line mark on your leather.step18
  19. Place the tip of your English Point Strap End Punch on the vertical line mark. The tip should face away from your size holes. To punch your belt tip, hit the end of your English Point Strap End Punch with your Polyhead Mallet.step19
  20. Your belt is now complete!step20