Young Gun

Swivel Knife Tips And Tricks

18 posts in this topic

Hi All,

So, I am very new to leather crafting, and with most new comers the fist big hurdle for me has been to hone the skills for using my swivel knife. I have been playing around with different moisture of my leather and buffing and sharpening my blade. But I still can't seem to get my desired look. some of the things that I was hoping to get some help with were: ways to help me keep the knife perpendicular, types of blades people use, what people do to sharpen their blade, best moister content of the leather for the knife. Any of other tips are more than welcome!!

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7/1/11

Hi Young Gun,

I've only taken the basic Tandy classes, and that was over a year ago. Since I've forgotten some of the things that I learned, I was recently trying to remember exactly these questions that you've raised here. I'm so glad to see that you've posted, as you are not the only one who is 'new to leather crafting', but wanting to get off to a better start than just using the 'trial and error' method. So, I hope that someone experienced will talk to us about moisture content for using the swivel knife. Also, I've seen sandpaper mentione in regard to the edges, and I'd like to hear more about this. - TexasLady

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Make a small investment (besides a contribution to this site), go by your local Tandy or the internet site. Purchase the 'leatherworking manual' and read it. It will answer all of your questions you raised. As for different blades, I recall a recent thread exactly like this one involving blades. Conduct your search (top right hand corner).

Good luck.

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LOL King's X beat me to the pumch by a minute or so. Yes, you need to use the search function of this site. I just input "swivel knife" and there are over a hundred posts dealing with the subject. After you have read all of the relevant ones, then perhaps you may have further specific questions. You will find that many times the same questions have been raised several times. People do get weary of answering the same question over and over when the asker has not even bothered to review the information already here on the site.

It is also very important to remember that: SKILL = Knowledge + experience Experience is a matter of not only doing something, but also a matter of observation of your efforts, and striving to do better. It will take some time to get the knack of it - how much depends on you and the degree of your commitment to mastering the skill.

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7/3/11

This was the first time that I hadn't used the search function before posting a question. I see that this is Young Gun's first post, though, so maybe he actually hadn't noticed the 'search field' yet. I have a learning disability and post frequently on a forum for persons who have only recently come to find out that they have my same disability. Many of these people are not 'tech saavy' enough to know how to search for the information they need. So, I do find myself answering the same questions over and over. I don't want them to be discouraged from posting, especially when they may be reaching out for human contact as much as for an answer to their question. - TexasLady

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Hi All,

So, I am very new to leather crafting, and with most new comers the fist big hurdle for me has been to hone the skills for using my swivel knife. I have been playing around with different moisture of my leather and buffing and sharpening my blade. But I still can't seem to get my desired look. some of the things that I was hoping to get some help with were: ways to help me keep the knife perpendicular, types of blades people use, what people do to sharpen their blade, best moister content of the leather for the knife. Any of other tips are more than welcome!!

first off welcome to the one hobby that is very addictive.

as others has mentioned use the search button to find all information on your subject.

that said i will also suggest that you contact hidecrafter just do a google search for their website.

go through their catalog and look for videos. get the basic carving video. this will explain/show you how to carve using a swivel knife.

i no for me its harder to learn how to do stuff just by reading how to books. its way easier to watch videos on the subject to learn how to do something.

also after you get to where you understand how to use the swivel knife i highly suggest you order a barry king swivel knife or a henley swivel knife.

the basic tandy leather swivel knife is just that basic beginner swivel knife. you will have so much more fun using a good swivel knife and your work will improve 100% with a good swivel knife.

after you get a good swivel knife hang the basic one on your tool board for display.

after doing basic carving i finally decided to buy tools from barry king, henley, and hides to art. I very seldom use my tandy leather tools anymore.

95% of the time they sit on my work bench as display purposes. its great having a customer come over and see all my tools. they are amazed at how many tools i have on display.

only use 30 tools now that i have the barry king, henley and hides to art tools.

I personally use the angle blade for my swivel knife. its easier for me to follow the traced line on the leather and i dont have to tilt the knife like you have to with a straight blade.

another thing that you need to learn using a swivel knife is strop the blade lots. when in doubt strop the blade. did i mention strop the blade

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Feel free to ask questions as you need to, we'll help you find the answers:

I, too, have directed members to the search function, primarily because it's easier than retyping 115 pages worth of info in a single post.

