Leather Tools – Part 2 –

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IMG_4042So what did you think of the leather strap maker I shared last week?  I love how easy it is to cut custom sized straps for my handbags.  Add a few rivets or stitch the straps in place and I’m good to go!

Today I’m going to show you two more tools I have been learning to use in the studio recently.  These are a bit trickier and require more patience when using, but I’m getting the hang of it…slowly.

Here is a Super Skiver:

unspecified-3What is Skiving?  It is the process of cutting or shaving off leather in thin small pieces. In my previous post, I showed you the 9oz veg tanned leather piece I wanted to use for some handles. After cutting it to the needed length and width I still had the problem of thickness. This is where the skiving tool comes into play.

My super skiver seen above (super because it’s wider than many skivers) has a blade on the underside that is slid against the back of the leather shaving off thinner pieces.  The blades need to be replaced when dull and are fairly inexpensive.


Sorry for the blur guys, but here is the skiver in action. I was able to reduce the thickness of the strap by a good 50% in a matter of minutes.  The tricky part of using this tool is figuring out the angle at which you slide the blade and how much pressure you put on the tool as you slide.  I am slowly learning that slow and conservative slices are easily fixed…….faster deeper slices are not!


Here is another skiving tool, the French Edge Skiver. It is 1/4″ in width and unlike the previous skiver does not have replacement blades. You have to sharpen it yourself.

This style tool is used to take leather off edges in various angles or to reduce bulk in thicker leathers.  On the Tandy website you can see a video on how to use this tool to carve out a circle of leather to create a recessed area to finish a rivet.  (Watch it here.)


Right now, I am working on a leather tote design where I need to reduce bulk on two pieces of leather so they join smoothly. The French Edge Skiver will help me shave off some bulk on each corner and top (like you see above) so I can create a smoother seam before I stitch them together.

The skiving tools I have been learning to use are only a small sampling of the skivers out there. Doing a search on Google will show you a ton of similar tools and even machines that will skive larger piece of leather for you!  Like the leather strap cutter I shared, these tools can be found in various sizes and qualities.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a few more tools in my leather drawer!  Thanks for reading.

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