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Homemade leather splitter

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Hi guys,

here is my leather splitter in action.

It is based on the jewelers mill.

It can split (very smoothly) up to 75mm wide leather .

From 5mm thick ,it can split down to 0.4mm paper thin.

The blade is absolutely amazing .

Blade was shaped my me from a blank and heat treated by a friend.

As can be seen in the video, the blade is fully adjustable.

Im now looking for a roller with horizontal grooves for the bottom to provide more grip and improved feeding.

Thnx guys.

SPLITTER1 (1).mp4

SPLITTER2.mp4

Edited by Sticks

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I can’t see anything. Could you try uploading again?

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1 hour ago, ScoobyNewbie said:

I can’t see anything. Could you try uploading again?

Hi,

yes you would have to download the links then watch.

I used photobucket in the past to add a link via url but doesnt seem possible any more.

I will update the post once I figure out how to do that.

Hopefully tonight.

thnx

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I keep getting a pop-up blocking my screen. I will not be joining any video viewing site, so I will not be watching this video.

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3 minutes ago, Rockoboy said:

I keep getting a pop-up blocking my screen. I will not be joining any video viewing site, so I will not be watching this video.

What? Sorry for this.I really dont know why that would happen.

There were two links in the first posts.

Thnx .

Ill update to youtube. I need to make a better video anyway.

Edited by Sticks

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The links in the 1st post did not work previously when I tried them, but they worked just now. Thank you for your efforts.

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Just now, Rockoboy said:

The links in the 1st post did not work previously when I tried them, but they worked just now. Thank you for your efforts.

Ah ok..Good.

Have a good weekend.

B.

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I always wondered if a hand splitter could go really thin like for something that would go as a liner on a watch strap, as low as 0.5mm. I guess that question has met it's answer. But it raised another: Are you not concerned that the top roller could mark the leather? Could something like a rubber roller work, something soft and yet with a good grip?

Otherwise it look top notch.

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39 minutes ago, LetterT said:

I always wondered if a hand splitter could go really thin like for something that would go as a liner on a watch strap, as low as 0.5mm. I guess that question has met it's answer. But it raised another: Are you not concerned that the top roller could mark the leather? Could something like a rubber roller work, something soft and yet with a good grip?

Otherwise it look top notch.

Great question LetterT.

This mill comes with two ultra smooth rollers top and bottom already installed.

They work fine, however I wanted more grip so I tried the extra rollers with texture to see how significant the improved grip would be.

I have left a smooth one at the bottom and changed the top one which has actually two different textures for embossing silver etc.

The rubber roller would not be sturdy enough to keep the leather perfectly level.

These machines depend heavily of high tension and rigidity.

Easier still would be simply turning the leather upside down which works perfectly fine as well.

I see the Landis hand cranked has a grooved roller at the bottom which would be ideal as they are the experts and the inspiration for this project.

I will look for one of these or simply machine grooves in the existing one.

So to answer your question, it will not mark it unless one wants it to (another creative tangent there) as you can simply split it with the top layer against the bottom smooth roller.

Thnx for the feedback.

ps. yes this is perfect for watch straps.!!

Edited by Sticks

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15 hours ago, LetterT said:

I always wondered if a hand splitter could go really thin like for something that would go as a liner on a watch strap, as low as 0.5mm. I guess that question has met it's answer. But it raised another: Are you not concerned that the top roller could mark the leather? Could something like a rubber roller work, something soft and yet with a good grip?

Otherwise it look top notch.

Just had a great idea to use bicycle inner tube to stretch around the roller/s.

Should give even more grip.

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I looked up prices for a jewelers mill on ebay, holy cow, they cost as much as second hand electric skiving machines in my country.

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1 hour ago, LetterT said:

I looked up prices for a jewelers mill on ebay, holy cow, they cost as much as second hand electric skiving machines in my country.

Could you post a link for the same hand cranked type that would be available to buy.?

The only ones I saw when doing months of research were the strap end pull models  that serve a completely different purpose.

These were already more than the mill.

 

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4 hours ago, Sticks said:

Could you post a link for the same hand cranked type that would be available to buy.?

The only ones I saw when doing months of research were the strap end pull models  that serve a completely different purpose.

These were already more than the mill.

