zuludog

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About zuludog

  • Rank
    Leatherworker
  • Birthday 04/25/1950

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Northwest England
  • Interests
    Backpacking, Car mechanics, Model aeroplanes, Knifemaking, Leatherwork

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  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Knife sheath making
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    general leatherwork
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  1. A single cut is the best way, and experts & purists will tell us it is the only way, but it is difficult to maintain the hard pressure needed to cut thick leather whilst at the same time following the line of the pattern. For most mortals a few passes are needed, depending on the thickness of the leather. The downside is that you must be careful to follow exactly in the same line, or you will produce a stepped effect on the cut edge As I said, as you gain experience, both with cutting the leather and sharpening your tools, so you can manage with fewer cuts I can usually manage up to about 2 to 2,5mm leather with one cut, but for 3 or 4mm I often need a second or third pass, especially on curves. The advantage that I, and I think most members of this forum have, is that we do this for a hobby, and we can evolve our own methods, without a college lecturer or a workshop foreman to tell us off.
  2. HUSKY 3 ------- Any knife used against a template is liable to become blunted. The procedure you should use is - Use a round or scratch awl (hence the name) against the template to mark out the pattern on the leather. Do this quite firmly to produce a definite scratch or groove. Then remove the template and cut the pattern freehand. A deep scratch will make it easier to see the pattern, and will also act as a guide for the blade Depending on the thickness of the leather, start with light cuts to establish the line of the cut, then use that line for stronger & deeper cuts. As you gain experience and strength in your hands & wrists you can do fewer light cuts and go to deeper cuts more quickly - that's the theory anyway the disposable blades used in craft knives & scalpels can be improved bu a fine stone & stropping
  3. I made my knives in a similar way to that in the video. To remind you I used an old box plane blade and a piece of 40mm hacksaw blade A friend shaped & sharpened the blades on his bench grinder for the price of a pint. It is difficult to sharpen such thin hard steel so the bevel is a bit steep; I am gradually reducing this as I resharpen it by hand. Nevertheless it does the job. But having a sharp, polished cutting edge is the most important part For the ferrule I used a piece of copper water pipe The rest of the handle making was all done with hand tools - a small saw; drills; files, rasps, and sandpaper; and glued with 2 part epoxy Some of the available knives have a curved edge to the upper part of the offset blade, but as you can see from the video, a straight line works just as well One of the tools I used was a Shinto Japanese saw rasp - find them via Google and on YouTube; they're available from Amazon USA for about $17. These are excellent, and cut easily without clogging If you're still interested you could think about making your own English style paring knife or Japanese KIRIDASHI knife, they're very similar. Search for kiridashi on the Net and YouTube
  4. A Japanese leather knife is held vertically in your fist with the bevel facing outwards, away from your palm, and the larger or trailing part of the asymmetric blade facing away from you. Thus in the picture a left handed person would use the black handled knife In use, the bevel faces the good side of the leather and the flat side faces the waste Try holding a ruler or a pencil vertically in your fist and extending your arm slightly. It's quite difficult to hold it perfectly vertical; there is a tendency for your wrist to turn and for the pencil to slant outwards at the top and inwards at the bottom. Because of this the bevel is vertical even if the blades slopes slightly, and so the cut is vertical. Have a look at this video, he shows it well enough 'How to Use Japanese Leather Knife' by Leathertoolz
  5. That's a fair comment. I started with a Stanley knife/craft knife/box cutter knife and still use it sometimes. It seemed to work better after I'd resharpened the blades with a fine oilstone and a strop; probably because that reduced the shoulder of the bevel and gave it a better polish Whatever knife you get, you will need two - the first is for cutting leather. The second can be more or less anything you want. Use it for opening parcels, sharpening pencils, cutting string, and that sort of thing; its purpose is to make sure you use the first one exclusively for cutting leather
  6. Thought I'd add this - I've made my own Japanese style knives; one from an old plane blade, and one from a piece of 40,, industrial hacksaw blade, the cost was very low GENEH - looking at your other interests, I don't think you would find it too difficult to make one yourself. You will need to find someone who's good with a bench grinder, and go slowly, with quenching, to avoid burning such thin steel. Final sharpening by hand, and they get better as you use & resharpen them. Search YouTube for ideas. Handle can be any hard wood; I've used beech & hawthorn
  7. Two things for you to consider - A head knife, aka a half round knife like an Osborne #73 A Japanese leather knife I use both, and I'm happy enough with them. Once you've got used to the asymmetrical shape the Japanese knife works well Search the Net for suppliers or Goods Japan; and YouTube for how they're used. JH Leather has a video on sharpening a half round knife, with a short demonstration of its use at the end
  8. zuludog

    My new strops.... One might be an original idea?

