Elements of Your Shop Part 2: Punch Table & Pattern Table

In today’s video, Chuck continues his leather shop tour. This time going over the size and construction of his punching table and pattern table. The punching table is attached to the main cutting table so it has a nice sturdy surface for tooling and punching but can easily be removed and affixed to other areas of the main table.

Stitching Pony
Leather Lace Cutter
French Curve

#TLE #TheLeatherElement

Elements of Your Shop Part 1: Main Work Table

How do I set up my shop?
We’ve gotten this question a lot, and the long-awaited shop tour is here! In this first video, Chuck explains his main leather cutting table and work table functions, dimensions, and features. Chuck also talks about his preferred cutting surface. While these are just suggestions, we hope this information is helpful and you can use some of it in your own leathercrafting space!

12″ x 24″ Poundo Board

Cutting Board

The Leather Element: Order of Steps in a Project

What is the proper order of steps in a leather project?

In this video, Chuck gives his suggestions on the process he takes.

When using chrome tanned leather, there are four basic steps.

  1. Cut

  2. Decorate

  3. Sew

  4. Assemble

When using veg-tan leather, there are five basic steps.

* = only if applicable for your project

  1. Cut
    *Optional: Tool, Mold, Wet form
    *Trim to size when wet forming

  2. Punch Holes

  3. Edge Work
    *Chisel for Hand Sewing

  4. Dye, Finish, Antique, and Top Coat

  5. Final Assembly

Check out some of our step-by-step project tutorials here.



Making a Leather Plant Hanger

In this post, we’ll be showing you how to make a leather plant hanger using just a few simple tools and materials.

What you will need:

Plant with pot – we used a fake plant in this tutorial but you can use real if you’ve got a green thumb! Clearly, we do not! 🙂

Leather of your choice, we recommend 4/5 oz. or heavier.
Leather we used
Strap Cutter
1/4″ double cap rivets
Rivet Setter
Knife
Maul or Mallet
Hole Punch, 5/16″ and 3/32″
Brass Ring

Step 1:
Measure your plant pot using a ruler or string starting at one edge and going underneath the pot to the opposite edge.

Step 2:
Using the wooden strap cutter, cut two straps measuring 3/4″ wide and trim to the length you measured on your pot (ours is 11″). Cut two straps 5/16″ wide x 32″ long. You can make these longer or shorter based on how low you want your pot to hang.

Step 3:

Clip or round the corners of the 3/4″ straps if desired using a knife or round strap end punch. The straps can also be left as is.
Using the 5/16″ punch, punch a hole at each end of the 3/4″ straps.
*Pro-tip: if you want your plant hanger to have more of a polished look vs. rustic, use some water and a canvas cloth to slick the edges.

Step 4:
Using the 3/32″ punch, punch a hole in the center of each of the 3/4″ straps. These will be the rivet holes.

Step 5:
Criss-cross the two 3/4″ straps at a right angle and set using a double cap rivet and rivet setter.

Step 6:
Thread one end of one of the 5/16″ pieces of lace through one of the holes on the 3/4″ strap and tie a knot on the outside (smooth side of the leather). Tie the other end on the opposite end of the same strap. Repeat with the other piece of lace.

Step 7:
Slide a brass ring over the top of the laces to keep the lace together. This will help keep the laces together when hanging.
Slide the leather holder under your pot, and it’s ready to hang up!

This works for a variety of sizes and shapes of pots!

Check out some of our other project tutorials here!

Cuts of Leather

Choosing the Right Cut of Leather

When choosing the right cut of keep these two practices in mind.

  1. A tannery sells a whole hide or cuts it down into smaller sections.

  2. Hides are cut for affordability or because of waste (yield to the end users) to the production shop.

Crafter’s Considerations

  1. Budget is a consideration when purchasing a cut of leather.

  2. What will a crafter’s work space accomodate?

  3. As long as a crafter gets a quality cut of leather, a smaller cut is more affordable and easier to work with in their shop.

Leather Cuts

Whole Hide or Hide

  1. Contains 45 sq. ft. up to 50 sq. ft. of leather.

  2. Measures approximately 8.50 ft long by appro. 8 ft. wide.

  3. Typically, whole hides come in chrome tan because of need for the garment and upholstery users. Larger panels are cut for sofas, chairs, etc.

Half of a Hide

  1. Contains approximately 24 sq. ft. of leather.

  2. It is a big piece of leather if you have a small work space.

  3. When buying smaller cuts you will be paying more per square foot. The value comes when you pay a little bit more to have a piece of leather that is manageable in your work space.

Double Shoulder

  1. Measures approximately 14 sq. ft.

  2. It is a cut that has both of the shoulder blades on the hide.

  3. Belt makers like the double shoulder cut because you can cut across the hide instead of lengthwise.

Single Shoulder

  1. A single shoulder is a double shoulder cut in half.

  2. It is a very affordable piece of leather.

  3. All manner of projects are created from single shoulders.

Bellies

  1. Makes a great piece of leather for people who are new at leathercrafting because of the ample amount of leather and affordability.

  2. It is trimmed off of a side and it is the least preferable piece for a production shop but great for the leathercrafter.

Leather pieces more common to production shops:

Single Bend

  1. Has the belly and part of the shoulder cut off.

  2. The leather is high yield, low waste.

  3. Measures approximately 30” across and 60” in length.

  4. Great for belts.

Double Bend

  1. Measures approximately 60″ wide.

  2. Great for production shops.

Single Back

  1. Measures approximately 18 – 20 sq. ft.

  2. Width is 28″ – 30″

  3. Length 85” – 110”

  4. Yield and efficiency

Double Back

  1. Measures approximately 36 – 42 sq. ft.

  2. Width is 55” – 60”

  3. Length 85” – 100”

  4. Yield and efficiency

Leather crafters, as long as you start with a quality leather the cut is more dependent on your budget and your workspace.

Veg tan is always more expensive than chrome tan because it takes longer to tan a hide with the veg tan process.

Learn more about: Leather Cuts here