Reifelholz - Wooden leather creaser

  • Advertise with us
Project by vipond33 posted 08-17-2011 09:43 PM 7150 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A Reifelholz is a specialized all wood tool used in the leather trade to crease the edges of the work for decoration. This technique is much like the fine groove we (as woodworkers) might run down the edge of our table legs or aprons to visually lighten or draw attention. Take a look at your leather items and see if it has been used. It exists mostly on custom or high end work.

I made this item for my friend Kai who is a master leather worker. It is simply a length of a Boxwood branch with four grooves cut on the ends and then slightly curved. When I say simply though, he did ask me for spacings and widths down to a tenth of a millimeter. These guys are as fussy as us sometimes, I think I had to use 4 different metal saw blades.

Boxwood is the ideal material for these as it is very strong, may be worked into very slender profiles and burnishes rather than breaking down. I counted about 70 growth rings in this 1 1/4” branch.
It has been left with the bark on for a good grip and with no finish. Over time it will develop a patina much like on the one it replaces.

Watch the video to see him show it, fashion a belt end and crease it.

1 1/4” x 7 1/2”
About 2 hrs.
Build on LJ’s.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

5 comments so far

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2717 days

#1 posted 08-17-2011 09:48 PM

This is friggin awesome! Thanks for sharing this.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3906 days

#2 posted 08-17-2011 10:05 PM

That is really cool. New tool to me.
Thanks, I love new and different.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3766 days

#3 posted 08-17-2011 10:32 PM

Very nice. I did not know that name for the tool. I always just called it a leather creaser. LOL When I did custom leather work I had one made out of nylon but I didn’t like it all that well. I made my own similar to yours but I only use one end of the wood branch. They are handy for decorative creases and on thinner leather can also be used a a groover to lay hand-sewn stitches into.The wood I used was southern Dogwood. It is very dense but not quite as dense as boxwood. About a 100 years ago Dogwood was used in southern weaving mills as shuttles for the looms because of its density and weight. Thanks for posting this brought back many happy memories. Larry

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 4224 days

#4 posted 08-18-2011 02:03 AM

Very interesting,never seen one of these before.

-- Billp

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3488 days

#5 posted 08-18-2011 06:51 AM

Now I get it!!!, Cool Tool

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

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