Leahlovesleather

Advice on a skiving tool please

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I want to buy a skiver.  I am using a safety beveller from Tandy and want something that is not disposable and holds its sharpness longer.  Hobby Tools in Australia have this wood knife https://www.hobbytools.com.au/kirschen-carving-knive-with-long-wide-blade-skewed-edge/. Does anyone think it would be good for skiving?  Has anyone used a ceramic blade?  Sounds like they stay sharp longer but take a lot of effort to sharpen. Any thoughts welcome.

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I have a similar knife that is meant to be a wood carving knife. It is Japanese steel and razor sharp (with honing). Cuts leather like butter. Assuming the steel is good, it is worth a try. You might want to look to see if there is a specialty store that focuses on high quality wood working tools. They may have higher quality tools for only marginally more money. I paid $32 CDN for mine.

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I use a Japanese marking knife to skive - it's about 1/2" wide and is as sharp as a scalpel.  I bought it years ago in Japan for woodworking - suppose you could buy something similar at any good woodworking tool supplier.

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Thank you for the comments.  I found one locally, similar to garypl's and will have a look at it today.

Cheers,

Leah

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This is what I bought.  The angle is very strep but I an gring that out a bit over time. Similar Japanese metal to yours garypl.

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I use a head knife for skiving. I've used knives with blades shape as the one you show and they work good if the blade is good. A lot of it depends on what you are skiving and how wide you need to the skive to be. For most things I've found a good head knife to be more versatile for this as you can do wide and thin skives were as the knife your looking at will only give you a path as wide as the blade.

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I'm uprised you could understand a bloody word I said!  I have turned auto text off in my settings, and I am starting to think it was a mistake.  Head knives might be something I invest in later on.  They look a bit scary. 

 

 

Edited by Leahlovesleather

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2 hours ago, Leahlovesleather said:

 

 

This is what I bought.  The angle is very strep but I an gring that out a bit over time. Similar Japanese metal to yours garypl.

Did you try to post a picture?  I don't see what type knife you bought.

1 hour ago, Mark842 said:

I use a head knife for skiving. I've used knives with blades shape as the one you show and they work good if the blade is good. A lot of it depends on what you are skiving and how wide you need to the skive to be. For most things I've found a good head knife to be more versatile for this as you can do wide and thin skives were as the knife your looking at will only give you a path as wide as the blade.

You are right Mark - the thin blade I am using works best for small areas like wallet card holder edges.  Would definitely be more work trying to get an even skive on larger areas.  I have a round knife I bought from Tandy, but I need to sharpen it a lot more to get it to skive cleanly.  Been thinking about investing in a better quality knife.  What brand head knife do you use?

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Don't know what happened there.  I don't have a head knife as I have only been interested in leatherwork for a few months. , They look a bot serious for me at this early stage and from what i have learnt, you should invest in a good one.

This is the knife I bought: hopefully it loaded.

 

IMG_0266.JPG

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9 hours ago, garypl said:

Did you try to post a picture?  I don't see what type knife you bought.

You are right Mark - the thin blade I am using works best for small areas like wallet card holder edges.  Would definitely be more work trying to get an even skive on larger areas.  I have a round knife I bought from Tandy, but I need to sharpen it a lot more to get it to skive cleanly.  Been thinking about investing in a better quality knife.  What brand head knife do you use?

I have an assortment of old ones..mostly osbornes. Just get yourself a good stone and practice sharpening it. Once you get a good edge it's easy to keep with regular maintenance.

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That looks good. What make is it, please? And price?

As you use it, you'll work out how to get the best results from it. And also as you use it and resharpen it you can get the edge just how you want it

Soon after I started doing leatherwork I made a decision, which was that I would not get a  round knife, for two reasons

1) I don't do enough leatherwork to become sufficiently skilled with one

2) Even a Tandy head knife is expensive, and I've heard they're not very good. A good one, one that's worth having, is even more expensive

I use a Stanley knife with resharpened blades; a home made kiridashi; a home made Japanese style leather knife; and a 3 1/2" carbon steel vegetable knife that I no longer use in the kitchen

For a working surface when skiving, I use the glass oven door off an old cooker

You will need a second knife which can be more or less anything you want - a Stanley knife; a penknife, a cheap snap - blade knife, and so on. Use it for opening parcels, cutting string, sharpening pencils etc. It's purpose is to make sure that you use the first knife exclusively for cutting leather

Edited by zuludog

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1 hour ago, Leahlovesleather said:

Don't know what happened there.  I don't have a head knife as I have only been interested in leatherwork for a few months. , They look a bot serious for me at this early stage and from what i have learnt, you should invest in a good one.

