I wish to make a belt buckle in silver with channel inlay in dino
bone. What thickness of silver plate should I use? Any advice
about style of attachment to the leather belt?
Buckles are a nice thing to make, being a utilitarian item it has to
serve its primary need, which is to hold a belt together and keep
pants up! whatever the waist size!! I separated the holding need from
the decorative finish.
This entailed making a buckle back to which the leather, I used was
fixed one end, and the loose end had the usual holes in it. Then the
decorative front was riveted to it with 4 rivets of the same
material, ie silver rivets for a silver front etc.
The fronts in my buckles are minted between 3 d dies, the design of
which depended on the customer I aimed the finished item to. for
example, when working at the National Railway museum of Utecht
Holland, I minted one of the most famous engines in their collection
,and at Schloss burg Nr solingen I minted a design featuring the
Quadrega, symbolising the reunification of Germany and so on. The
buckle back is the same shape for all of these, with different shaped
backs for other designs.
All the backs are made the same way, as follows.
I blank the backs out of 70/30 brass 1/10 in thick the same shape as
the fronts. Then I use another press tool to punch up 3 tangs some
1/4in wide by 7/16ths in long. 2 are used to hold the 1/10 in thick
stainless steel loop for the fixed end of the belt, and the third one
is formed into a hook to connect with the belt holes. The loop is also
made in house formed up between 2 pieces of steel held in the leg
vice. then using mans oldest tool, hammered around and cut with
shears to length. All this is on the back of the buckle back, if you
Its all made without any soldering, all cold metalwork. There all
signed and dated of course. I guarantee that all my buckles and
belts will take the users weight for at least 20 yrs. The leather is
plain either natural oak bark tanned, shiny brown, or for a dress
buckle in silver, I use black swede. These are shaped in a curve to
suit the female anatomy. Its nice combining different materials that
go together well. Leather is a pleasure to use after the hard work of
Hope this helps.