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leather shapes leather shapes



Tools used in hand-crafted leatherwork


edge beveller

edge creaser

French edge skiver

rawhide mallet

cutting mat

Edge beveller

Edge creaser

French edge skiver

Rawhide mallet

Cutting mat

Edge beveller:- Sometimes called an edge shaver, it is used to round off the edges of thick vegetable-tanned leather prior to burnishing, especially belts. They can have flat or concave backs (otherwise called hollow-ground). There are some eight different sizes, but usually sizes 1-3 are more than adequate. Held in the right hand, the beveller is pushed forward while maintaining a 45 degree angle to the work. The left hand must hold the work firmly in place. A thin curl of leather comes out, and should be discarded. You can make several passes at different angles to get a more rounded edge instead of a distinct bevel.

clamp for holding small belt loops in sewing clam irons to shape and form damp belt loops various sizes of bevellers

 showing bevelling in progress

drawing of bevelling an edge

Edge creaser:- This tool is to impress grooves close to the edges and can be used on hide or on softer leathers. It can also be used on lapped joints to hide the seams. The one illustrated is an adjustable one enabling you to position the crease from, say, ¹/8" in from the edge, to about ³/4". The lower numbers are for lightweight leather, the higher for thicker. This particular tool is used cold, others can be heated to make the crease.

Loop Clamp:- This is useful for holding small belt loops in the stitching clamps when sewing them closed. The jaws are small enough to enter the loop and the clamp can generally be held in the jaws of a pair of stitching clamps.

Loop Irons:- These are a set of shaped irons of varying sizes. They are used to shape and form dampened belt loops once they have been stitched closed, typically using a harness hammer or smasher to give correct profile and aperture size.


French edge skiver:- Usually made of drop-forged steel. It is not used for rounding edges because it is flat bottomed. It does however lend itself to making bevelled edges at any angle you desire, including mitre-joints. You can use it for gouging, channels and, of course, skiving.

How to use the French Skiver

Rawhide mallet:- A useful tool to have. The strips of rawhide, rolled when wet, the end screwed or nailed, when dry has a high tensile strength. It's usually balanced for tooling, and most importantly won't damage your tools.

weighted mallets all types of mallet close-up of weighted mallet


Cutting mat:- The mat illustrated is a typical modern cutting mat (West, double sided, self healing cutting mat with 1cm gridded squares on one side). The self-healing, double-sided, cutting surface allows for repeated, precise cuts. One side is usually marked out in 1" grid increments, with a ruled border. You can of course get a board made of square wooden blocks. The preferred wood is lime, they are glued together so that the end grain forms the cutting surface and your knife blade won't get damaged. As it wears the surface can be scraped smooth again and redressed with linseed oil. You make your own choice.

Belt/strap embossing machine:- With this tool you can produce embossed belts and straps with crisp, deep detail up to 1½" wide. It is hand-operated and it's portable, weighing under 12 lbs. The cast aluminium construction will give you many years of quality use. Embossing rolls are cast in durable brass/bronze.

belt and strap embossing machine

Tippmann Boss sewing machine

professional leather splitter

Leather Splitter:- This excellent splitter has a cast iron frame construction featuring an ⅛" x 8" tool-steel blade. A twist handle gives even levelling/taper skiving and it has an adjustable stop for depth settings.

Tippmann Boss sewing machine:- With the Boss you have no need for cords, outlets or motors because it is designed to be self-sufficient. The Boss can easily be mounted or clamped to any surface and a simple pull of the handle is all it takes to start stitching. This compact machine is sturdily built with extremely durable, precision cast, metal parts. It can sew leather up to ¾" thick and most any other heavy material. Whether it is sewing a saddle seat or repairing, at up to 90 stitches per minute, you will get professional results with this machine. The Boss comes with a thread stand, bobbin winder adapter, two bobbins, standard presser foot, one spool of #277 thread, tools operators manual, an assortment of 10 needles, a 30-day money back guarantee and a one year warranty on all parts and labour. Made in the USA.


How to use the Tippmann sewing machine


The Tippmann Embosser:- Three tools in one, makes leather working simple. The Tippmann Embosser (below) is a hand-operated embossing, creasing, and cutting machine. The Tippmann Embosser is designed and built to achieve precision embossing, creasing and cutting of leather. Designed and built with a rugged cast aluminium housing, the Tippmann Embosser will give you many years of service. Whether it's crafting or repairing, you will be satisfied with the professional results. The Tippmann Embosser comes with a one year warranty on all parts and labour.

The Tippmann Embosser includes:
1 Safety Guard   • 1 Cutting Disc   • 1 ¼" Serpentine Embossing Roll   • 1 ¹/32" Crease Roll   • 1 Embosser Operator's Manual   • 1 Embosser Instructional Video


Make Tippmann Maximum embossing thickness ³/8"
Model Embosser Maximum creasing thickness ³/4"
Feed Type Manual Feed Maximum cutting thickness ½"
Throat Depth 6.5" Machine weight 30lb
Feed Rate Hand Operated Overall dimensions 20"W x 6"D x 9.5"H
Maximum Material Thickness ³/4" Retail price $1250

How to use the Tippmann embosser


The Tippmann Clicker:- The Tippmann Clicker 700 delivers 7 tons of cutting pressure at the touch of a button. With this kind of cutting power, you can count on the Clicker 700 to deliver a perfect die cut every time. The Clicker can cut a wide range of materials such as leather, fabrics, gaskets, plastics, paper stocks, etc. The ability of the Clicker to die cut up to ½" thick leather, makes this an extremely versatile machine. The Clicker's cast-iron "C" frames allow for easy loading of dies and materials. Just place the die and material on the Cutting Deck, press the Dual Safety Buttons, and in less than three seconds you will have a perfect die cut. The Clicker 700's medium capacity cutting area (12"x 12") allows for countless die cutting patterns. Designed with only three moving parts (two hand valves and a quick exhaust), Clickers are easy to operate and maintain. The patented Air System raises the Cutting Deck to give you 7 tons of cutting pressure. Requiring no electricity or hydraulics, this die cutter operates off of 80-100 PSI of air pressure.

How to use the Tippmann clicker


Click for Tippman Brochure

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