Celtic Maiden

Cutting Surface

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What is the best cutting board or surface to use when cutting out leather?

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An old timer I know swears by the red die cutting surface sold by Weaver, it lasts forever and when it gets too scarred up he simply resurfaces with a sander. Tandy has now started selling a similar one. They are expensive from Tandy or Weaver. He does not use it for punches, the surface is too hard. (Tandy claims it works for punches, it may work well, I would try it at the store with their punches first. It won't work well for things like stiching or lacing chisels as these have to go beyond the back of the leather to get a complete hole.) He uses the Polyurethane board from Tandy for punching. I personally use a HDPE board bought from Small Parts Supply though Amazon for cutting and a LDPE board for punches. Works for me.

What is the best cutting board or surface to use when cutting out leather?

Edited by JJLeatherworks

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Thank you, I have been researching HDPE from small parts. What thickness is your board? I make leather masks, headbands and wristbands.

An old timer I know swears by the red die cutting surface sold by Weaver, it lasts forever and when it gets too scarred up he simply resurfaces with a sander. Tandy has now started selling a similar one. They are expensive from Tandy or Weaver. He does not use it for punches, the surface is too hard. (Tandy claims it works for punches, it may work well, I would try it at the store with their punches first. It won't work well for things like stiching or lacing chisels as these have to go beyond the back of the leather to get a complete hole.) He uses the Polyurethane board from Tandy for punching. I personally use a HDPE board bought from Small Parts Supply though Amazon for cutting and a LDPE board for punches. Works for me.

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Thank you, I have been researching HDPE from small parts. What thickness is your board? I make leather masks, headbands and wristbands.

I bought the board from Tandy with a 50% off coupon. I used it to punch deco holes in some 3/4 oz the other day. The holes are clean on the back.

The board is heavy and about 1 1/2" thick, 12 x 18 inches. Didn't harm the punches at all. This board was made in Germany.

ferg

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Our major cutting table 5' x 8', is HDPE. We ordered the large sheet from a manufacturer and basically, built a table around it. A side of leather fits well and also serves as a worktable when needed. Punches work just fine and are not damaged, knives aren't dulled. When scratched, gouged, we simple sand it out. I've been told that we can also take it to a woodworking shop to run through a large planer as needed - we haven't needed to yet...

We store rolled up hides underneath in white PVC irrigation-type pipes that run the width of the table. This keeps the leather out of the light, off the floor and easily accessed.

AND, you can find HDPE at any kitchen store (and Wal Mart/Bed, Bath, & Beyond as well) as cutting boards. Super cheap in just the right size for the boards you're talking about.

Love your mask and corset!

Shirley

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My HDPE board is 1/2in thick 12 x 24. I set it on top of a granite slab, works great!

Thank you, I have been researching HDPE from small parts. What thickness is your board? I make leather masks, headbands and wristbands.

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I was hoping someone has tried it with punches and would reply. Now I just need to raid the piggy bank and see if there is anything left! I think the Weaver board comes from Germany too.

I bought the board from Tandy with a 50% off coupon. I used it to punch deco holes in some 3/4 oz the other day. The holes are clean on the back.

The board is heavy and about 1 1/2" thick, 12 x 18 inches. Didn't harm the punches at all. This board was made in Germany.

ferg

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Here's a link to one that I have used, works nicely. My wife is a biology teacher and this is what they use in the classrooms for dissections as it doesn't dull the scalpels: http://www.smallparts.com/dynalon-116425-laboratory-specimen-cutting/dp/B004AHL3BY/ref=sr_1_4?sr=1-4&qid=1294385053

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OUCH on those prices, There are other places to look around on the internet for better prices like US plastics or the Cutting Board Factory if you are looking at those sizes and/or precut boards. From US Plastics, you could get an 18in X 5ft piece for the same amount as the 18in X 2ft piece from Small Parts or a 2ft X 4ft piece is almost the same price. It was the first site that I brought up in my bookmarks.

