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The toughest leather belt on Kickstarter. Built from 13oz thick American leather & boasting a double lifetime through wear and abuse.
The toughest leather belt on Kickstarter. Built from 13oz thick American leather & boasting a double lifetime through wear and abuse.
The toughest leather belt on Kickstarter. Built from 13oz thick American leather & boasting a double lifetime through wear and abuse.
308 backers pledged $34,490 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Mountain Belt by Craft and Lore

$34,490

308

A huge thank you to all who backed us and helped us along the way!

We're so grateful for all the support from friends and family in this endeavor and couldn't be where we are without such a great network of customers and friends. Thank you all!

~ Chad and Mike, Craft and Lore

Buy now on our website
Buy now on our website

 

"When we build, let us think that we build forever... 

Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, “See! This our father did for us.” ~ John Ruskin

A 1.75" Dark Brown Mountain Belt that fills the belt loops. With a Solid Brass Keyhook addon.
A 1.75" Dark Brown Mountain Belt that fills the belt loops. With a Solid Brass Keyhook addon.

 

   

Matte Nickle and Brass Keyhooks
Matte Nickle and Brass Keyhooks

Mountain Belt Specs

  • 13oz (.25") Thick American Harness Leather from Hermann Oak in St. Louis. It might be the thickest belt to hit Kickstarter yet.
  • Traditional Harness just like your grandfather used. Stuffed in drums with heavy tallow for exceptional weather wear, thickness, and durability in the field.
  • Strap Width Options include 1.5" and 1.75".
  • Colors include Dark Brown and Russet**
  • Buckle Hardware is solid brass with antique brass or matte nickle finish.
  • The billet end of the belt has 7 holes spaced by 1" on hole center.
  • It is 6.5" from the center hole to the tip of the belt tongue. 
  • See IMPORTANT sizing chart below.

** Due to the nature of drum dyed leather, color may not exactly match the photographed color. But they will always be very close. Expect your leather belt to darken and patina with age and wear. 

 

I’ve been hand crafting the Mountain Belt for over a couple years now.
My name is Chad Von Lind and I’m the proprietor of Craft and Lore, a small design-build workshop in Coeur d’Alene City, North Idaho.

 

Follow Craft & Lore on social media:

 

 

 

 

1.75" Dark Brown (left) and 1.5" Russet (right)
1.75" Dark Brown (left) and 1.5" Russet (right)

 

 

 

I always enjoy the feedback from folks when they pick this belt up. Because it was my same response when I first handled a fresh cut strap from this American tanned harness leather. “Now this is a real belt”.

Before Craft and Lore existed, I spent a year working in the North Dakota oilfields as a pump operator. During my down time, I was building belts for oilfield truckers who were blowing through their cheap belts every month. It wasn’t the design of the belts that was bad, it was the materials.  A thing is only as good as the material it’s made out of. But a thing will only perform as good as it’s designed. I wasn’t looking to redesign the modern idea of a belt when I built the first Mountain Belt. I was just looking for the best possible material to build it with. Hot-stuffed harness leather to withstand the elements, and solid brass hardware to keep that classic look.

The Leather and Cut

I began my search for the toughest harness leather that I could find and It was from a tack supply shop in Western Montana that I first discovered Hermann Oak’s Old World harness leather. It was exactly what I had been looking for, and I still haven’t run across anything that stacks up against it. The Hermann Oak tannery has been around since 1881 in St Louis Missouri. They’re a family run operation, and it's been great dealing with the fine folks at Hermann Oak.

Hermann Oak Tannery
Hermann Oak Tannery

 

Heavy Duty 13oz thick Hermann Oak Harness Leather
Heavy Duty 13oz thick Hermann Oak Harness Leather

 

 

Fresh cut straps of thick Hermann Oak harness leather
Fresh cut straps of thick Hermann Oak harness leather

 

Shown below is a quality leather belt that I've worn for 15 years stacked on top of the Mountain Belt. The top belt is considered a high grade thick leather belt.

The Mountain Belt (bottom) is way thicker than typical leather belts.
The Mountain Belt (bottom) is way thicker than typical leather belts.

 

 

Quarter inch thick leather straps make a belt that never dies
Quarter inch thick leather straps make a belt that never dies

 

 

Simple and durable buckle end cut
Simple and durable buckle end cut

 

The Hardware

We've been using solid brass heavy duty buckles and hardware from a Massachusetts based company that have proven to be some of the best on the market. 

