ClaireAshton

Replacement Blades For Skiving / Splitting Machines

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I've recently acquired two manual skiving / splitting machines. Both are very old but in very good working condition. The blades on both I would like to source spare blades. I would say there is no chance of 'off the shelf' blades. One of them looks about the same size as a woodworking plane blade. The other, which has two holes in it to mount the blade, is a lot squarer but could be similar to a large spoke-shave blade.

What I would like is either

1/ blades I can cut down to size

2/ blade stock I can cut to size and sharpen

3/ somewhere in UK that can make me blades to fit

The sizes are (width across blade x length x thickness)

1/ 1 3/4" x 3 3/4" x 1/8"

2/ 2 1/2" x 2 1/4" x 1/8"

As these are both old English machines the sizes will all be imperial.

Can anyone help?

Claire

PS I haven't the facilities to retemper or put in a temper of anything.

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Hi Claire,

You might try Joseph Dixon (http://www.josephdixon.co.uk/content/CONTACT_US.html). As I'm sure you know, they do make their own splitters which includes the blades, and they also do forge knives, etc. Even if they can't make the blade for you, they might have a good idea who could. You're also very close to them, and they're usually willing to see people to chat through things.

The Walsall Leather Museum might be able to help sourcing the fate of the original makers.

Failing that, posting the make and model of the machines might produce some unexpected spares.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Jerry

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Very timely question for me as I've recently bought an old 8" Dixons splitter that needs a lot of work done on the blade!

I got in touch with Dixons and they told me that it would cost £30-40 + Vat to get the blade re sharpened (though, apparently, this would include re calibrating the whole device). Seemed a little pricey to me as it costs £62 +Vat for a completely new blade.

I visited a local company that specializes in sharpening and making industrial saw blades a couple of days ago but they seemed to be a bit stumped about how to proceed. The blade looks to be hollow ground so they weren't sure if that was how it came from the manufacturer or the way it had been sharpened by the previous owner. I wasn't sure either. Are these blades meant be concave on the top surface?

I'm gonna be looking into finding specialist industrial blade suppliers in the UK over the next few weeks so if I come up with anything I'll add it to this post.

I'd also be curious to know if there is anyway to fashion a new blade from scratch using blade stock to try and save a few pounds...

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Hi Medi,

I certainly wouldn't try to make a splitter blade from scratch, by the time you got down to an edge, it could be all over the place. I believe the correct way to sharpen your blade is to hols your blade bevel against the stone. Then strop the bevel only. There are numerous You tube demos or get the Al Stohlman Tools book online from Tandy. That book is a mine of info of how to sharpen everything, splitters, edgers, knives, awls and so on. I would only get a new blade for a splitter if the old one had been ruined, but I think the new blade price from Dixon's is reasonable. Worth while dropping your blade in there to save courier if you are close enough. Where are you from? The only other people who could manage to sharpen your blade would be a guillotine company that deal with the printing industry. My father (now dead) used to have a hand guillotine that would cut through a foot thick pile of paper 3 feet wide like a kitchen devil through a carrot. I wish I could remember where he sent the blade away to! It made a splitter blade look like a small razor blade in comparison.

Having said that, my skivers have been coming along. The little one's blade was'chipped' in the centre of blade and at the wrong angle. I've spent a week on and off (10 hours?) hand cutting new angles (it is bevelled both sides) until the chip disappeared. I used a 2 sided oil stone to start, then a diamond stone then ceramic (Oh thankyou Fallraven or whatever they are called). Then my trusty Amazon thin card envelope cut up treated with jeweller's rouge, then very fine (down to 12,000 grit) cloth. This afternoon I spent a couple of hours taking it apart and back together, mounting the blade (now that was difficult avoiding catching it and wrecking the edge...) and building up the milled circumference with gorilla tape (surely the best?) on the lower feed roller which is the grain side roller.

After many adjustments I can bevel skive anything from 2oz up to 10oz. without damaging the work.

Now to start on the bigger one, which has a narrower blade curiously. I've sent off for a Stanley Iron for SB3 which is a 1 3/4" plane blade. Same width so i'll see if that works out of the box. If not I'll spend a couple of weeks putting a bevel on the other side (plane blane is single bevel) and see if that works. After all it only £5.50 or so ($8?) not bad for tool steel ready to go.

Watch this space.....

Claire

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I'm gonna be looking into finding specialist industrial blade suppliers in the UK over the next few weeks so if I come up with anything I'll add it to this post.

I'd also be curious to know if there is anyway to fashion a new blade from scratch using blade stock to try and save a few pounds...

Well, well! I thought I would do some research using my idea of print industry - and what pops up but...

Kennedy Grinding Midlands (HQ):

Unit 1, Shrewsbury Rd

Craven Arms

SY7 9QH

Tel: 01588 672289

Fax: 01588 673504

Now that is about 30 miles from my home - out in the sticks where I am that is practically next door. So guess who I'm phoning first think monday?

While I'm at it I'll ask about splitter blades, Medi. How bad is your blade? Do you have a photo of it ? I feel like we might be getting somewhere......

Oh, I'd better mention this firm seems to do all sorts of blades so what we have shouldn't faze them.

Claire (Insert smiley coming up, feeling like progress.... :clapping:

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Hi Claire,

You seem to be making some great progress on this; sounds like you have a great sharpening set up! I've been basically using my own version of the 'scary sharp' system which is just different grades of wet and dry paper on glass tiles.

