Duane Ballard Hand Tooled Seat

Hand tooling leather is an old technique craft. With the return of the retro looking bikes, hand tooled seats are in popular demand. But not all upholstery shops are able to do them correctly. One of the best is Duane Ballard who, since many years, is a master at the art of stamping, lacing and oiling leather. His most recent seat featured here was done for a Vet in Texas. Be aware that it takes more time to do a hand tooled seat than a regular one. That almost any design/lettering is possible but you need to give very clear indications at the time of briefing. Because of the labor involved, no re-do or change of mind. Ok? When you are ready, contact him via his website where you can see fine examples of his work.Duane Ballard.


4 Responses to “Duane Ballard Hand Tooled Seat”

  1. 1 BikerDATA.com Apr 17th, 2008 at 7:22 am


    This guy has talent..Biker Data missed the chance to use Duane Ballard’s talents for the V FORCE 1 bike build. Vinnie and Cody agreed to use Duane after they saw his work this year at the VTwin Expo. Time ran out during the bike build and they decided to go local.

    Duane has a great gallery of images at his website showing off his abilities. Highly skilled!

  2. 2 2Low Apr 17th, 2008 at 9:37 am

    The 3 best in no particular order. Paul Cox (NY), Jeffrey Phipps (FL), Duane Ballard (NH).

  3. 3 TBear Apr 17th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Undoubtally the Best Seat in the House, hands down.
    I’ve photographed many bikes featuring Ballards handi work and I was so impressed with his work and fair prices that I had to have one for our Charity Triumph Bobber project. I was not dissapointed.
    I personally would and have, recomended Duanes work to anyone looking to add a personal touch to their creations.
    Tell ’em TBear sent ya.
    TBear, biker photojournalist

  4. 4 Bill Conwell Apr 19th, 2008 at 9:03 pm


    This seat is mine now just received it in the mail today from Duane and the craftsmanship is unbelieveable. I just wanted to give some props here to Duane…. I had hard time restraints because of upcoming military obligations for myself and my Brother Bobby Colella who runs a great shop out of his garage called Cove Custom Cycles (covecustomcycles.com) whom I’m building the bike with. Duane not only met our ridiculous time requirement but also came in with a price that was little more than HALF of what all other seat makers were able to quote me. Duane was a stand up guy, met our time line, did unbelievable work, and was a pleasure to work with as we figured it all out. If you check out the Cove Custom Cycles web page you will see pictures of the bike, and should be updated with the seats snapped into place by Monday at the latest. I will also update the photos on there again after it comes back from paint. He also made an unbelievable passanger seat of a pirate scroll with a pirate code written on it and leather strut covers that lace up and match the seat…. awesome work. Would also like to pimp the craftsmanship and on-off ideas Bobby Colella is throwing out there at Cove Custom Cycles.

    Bill Conwell

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