Sand casting solid brass hardware
Sand casting solid brass hardware

 

Fresh cast keyhooks from solid brass
Fresh cast keyhooks from solid brass



Solid brass buckle with antique finishing
Solid brass buckle with antique finishing

 

As of now we've only offered the Antique Brass finish buckle, but we're going to offer the matte nickle finish for this Kickstarter campaign and then add them to our options on the website product page.

New Hardware Finish Option for Kickstarter Backers

Matte Nickle finish on solid brass buckle
Matte Nickle finish on solid brass buckle

 

 

Dark Brown 1.75" Mountain Belt with the Matte Nickle finished buckle
Dark Brown 1.75" Mountain Belt with the Matte Nickle finished buckle

 


That Patina Though

For all those raw denim heads and selvedge monkeys who are after that perfect combo of leather patina and denim fades, I always encourage the Russet option for the Mountain Belt. The range of colors and unique markings make a well worn russet Mountain Belt into a rare beauty.

Here's one of my personal belts after about 8 months of wear.

A well loved Russet Mountain Belt
A well loved Russet Mountain Belt

 

 
Solid Brass Keyhook

We're offering an optional solid brass keyhook as a classy add-on accessory to go with your Mountain Belt reward. 

Solid Brass Keyhook Reward $15
Solid Brass Keyhook Reward $15

Custom Sizing

IMPORTANT -- We build the Mountain Belt based on your true waist size, not your pant size. There's usually about a 5 inch difference between your pant size and your true waist size. Follow this chart!

We cannot guarantee that you'll land on the center hole of your Mountain Belt, but we typically build it to land center if you provide a good measurement. I'll be stressing the size importance in the final survey after the campaign ends.

 

Growing the Operation

Chad Von Lind (left) and Michael Miles (right)
Chad Von Lind (left) and Michael Miles (right)

 

Craft and Lore was founded by Chad Von Lind on January 1st 2014 and since then the brand has steadily grown. Michael Miles joined the team near the end of 2015 and in September of 2016 Craft and Lore moved from a shared warehouse and opened a Brick and Mortar workshop and retail store in north Coeur d'Alene City.  

As we continue to sell more and more belts, I’m looking to produce them faster with the help of expensive equipment. With a faster production time, I can offer these belts at a better price which makes them more attainable to many folks who work hard and need a tough belt to keep up with them. I’m asking for your backing, and in return I’m knocking $40 bucks off of what I currently sell the Mountain Belt for. With a decent bulk order from all of you backers, I'll have the funds necessary to purchase quality American made machinery that will greatly improve our belt building efficiency.

To give you an idea on the cost of the equipment we're looking to buy, here's a list of the big ticket items we need your help paying for.

EZ Strap Edger $1,300 - This quickly bevels the edges of the belt. We've been using a hand tool as seen in the video for the past couple of years.

Self Centering Punch $2,300 - This awesome machine will punch all holes needed as well as cut the end shape for both the buckle and the billet ends of a belt. We've been using a template and marking the hole punch locations and belt cuts.

Hand Operated Strap Cutter $1,900 - This machine will allow us to rip a whole side of leather into straps in a matter of a few minutes. That'll save us hours of painstakingly hand pulling each strap from the side. It'll also help us prevent human error and waste expensive leather from goofed strap cuts.

Thanks for your support, and for putting money toward American products and American jobs.

Mountain Belt Reviews

Best in Belts 2014, Badger and Blade
"There's something comforting about knowing the face and name of the craftsman making something for you. An item made to order; however, is particularly whimsical and takes it one step further. Your soon to be special item isn't just sitting on a shelf waiting to be ordered, but instead, exists as raw materials, awaiting your order and a skilled craftsman's touch." Read more at Badger and Blade

These are a few customer reviews picked out from our Mountain Belt product page. See what 50+ reviewers have to say about the Mountain Belt.

Mountain Belt Reviews
Mountain Belt Reviews

 

 

 

Delivery Dates & Expectations

I'd rather under promise and over deliver, so I set the delivery date to June even though I believe we'll be shipping out before then. My expectation of the time line is based on how long Hermann Oak typically takes to send me an order of hides. I've only had one speed bump with them in the past, when they struggled in dying the dark brown variant of this leather, and had ended up failing 2 attempts. Hopefully that won't be the case, and that we'll be delivering in May!