Chinese-made crank splitters are about £1000 new depending on where you get them from. Blade width is about 7" and you can probably use all of that at once, which you can't with some designs. I was fortunate enough to get an old English-made splitter from eBay ffor less than a Chinese jeweller's mill costs, they do crop up from time to time. A very nice American-made one sold for £460 yesterday. There's some other options -- Weaver in the USA advertises one that I'm sure is very well made for $3000, and Cowboy sells one with a 20" width for about £2000 (or it was last time I looked).

I used to have one of the Cowboy brand (Chinese made) pull skivers. Not bad quality but the blade was bloody soft, I've owned spoons that held an edge longer. However if I stropped it regularly I could split a 4" wide strip of 3+mm bridle down to 1mm (with the appropriate amounts of care, welly and luck). You are right, these aren't splitters they're lap skivers really. The depth of cut is dependent on what angle you pull the leather and you need a surprising amount of muscle to pull anything wider than 2" through. You can buy them from eBay UK for about £160. I'm sure a decent pull-skiver like an Osborne (still available new) or a venerable Dixon (now only available used) would work better, though it's still far from ideal.

I like your little splitter. It works, which is the main thing. Ignore the naysayers, if you've got the horse-sense to run a welder without licking the sparky end you're not going to put anything squishy into those gears. You seem to have a lot more freedom to adjust the split depth than I do with my splitter and most people report with theirs, probably because on yours the blade travels up and down for different depths of split. On most the blade is at a fixed height, the height of one of the feed rollers is adjustable, and the other roller is sprung. Mine is only really happy when halving stuff.

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8 hours ago, Matt S said:

Chinese-made crank splitters are about £1000 new depending on where you get them from. Blade width is about 7" and you can probably use all of that at once, which you can't with some designs. I was fortunate enough to get an old English-made splitter from eBay ffor less than a Chinese jeweller's mill costs, they do crop up from time to time. A very nice American-made one sold for £460 yesterday. There's some other options -- Weaver in the USA advertises one that I'm sure is very well made for $3000, and Cowboy sells one with a 20" width for about £2000 (or it was last time I looked).

I used to have one of the Cowboy brand (Chinese made) pull skivers. Not bad quality but the blade was bloody soft, I've owned spoons that held an edge longer. However if I stropped it regularly I could split a 4" wide strip of 3+mm bridle down to 1mm (with the appropriate amounts of care, welly and luck). You are right, these aren't splitters they're lap skivers really. The depth of cut is dependent on what angle you pull the leather and you need a surprising amount of muscle to pull anything wider than 2" through. You can buy them from eBay UK for about £160. I'm sure a decent pull-skiver like an Osborne (still available new) or a venerable Dixon (now only available used) would work better, though it's still far from ideal.

I like your little splitter. It works, which is the main thing. Ignore the naysayers, if you've got the horse-sense to run a welder without licking the sparky end you're not going to put anything squishy into those gears. You seem to have a lot more freedom to adjust the split depth than I do with my splitter and most people report with theirs, probably because on yours the blade travels up and down for different depths of split. On most the blade is at a fixed height, the height of one of the feed rollers is adjustable, and the other roller is sprung. Mine is only really happy when halving stuff.

Matt,

thnx for your reply.

yes, I looked high and low for the crank style splitter and just could not find anything under the 1000 mark.

My splitter cost me 140 (and lots of fun making the frame and blade) and has more than the capacity for my needs.

Do you mind me asking exactly what splitter you got?

i love the fact that the blade is simply great and maintains its razor edge for a long time. (Sandvik 14c28n steel)

These machines , are mostly about the blade (assuming all else lines up and is solid).

The main steel used in them would usually be D2 steel which was great but maybe not the best at push cutting because of the larger carbides .

The Sandvik is able to be honed to a polished razor edge since the grain structure is very fine.

i have attached a pic of the blade.

Yes the very thin splits are what I really need and this will also split the softer bubble leather.

Because the blade blanks of this size are not very expensive, I am about to test Cpm 10v steel just to see what can be improved.

 

 

 

IMG-20180823-WA0015.jpg

Edited by Sticks

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4 hours ago, Sticks said:

Matt,

thnx for your reply.

yes, I looked high and low for the crank style splitter and just could not find anything under the 1000 mark.

My splitter cost me 140 (and lots of fun making the frame and blade) and has more than the capacity for my needs.

Do you mind me asking exactly what splitter you got?

i love the fact that the blade is simply great and maintains its razor edge for a long time. (Sandvik 14c28n steel)

These machines , are mostly about the blade (assuming all else lines up and is solid).

