Wood and Leather

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Project by twokidsnosleep posted 01-19-2013 09:59 PM 2676 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Have not posted a project in ages, mostly b/c been doing more leather than wood work.
I spent some time this summer with my two kids (9 and 10) and a friend I have know since grade 1.
He is a turner and schooled us with his lathe on turning some tools I wanted for my leather work.
We made a maple mallet a cocobolo burnisher and a blood wood burnisher (little thimble)
The kids had a hand in turning all of these and really had a blast…as did I!

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

9 comments so far

View Sodabowski's profile


2365 posts in 2670 days

#1 posted 01-19-2013 10:33 PM

Nice ones! Welcome back :) So, when are you buying a lathe? ;)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1102 posts in 2811 days

#2 posted 01-19-2013 10:36 PM

As soon as I can.
BUT my garage shop is the issue as the electrical needs updating. I keep tripling breakers with just a 120V bandsaw when my wife has the laundry running, so need a dedicated service and a 220 line and insulation and new lighting and…....

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View ous's profile


64 posts in 2492 days

#3 posted 01-19-2013 11:17 PM

The beautiful part of this is you are involving your children. I am 89 and have 6 children and still get thank you’s for what they have learned and are putting to use. I suspect you are a fine father. Roy

-- Roy Montana

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1102 posts in 2811 days

#4 posted 01-20-2013 02:25 AM

Great to see your comment Roy. I remember you from 2 yrs ago when I showed the dancing clock for my daughter.
I thank you sincerely for your comments, that means a lot to me.
I hope you are doing well and wish you good health

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

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5811 posts in 2130 days

#5 posted 01-20-2013 03:22 PM

Cool looking tools. I too have done leather work for ages, almost as long as I’ve worked with wood. Could you give a little more information on the tools show, particularly the mallet like tool in photos 4 and 5 with the metal top and bottom since I confess total ignorance of what it is. Thanks for the interesting post.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View helluvawreck's profile


29174 posts in 2704 days

#6 posted 01-20-2013 03:41 PM

You do really nice work. Learning something about leather working is another thing that I want to do but so far haven’t had the time. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1102 posts in 2811 days

#7 posted 01-20-2013 05:54 PM

Sorry I was not very clear about things.
The Cocobolo thingy in the last photo is chucked in my drill press and stabilized in a bearing that sits in the cedar clamped to the drill press table… everything is stable.
The small grooves near the bottom of the Cocobolo are spaced so that you can run the edge of rough cut leather and burnish the leather fibers smooth. It helps to wet the leather slightly and add saddle soap or glycerine etc. So it gives a nice smooth rounded edge (like a round over bit on a router) that can be died, painted or left as is.
You can do the same thing by hand with and edge slicker like this (photo stolen from the web)

but it is easier to do a long guitar strap or belt edge with a motorized unit. The Cocobolo is used as it has natural oils that help burnish and reduce burning. You can see the similar “rings” in the hand tool and my Cocobolo tool. Just imagine sliding the leather along those grooves to get it smooth and shaped.

The small mallet is for doing detail stamping work on dampened leather much like you would use a carving mallet and a chisel on wood. This creates “tooled leather” that is died and stained into some amazing images. I put a little star concho on the top of the mallet to jazz it up a bit. The tool is a bit small and needs some more mass in all honesty, but it’s cool.

If you want to learn more about leather working, take a look at “” It is a great free site (you don’t need to pay anything and can register free) much like LumberJocks.
Tandy is an American company that can get you going with entry level tools and leather. I think this is the American web site, mine jumps to Canadian version

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Jeff's profile


95 posts in 3135 days

#8 posted 01-20-2013 11:40 PM

I’ve done a little leather work making a sheath for a knife and some other small things. It’s very enjoyable too. I will say it’s a bit ironic that you used what looks like a tennis racket grip for the mallet and not leather. Anyway, all looks great and it’s always good when the kids can help making things, especially tools for making things. That has to give them a little more appreciation for the craft and not just running to the store to buy a tool when they need it.

-- - In the end, everything will be okay. If it isn't okay, it isn't the end yet.

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1102 posts in 2811 days

#9 posted 01-21-2013 12:16 AM

Hey, that’s my patented zebra stripe!
The black pig leather was ok, but lacked grip so I added a swirl of very soft deer lacing around it and voila zebra stripe. Ya busted me; I did wrap tennis racquets with that spongy grip tape kinda like this in younger days.

Agreed to your kids comment, BUT now they want to make all sorts of stuff and have the wildest ideas and imagination. It is hard to keep up to them but they keep me hopping. I tinkered with tools and stuff a lot as a kid, but had no direction or teaching from my otherwise great dad. I think that is why I try to do so much for my own kids.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

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