The problem with the Dixon blade is that I think it will need a little more work from a proper grinder. I've attached some pictures.

What sort of splitters are are yours? The hand crank type?

Unfortunately, I'm based in sunny Lancashire (it is grim up norf!) so quite a long way from Dixons. Would be great to live around that area for leather work as a lot of the suppliers seem to be from round that way.

Medi :crazy:

post-52126-0-49568500-1407678820_thumb.j

post-52126-0-01557100-1407679142_thumb.j

Edited by Medi1979

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Hi Medi

First off, I used to live near Wigan many moons ago but came down here to try and civilise the locals - no success......

That blade is 100% in need of serious resharpening. If it was a small, thin blade then it could be done at home, but those splitter blades are heavy and if you ground out by hand then you are just setting yourself up for a poor job next time you try to hone it. If it is done professionally on a jig, then when you come to hone it you have a 'perfect' starting point. I'll make inquiries in the morning and if they can manage a splitter blade I'll let you know.

Yes, my skivers are both manual, with a handle you turn to take the leather through.

What I've just seen on the Axminster website (one in Warrington) is rolls of 'paper' with various grades on and they are self adhesive. Stick them to plate glass etc. and you have a perfect long 'stone'. Might get the middle grade to see how it goes. I do have some Micro Mesh abrasive sheets which go to 20,000 grit (yes that is right!) Now that does get an edge on, if you have gone up through the grades properly.

I am definitely in a 'get my tools in order' mood..............

Claire

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Oh, Happy Days Are Here Again :thumbsup:

Been onto said 'local' grinding service, 1/ Yes, splitter blades no problem 2/ Yes, new skiver blades no problem 3/ Yes, whatever else you want is not a problem.......

So nice to speak to someone who doesn't suck in their breath suddenly in that 'that's tricky (read expensive) ' kind of way.

SO Medi, ballpark we are talking £15 ($25) plus Vat for your blade. Message me privately to see if we can come up with cheap solution, if I roll up there with 4 or 5 blades then that'll be cheapest.

This is a good already......

Claire

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word of warning

you might want to try it with one blade first, wouldn't be the first time a splitter blade has been ruined by a pro sharpening place (ask trox on here about his experience of professional sharpening)

& I'd actually be worried if they didn't suck in their breath :rofl: They might be underestimating how tricky they are to do properly.

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Further to this topic and news how I sorted my blade problem see this thread......

http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=57101&page=2#entry371759

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Hi Claire,

You might try Joseph Dixon (http://www.josephdixon.co.uk/content/CONTACT_US.html). As I'm sure you know, they do make their own splitters which includes the blades, and they also do forge knives, etc. Even if they can't make the blade for you, they might have a good idea who could. You're also very close to them, and they're usually willing to see people to chat through things.

The Walsall Leather Museum might be able to help sourcing the fate of the original makers.

Failing that, posting the make and model of the machines might produce some unexpected spares.

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Jerry

Sadly I found out today that Dixons ceased trading on last Friday (I hope it wasn't a wind-up (no pun intended)as it was Friday 13th, so that option won't be available any longer. I had phoned to find out something about their round knives, and was shocked by the news.

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It isn't a windup it seems.

I spoke with one of the bods this morning,. and it was confirmed that the receivers went in of Friday and Joseph Dixon has ceased trading.

There is a lot of skill at the company and hopefully we will see them reappear even if it is under a new banner.

I wished the folks of Dixons good luck and I'm sure you will feel the same.

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I have ordered some soon to be difficult to get, I suspect, Dixons' tools before Abbey run out. A lot of money given my small requirement, but they will hold their value, as leather working tools seem to. But the wide no.8 pricking irons (for your wallets) were on the order due in this week. :sob: So I will have to find an alternative. Not difficult but it would be nicer if it was business-as-usual. I hope they can be reformed.

BTW Thanks for your video's, they are an inspiration to do things properly. One day I might be able to ;-)

Edited by deadsquirrel

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Damm, thats a huge loss

Fingers crossed they can get back on their feet.

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That's terrible bad news, it feels like somebody close have died..........

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It is bad news, though for the next sentence or two I suspect I will have to get my tin hat on, and avoid incoming fire. I was going to buy a plough gauge at some point, but Dixon's demise pushed me into buying while there was some available. When it arrived, I could see some significant problems they must have faced. The build and finish were poor. The bar that holds the roller was bent, and when adjusting the height, the far end performed circles. When I disassembled it, the bar had deep hammer and vice jaw marks in it. the measuring bar had vice jaw marks, and the stop wouldn't slide to less than 3", as the bar was thicker at the root than the end. There were other problems, but this is enough to give you a feel for it.

You may say this could have just been a rogue unit, but at £300+ it should not have been let out. Fortunately I can fix it, but it will be a few hours work.

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Terrible news but things seem to have been going down hill for ages. I was wanting to try some of their strap end punches, but never had the courage to do so because I wasn't very impressed with the modern Dixon tools that I did buy.

Hopefully they'll re-emerge and make better tools than they did before.

Am I the only one who's thinking about what they'll be doing with their stock of tools?

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It is the administrators who will be in control of the remaining stock, which may be very low anyway. Given what seems to be emerging in terms of quality, I would be looking at other suppliers anyway.

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