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 email@example.com 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.