HCLW

Band knife or fixed blade splitter?

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I’m looking to get a splitter to split hard veg tan for holsters. I took some to a guy with a Fortuna 12 in and it just didn’t seem to want to do the job. The leather was 11 1/2 in. wide. Would a fixed blade like cowboy or cobra do better? Is there a waste factor with a fixed blade ( like the leading and trailing edges)? Thanks in advance for any advice y’all can give.

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2 hours ago, HCLW said:

The leather was 11 1/2 in. wide. Would a fixed blade like cowboy or cobra do better?

That's pretty wide for splitting with a fixed blade. I have an Osborne 6" splitter and find it a challenge to split anything over 5" wide. There is waste on the leading and trailing edges, plus some stretching due to the amount of pressure necessary to get the leather through the splitter. I have see that some suppliers will split your leather down to the thickness you want.

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2 hours ago, HCLW said:

I’m looking to get a splitter to split hard veg tan for holsters. I took some to a guy with a Fortuna 12 in and it just didn’t seem to want to do the job. The leather was 11 1/2 in. wide. Would a fixed blade like cowboy or cobra do better? Is there a waste factor with a fixed blade ( like the leading and trailing edges)? Thanks in advance for any advice y’all can give.

I split bridle (a medium-hard veg tan) all the time with my 12" Fortuna, though admittedly that's mostly belt strips and wallet parts. Done a few bag panels from bridle at 12"+ before (on a ratty old 18" Camoga). There's a lot of variables on these machines and perhaps your friend's simply wasn't setup for that sort of job. In what way did it struggle?

I've never used a 12"+ fixed-knife but used to run a 7" crank. It's apples and oranges but the Fortuna is more accurate, repeatable, versatile, leaves a better finish on both sides and generally is far less trouble. Blade sharpening is far less trouble too, since there's a built-in grinder. It's perhaps worth pointing out that a new basic 12" band-knife splitter is a 5-digit price whereas those big Chinese fixed-knife splitters like the Cowboy 8020 are, I think, in the low 4-digits.

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I think trying to run a 11 1/2" through a 12" would be near on impossible but taking it down 1mm or 1/16" at a pass might do it. Also the leather may have to be softened some probably by soaking the day before and leaving in a towel or burlap bag overnight. Getting the right weight to start is likely the best answer.

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21 hours ago, Matt S said:

I split bridle (a medium-hard veg tan) all the time with my 12" Fortuna, though admittedly that's mostly belt strips and wallet parts. Done a few bag panels from bridle at 12"+ before (on a ratty old 18" Camoga). There's a lot of variables on these machines and perhaps your friend's simply wasn't setup for that sort of job. In what way did it struggle?

I've never used a 12"+ fixed-knife but used to run a 7" crank. It's apples and oranges but the Fortuna is more accurate, repeatable, versatile, leaves a better finish on both sides and generally is far less trouble. Blade sharpening is far less trouble too, since there's a built-in grinder. It's perhaps worth pointing out that a new basic 12" band-knife splitter is a 5-digit price whereas those big Chinese fixed-knife splitters like the Cowboy 8020 are, I think, in the low 4-digits.

I just talked to my friend. His machine guy said it needs different rollers and some adjusting. No way can I afford a new band knife. As I am disabled this is mostly a hobby I’m trying to make pay for it’s self. I’ll wait until he gets his machine worked on and try again.

 

thanks for all the responses 

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I’m “looking” at the Cowboy 8020 for the purpose of thinning vegan to do breifcases and holsters... I want to use the same hide for both the lining and the exterior panels... to keep the color the same... 

move yet to see any real world reviews of the unit, so I’m not dropping $$$ on it anytime soon! 

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There’s a place about 3 hours from me that I can go try a cobra Class 14 but I found a place I can get it for about 250 less considering travel etc. but I can’t try it first. Dang!

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22 hours ago, HCLW said:

There’s a place about 3 hours from me that I can go try a cobra Class 14 but I found a place I can get it for about 250 less considering travel etc. but I can’t try it first. Dang!

Go try it, before you buy it...

considering it’s a 6 hour round trip, that’s about $41.67 an hour for your time... to insure it functions properly! 

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I can’t drive that long. I have to have a driver or drive one way stay the night and drive back the next  (my son sucks sometimes) so I pulled the trigger on it and ordered one for 2650.00 shipped. Will update once I use it a little.

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2 hours ago, HCLW said:

I can’t drive that long. I have to have a driver or drive one way stay the night and drive back the next  (my son sucks sometimes) so I pulled the trigger on it and ordered one for 2650.00 shipped. Will update once I use it a little.

Yes we need real work reviews, not “paid advertisers” or someone who bargained a deal for a favorable review! 

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My experience with the Cobra class 14 splitter... there were a few problems initially, but Steve immediately shipped out what I needed to correct the problem.  Great customer service. It doesn't like soft leather but I expected that.  I've only used it for veg so far and really haven't used it that much because I'm in the process of moving into another shop.  It won't split less than about 2 oz at a time but that shouldn't be a problem.  Going from 10 to 2 smaller pieces you can do in 2 passes. for 10 to 6-7 then down to 2.  For bigger pieces say about 10 in. wide go from 10 to 8 to 5 then 2.  I use mostly veg so my plan is to buy 9-10 only and split it down to whatever I need.  I have successfully split down to 1 oz, but that is very iffy. Some will do great and some will get chewed up. Also the harder the leather the more passes you need to make.  There's very little if any variance between one side of the piece and the other.  When going down to 2-3 oz the trailing edge will sometimes be a little thinner than the rest so you just need to allow an extra inch or so.  One of the best purchases I've made.  I highly recommend it.  I hope this helps.

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