JazzBass

Learning the Head Knife...an epiphany!

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I've always found that accurate cutting, for me, might just be THE biggest challenge in leather work.
I have tried many knives, but had avoided the round knife ONLY BECAUSE of all the comments I've seen online, talking about the difficulty of learning to use one, (essentially) due to a relatively steep learning curve.

WRONG!!!  I LOVE this knife!

It does most everything that other knives do, and does it better in most cases. Learning curve? Well, sure...every new type of tool has a skill set to be developed, BUT - right off the bat, I was kicking myself for listening to the "it's too hard to learn" crowd. Almost immediately, it became my favorite knife of all.

I should have known that such a unique tool with such a long history, had good reasons behind its continuing popularity with leather workers. DOH!! (forehead slap)

So don't shy away from the head knife...if you don't have one yet, make it next on your list of tools. You won't be sorry - it's not THAT difficult to learn, and it's worth its weight in gold IMHO. I can't say enough about this great tool.

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8 minutes ago, JazzBass said:

I've always found that accurate cutting, for me, might just be THE biggest challenge in leather work.
I have tried many knives, but had avoided the round knife ONLY BECAUSE of all the comments I've seen online, talking about the difficulty of learning to use one, (essentially) due to a relatively steep learning curve.

WRONG!!!  I LOVE this knife!

It does most everything that other knives do, and does it better in most cases. Learning curve? Well, sure...every new type of tool has a skill set to be developed, BUT - right off the bat, I was kicking myself for listening to the "it's too hard to learn" crowd. Almost immediately, it became my favorite knife of all.

I should have known that such a unique tool with such a long history, had good reasons behind its continuing popularity with leather workers. DOH!! (forehead slap)

So don't shy away from the head knife...if you don't have one yet, make it next on your list of tools. You won't be sorry - it's not THAT difficult to learn, and it's worth its weight in gold IMHO. I can't say enough about this great tool.

Good for you, I am pleased that it works for you.

I am great with half head knife but round knife is only for specific tasks for me.

Don't have any issues with it, but years of using clickers knife and half head leave me rerely using the round knife.

Horses for courses.

H

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My problem with the round/head knife is it digs into the cutting surface.  I'm usually cutting on a long pine board.
What do you guys cut on?

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1 minute ago, hwinbermuda said:

Don't have any issues with it, but years of using clickers knife and half head leave me rerely using the round knife.

Interesting... I DO like the clicker's knife, as it's the knife my grandfather used for years at Endicott-Johnson shoes.
I can certainly see the half-round knife as being wonderfully useful. Remember...I'm still a relative newcomer - it's just nice to find that I was wrong about this tool.

re: the clicker's knife - do you resharpen the blades, or just replace them? I found that the ones from Tandy need at least stropping, right out of the package. Nonetheless, it's probably the best knife for really tight curves.

2 minutes ago, TomG said:

What do you guys cut on?

Poly board...I found that poundo board was too soft, resulting in what you mentioned - digging in too much.
For skiving, I use the slab so the point can glide.

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13 minutes ago, JazzBass said:

the clicker's knife - do you resharpen the blades, or just replace them? I found that the ones from Tandy need at least stropping, right out of the package. Nonetheless, it's probably the best knife for really tight curves. 

I make my own blades out of hacksaw blades, sharpen, strop, use, strop and so on.

One of my blades is 30 years old, and still very sharp.

H

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15 minutes ago, TomG said:

My problem with the round/head knife is it digs into the cutting surface.  I'm usually cutting on a long pine board.
What do you guys cut on? 

Just picked up some new conveyor belt the last one I had lasted me a good decade. 

If there is a company that makes equipment drop in ask for some cast offs, keep a few bucks in hand but it's rarely needed.

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Just now, hwinbermuda said:

I make my own blades out of hacksaw blades, sharpen, strop, use, strop and so on.

One of my blades is 30 years old, and still very sharp.

WOW...that's EXACTLY what my grandfather used to do too!

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Good for you,  would not be without mine I use it for various jobs - no need to to buy to many fancy specific knives for those jobs. 

 

Hope this helps 

JCUK

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I find it holds the edge better, and is certainly a better use of funds.

Sensible man, your grandfather.

H

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2 minutes ago, hwinbermuda said:

Sensible man, your grandfather.

Haha!  Folks from the Depression era were EXTREMELY good at saving, improvising, and repurposing just about everything!

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29 minutes ago, TomG said:

My problem with the round/head knife is it digs into the cutting surface.  I'm usually cutting on a long pine board.
What do you guys cut on?

