Cutting leather is not particularly tricky, but doing it right is. Cuts will need to be perfect since they seriously affect the simplicity of the steps that follow and the result of your leather job. Even a small slip of your ruler can mess with your burnishing procedure and make your stitching lines no longer direct. Small errors like that, get amplified with every step you take to complete your project. Thus, if you have not given any thought to how you’re cutting leather for your projects, now’s the time.
HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS:
There are a whole lot of different knives which may be utilized in leatherworking, but let’s just concentrate on the principal ones for now. When you are choosing which knife you would like to use, one of the big considerations ought to be the depth of your leather. Lean leathers and softer leathers are renowned for pulling as you cut them. This is something you really don’t want, as your lines will not be straight. You should not use knives with a good deal of drag on thin/soft leathers.
Rotary Japanese and knives Knives, both work well when it comes to thin leathers. Rotary knives due to their lack of haul, and Japanese Knives due to the way it’s possible to finish a cut. The leather pulls the maximum in the end of a cut and Japanese knives could be pushed down in the end of the cut to avoid this drag. It is kind of like you stamp the finish, rather than cutting it.
On thicker leathers, most knives will operate. Round knives and mind knives work particularly well due to their versatility. They cut straight lines and curves nicely, while also being capable of skiving. Trim knives and X-Acto Knives work well and are quite simple to handle, though I will sometimes avoid using an X-Acto on quite thick leathers because of the amount of effort necessary to make a cut.
Lastly, be sure to chose the appropriate ruler. This sounds pretty obvious I am sure. But having your ruler slide is a really common error, especially when you’re working with a heavily waxed leather. The problem is likely more with your ruler than something you’re doing. Be sure to find a heavy ruler, and in case you are able to get one with something on the floor to help prevent it from slipping.
The obvious advantage of scoring leather (or tracing a pattern on leather), is that it is your very best option for not wasting leather, both when it comes to mistakes and handling the quantity of scrap you have after you cut. . Nevertheless, the extra advantage of scoring is that it actually helps with precision, as you’ve marked out the specific spot your cuts start and end. And, as I already said, great exact cuts imply that burnishing and stitching straight lines becomes a lot simpler.
KNOW HOW TO WORK AROUND TRICKY CORNERS:
Even though it is possible to cut around corners any way you choose, you will find approaches that work better than others and methods that will keep you from cutting too far into the leather. For cutting around curves nicely and even cutting 90-degree angles, have a look at this blog post.
KEEP YOUR KNIFE PERPENDICULAR:
This isn’t tough to do, but it is not something that I gave much attention to when I was first beginning. If you do not keep your blade perpendicular to the leather, then your cuts will appear straight, however, you’ll find out that it is not true when you get to the burnishing process. Maintaining your blade perpendicular will make certain that your edges line up perfectly and will decrease the amount of sanding required during the burnishing process. If you’re having trouble with this, try not to overstretch your arm when making cuts, as your hands naturally begin to roll as your elbow becomes close to locking.
KEEP YOUR KNIVES SHARP:
I can’t emphasize enough how important this is. Sharp knives equivalent to clean cuts and a lot fewer errors as you are not going to fight to make the cut. If you are not doing this already, get in the habit of stropping your knives after every time you sit down to work. Stropping isn’t even tough to learn. This will make certain your knives remain sharper much longer. Eventually, you’ll also have to spend some time sharpening your knife. This is admittedly more difficult to learn, but this guide will get you started on the right foot. One final thing, the knife in the picture above is stainless steel, and I find myself sharpening it all too frequently. It’s important to be certain that your knives are high enough quality to maintain an edge, if not you will find yourself needing to sharpen your blade much too frequently, and getting worse cuts.