    I made a strop for the internal curve of a spoon carving knife from a length of 15mm copper water pipe. Just glued on some thin leather recovered from an old chair. The glue was general purpose like UHU or Bostik
  9. zuludog

    Sharpening a new skiving knife

    I've watched that video, and IMO it's more complicated and involved than you need I haven't used your knife, or any other Osborne tools, but I would expect that a knife from such a reputable maker would be more or less ready for use (though I'm willing to be corrected). All you need is a fine stone and a strop. The stone can be any type you want - Oil - Not as popular (fashionable?) as they were, but they do the job. Fairly cheap to buy, but because they've been around for so long you can find them secondhand. See if there's a second hand tool stall on your local market. Just ask the stall holder, they're friendly enough. Ordinary general purpose oil like 3-in-1 is OK Diamond - Probably the easiest to use. Good ones are expensive Water aka ceramic - A bit messy. You can get various combinations with different grades & prices Make your own strop from oddments, it's just about the easiest bit of leatherwork you'll ever do Take a piece of wood about 12" X 3", though it doesn't need to be precision carpentry by any means. Cut a piece of 2 to 3mm veg tanned leather slightly oversize Place the leather flesh side down on the bench (so you're gluing the grain side to the wood); apply glue to the leather and/or the wood; general glue like Bostik or UHU, or PVA wood glue is OK; place the wood onto the leather and weight it down - a few books, or a small toolbox, or a couple of saucepans of water. Leave it overnight to set. Next day trim the leather to the wood. Treat yourself to some proper stropping /honing compound, I use Veritas 05M08.01 from Axminster Tools. A 170g bar will last you for ages It will take a while to break in the strop. When the colour changes to black you know it's working because that is the steel that's being removed from the blade There are loads of sharpening videos on YouTube. Play around with the Search box for sharpening knives; using an oilstone etc; making, & using a strop. Watch as many as you have the stamina for, you'll see how things are done, how they're used, and work out your own technique
  10. zuludog

    How sharp ?

    Sorry, but the best advice I can offer for that is to watch the videos and practice As Webicons posted, a Japanese style leather knife is easier to sharpen as it has a straight edge and a more defined bevel. I use both and a Japanese knife will do most things; you soon get used to the asymmetric style. Search YouTube for their use, and Google for suppliers
  11. zuludog

    How sharp ?

    There are loads of videos about sharpening on YouTube. Watch as many as you have the stamina for, they will all help to build up knowledge & experience. But if you want to narrow it down a bit Search for 'sharpening a round knife' I think this one is good - 'How to sharpen your head knife for leather work' by JH Leather Although it's for a head knife aka a half round knife the same method can be used Starting with a new knife I use a medium oilstone; a fine oilstone; a few grades of wet & dry paper between grits 600 & 2,000; then a strop. Lubricate the wet & dry paper with window cleaning spray. Now that my knife is sharp I just use the strop most of the time Tallow & powder, or Autosol will do the job but they're messy. Treat yourself to a proper bar of stropping/honing compound. I use Veritas 05M08.01. A 170g/6oz bar will last you ages As well as the cutting edge, hold the knife at a lower & flatter angle so that you polish the whole of the bevel & sides of the knife. This will help the blade to slide through the leather more easily
  12. zuludog

    What's your favorite skiving tool?

    I also use a Japanese style leather knife for both cutting and some skiving. Once you've got the hang of it there's no problem with the asymmetric blade. Again, Search YouTube to see how they're used www.goodsjapan.com sell left handed versions, so the bevel of the cutting edge is on the correct side for left handers Whatever you settle on, you'll need to keep it absolutely razor sharp
  13. zuludog

    What's your favorite skiving tool?

    Similar to hwinbermuda I have a home made kiridashi - cum - english paring knife; made from a piece of 25mm wide industrial hacksaw blade. I'm sure you could find someone to make something similar, otherwise Search the Net for 'kiridashi' and 'leather paring knife' George Barnsley was a traditional tool maker in Sheffield, England. They ceased trading years ago, but their old stock is still available from www.gandmtools.co.uk. Look through their website, they have various skiving & paring knives, including a George Barnsley 10" L/H Paring knife, for £15 = $19-70 Search YouTube to see how they are used
  14. zuludog

    Suggest a first project for a beginner

    Perhaps you could go back and give them a key fob or something, as a thankyou
  15. zuludog

    Xmas came early

    What an excellent collection, though it is, of course, a sad way to acquire them Until 1973 when Britain joined the EEC there were closer ties between Britain and Australia, so it's not surprising that some of the tools will be from traditional British makes like Maun, Barnsley and Thor I think the best thanks you can give your friend would be to get the tools cleaned up, sharpened, and used