I did a presentation on leatherworking last night for the MBZ Conference. In that class, someone wanted a list of tools they should look for for basic leatherworking. So, for the next couple or so posts, I will be focusing on those tools, and providing links for where you can get them.
First thing you will need is something sharp to cut the leather with. I recommend a good utility knife. The blades are very sharp, last a little while, and are cheap and easily replaced. I use a model similar to this one.
Rotary knives are also bit too. I have a couple of different sizes. I find it a bit harder to use, but it does make a pretty smooth cut. I use a couple like this one, but remember to be sure the blade is of sufficient size to cut through the leather. You might not be able to cut fully through your piece if you don’t.
You should probably pick up a nice straight edge. I use a carpenter’s square that is fairly large, but not overly so. Check this one out. For longer cuts, I use a 4 foot metal ruler. Very nice. Makes the job much easier. I couldn’t find a link to one online, but your local home renovations store should have one.
A Stitch in Time…
I sew leather, and I find it to be a very good method to build longer lasting leather toys. They provide multiple points of failure, while adding an elegant look. And it is simpler to do than it looks.
You’re going to need a stitching groover to make a channel for your stitches. You should also pick up an overstitcher, which is basically a wheel with serrations that mark where you should put evenly spaced holes in the leather for sewing.
They make a punch tool for sewing, but I prefer to use a lacing and stitching fid (awl looking thing, with a slightly wider blade. You will also need a couple of needles and a spool of waxed thread. (Black seems to be traditional, and sorry, I couldn’t find links tonight. Hopefully later I will.) Tandy is selling an all in one kit, with everything you need, but it seems a tad pricy. Comes with a book though, so may be worth checking out.
Next… More tools