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Homemade Tools #3: Attaching the leather

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Blog entry by Lee A. Jesberger posted 07-30-2008 05:11 PM 3432 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Wooden Dead Blow Mallets Part 3 of Homemade Tools series no next part

Hi All,

A question I received on attaching the leather to the face of the mallets.

I thought I would pass it on.

Q.

Hi Lee;

I saw you used contact cement for the leather-end-grain adhesion. I am not really familiar with it (I have read about the dry and press methods of application), but assume it does better against end grain?

Have you had any problems w/ the leather peeling off, or are there other adhesives worth trying? (I had been considering cyanoacrylate, since I have that on hand…)

A.

The reason to use contact cement for this is the very same reason not to use it on veneers.

It remains flexible. Super glue is brittle after hardening and using the mallet will break the rigid glue line, and allow the leather to come off.

The first mallet I made, at least ten years ago still has the original leather glue to it, and that was using contact cement.

I sent one of the mallets I showed in the pictures to Jude. When I attached the leather to the face a couple weeks ago I used a non water based contact, applied a coat to each surface and allowed it to dry. I then second coated both surfaces and allowed that to dry.

With the leather laying on the bench, glue side up i pressed the face of the mallet onto it. Than I whacked it against the bench a couple times. Using my scalpel I cut the leather around the outside edge of the leather. Then using a spinning and rocking motioned I worked the edges tight to the wood. This will never come off!

I hope I didn’t get carried away in my description.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com



13 comments so far

View trifern's profile

trifern

8132 posts in 2420 days


#1 posted 07-31-2008 12:34 AM

Nice information. Thanks for sharing Lee.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4808 posts in 2535 days


#2 posted 07-31-2008 12:35 AM

I agree totally. It worked for me too. My wife unit dedicated an old pair of shoes for the leather to my mallet. This allows her to replace them without guilt.

I also suggest to chamfer the edges of the mallet before the leather. This will also ‘soften the blow’.

Thanks again,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2632 days


#3 posted 07-31-2008 04:21 AM

Hi Guys;

I tend to round the faces slightly, as they are much less likely to mar your work.

Actually, using the scalpel, I trim the leather on a bevel also. Just looks better.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Sir_Robert's profile

Sir_Robert

51 posts in 2404 days


#4 posted 07-31-2008 04:54 AM

Has anyone tried hide glue on leather? Contact cement gets crusty while hide glue remains pliable. Not sure how it would behave for leather. Just asking the question.

-- Sir Robert

View SteveKorz's profile

SteveKorz

2131 posts in 2367 days


#5 posted 07-31-2008 04:57 AM

That’s a great tip, Lee, Thanks!!!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2632 days


#6 posted 07-31-2008 06:44 AM

Hi Sir Robert.

Great question. I have no idea how hide glue would work.

If you try it let me know. My curiosity is piqued now.

Lee.

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Texasgaloot's profile

Texasgaloot

464 posts in 2353 days


#7 posted 07-31-2008 10:14 PM

I believe hide glue would do the job in terms of adhesion, and would probably last quite a while. One note of caution: we use it in violin seams because it tends to be brittle. When maple wants to go one direction and spruce another, the glue line is supposed to give, which it often does with a fair report! That could be a downside, but the upside is that all you have to do is slather a little warm glue on the old and Bob’s your uncle. Another thought there, however, is that hide glue is water based. That will have implications in terms of the leather finding it’s equilibrium in your environment. I think I’m voting for the contact cement.

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19455 posts in 2504 days


#8 posted 07-31-2008 11:22 PM

Thanks Lee. All that makes a lot of sense.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2632 days


#9 posted 08-01-2008 12:10 AM

Thanks Tex.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2632 days


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

Hi Grumpy,

Thank you, it’s somewhat rare for me to make any sense

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View jude's profile

jude

147 posts in 2602 days


#11 posted 08-01-2008 04:32 PM

The mallet Lee sent me is quite stunning. I’ve posted a photo and article on Toologics about it (and yep, threw in the now famous Ezee-Feed System link ;0)
http://www.toologics.com/News/Cool_Tools/Dead_Blow_Mallets_20080801875.html

-- life can always be weaved into a song.

View jude's profile

jude

147 posts in 2602 days


#12 posted 08-01-2008 04:33 PM

and yup, I keep it within reach of my computer, on a shelf above my desk.

-- life can always be weaved into a song.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6648 posts in 2632 days


#13 posted 08-01-2008 06:44 PM

Hi Jude;

Thank you for this. I should send you some more stuff!!

Remember to start out softly. I’m at the point I can use a sledge hammer, as long as it has a leather pad. lol

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

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