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When it comes to leathercrafting projects, we wrote the book on it for DK Publishing!

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Lifetime leather bar wraps in five styles for every type of handlebar and bicycle

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Leather Wrap Calculator Tool Estimates You How Much Leather You Need to Wrap a Bar

Leather Wrap Calculator Tool Estimates You How Much Leather You Need to Wrap a Bar

Our new Oswego Leather Wrap kit can wrap just about any bar you want in leather, indoors or outdoors. But how many kits will you need for your project? In this post, we introduce our new calculator tool and explain how to use it.

 

How to Use the Calculator

  • Open the Google Sheet and "Save As" a new copy on your own drive/computer.
  • To wrap your project, measure the length and circumference and enter into the tan cells.
  • You can play with the overlap as well. We include a standard 1/4", but in reality it can vary from 1/8" to 1". (More about overlap in the section below).
  • The blue cells will output how many kits we estimate you'll need to wrap your project.

Factors That Influence Wrap Length

With one long, coiled leather strap, the amount of bar the strap can cover varies by:

  • Length of strap
  • Length of bar
  • Circumference
  • Wrap overlap
  • Stretch

These factors are so complex that we hired a PhD in mathematics to make the formulas in our calculator, and reality-tested them with three different wrap experiments. Let's take each one of those in turn.

Length of Strap

The Oswego Leather Wrap kit comes as one, very long strap. But unlike engineered leather products like upholstery leather, the length of one strap is limited to the size of the hide.

We select our Oswego strap from the longest part of the hide, the center. Hides vary in size naturally, but we ensure our Oswego strap will be a minimum of 80" long.

Length of Bar

This is the length of bar that you want to wrap, and includes an "off-ramp and on-ramp" where the electrical tape attaches the wrap to the bar.

One kit is usually enough for a single tool or handle, such as a stove or an axe. But with multiple kits, you can wrap any length you want, by attaching the straps together with our (included) leather staples. Customers have wrapped 20 feet or more for stairway bannisters.

Circumference

This is the circumference of the bar that you want to wrap. With a simple straight bar, you can measure this by wrapping a piece of tape or paper around the bar, and making a mark with a pencil where the paper overlaps. Unwind it from the bar and lay it against a ruler.

You can wrap a variable circumference with our Oswego Leather Bar Wrap Kit, but this calculator is not built for sloping circumferences. To be on the conservative side, measure the circumference at the widest point. Better to have wraps leftover than not have enough to finish your project.

Wrap Overlap

This is a critical and often-overlooked consideration. When coiling the leather around the bar, you can choose how much overlap you want each coil to make.

The more the leather overlaps, the less length it will cover. To maximize the wrap and get as much length as possible, use a minimum overlap.

We have had customers overlap as much as 1" for a very tight, almost-doubled-over wrap. We recommend a minimum of 1/8", but 1/4" is most typical.

Stretch

Yes, our leather does stretch! It stretches not only as a natural material, but also by combining the magical powers of water with vegetable-tanned leather. Our calculator mathematically compensates for the average amount of stretch in a wet strap, although actual results may vary slightly since every hide is unique.


What will you wrap with leather? Let us know your feedback and thoughts in the comments below.

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