Ped's & Ro Leather Blog

Ped's & Ro Leather Blog

Monday, January 10, 2011


Just wanted to share my workshop, this is where all the action is happening. I have a rather large laminated birch island benchtop in the middle to accommodate big leather hides. I build it myself using IKEA parts. It's robust enough to take a pounding and social enough to host a Poker games with few mates.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I strongly believe in a good quality tools. It's like an investment. This of course come with a price, more often than not, multiple fold on the price of the lesser quality tools. However, with proper care and handling, these high quality tools will last for lifetime, it comes out cheaper at the end. Not only that, it will also deliver a better and consistent result. My motto whenever I want/need to buy an expensive tools is 'Cry only once not many times'.

In my opinion, the cutting tool is one of the most, if not the most, important tool in the leathercraft. A clean and straight cut is the foundation of a good product. I find myself always looking for the best knife or cutting tool over the web or local shop. Right now, I have four different tools for cutting; 1) Head knife 2) Swiss Army knife 3) Logan Adapt-A-Rule with straight edge and 4)Mini ceramic knive.

Head knife is one of the most versatile knife you can get your hands on, it allows you to cut straight and curve. It will also skive a leather rather quickly. However, certain skill is required before it can be fully utilised. My experience with this type of knife has been wonderfull. I have to admit that my skill with this knife is not up to scratch, haven't been able to cut a nice curve with this.

Swiss army knife is very useful for those small to medium project. Extremely reliable for cutting straight edge. It can also do cut curve rather well. The blade is robust enough for cutting heavier leather not to mention extremely sharp out of the box.

Some people will settle on 'Stanley' knife for cutting straight edge. I've tried using those knife, I didn't quite like it. The blade is thin and tend to flex a lot when cutting heavier leather. The cutting tip is also 'gritty' it tends to grab the cutting board. An upside with the Stanley is you can economically replace the blade whenever it's dull.

My secret tool for cutting long straight edge is Logan Adapt-A-Rule. This is designed for Graphic purposes, but I don't see why I couldn't 'adapt' this tool for leather work. This is a nifty tools, basically it's a long aluminum ruler (comes in 3 different sizes) with gutter for the blade attachment to glide through. It uses Stanley type blade, very economical to replace.

The latest tool I bought is a small ceramic knife. I was fascinated by a ceramic knife few months ago, it's an extremely hard material that stays sharp longer. Kyocera pioneered the technology for kitchen use.

I found a small company in Canada that manufactured folding ceramic knife, which will be perfect for leather work. I decided to email the owner to see if he ships to Australia. To my surprise he often ships one of his product to Australia for cutting kangaroo leather. Kangaroo leather is the toughest leather you can get your hands on. If it cuts roo leather just fine it will definitely handle cow leather without drama. Placed my order and received the pocket knife 2 weeks later.

First impression, I didn't realise how tiny the knife is, was expecting a bigger knife. Moving on to scrap leather to assess it's cutting ability. First up, 2.5mm oiled leather, cut the leather like a butter without much effort, impressive!! Next up is 3.5mm hardened veg-tanned leather, having a bit difficulty cutting this, I suspected it's the size of the blade and the knife itself, it doesn't allow me to exert enough pressure. Tried on multiple veg-tanned and chrome-tanned leather, cut like a butter, this one is definitely a keeper. To sum it up, it's a much sharper blade than my Swiss Army knife, as a result it doesn't require extra pressure to cut through the leather, however the size is problematic for heavier leather. Rest assured I will be ordering a bigger ceramic knife from his company (

Some picture of the tools:

Some Sharpening stone to keep the tools sharp: