It is probably easier than you think to begin leather working, and you will find yourself needing only a few key tools to begin. Here is the list we came up with of tools that will allow you to begin making leather products, or to continue after taking one of our workshops. Make Smith is excited to announce our new partnership with C.S. Osborne Tools to provide the highest quality tools to use during our workshops, and hopefully inspire future projects.
TO CUT: It is always a good idea to have a high quality pair of sheers so that your pattern can be cut out well, with not too much exhaustion to your hand. We suggest the CS Osborne Leather Sheers. This Heavy weight and serrated edges help prevent leather slipping while cutting. They are very sharp and accurate so you can cut through thick belting or strap leather.
TO CUT A STRAP: If you are looking to specifically cut a uniform strap or belt with thicker leather you will want to use a Draw Gauge. The draw Gauge can be set to widths up to 4". We use this tool to cut down the side of a cow into 1 1/2" pieces for our Standard Leather Belt, or 3/4" for the handles to our Tote Bag.
TO BEVEL: Edge Bevel's are used to round the edge of thick leather such as a belt or strap to dull the sharp edges and give it a smooth and finished feel. Usually used the step after the Draw Gauge, Edge bevel's come in several different sizes depending on how rounded you want the edge to be. We suggest using a size #1 on the top, and a #2 on the bottom.
TO PUNCH: Most objects requite holes to be punched in order to assemble. For this, we recommend a Revolving Punch. This tool has 6 different size setting so you can use it for small holes to stitch up the side of an object, or a larger hole that could be used for a belt.
TO STITCH: Align the holes that you punched with your Revolving Punch, and stitch together with a needle and waxed thread for maximum strength. We suggest using a blunt point Smyrna Needle. The needle does not need to be sharp because it is going through pre-punched holes, and depending on the width of your thread, it is helpful to have a big eye-hole to thread through.
And there you go... With this collection of tools and a little research on how each one works, you will be off on your way to make some great leather goods that you will enjoy for years to come.
Thanks again to C.S. Osborne for providing our classes with the highest quality tools in the industry. We are excited to share our knowledge with you, and promote some more creativity! If you are interested in taking one of our classes click here.