Places to start: In the first segment on the main page, look at the "how do I do that" section, and reference the "pinned" topics.

In " The Business", check out the sub-forum 'getting started'. That has some nifty ideas on what you can use in place of "leather working tools".

Tips you can use to get practice very inexpensively.: Go to the grocery store and buy an aluminum (disposable/ one use) pie plate, and a box of paraffin wax (baking aisle). Melt 2.5 - 3 blocks of the wax in the pan on a double boiler set up. That is important because paraffin is flammable- keep away from open flame as it melts. Once the wax has melted and filled the pan, set it aside to cool, or pop it in the freezer for a bit. You now have a medium for your swivel knife practice. When you cover it with little cuts, remelt the surface and start over- indefinite shelf life.

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7/4/11

Hello again, Young Gun. A forum member kindly sent me a PM yesterday, suggesting that I refresh my memory by viewing the Tandy Instructional Videos. Ten minutes of video brought it all back! Here's what I watched. I hope you'll like it, too. - TexasLady

Basic Leather Craft Video – 10:18 min.

Tandy Leather Factory presents

Basic Leather Carving with George Hurst

http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/infoandservices/Leathercraft-Videos/Basic-Carving-Leather-Craft-Vide/Basic-Carving-Leather-Craft-Vide.aspx

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Thanks everybody for the tips!! Even the smallest tip can go a long way!

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first off welcome to the one hobby that is very addictive.

as others has mentioned use the search button to find all information on your subject.

that said i will also suggest that you contact hidecrafter just do a google search for their website.

go through their catalog and look for videos. get the basic carving video. this will explain/show you how to carve using a swivel knife.

i no for me its harder to learn how to do stuff just by reading how to books. its way easier to watch videos on the subject to learn how to do something.

also after you get to where you understand how to use the swivel knife i highly suggest you order a barry king swivel knife or a henley swivel knife.

the basic tandy leather swivel knife is just that basic beginner swivel knife. you will have so much more fun using a good swivel knife and your work will improve 100% with a good swivel knife.

after you get a good swivel knife hang the basic one on your tool board for display.

after doing basic carving i finally decided to buy tools from barry king, henley, and hides to art. I very seldom use my tandy leather tools anymore.

95% of the time they sit on my work bench as display purposes. its great having a customer come over and see all my tools. they are amazed at how many tools i have on display.

only use 30 tools now that i have the barry king, henley and hides to art tools.

I personally use the angle blade for my swivel knife. its easier for me to follow the traced line on the leather and i dont have to tilt the knife like you have to with a straight blade.

another thing that you need to learn using a swivel knife is strop the blade lots. when in doubt strop the blade. did i mention strop the blade

In your honest opinion; just how good are Hides to Art stamps? I am very unimpressed with the consistency/quality of Tandy of recent build. I've purchased older Tandy tools from the 60/70's and purchased a set of 15 tools from Hackbarth last christmas, and also a few stamps from Barry King. Those tools are way better than most of my cheaply made Tandy stamps. How do the Hides to Arts Stamps compare?

Vikefan

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In your honest opinion; just how good are Hides to Art stamps? I am very unimpressed with the consistency/quality of Tandy of recent build. I've purchased older Tandy tools from the 60/70's and purchased a set of 15 tools from Hackbarth last christmas, and also a few stamps from Barry King. Those tools are way better than most of my cheaply made Tandy stamps. How do the Hides to Arts Stamps compare?

Vikefan

Not to hijack this thread, but I recently acquired one of the Hides To Art stamps as payment for doing an article for them. It is a border stamp and it is stainless steel & gives a nice crisp impression. I do use it and like it very much and will most likely get more as the need arises. They do have some interesting designs not found elsewhere. Yes, they are good stamps. :cheers:

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6/22/12

Going back to the 'swivel knife' theme, but with a question of my own,... I took an Advanced Clay class last semester in college. All the while, I wondered if anyone here has ever tried to 'make ' a porcelain blade for a swivel knife, and if so, with any degree of success? I know how to make a mold with latex medium at home. Also, my college's clay studio had the special materials (similar to plaster of paris) for making a mold. The professor had been willing to help me make a mold of whatever I'd wanted to make. I just didn't think of the little porcelain blades in time to ask him before the course ended. Another question,... any tips on how to sharpen a porcelain swivel knife blade? (I don't have one yet.) - TexasLady

