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: leather buttons  ( 2193 )
KenB
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« : January 05, 2011, 04:02:37 PM »

Any ideas on how to get buttons to come out looking good when made in leather?
#30s-a customer of mine is having trouble. I remember pounding out some heavy vinyls and leathers to get them thinner.
Ken

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scottymc
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« #1 : January 05, 2011, 04:16:35 PM »

You need a very sharp long bladed knife with a straight cutting edge(6 inches approx.) normally called a skiving knife.Once you cut the disc of leather skive the edges all round and your right to go.
lruthb
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« #2 : January 05, 2011, 06:52:35 PM »

I don't have the knife that scottymc suggests what I use is my shears to shave the backing around the edges. I'm gonna look at that knife.
Darren Henry
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« #3 : January 05, 2011, 09:18:26 PM »

Odds are I'm the only guy here with a finisher (that sanding machine us shoemakers use) but you can adapt alot of sanders to do the following *. You can mount a drum sander onto a 1/4 horse electric motor,or clamp a belt sander into a vice/workmate, anything to get a piece of sandpaper moving downward in a vertical plane.

* Take a piece of leather and lay it skin side against a stiff substrate, that is a manageable size. A piece of wall paneling? leather half sole? even plywood. now just draw the leather (and substrate) up against the direction of the sandpaper and budda boom budda bing.

 ;) Possibly a new skill to some here so ; stand comfortably and keep your elbows in tight the body. It will keep you steady (one less variable) and adjust your pressure by leaning in or out and do the work with your forearms, not a bunch of flailing humanity (quote from an old Sargeant Major of mine re: foot drill)

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
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« #4 : January 06, 2011, 01:02:49 AM »

Darren
If it's soft leather like you would make buttons out of wouldn't it be to soft and rip?
Darren Henry
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« #5 : January 06, 2011, 07:49:51 AM »

Not unless it's incredible light. I've done this with deer hide with no problem. Just keep in flat on the board and light pressure and you'll be fine.

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
Saddleman
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« #6 : January 06, 2011, 03:22:21 PM »

I bought a machine skiver last month and I'm loving what it is doing for my leather work.  I bought it from Keystone...as always....great service!  I would skive the leather to make it thinner.  Manually it could be done with a skiving knife like others said.

Loren

Loren
Darren Henry
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« #7 : January 07, 2011, 07:40:08 AM »

Scotty, I just re read your first response a little closer ( sorry I was  a bit rushed first time) and picked up that your skiving "the edges". I though you were looking to thin out a larger piece of leather and then make numerous buttons from it.


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« #8 : January 07, 2011, 05:31:23 PM »

yeah well that's the way I would do it, cut the leather for the button first then skive the edges. a bit time consuming but not to bad with a long blade. A machine to thin the leather first then cut the buttons would be luxury and the best way, but I have no need for one myself as I am try to do as little upholstery work as I can.I'll try the sander's(I've got 6 different ones collected over time) though I've been using the knife for 35 years now and it does the job.
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