I'd rather set your expectations low, even if it may cost me backers who are unwilling to wait. Backers with smashed hopes and dreams can be a bit rough in the comments department here, and I care very much for good customer service and reputation of my word. Please know that there is risk in backing a Kickstarter, and impossible to predict delays are a very real thing. My promise is that there will be constant communication and replies to every backer comment and message requesting information.

Shipping Domestic and International

Domestic rewards are shipped via USPS Priority Mail. This means the shipment is well tracked, insured and arrives in 2-3 days depending on how far from Idaho your state is. 

International shipments vary depending on your reward. I'm willing to ship the Brass Keyhooks by USPS First Class. This gets a great shipping price, but lacks in tracking and security. If one is lost in the mail, it isn't too devastating to us. The USPS hands off First Class packages to the carrier of other countries, and depending on your country's quality of mail system, the package has a slight risk of disappearing. Mountain Belt rewards ship USPS Priority Mail. This way USPS is responsible for the entire delivery process, insures the package and has a much lower risk of loss. Unfortunately, this fetches a higher shipping cost, but the security is worth it for both our sake. Australia is going to take the biggest hit on this, since shipments down under are extremely expensive. Sorry mates :(

Risks and challenges

With my workshop being in business for over 3 years, and producing the Mountain Belt over 2 years, I have a tried and true quality belt as well as great working relationships and history with my suppliers. The only potential risk is not meeting deadlines due to an issue with material delivery. Hiccups can always occur in shipping or even in the tanning process. Constant communication with backers and previous Kickstarter campaign experience should make this campaign a breeze, and I hope that all backers are understanding of the risks involved with backing any Kickstarter campaign, and have the utmost patience for any unforeseen speed bumps that appear. I can only guarantee that you will be happy with your belt, and that you will receive your reward no matter how many potential setbacks occur.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    CUSTOMIZE YOUR REWARD

    Do you have an odd number of Mountain Belts or Brass Keyhooks that you want? Do the math on them and enter the total. $90 per BELT and $15 per KEYHOOK. We'll collect the details in a survey at the end of the campaign. Be sure to check that another reward doesn't already offer what you want.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    BRASS KEYHOOK

    One solid brass keyhook complete with 2 key rings to accommodate all your keys, and a natural veg leather keyfob stamped with the Craft and Lore Axmark.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    TWO BRASS KEYHOOKS

    Two solid brass keyhooks, each complete with 2 key rings to accommodate all your keys, and a natural veg leather keyfob stamped with the Craft and Lore Axmark.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    ONE MOUNTAIN BELT

    Available in Russet and Dark Brown leather with 1.5" and 1.75" widths. Solid brass buckle available in antique brass or nickle plated finish. Choose your details when funding completes.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    ONE MOUNTAIN BELT - LATE SHIP

    For those late to the game, we're making more of this reward available but at a later shipping date. This will allow us to keep offering this reward, without the expectation of a June delivery date.

    Available in Russet and Dark Brown leather with 1.5" and 1.75" widths. Solid brass buckle available in antique brass or nickle plated finish. Choose your details when funding completes.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    ONE MOUNTAIN BELT & ONE KEYHOOK

    Belt available in Russet and Dark Brown leather with 1.5" and 1.75" widths. Solid brass buckle available in antique brass or nickle plated finish. Choose your details when funding completes. One solid brass keyhook complete with 2 key rings to accommodate all your keys, and a natural veg leather keyfob stamped with the Craft and Lore Axmark.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    TWO MOUNTAIN BELTS

    Available in Russet and Dark Brown leather with 1.5" and 1.75" widths. Solid brass buckle available in antique brass or nickle plated finish. Choose your details when funding completes.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    TWO MOUNTAIN BELTS & ONE KEYHOOK

    Two Mountain Belts available in Russet and Dark Brown leather with 1.5" and 1.75" widths. One solid brass buckle available in antique brass or nickle plated finish. Choose your details when funding completes.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    TWO MOUNTAIN BELTS & TWO KEYHOOKS

    Available in Russet and Dark Brown leather with 1.5" and 1.75" widths. Solid brass buckle available in antique brass or nickle plated finish. Choose your details when funding completes. Two solid brass keyhooks, each complete with 2 key rings to accommodate all your keys, and a natural veg leather keyfob stamped with the Craft and Lore Axmark.

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Funding period

- (30 days)