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About Bobbin

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    Leather jackets, denim & outdoor gear
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  1. Thanks @Art, that was extremely helpful to get a sense of proportion and use. For example the curved detail knife is so much bigger than the clicker knife and I can see how it would be for thicker leathers. I don't know what it is, but there is an irresistible draw to some of these beautiful knives.
  2. So in addition to utility blades, which I already use, I'll get a variety of scalpels. This is an inexpensive way to try many different blade shapes to see what works best in different situations. Perhaps from there, I can get a custom knife in the shape I like, if I want something less bendy or just better looking for photographs I'm looking at Swann Morton scalpels. I think most folks here use the surgical ones with 10A, 11, 12, etc blades. They also have ACM handles & blades, which are thicker and less bendy. This is their craft blade line. I saw a couple video reviews (review one, review two) and these seem like these are almost identical to x-acto handles & blades. And they have some Heavy Duty Craft options--the SM handles & blades. It looks like some are selling them as leather craft knives. I imagine these are closer to utility blades, but with more blade shape options. Question #1 Anyone familiar with these Swann Morton craft blades? In the US, Cincinnati Surgical / CN Arts & Crafts has them for good prices, including kits. The ACM kit has one of everything, which would be a nice introduction. Question #2 is for those who use a curved detail knife. I see some of you (like @Art) use this as an alternate to a clicker knife (for example the Knipschield curved detail knife). Can you comment on why you like this knife, pros & cons? I imagine the curved shape allows for following patterns with curves & straight edges, and possibly allows one to see better under the blade when pulling. I have a Henckels kitchen knife that looks very similar and it gets used daily. I figure, a nice, traditional looking knife like this can always be put on kitchen duty if it doesn't turn out to be a favorite for leather work.
  3. Thanks for the recommendation to customize. After researching more, I'm getting the same advice. I asked Peter Nitz about his awls he posted recently on IG, and yup, he makes them himself to suit his needs. What is the best way to customize an awl? For example, for fine work, would I just buy the small VB awls because they are the closest, then work on them with whetstones, then polish, etc?
  4. That makes sense. Perhaps I'll hold off on a rotary for now then until I find I use a lot of stretchy/thin leathers that the other's don't handle well. Probably goatskin & linings for me. Fair enough. I do respect your opinion. It's funny, because I thought I was being minimal by looking for a core of "only" 3 knives I have spent time researching steels for cutting. I do have a bit of a different philosophy though. I'm doing this because I like learning, and because I think it's fun. Part of learning for me is trying things. Even if I find a knife totally useless, that's valuable learning for me for a pretty small price (if I trashed the knife). And an even smaller price of learning if I sell it to a forum member here. This helps me learn about different types of steel, too. In practice rather than just reading about it. I do agree that to improve my skill set in any single knife, I'll need to spend a lot of hours of practice. Sounds like great advice. I don't expect I'll become a collector (yet). Thanks for the tip on the utility knife and blades. I actually have one but did not know about the Bi-Metal (Blue) blades. This is another attractive option for me as well, really sidestepping the sharpening issue. The blades are so cheap I can just replace as needed. It sounds like all I really "need" is some sort of detail knife--either a utility knife. + maybe scalpels, or something like the Blanchard w/ custom blade above. I would then be doing a lot of pull cuts along a pattern, corner template, or ruler--probably the majority of what I'll be doing. I feel like the utility knives/scalpels are a no brainer. Even if I don't end up using them much for leather, I still have general purpose knives for many other uses. I think I'll pick some of these up, even if I do opt for a Blanchard detail knife. The head/round knife does seem more optional for now, unless I wanted to do a lot of curvy push cuts along a line without a guide. I'll still need a skiving knife for thinning edges, bringing it to a core set of 2 to start.
  5. Reviving this old thread because I've been researching some of the knives mentioned here. I'm looking to get a core set of very high quality, essential knives that are workhorses and require minimal upkeep beyond stropping. So far I have a few in mind: - Clicker knife/ detail knife for cutting around patterns. l'indispensable handle w/ custom blades made by Buzzard Brain leather. Made of high carbon O1 steel to a hardness of RC62. Can be custom sharpened. - Round knife/head knife from Knip Knives. Probably the French one. Long straight cuts, curves, some skiving. Multiple uses. - Skiving knife from Knip or Chartermade This seems like a good core set. But I'm wondering--where does a rotary Olfa cutter fit in? I know many use these, and they seem excellent for straight cuts as well, and especially for thin leathers. Oh, and I'm mostly working with thinner leathers for fine work--wallets, bags, etc up to the occasional thick belt. Thoughts? Alternatives? Did I miss an essential? Thanks!
  6. This thread has been super helpful to me. I'm currently in the process of picking up some of the irons mentioned here. I would love a recommendation for an awl: one that is slim enough not to spoil the slim, flat "European Style" holes made by the Amy Roke, CMDAChong, Myleathertool, etc pricking irons. In my research, it looks like Vergez Blanchard irons are so far the best bet I've seen for fine leather work. They are of course slim to match VB pricking marks. Would need to get them sharpened. I've read a lot about Douglas Slim Awls, but have seen that even those are not as fine/slim as the VB Awls. Of the standard recommendations: Barry King, Osborne, etc, I am not aware of Awls as slim as VB for fine leather work. Any recommendation for slim, preferably pre-sharpened & polished "European Style" Awls for fine leather work on thinner, smaller leather items? It would be also nice to have matching round awl and scratch awl to go with. (So far, I have contacted CMDAChong if he has these, still waiting to hear back.) Thanks!
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