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Thread: My new Horse Hide Slim Key cases are now for sale on my Etsy shop!

  1. #11
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    Any chance you can provide dimensions for the case? It looks relatively small, but I just want to figure out how it relates to my mess of keys now (not looking to add bulk).

  2. #12
    Varsity Member mattface's Avatar
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    It's 3.25" long, by 1.25" wide, by about .6" thick. It will hold a total of about 6 normal sized keys, and take up roughly the same amount of space as one modern car key with an electronic lock button built in.


  3. #13
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    I received my key case from Matt last night and I thought I'd post a review as well as some suggestions.

    I bought the case for 2 main reasons:
    1. I loved the depth of the color and beeswax finish on the first picture in this thread as well as in the Etsy store.
    2. I wanted a slim key case that would reduce keys poking out in my pockets and protect them from scratching my wallet/phone. I only carry 3 keys plus an electronic fob with no car keys or bulky keys.

    As far as reason number 1 goes, I didn't find the case to be nearly as rich and deep of a color as the advertised picture. I may hit it with beeswax to get a deeper color, I haven't decided yet. Here's a photo of mine that I feel represents the true color:




    As for reason number 2, I definitely feel that the case could be slimmer. The middle button that closes the case is unnecessarily bulky. I really think that it should be made into a flat snap which could reduce the width by about 25%. The leather does feel sturdy though, and it will certainly protect my phone and wallet.

    3 keys fit perfectly size-wise. I haven't tried 6, but I can see how they would fit with 3 facing one way and 3 facing the reverse way. However, since I only carry 3, the bottom screw adds unnecessary bulk. I also obviously can't remove it since the leather has been hole-punched. If possible, it'd be great to offer an option with a sewn bottom that lies flatter. I may also go to my hardware store and look for a shorter screw of the same width.

    Overall, it's a pretty neat case with a simple design at a good price. If you're not worried about maximal slimness, then it will be a great option.

    Matt - Not sure if this is possible, but if you can do a custom case, let me know. I'd be looking for the following:

    1. A flat, non-bulky snap to close the case
    2. A case that's slightly longer (approx. .5") with one edge sewn closed rather than screwed. My electronic fob would fit perfectly in the bottom of a case like that. The stitching would have to be very close to the edge, or the edge would have to be slightly wider to accommodate the fob.
    3. On the top screw, I'd like something much thinner so that I could run my keys directly through that without having to use the chain.

    Let me know if we can work something out, otherwise I may be tempted to take up a leatherworking hobby myself (though my free time is pretty limited). Thanks.

  4. #14
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    It looks fantastic, and I'm super tempted to order one! Just wondering, are those spots on the case water stains?

  5. #15
    Varsity Member mattface's Avatar
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    A couple of responses to you AJG.

    First, the color. There does tend to be some variation in color in the various pieces of horse leather they are undyed, so you are getting the natural leather color, and yours looks to be one of the lighter colored ones, but one thing I'm really loving about the horse hide is it responds really beautifully to oils, and handling. The one pictured in the nice rich color is mine, and it took on that color over the course of being carried around for just one week. So don't worry about the color too much I think you will find yours will take on a really beautiful and unique patina in time.

    As for the bulkiness, the horse hide is a little heavier than the oak tanned leather, so it will lay a little flatter initially, but I think you will find that as you carry it around it will become more supple and flatten to the shape of your keys. If you want the slim it down the hardware you can easily replace the 1/2" Chicago screw with a 3/8" one which works ok for 2 keys, but would be too tight for 3, a 1/4" screw would work nicely on the side with no keys on it. I may offer an option of 3/8" or 1/2" screws in the future depending upon how many keys you want to cary.

    These were the best snaps I was able to find that would attach to leather this thick, and I don't think they are particularly bulky, but I will be keeping my eyes out for better hardware, and am always open to suggestions for improving the design.

  6. #16
    Varsity Member mattface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnugget View Post
    It looks fantastic, and I'm super tempted to order one! Just wondering, are those spots on the case water stains?
    Not water stains. The horse hide tends to have a unique grain that looks almost tigerstripeish at times. It's less noticeable before applying the conditioner/wax. I apply conditioner and 2 coats of beeswax paste to each piece before assembly. It looks really dark at first, but lightens up as it dries, then takes on a darker and richer patina with time and handling. Each piece is a little different, which is really a part of the beauty of it.

  7. #17
    Varsity Member mattface's Avatar
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    To illustrate what I mean about variation in color, and the patina that develops with age and use and the way the grain comes out, here are the remaining 7 horsehide key cases, and mine that I have been carrying for 2 weeks now. I think you can guess which one is mine.


    DSC_0003 by mattface, on Flickr

  8. #18
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    Those look really great, Matt. I'm still trying to figure out if I can get this to work with my current key situation (yeah, its complicated).

  9. #19
    Super Moderator hornsup84's Avatar
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    Received mine yesterday, looks great and is lighter than pictured but understand the patina comes with time. One note I'd make it that not all keys will fit on this bad boy... 1 of 2 'regular' keys of mine wouldn't fit, and my mail key wouldn't fit on it. Even before trying keys on it, I thought the screwposts seemed pretty thick for what they're being used for. I may have some copies of my keys made so I can put a set in this, but just wanted to throw it out there in case others hadn't thought of this (like I hadn't).

  10. #20
    Varsity Member mattface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hornsup84 View Post
    Received mine yesterday, looks great and is lighter than pictured but understand the patina comes with time. One note I'd make it that not all keys will fit on this bad boy... 1 of 2 'regular' keys of mine wouldn't fit, and my mail key wouldn't fit on it. Even before trying keys on it, I thought the screwposts seemed pretty thick for what they're being used for. I may have some copies of my keys made so I can put a set in this, but just wanted to throw it out there in case others hadn't thought of this (like I hadn't).
    I have found that some keys won't fit on the 3/16" Chicago Screw post. The vintage ones used a narrower "key post". I'm actively looking for narrower posts, but can't find them anywhere. My supplier says they haven't been able to get them for over 2 years and they've been looking. When I'm able to find them, I'll be happy send a set to any of my customers who want them. In the mean time there are a couple of relatively simple solutions. Probably the easiest for most people is just to get a copy made as the hardware store key blanks seem to have bigger holes. The other alternative is to ream the hole of your existing key slightly with a file, drill bit, or a reamer. this is actually pretty easy, as keys are made from soft brass, and the amount they need to be enlarged is quite small.

    If anyone has any leads on this elusive bit of hardware I would really love to know where to get it.

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