Hello Leather Workers,
I am the crafts buyer and Crafts Shack Guardian for Camp Unalayee, a wilderness backpacking camp in the Trinity Alps Wilderness in Northern California. As a wilderness camp, we have no electricity.
We have a supply of leather left over from a donation from a tannery near Santa Cruz CA which closed > 25 years ago. Leather has not been done much for years because the pieces were very small and our tools limited. Last summer we discovered a huge garbage can full of bigger useable scraps. We sorted them into usable pieces, put them out where they could be used and there was huge interest. The pieces are mid weight and big enough to make small pouches, knife sheaths, bracelets, tassels etc. There is also a xerox paper box of suede in beautiful colors that are recycled from suede clothing. We have a Leather tool box with nice sharp leather scissors, rotary punches x 2 but they are dull, "Speedy Stitcher" Sewing awl with extra needles x2, regular awl, a number of stamps including an alphabet, a variety of waxed linen, waxed nylon and fake sinew to stitch with and a few other tools I have no idea what they are used for. I can't access them now as they are stored for the season. We have excellent general crafts supplies including X-acto knives, utility knives, self healing cutting matts, markers, pencils, various craft glues, metal rulers, scissors etc.
I have a few questions for you leather workers.
What types of projects are appropriate for 10-17 year old kids to make in one or maximum two, 2-3 hour activity periods. Any free pattern sources would be appreciated.
Once our leather is gone, what is the best, most cost efficient way to get more? Are there any tanneries or outlets that might donate leather scraps to a non profit camp?
What types of tools should we have on hand? Our budget is small, so I would appreciate ideas on essential tools to get. I have started a list with my meager knowledge obtained from watching various YouTube videos. Is this a good place to start? Anything I have listed, not needed? Other suggestions?
1/8" chisel set (1 or 2 so more than one kid can make holes at the same time???)
hole punch, either a new rotary one or 2-3 sizes of individual punches
a leather cement
a mallet( suggestions on what type)
snaps and snap setter (2 sizes? )
grommets and grommet setter (2 sizes? )
a chopping board for pounding on.
An edge rounder for bracelet/choker ends(3/4" or 5/8"?)
a right angle metal ruler (x2?)
Leather needles (size?) and appropriately sized thread
Something sturdy to make patterns out of that can stand up to multiple kid use.
a piece of marble for grommet/snap setting?
Last question. Is there a place to look for used tools? Kids are hard on tools even with supervision. If there is a place to buy used gear for a reasonable price it might be the way for us to go.
Thanks so much to anyone who has made it this far and many many thanks to anyone who can offer suggestions and/or resources. QueenyT