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Hello Brothers and Sisters too, a few of my friends and I have been learning to make our own fronts by hand over the last several years. I have made two so far, one for myself and one I was asked to make one for a guy who was leaving the department to go along with his helmet he was receiving. I have been trying to make more but trying to find the time has been hard. I have been asked by a few people how the process works and how easy or difficult it is. I am planning on typing up some instructions and maybe make a video on it.

What I am looking and asking for is if any of you out there that own the older style leathers or helmets with any leather fronts, late 1800's early 1900's, era or special occasion like parade fronts; if you could take some pictures of your helmet fronts and include dimensions and possibly a pattern outline on a piece of paper or cardboard and mail it to me or share it on here that would be a great help.

I am trying to instill our tradition in our younger people and feel that if they took the time and interest in making their own front even if they can't put it on an inservice helmet, it would instill more of a sense of pride and ownership in their department and the fire service as a whole.

You can email me at and I will give you my mailing address.

Thanks for your help in advance.


Here is a commercially manufactured helmet front

Here is a blank already cut out from a hunk or #10 leather, you need two of these to complete a front, one will just be a solid piece in the same design

Here is the finished product a few years ago.

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Brad this that you have done looks great. Me and one of my capt.s at work and Marnie of course would like to make one for our new Fools chapter i"ll pass this around if thats ok with you to see what they think, and maybe we can get the directions from you. Thankx Brother

Sure No worries!

The one I posted of the FN FOOLS is close to the same design I use. I reconfigured the Paul conway American Heritage to fit my NY'er but it is to large to fit on any other traditional helmet except for a Houston. I would be more than happy to help you out if I can. I have some good websites where I buy my tools and leather from. I use the heavy saddle type leather because it is stiffer and will hold up to the abuse we throw at it. I will take another picture of it to show you how it looks after a few fires.

This is what Tradition is all about!

Can't wait to see how it holds up. We have a leather shop close by so materials won't be hard to get just the stiching. Thanks again brother. Maybe the more Pride we can show the more some people will understand. Especially when we talk about more and better training and safety.

I hear you and I totally agree!!!

I use the synthetic sinew and that is why the color of the stitching looks that way. I did learn to sew from the inside is it much easier that way especially when you hand stitch them yourself.
Message me... I'd be interested in making one!




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