US Plastics link

You can also get sheets from them and Cutting Board Factory, There are plenty of other companies that carry it as well. A quick google search will yield a number of suppliers.

:google0dw:

Regards,

Ben

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I also use the 1/2" thick poly cutting board and it works well for cutting, but I like the black rubber poundo stuff for punches and awls. The only problem with the poly cutting board is that it eventually gets a lot of cut marks that can mark up your wet or cased leather. I tried sanding, but it was a lot of time and work and didn't really remove them completely. So, like any work surface, it has it's drawbacks and I've just learned to protect the leather when working in that area. Eventually, I replace that section of board.

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Brent,

I have run them through planers and thickness sanders with very good results in removing the cuts and refurbishing the surface. The planer was quite a bit quicker and didn't require a few passes through like the thickness sander did. I also helped someone refurbish his 4ft X 8 ft sheet (cutting table) with a router in a sliding jig like the ones used to surface large wood tops. That worked extremely well also. Of course it took some time running the router over the whole surface. We removed 1/32" of material from his surface. It was good and flat and was certainly faster than trying to do it with a belt sander or such.

Regards,

Ben

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OUCH on those prices, There are other places to look around on the internet for better prices like US plastics or the Cutting Board Factory if you are looking at those sizes and/or precut boards. From US Plastics, you could get an 18in X 5ft piece for the same amount as the 18in X 2ft piece from Small Parts or a 2ft X 4ft piece is almost the same price. It was the first site that I brought up in my bookmarks.

US Plastics link

You can also get sheets from them and Cutting Board Factory, There are plenty of other companies that carry it as well. A quick google search will yield a number of suppliers.

:google0dw:

Regards,

Ben

Thanks for the link Ben, I'll check those out for my next one. Nothing wrong with getting more for less! ;)

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Spinner,

It lets us get more TOOLS! :yes: Especially when you start delving into multiple areas like woodworking, saddlemaking, engraving and others.

Regards,

Ben

Edited by gtwister09

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Spinner,

It lets us get more TOOLS! :yes: Especially when you start delving into multiple areas like woodworking, saddlemaking, engraving and others.

Regards,

Ben

Very true! Although sometimes the logic doesn't quite work according to my wife. ;)

Example: Last night the box of Oxalic Acid I bought was on sale for $7.99 vs the regular $9.99 so I used the $2 savings towards the $29.99 1000/6000 Japanese Waterstone I wanted. For some reason she wasn't impressed by my frugal-ness. In the end, I didn't end up saving any money because forgiveness cost me another $7 for Baskin Robins ice cream. :head_hurts_kr:

Edited by Spinner

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I've been working with the new red board from Tandy, I punched on it and cut on it, works okay for both but I didn't like the punching, it leaves pretty good scars. Actually I use the while plastic board from tandy for punching and it' okay, my favorite for cutting is a craft cutting board I bought at Walmart, has 1in squares on in with measurements down one side and the top and cuts really well, wouldn't do for punching though, too thin.

Ken

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Thank you everyone!!!! I spent about 2 hours researching sizes and prices the other day...then As luck would have it I was able to manifest a free one. 1/2" X 2ft X 8ft........I was so excited! All I need to do is chop of 2 feet from the end. :specool:

Thank you so much. I really enjoy making them.

Our major cutting table 5' x 8', is HDPE. We ordered the large sheet from a manufacturer and basically, built a table around it. A side of leather fits well and also serves as a worktable when needed. Punches work just fine and are not damaged, knives aren't dulled. When scratched, gouged, we simple sand it out. I've been told that we can also take it to a woodworking shop to run through a large planer as needed - we haven't needed to yet...

We store rolled up hides underneath in white PVC irrigation-type pipes that run the width of the table. This keeps the leather out of the light, off the floor and easily accessed.

AND, you can find HDPE at any kitchen store (and Wal Mart/Bed, Bath, & Beyond as well) as cutting boards. Super cheap in just the right size for the boards you're talking about.

Love your mask and corset!

Shirley

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