Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tools For Cutting Leather

My friend, Robert Ambrose, gave me some great tips on cutting leather even though he does not work with it as much as he used to do. His creativity find outlets in his woodworking, ACEO mattes and cord necklaces which he sells on Etsy as qbranchltd. He has another shop, pastperfect, where he features his photography and note cards.

Robert mentioned four tools that he uses for various thicknesses of leather.

Fisker rolling cutters, usually used by quilters, are good for straight lines and gentle curves. These are not good if you want to make tight curves because the will cut on a slant going around the curve and you can not get a nice vertical edge.

Xacto knives are good but care should be taken because of their sharpness. Sometimes it's better to make a shallow cut and, on the second go round, cut the rest of the way through.

Made especially for cutting leather, the Half Moon Knife, or Round Knife as it is also called, must be purchased through a leather supply company such as Tandy. It has a large semi-circular blade and is used by rocking the tip through the leather. It is very good for thick belt leather. Caution must be taken while using it because it is extremely sharp.

Last, but probably best for most people, are the clam-shell scissors. Intended for cutting open those stubborn plastic clam-shell package that a lot of merchandise seems to come in these days, it cuts through leather like butter and does those tight curves very nicely.

Clam-shell Scissors

1 comment:

Artistic Detour said...

Great tips Martha! Thanks!

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
Henry Davis Thoreau