Pentax Digital Spotmeter Holster

A Chicago cinematographer approached us about a week ago, inquiring if we could make a holster for a Pentax Spotmeter. If you aren’t familiar with what a spotmeter  is, it is probably because the function of a spotmeter is built in to most modern cameras. Without getting overly complicated or wandering too far from my areas of expertise, a spotmeter measures the presence of light for the purposes of getting a good exposure in photography or film-making. While modern devices have this function built in, many professionals still carry a professional spotmeter to prep shots.

I have made a few custom knife sheaths and dabbled in holstering before, but this was my first commission for something with such a strange shape. Here is a photo of the preliminary measuring.


After I got a feel for what I was going to do, I chiseled the holes for lacing and I sewed the item together. After this was complete, the item fit awkwardly in the unformed holster. Much like working with clay, once the leather is saturated, it can be worked and formed. After about 2o minutes of forming and shaping, the holster started to really take shape and mold nicely to the device. Here is the finished product.


GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAIf you are interested in ordering a custom piece, please contact us at


What It Takes to be Wexman

Americans have had a love affair with leather from the Revolution to the taming of the West. The story of leather parallels the greater narrative, from conflicts to the depression, from the roaring twenties to the pleasant post-war 50’s. To us at Wexman Trading, leather is  the perfect medium for us. Before the turn of the century, every town had a leather smith. During the early part of the 20th century, leather went from a craft, to a full scale industry like everything else. While this allowed for more people to have less expensive, more widely available products, the quality suffered tremendously. For the most part, handmade leather goods disappeared. In this post, we  hope to show exactly how we make our items, the same way leather smiths did over a hundred years ago.

Tools. Our entire philosophy focuses on making sturdy, durable products by hand. Machine tooling is not something we do, or would even really consider. We use very basic tool to cut the leather, create a seam for the stitching and bevel the edges. We also use basic punches and setters to attach snaps and rivets.

To make a simple wallet with a snap, we first cut 3″ strips of cowhide. For this we use a draw gauge.

After the shapes are cut, the stitches are chiseled, and the piece is ready to be sewn.

We use saddle stitching which is done with two needles. The friction created by the sewing process heats up the wax coating on the thread which cools and locks into place.

After the sewing is complete, we have to apply a sealer and conditioner. We also add raw beeswax to the edges to help waterproof the item.

The end result is worth the time spent. Yes, there are faster ways to do this. No, we are not interested in employing machines. Hand made items are simply tougher and frankly more unique. This is what it takes to be Wexman.

Tom Maegdlin-Leather Trafficker at Wexman Trading

End Game. A Short Story by Dan Levin

End Game by Dan Levin, A short story from the Tumbleweed Project. Music and Production by Tom Maegdlin.

Doing it the right way at Red Wing Shoes

The guys over at Red Wing Shoes do things right.

The Western Utility

We call this the Western Utility Shirt. The ‘Western’ Shirt was originally designed as the ‘Safety’ Shirt, hence the snaps. If you got caught up in the reins of your horse or something, you could just unsnap the shirt and be freed up. This shirt integrates that concept met with the practicality of a utility shirt.

-Dan Levin and Tom Maegdlin