Friday, July 1, 2011

Intermediate Leather Working Kit

Last week I went through a basic leather working kit, which can be used to make axe sheaths. You can see the post here. Today I want to go over a more advanced kit, which will allow you to work on a greater range of projects. The cost of this kit will of course be higher.


The first items in the kit are the same ones from the basic kit-the leather glue, rivets, snaps, the anvil and the setter. To these items I have added a few others.

The first additional item is a hole punch kit. The punch is a tool that is used to cut out small holes in the leather. I use it instead of a drill because it makes cleaner holes and is easier to use-just select the size punch you want, place it on the leather, and hit it with a hammer. The punch set I got cost me $15.00, and I got it here.


The next item is a stitching groover. The tool is used, as its name implies, to cut grooves in the leather. This is used to either create decorations, or more importantly, to recess the stitches into the leather. You can get one for $20.00 here. It is adjustable in that it allows you to set the cutting bit to different distances from the edge of the leather product on which you are working. To use it, lean the main part of the tool on the edge of the leather, and adjust the cutting bit to the distance you like. Then just pull it along while applying pressure. This is a good way to make a groove a consistent distance from the edge. Of course, you can always use it free hand.


The next tool is the overstitch wheel. It is simply used to mark holes at consistent intervals. It does not actually make the holes. This tool can easily be left out. Simply use a fork, or mark the holes by eye. To use the overstitch wheel, just place it on the leather, and roll it along to mark the holes. The one I got comes with different wheel attachments, which allows for differently spaced holes. It cost me $20.00 and you can get it here.


The next tool is a good awl. It is used to make holes for the stitching. You can get one for under $20.00. You can see one here, although it is not the one I use.


The last item is some string and a set of needles. I like to use artificial sinew for the stitching. You can get a roll of it for $12.00 here.

Here you can see a sheath that I made using the above tools. I have used a rivet for the back of the strap, a snap in the front of the strap and I have stitched the rest of the sheath.


This kit should allow you to complete not only sheaths, but a wide range of projects. The investment in the additional tools will cost you about another $70.00, and together with the items from the basic kit, you will end up spending about $110.00. This however will let you work on a large number of projects.

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