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6/22/12

Going back to the 'swivel knife' theme, but with a question of my own,... I took an Advanced Clay class last semester in college. All the while, I wondered if anyone here has ever tried to 'make ' a porcelain blade for a swivel knife, and if so, with any degree of success? I know how to make a mold with latex medium at home. Also, my college's clay studio had the special materials (similar to plaster of paris) for making a mold. The professor had been willing to help me make a mold of whatever I'd wanted to make. I just didn't think of the little porcelain blades in time to ask him before the course ended. Another question,... any tips on how to sharpen a porcelain swivel knife blade? (I don't have one yet.) - TexasLady

Porcelain swivel knife blades are available. I use them and love them, but I'm lazy and they don't require sharpening just stropping. I used one so long (about 3 years) it did start to give me trouble, a little work on a diamond sharpening stone (extra fine) and it works like brand new. Well cased leather with a porcelain blade works very well in my opinion, although I'm pretty sure some of the purists in the leather carving world will be frowning at me pretty hard.

:rules:

Ken

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6/25/12

Thank you for that feedback, Chief31794. I've seen the porcelain blades for sale at my local Tandy, but didn't know if the advantage would be worth the price. I've gotten to the point now, though, that saving myself physical exertion is becoming more and more valuable. I'll get my strope ready for its new porcelain blade. While I've got you here, what does a diamond sharpening stone look like? Where'd you get it? - TexasLady

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Diamond Sharpening stones are high quality stones with diamond dust impregnated in them if you can believe the marketing stuff. They are excellent hones, a little water (mildly soapy is even better) and they will really sharpen any blade very well. Still have to maintain the angle, etc. But they are worth the money to me, they don't distort through wear etc.

Google Diamond Sharpening Stones and you'll get lots of info on them.

Ken

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Hi All,

So, I am very new to leather crafting, and with most new comers the fist big hurdle for me has been to hone the skills for using my swivel knife. I have been playing around with different moisture of my leather and buffing and sharpening my blade. But I still can't seem to get my desired look. some of the things that I was hoping to get some help with were: ways to help me keep the knife perpendicular, types of blades people use, what people do to sharpen their blade, best moister content of the leather for the knife. Any of other tips are more than welcome!!

Hi Young Gun

I was just reading an old post of Hidepounder's about casing leather and casing solution and basically this is what he said...

Hidepounder

I probably put about

1 teaspoon of (Joy) soap and

1/2 teaspoon of glycerin to

2 quarts of water.

Sometimes I use a little more of each. I don't measure.....I just add a little and I'm done.

Actually, come to think about it.... Hidepounder is just one of the amazingly talented Masters that posts here,

(So Lucky for us that can't afford, or are not close to classes) and there is an amazing amount of information to be found.....

if you take the time - it is well worth it.

*** If you do an Advanced Search

you will see a way to search ( upper right corner) for information here at leatherworker.net to

1. (find words) and also there is a way to

2. search for authors (find Author) .

*** What I finallly figured out was..... when I found a Good piece of information, or Really liked a picture of some leatherwork, then I would search for that author and

read up on what they had to say - their tips and suggestions. If you can see their work, you know they are doing something right!

***Here is a Really Great post to read on casing leather

http://leatherworker...showtopic=19121

******Dont forget - on the Main Forum page - click on the How Do I Do It page - and there above the daily posts is a list of

Pinned Posts that are just packed full of Super Information and this Casing Leather topic is just one of them ...

(In fact you should check for any Pinned Posts at the top of Any main topic in the Forum - These will have especially Good information!)

Happy Tooling and have fun! :thumbsup:

Edited by LNLeather

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Just a quick note here...

This is the other topic I was reading

where Hidepounder talks about Additives in the Casing Water

http://leatherworker...showtopic=38349

* the Best way to get the Most out of all these topics and posts is to

Read Everything... not just the first and last post. I found that I often would

miss the information I was looking for... if I didn't just take the time to read everything.

Get yourself a cup of coffee (or a beer - or whatever) and read - then practice...

Hope this helps

Edited by LNLeather

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