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Old 01-06-2020, 08:13 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Acworth, GA and/or Hanging Dog, NC
Posts: 3,490
Try to avoid loading up on a bunch of fancy stamps. Pick a few basics and learn to use them, make most the rest (really not that hard to do).

Invest in a quality hole punch - going cheap on this will give you misery down the road.

Get or make a good solid cutting knife that the blade doesn't wobble or flex, but is thin and easily sharpened. Make sure the handle feels good when you cut - you'll be doing a lot.

Get a good poly or teflon cutting board. Don't cut on wood.

If/when you discover the usefulness of a skive, don't by the "Boat anchor" chrome deluxe. Most other longtime leather crafters like me wind up giving them away. The simple stamped metal curved one is a workhorse and gets the job done. You can also make your own bookbinder's skive from old saw blades that work very well.

Edgers, creasers, and groovers are good tools to have and do wonders for that "finished" look.

Bone folders - easy enough to make your own - smooth polished antler tip, polished slab of bone, slab of polished fine grained hardwood, etc. all work.

Take the time to learn about different leathers - sizing, classification, uses, quality, attributes, strengths and weaknesses. Makes a big difference in outcome of a project. Plan your cuts so as not to waste too much material but don't be stingy. Leave room for error and adjustments.

As mentioned above by Rockhound, you can't go wrong with Chuck's video(s) - watch his hands! As with any pro artist, lots going on with the hands that just don't make it to the spoken word.

And lastly - Don't hesitate to ask here. No dumb questions but lots of good answers. Plus - read the "Stickies", plenty of good info already printed.

Note: I only do sheaths and holsters, very seldom any other kind of leatherwork. So keep that in mind as to my answers and advice please.

Above all have fun!


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Carl Rechsteiner, Bladesmith
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C Rex Custom Knives

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