MDF

Hope this helps

JCUK

 

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1 minute ago, jcuk said:

MDF

Never thought of that one...AND it's cheap. One could cover an entire benchtop for the cost of a decent small cutting board.

The other surface I use, is a type-specific, 2'x3' cutting mat. 5 ply pvc, self sealing. Good product, but I'll remember MDF for my next bench!


https://www.amazon.com/US-Art-Supply-Professional-Scrapbooking/dp/B00L5I8RTW/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=US+Art+Supply+24"+x+36"+GREEN%2FBLACK+Professional+Self+Healing+5-Ply+Double+Sided+Durable+Non-Slip+PVC+Cutting+Mat&qid=1553202875&s=arts-crafts&sr=1-1-fkmrnull

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I find myself using a wide variety of knives. I love my round knife, my clicker, after learning the application for the bevel point knife, I really like it too. And I have I think six more knives on order at the moment.

Hi, I'm Matt, and I have a problem with knives....

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I find myself using a wide variety of knives. I love my round knife, my clicker, after learning the application for the bevel point knife, I really like it too. And I have I think six more knives on order at the moment.

Hi, I'm Matt, and I have a problem with knives....

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4 minutes ago, bikermutt07 said:

Hi, I'm Matt, and I have a problem with knives....

That's only the start of the problem though, we all have that, and dividers, calipers, stitching wheels, makers,irons punches.

And on and on and on.

@Matt S Collects old BIG machinery (ok I am jealous of the splitting machine)

Dont even try to work out the ratio of sewing machines to forum members, I have 6 and don't think I have a problem. There are others on here that have way more.

I have so many rulers, squares and straight edges its scary.

Do you ever give yourself the feeling that you are a hoarder? I just have.

OK

Hi I'm Harry and I have a problem with ALL tools...

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@bikermutt07 and @hwinbermuda:

We're all "friends of Bill W" when it comes to tools.
Maybe there's a "Friends of Tim Allen 12 Step Program" somewhere...

 

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2 minutes ago, JazzBass said:

Friends of Tim Allen 12 Step Program

Few in the UK would get that reference, but I was hooked when it was shown at stupid o'clock in the morning over here. Loved the unseen neighbour.

H

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42 minutes ago, bikermutt07 said:

I find myself using a wide variety of knives. I love my round knife, my clicker, after learning the application for the bevel point knife, I really like it too. And I have I think six more knives on order at the moment.

Hi, I'm Matt, and I have a problem with knives....

Me too...

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We might all crash the server as every member unburdens themselves with such an admission. Tim Allen got it right...we love our tools!! :)

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BD7BB233-F991-4E3F-BBA6-78DC0E3386CC.jpeg

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38 minutes ago, hwinbermuda said:

 

@Matt S Collects old BIG machinery (ok I am jealous of the splitting machine)

Dont even try to work out the ratio of sewing machines to forum members, I have 6 and don't think I have a problem. There are others on here that have way more.

Harry, you've just forced me to count how many sewing machines I have. It's stayed in the single digits for now if I stick just to industrials. Might be time to thin the herd. I've at least been strict with myself and resisted the temptation of a "real" clicker press. It may or may not have something to do with the fact I've got over 1000Kg of iron in the shed already.

My splitter's not that big, it's only a 12"er. :rolleyes2:

44 minutes ago, bikermutt07 said:

Hi, I'm Matt, and I have a problem with knives....

I'm also Matt and I have... a few tools. How many? Always one too few.

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@bikermutt07

You (and others) should read the introduction to the very first "Poor Richard's Almanac" by Benjamin Franklin, 1738.
He humorously indicates a similar problem with his wife. I guess that nothing is new... I should copy/paste it here.

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1 minute ago, JazzBass said:

@bikermutt07

You (and others) should read the introduction to the very first "Poor Richard's Almanac" by Benjamin Franklin, 1738.
He humorously indicates a similar problem with his wife. I guess that nothing is new... I should copy/paste it here.

You should.

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Ben Franklin, 1738image.png.1360ad9bfe1981daf8fca59bcb9e31f8.png

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1 minute ago, Matt S said:

My splitter's not that big, it's only a 12"er. 

But its electric, mines manual is 1.2 " or the bookbinding technique with a spokeshave and lots of bad language

image.png

H

1 minute ago, JazzBass said:

Ben Franklin, 1738image.png.1360ad9bfe1981daf8fca59bcb9e31f8.png

Oh Yes, been there,

H

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