This is the knife I bought: hopefully it loaded.

 

IMG_0266.JPG

Looks similar to mine - if it's the same type steel it will take and hold a good edge

1 hour ago, Mark842 said:

I have an assortment of old ones..mostly osbornes. Just get yourself a good stone and practice sharpening it. Once you get a good edge it's easy to keep with regular maintenance.

Yes, I keep stropping it and it seems pretty sharp, but steel appears to be stainless and is very thin.  I will keep working with it and maybe invest in a better quality knife.

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I got the knife from. https://www.carbatec.com.au/marking-and-measuring/marking-knives/kiridashi-marking-knife

The packaging is basic, everything is in Japanese but there is the name TopMan on it.  It has a 21mm blade.

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There is a very good Lisa Sorrel video on the use of these skewed type skiving knives. I have one that I got from her that I really like. Has to be kept absolutely razor sharp to work efficiently. It works far better than the Tandy's skiving tool (super skiver).

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Hunhunt, that is good to hear.  The blade wasn't "scary sharp" so I have sharpened it a bit,  but had to work too much over the weekend to spend any time on it.  It is better, but will buy a good oil or wet stone in the next couple of days and really get stuck into it.

 

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Get it really razor sharp and then keep it sharp by frequent stropping. I have leather stropping wheels on my Tormek sharpener but you can do the same thing by mounting a piece of vegtan scrap leather to a flat surface. I rarely have to resharpen with the grinding wheel since I use the stropping wheel frequently. It is amazing how fast leather can take the razor edge off a cutting tool.

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I have some old hand plane blades that I am hoping to repurpose as skiving knives. If they work well on timber, I am hoping they will work REALLY well on leather! Does anybody have an opinion on this idea?

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I don't know about plane blades, but I had an old set of wood chisels that I re-purposed by re-profiling the blade, and they are the best end-skivers I have - I'm able to get the scary sharp and they work great.  The only complaint is that the handles are a bit heavy - I may eventually just cut them off and keep just the blade part.  

I suspect that a plane blade might work just as well - but I would suggest doing some work to change the angle from a plane's standard 25degrees to something considerably shallower - It may take some elbow-grease, but will probably be well worthwhile.  

Bill

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Brian, give me a yell and I will put you on to a bloke for that sharpening. does a very good job

 

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I've never tried plane irons but I have used wood skew chisels. The main problem with woodworking chisels is that the handles limit how low an angle you can use in making the skiving cut. I generally use a very low angle. Another thought would be to try using a power hacksaw blade if you know a machinist who is replacing an old blade. The steel should be very good and the price would be right.

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ROCKOBOY -

I've turned an old plane blade and an oddment of wood into a Japanese style leather knife and the result was pretty good. A friend did the grinding & shaping for me on a bench grinder then I finished it with a fine stone & a strop

Search YouTube for 'Japanese leather knife'; there are several videos showing how they are used for both cutting out and skiving. The asymmetric/offset blade was a bit odd at first, but now I've been using it a while I find it works pretty well

HUNHUNT

I have made 40mm wide hacksaw blades into skiving knives and 25mm wide hacksaw blades into kiridashi Japanese style craft knives. When you've worked up the blade with a bench grinder, then a stone, then a strop the edge is excellent. Be careful as it is tricky sharpening such thin hard steel on a bench grinder. Be patient and use lots of water quenching/cooling or you will burn the steel

Unfortunately for us, old industrial hacksaw blades are a highly sought after commodity, and any engineer that uses them will almost certainly have a queue of people waiting! Search Google & YouTube for 'donkey saw' and you'll see the sort of machine that the new blades are intended for.

BILLYBOP

Yes, a shallower angle or longer bevel is preferable for skiving leather, but this is difficult to do on an angle grinder. I bought a cheap coarse diamond stone from a chain tool merchants (Screwfix) just for that purpose, then did the final work on a fine oilstone and a strop

No actual cash changed hands for all this work, it was all done on favours - a few pints; restoring an old sheath; making a knife; and so on

Edited by zuludog

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