Uses for Leather Around the Shop

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Blake posted 01-07-2008 09:18 PM 1491 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I remember visiting the old Salz Tannery in Santa Cruz when I was a kid. I would go for school field trips, or just to pick out leather scraps for a belt to go with a buckle I whittled at Scout Camp, etc.

Anyway the old Tannery is now a thing of the past but I recently found out about a tiny leather store in town and I have been stopping by to buy leather for various projects, jigs, etc. And I just thought I would share one of my favorite and most simple uses for leather:

A blade-changing hand protector:

The man at the leather store punched a hole and added a grommet so I could hang it on the wall right next to my table saw.

Call me old fashioned , but I like mine a lot better than this:

So I was just wondering, what are some of the other uses YOU have for leather in the shop?

-- Happy woodworking!

14 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3989 days

#1 posted 01-07-2008 09:29 PM

Can’t think of any right now, but you got me thinking? :-)

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4093 days

#2 posted 01-07-2008 09:37 PM

I picked up two 20 piece bundles of 4” x 4” leather samples from the clearance table of a furniture store some time back. (Samples for upholstery or special order furniture) I thought I might use them for chisel, turning tool or blade covers of some kind sometime. But, I haven’t gotten around to pulling them out and actually doing anything yet.

-- Paul, Texas

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4161 days

#3 posted 01-07-2008 09:45 PM

simple brilliance.
Sometimes we really do get too gadgetty for our own good.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Kaleo's profile


201 posts in 4140 days

#4 posted 01-07-2008 09:54 PM

I use leather sometimes as a strop when sharpening. I love leather and try to incorporate it into a lot of my designs.

-- Kaleo ,

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4174 days

#5 posted 01-07-2008 10:01 PM

I’ve made several scraper cases (one for me and one for a friend) out of latigo leather (oiled, usually 8oz or so in weight). I use stitching to keep them together and metal snaps to keep them closed. They were made to hold four or five different scrapers in different sections to keep them from rubbing and dulling the other scrapers. Huh. I don’t have any pictures of either case… I can probably take some and post them later.

I have some leather set aside for padding vice jaws – I’m sure I’ll get around to that at some point in time.

I have some leather set aside for making a chisel roll (again, the latigo leather). Before I make that, though, I need to make a rack to hold chisels in the shop.

I’ve incorporated leather into a few projects (journals) – don’t think I’ve ever posted any of them here, but my website (see link right after my signature) has pictures of them on it.

-- Ethan,

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4115 days

#6 posted 01-07-2008 10:02 PM

I plan to line the jaws of my vice with leather, when I get around to building my new workbench.

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4307 days

#7 posted 01-07-2008 10:38 PM

ha, hanging on the wall there, someone might think its a prized squirrel pelt, captured while trying to pilfer some small hand tool from the shop. Well, at least you can tell the kids that…

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3875 days

#8 posted 01-07-2008 11:19 PM

Glue it on the face of a mallet for fine work you don’t want marred.

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3875 days

#9 posted 01-07-2008 11:20 PM

Make a bag and fill it with steel shot for occasional metal shaping. Steel shot because if it breaks or leaks you can retrieve it magnetically.

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4086 days

#10 posted 01-07-2008 11:34 PM

I Like your idea Blake. I never did like those sawjaw things. My grandfather used to have a lot of leather around the shop but I can’t remember what he used it for.

As for the squirrel pelt…if I could catch the little sucker, I’d nail him to the wall!...he digs up the flower bed and for some reason, my wife always blames me and the weedeater. Go figure. Don’t get me wrong, I like squirrels, they just need to stay out of the flower beds. Besides, they provide endless ammusement for the dogs. The dogs will sit for hours looking out the window watching them bouce around the yard and up the trees.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3963 days

#11 posted 01-08-2008 12:42 AM

I seem to find lots of use for leather in my shop. LOL I really miss the A. K. Salz latigo. The best in the west.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3997 days

#12 posted 01-08-2008 03:00 AM

I’ve made a couple strops and would also like to line the faces of my vises with leather to protect the work…

I bought leather originally to make the strops and to make a knife sheath that never did happen. Maybe I need to dig it up…

I like the idea of your use for it too…I just use a block of soft wood.

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3875 days

#13 posted 01-08-2008 03:04 AM

Oh, come on Thos., I’m sure you can give us some good ones… We know your the master of hides. Surely you must have found some great woodshop uses for leather since you always have it on hand?

-- Happy woodworking!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4064 days

#14 posted 01-08-2008 05:40 AM

I still have a big thick hunk of leather, charged up with rouge that was my Dad’s. It’s the final step in any sharpening job I do. Hairs jump off your arm just at the sight of that strop.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics