Leather Cargo Hook Inserts

I’d recently ordered a box of cargo hooks and fancied making them into something more interesting. I love old school ‘bushcraft’ style equipment and thought I could bring a bit of that to the Jimny.

The idea was to make the cargo hooks multi-purpose by creating some leather covers for the metal hooks that would allow for the attachment of bed roll straps.

I’d never made either of these before but I’m learning more about leather working with each project. Still far from being an expert, I figured I’d learnt enough to have a go.

I drew the general shape and size and used some scrap leather from the Jimny handles project.

I’ll need 4 of those shapes cut out. 2 of them will need an extra notch hole at the top so the cargo hook can tuck inside of the leather once the front and backs are glued and stitched together.

Here’s the tools and equipment I used. You may not need them all but I got most of them super cheap.

The starter tools I’ve used on the Jimny leather projects.
  1. Thor Soft Faced Hammer (just use whatever you have if you don’t want to waste money on something new)
  2. Edge Beveler #2 (1mm)
  3. Scalpel (any utility blade will do the job)
  4. Wood Burnisher
  5. Eco-Flo Leather Dye
  6. Mink Oil (optional, it’s useful for protecting the leather)
  7. Contact Adhesive (don’t get that one it’s a pain to use so just google it)
  8. Leather Oval Shape Hole Punch (you could just cut this yourself if you’re handy with a knife)
  9. Stitching Chisel
  10. Corner Punch Kit (optional, freehand cut your own or use a coin to get the shape you need)
  11. Tape Measure (everyone has one of these right?)
  12. Leather Rivets Set
  13. Cargo hooks
  14. Waxed thread & needle
  15. Metal Ruler (I prefer the raised ones as I’m likely to chop my fingers off otherwise)

You’ll obviously need the leather too. I grab 2mm off cuts from this eBay store. Oh, and the metal belt buckles and belt leather (19mm) shop around you can pick different colours and not have to buy as many as I did.

This article is just a general guide for what I used as I’m not able to offer any sort of leather working tutorial. My best advice is to jump onto youtube and watch this guys videos. Specifically, how to get started and the cutting, edge bevelling, burnishing and stitching.

Leather working playlist that helped me get the job done.

The steps I followed are… perhaps there’s a better order, I don’t know I’m generally winging it:

  1. Dye the leather. I always mess this up so I dye it first to save all the cutting only to find I arse up the colour.
  2. Cut the shape
  3. Punch the large oval holes making sure the fronts and backs match up
  4. Punch the stitching holes
  5. Glue the pieces together
  6. Stitch the pieces together (ball ache lol)
  7. Clean the edges up with the knife
  8. Bevel the edges
  9. Burnish the edges
  10. Flatten the stitching with the hammer

Most importantly I do numerous test fits as I go to make sure the pieces line up and the cargo hook fits in the top portion of the leather cover.

Here’s a gallery of the finished articles as each part was completed.

Making the bed roll straps

Image 1 of 4

For most Jimnys you won’t need to fit them as wide as I do on mine. This is due to the custom table taking up the middle 3 holes along the side of the boot space.

I have the DIY awning extension poles wrapped inside the other items in the bed roll. These help as to stabilise it. If it were just a blanket held in the 2 widest mounting holes, it would sag and drop out. So for most situations you’ll be better off fixing them in holes 2 & 4 instead.

Here’s a gallery of the final set.

Front View table Up

Image 1 of 6

So far I’ve used it to store the awning extension and a folding metal fire pit. Something I picked up cheap not expecting it to be any good and it’s actually a great piece of kit. I think it’s handy to keep in the car when heading off on a camping trip. If it’s sensible to light a small controllable fire you can add to the ambience, as they say 😉

I guess for most people keeping a blanket will be enough but you can throw in whatever random kit that you can think of.

Hope this guide (/not a tutorial lol) has given you some ideas for making something useful for your Jimny. Drop a comment or a message on Instagram if I can help.

Updates

After making a bunch of design changes and trying different things over the months I’ve started making sets of cargo hooks that are simply inserts to protect the paint and look better.

They work well with almost any style of cargo hook, helping to avoid any unwanted scratches while clipping hooks onto them.

View on Etsy Store

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