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Best Way To Cut Leather


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#1 hacken94

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 08:30 PM

Just wondering how i can achieve the straightest cuts.

#2 bison

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:07 PM

I use a razor knife...boxcutter...that I strop and then cut the leather holding the blade against a metal straight-edge to get a straight line cut. There are better leather workers on this forum than me though, so I'm sure you'll get some great ideas. Good luck.

Dave

#3 Chief31794

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:46 AM

I use the straight edge as well, another trick is to cut thick leather in 2 or 3 passes instead of trying to cut it all at once. I make maximum use of t-squares and straight edges when cutting straight true lines that are perpendicular.

Ken
"Life's too short to carry ugly leather"

#4 Nutty Saddler

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 04:49 AM

Use the above methods to obtain a straight edge on the hide ( step 1 ), then use a Plough Gauge Knife ( step 2 ) - It will cut a straight edge at the required width, with a vertical ( 90 degree ) cut, along the entire length of the hide every single time - without fail . They are expensive but over time they are worth every penny - Mine is a Joseph Dixon that I have had 18 years - I have never had to replace the blade , only sharpen it and it will be used for at least another 18 years .


Step 1
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Step 2
Attached File  Step 2.jpg   20.5KB   559 downloads

#5 Chief31794

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 12:48 PM

Use the above methods to obtain a straight edge on the hide ( step 1 ), then use a Plough Gauge Knife ( step 2 ) - It will cut a straight edge at the required width, with a vertical ( 90 degree ) cut, along the entire length of the hide every single time - without fail . They are expensive but over time they are worth every penny - Mine is a Joseph Dixon that I have had 18 years - I have never had to replace the blade , only sharpen it and it will be used for at least another 18 years .


Nutty Sadler,

I use the same method for items that are less than ~6", I thought he was talking about things like book covers, holsters, etc. I cut a lot of instrument straps and belts and I would never use a straight edge and razor knife for that.

Ken


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#6 Laurie

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 02:26 AM

for smaller, light or heavy oz lenths of strap or thong cuts..like from 20" or less.. keep a solid, uncut piece of the the same wieght leather behind the piece youre cutting underneath your straight cut tool. i mean, if youre trying to use the steel edge and a real good knife or rotary and youre to the last few straps/thongs yer cutting, make sure you put a (perfectly straight cut) piece of that same size leather under the steel edge youre using as a guide. it'll keep your steel from wobbling off the back edge of the thong or stap if that piece of leather is skinnier than your straight edge. i do alot of small work, and i know from way back when, to buy enough sq inches to have extra to make sure that i can keep me steel balanced when making final cuts. dont know if that helped or made sence, i cant do a picture deal of this right now
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#7 Laurie

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 02:46 AM

and also, if you dont have means to get such really neat and realistic tools as these folks have mentioned above :blush: ...i give most of my work away so i'm alot tool poor and make due. my dumb but oh well!!!
if you are cutting with a 36" or longer straight edge...make sure that your table, counter or bench isn't pitted. then get your ass up on your table before you cut. make sure you've marked and set your leather right. before you cut, get your other hand, and your knee, and your foot on your steel edge. before you cut. make sure that you can cut this lenth that you now have secured under the steel. (or at least yer hand at top, knee in middle. if no foot, dont cut beyond your knee, leather might have resetteled under the loose end of the steel) re check your leather to make sure nothing moved. score the leather as smarter folks than i already said, dont gouge. this'll allow you to keep whatever yer cutting with at a staight angle instead of slicing sideways against the steel edge. reason for the knee, if youre not used to cutting long lenths of heavy or light oz, its inevetable you'll stretch or sqeeze your perfectly scored piece then it'll cut wrong. hey, its worked for me for 18 years now!
Laurie~SYLB

#8 Ootpac

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:46 PM

I used exacto knives before I picked up a Flexcut wood carvers knife set. It came with 2 knives, and a piece of Flexcut gold stropping compound. They work great for me, I usually do a quick strop about every other use. I have no problem slicing through 9oz leather in one pass.

#9 Skald

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 07:15 AM

I cut thinner leather in one cut, and use a metal ruler if possible (i.e. it it's a straight cut). I use an ordinary cardboard knife for a little shorter pieces, and this round/rolling blade for longer cuts - as I find it easier to make a long continuous cut with the rolling blade. The thicker leather is most often dealt with in two cuts, first I "mark" the cut and cut like half through, then I cut once more all the way through. I have noticed that I tend to cut wrong when I use "full force", which I need for thicker leather. Most often it goes well using this "two cuts" technique, the cut edge can be a little irregular, but 9 times out of 10, this doesn't matter as I slick the edges anyway.
The part I often do wrong however is not the cut itself, but the measurement, either I simply calculate things wrong, or I happen to make it a millimeter or two wrong when I do my cutmarks. So for me, the measuring part is the most thrilling. ;)

#10 Art

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 11:41 AM

You don't know how easy you have it. Try measuring and then doing the math in fractions of an inch in your head. Makes you do it twice sometimes, but after a while it is second nature. We'll never go metric, it's just an English/American kind of thing. As for those 7.62NATO and 5.56NATO rounds or Ghod forbid 12.7x99mm NATO, when the manure hits the windmill, give me some .308, .223, or .50cal.

Art

I cut thinner leather in one cut, and use a metal ruler if possible (i.e. it it's a straight cut). I use an ordinary cardboard knife for a little shorter pieces, and this round/rolling blade for longer cuts - as I find it easier to make a long continuous cut with the rolling blade. The thicker leather is most often dealt with in two cuts, first I "mark" the cut and cut like half through, then I cut once more all the way through. I have noticed that I tend to cut wrong when I use "full force", which I need for thicker leather. Most often it goes well using this "two cuts" technique, the cut edge can be a little irregular, but 9 times out of 10, this doesn't matter as I slick the edges anyway.
The part I often do wrong however is not the cut itself, but the measurement, either I simply calculate things wrong, or I happen to make it a millimeter or two wrong when I do my cutmarks. So for me, the measuring part is the most thrilling. ;)


For heaven's sakes pilgrim, make yourself a strop!





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