The main steel used in them would usually be D2 steel which was great but maybe not the best at push cutting because of the larger carbides .

The Sandvik is able to be honed to a polished razor edge since the grain structure is very fine.

i have attached a pic of the blade.

Yes the very thin splits are what I really need and this will also split the softer bubble leather.

Because the blade blanks of this size are not very expensive, I am about to test Cpm 10v steel just to see what can be improved.

 

 

 

IMG-20180823-WA0015.jpg

Good Morning,


This Is Daniel with C.S. OSBORNE & CO. We manufacture skiving knifes and splitting machines. Our machines can last a life time being we sell replacement blades and or parts. We also have a video on YouTube showing how these blades can be sharpened. We have had people come to us with a splitter from 80 years ago trying to get replacement blades to bring their machine to life. Any questions or catalog request, pricing you can email us at: cso@csosborne.com

Thank you
Daniel
Sales

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1 hour ago, csosborne said:

Good Morning,


This Is Daniel with C.S. OSBORNE & CO. We manufacture skiving knifes and splitting machines. Our machines can last a life time being we sell replacement blades and or parts. We also have a video on YouTube showing how these blades can be sharpened. We have had people come to us with a splitter from 80 years ago trying to get replacement blades to bring their machine to life. Any questions or catalog request, pricing you can email us at: cso@csosborne.com

Thank you
Daniel
Sales

Thank you Daniel

 

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22 hours ago, Sticks said:

Could you post a link for the same hand cranked type that would be available to buy.?

The only ones I saw when doing months of research were the strap end pull models  that serve a completely different purpose.

These were already more than the mill.

 

@Sticks, please do not think that I in any way think bad of your design. It obviously works and manages to give out great output, especially considering the low skiving thickness you have achieved.

I was looking if I could replicate something similar but when I looked how much those jewelers mills go all I can see on ebay are prices around 500-600 USD. There are some Chinese a bit cheaper but unknown quality. Considering my machining skills are non existent I would probably had to pay someone to modify it for me and that makes the price go even more up.

 

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17 minutes ago, LetterT said:

@Sticks, please do not think that I in any way think bad of your design. It obviously works and manages to give out great output, especially considering the low skiving thickness you have achieved.

I was looking if I could replicate something similar but when I looked how much those jewelers mills go all I can see on ebay are prices around 500-600 USD. There are some Chinese a bit cheaper but unknown quality. Considering my machining skills are non existent I would probably had to pay someone to modify it for me and that makes the price go even more up.

 

Letter,

absolutely not !! No reason for me  to think that at all.

I was genuinely wondering what prices you had seen to think the prices would be similar to mine, as I would still buy a Landis crank if they cost what my mill costs which is around the 140 pound sterling mark. (not possible)

Now you have looked at the more expensive mills it all makes sense.

The whole point of this project was to have the ability to split consistently but to achieve that for way less than the price of the link here.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-American-Model-A-Hand-Crank-Leather-Splitter-LS440-Antique-St-Louis-USA/201532593654?hash=item2eec4755f6:g:3I8AAOSwkX9ZptQw

As you have probably seen (color coding and build of my mill) the Chinese ones would be perfectly suited for this as it would most likely be the same as what you saw.

You need not use a Durston mill for this project.

I do see what you mean about the skills to do it but I had never welded prior to this (it shows haha).

I simply always thought that having a splitter was very very important and I was gonna have one whatever it took.

I also knew absolutely the mill was using the same principle and there was almost no way it was going to fail.!

If you do want to build one ,i can offer some assistance.

 

 

Edited by Sticks

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I might hold you to that. I just had some metal working guy repair my home fence and it turns out this is a side job, he actually works on machine latte and his son is a mechanical engineer. I might get him to make one for me but that is still way down the line... I still haven't made my electric creaser and the parts have been sitting on the shelf for a month now.

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Machine latte? 

This I HAVE to see!

Can you get it with extra milk? :lol:

(Yes, I know...autocorrect...)

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10 hours ago, LetterT said:

I might hold you to that. I just had some metal working guy repair my home fence and it turns out this is a side job, he actually works on machine latte and his son is a mechanical engineer. I might get him to make one for me but that is still way down the line... I still haven't made my electric creaser and the parts have been sitting on the shelf for a month now.

Awesome.Ill be around.

Thnx Letter

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