The Kitchen at 404 Blackaby Street, The Panels, Part 2

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Project by Thos. Angle posted 2445 days ago 2512 views 9 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Of course, our kitchen had to include handcarved leather panels on the doors. That’s what I do. The process is as follows; 8 oz. leather is glued to Baltic Birch panels. This prevents the leather from stretching while I carve it and provides support when in place. I use Baltic because it doesn’t have voids which would be a wreck when pounding on wet leather. The leather is glued on with Barge contact cement. Then the design process begins.
If a border line is used it is cut first. The next step is to lay out the circles with a compass. Then the flow lines are layed in with a 4H pencil. Next, come the tappers, templates of flowers, leaves and scrolls cut from leather. These are tapped onto the wet leather with a hammer. They leave an impression of the carving pattern in the leather. After the major leaves and flowers are laid in the stems stickers and stumps are drawn in on the wet leather. The steer head was drawn on paper and transfered with Mylar. The next step is to cut the lines with a swivel knife. Then comes the beveler followed by the background tool. These are small tools which are struck by a mallet to depress the leather. Then it’s cams, veiners, thumbprints, stops and mulesfeet. The last thing is the ornamental cuts with the swivel knife.

After the panel drys, I apply a coat of Neatlac and let it dry. Then I apply Feibings Sheridan Brown Antique finish. When that is wiped off and dry I top coat with Tan Coat.

The back of the panel is finished with shellac and the panel is held in place by mirror clips. these clips also allow the panel to be removed for cleaning.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

40 comments so far

View TomFran's profile


2940 posts in 2590 days

#1 posted 2445 days ago

These are really gorgeous, Tom. Nobody has cabinets like these!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

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Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2558 days

#2 posted 2445 days ago

I do. LOL

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View TomFran's profile


2940 posts in 2590 days

#3 posted 2445 days ago

You’re good at this Tom!!! These are masterpieces.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12835 posts in 2579 days

#4 posted 2445 days ago

Where did you learn your leather work ? Looks awesome.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Karson's profile


34852 posts in 2997 days

#5 posted 2445 days ago

Great Tom. The leather work is a work of art. But I guess that what make you what you are an artist.

Great job. Enjoy them and your warm kitchen.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 2476 days

#6 posted 2445 days ago

wow! you are sooo talented ! you certainly do the cowboys proud .

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Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2558 days

#7 posted 2445 days ago

I started working leather when I was 15. Since then I’ve worked in custom saddle shops and owned 4 of my own. The last few years the shop was on the ranch. I was lucky and worked with some of the best in the business over the years. I also studied 4 years of , in reality, college level art while in high school. Later, my mother took the Famous Artist’s correspondence course and I inherited the books when she was through. I gave up on fine art and went to the saddles to make up for the lack of art in my life. I’ve worked with wood since 1978 and with leather since 1962. I started to build saddles in 1983.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 2471 days

#8 posted 2445 days ago

Tom, this is amazing work! Really beautiful! I love to see two different disciplines combined to create something that wouldn’t be acheived otherwise.

-- -- --

View CharlieM1958's profile


15648 posts in 2814 days

#9 posted 2445 days ago

That leatherwork is as fine as any I’ve ever seen. I would have never thought oif putting it on kitchen cabinets, but it’s a fantastic idea!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Max's profile


55956 posts in 2869 days

#10 posted 2445 days ago

Now they are just wonderful. Boy what a great job you did on these. I admire your ability to do such wonderful work in leather. I have dabbled doing some leather work on wallets and such but never would get to this level..

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Jeff's profile


1011 posts in 2690 days

#11 posted 2445 days ago

Amazing stuff Tom. I’m from the plains of northern Texas originally and this brings back a few memories. I tried my hand at leather work once when I was a teenager. I found I didn’t have the patience at the time but it does give me a deeper understanding of just how nice these pieces are. How many hours went into them?

I wish I could show these to my grandfather. He would definitely appreciate them.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2558 days

#12 posted 2445 days ago

Thanks for the comment. Each panel took from 8 to 14 hours to complete. Of course, it took me 45 years to get to the place where I could complete one in that time. After the design is laid in it is just concentrate on doing a good job but I don’t have to think about it as much as I did when I was young.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2910 days

#13 posted 2445 days ago

Wow! I’d think this would sell like hot cakes on hutches, gun cabinets, and such. What the world is missing.

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 2672 days

#14 posted 2445 days ago

Wow, Tom! Those pieces look even more impressive close up!

I never considered gluing my leather to the wood BEFOREtooling, but now that I think on it, it just makes sense. Leather just seems to get all bent out of shape when you tool it, course, tooling IS beating it out of its original shape!

Fantastic job! You have forgotten more than I know about tooling leather and woodworking!

God Bless,
(Still plugging away at learning and refining both leather and wood working!)

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View cajunpen's profile


14362 posts in 2662 days

#15 posted 2445 days ago

Thomas that is some beautiful tooling. I’ve done quite a bit of leather work, but it’s been many years ago. I certainly never attained your level of workmanship. It’s funny, but just the other day I was going through some stuff in the shop and came across a bunch of my leather tools. It’s the only hobby I’ve ever had that I actually made money with. I used to make belts, wallets and purses – but that was back in the 70’s, haven’t touch it since. Maybe it’s time to try it again, now where did I put that slab of marble?

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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