Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How to Make An Edge Liner

2. The First Tool For Correct Leather Sewing

     A major part of leather work is the sewing of leather to fasten pieces together.  There are several steps to doing it right, and correct sewing makes the real difference between a professional job and something that does not look very good.  The first step to sewing is to mark the edges in a straight line so that the multi-pronged hole punch has a guide to follw.  If this is not done, and done correctly, it is very easy to deviate away from the edge in your hole punching, and this will always ruin the look of a piece of leather work, and sometimes it will even weaken a piece of work.  A lot of leather workers use dividers that can be adjusted in width so that the distance from the edge of the leather can be made smaller or larger.  This is ok if you have the money for a set of dividers, but a good pair can be expensive, and add a good little bit to your overall costs.

     A good tool for making guide lines along the edge of leather can be fashioned from a stainless steel fork.  Stainless forks knives and spoons can usually be gotten at thrift stores for pennies, and I do mena pennies.  The last batch of stainless flatware I bought to fashion tools with cost me five cents each, and I had a choice from a huge box of the things.  Yes that was a nickle a piece, and a dollar bought me more than I could use in several years time.  This type of thing is the true advantage to knowing about leather tools and how to make them from scratch yourself. 

     By bending the tongs of a stainless fork (See Illustration) I was able to make an edge liner that worked even better than my dividers.  It can be adjusted by further bending or another fork can be used to make greater or lesser degrees of width from the edge of the leather.  The fork is drawn along an edge of leather so that one of the tines is guided by the edge, and a second tine marks inward along the edge in a uniform way.  This line which is marked on the leather is used as a guide when punching holes.  Further more, if you are using a single hole punch versus a multi-pronged punch, you can use another fork with all but two tines bent up out of the way to correctly space your holes in a uniform manner.

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