Handmade Leather Belt Finishing

hand tooled leather belts

This week’s topic is how professional edges are created on handmade leather belts from Log Cabin Leather by Jan.  The tools, materials and products used to finish the belt edges to make them smooth and comfortable will be shown.  How my methods and tools have changed over the years will also be discussed.

Watch the Maker Monday video below to hear these stories.

Watch  the demonstration as the edges are finished on the sample from last weeks coloring demo., in the Workshop Wednesday Video below.

 

This is called a Chicago Screw Tool.  All of my belts have removable buckles.  A Chicago  screw is used to attach them rather than a snap.  This tool hold the screw from turning while tightening it.

 Another leather worker introduced it to me.  I didn’t know what it was, but boy is it a big help.  All my belts come with a choice of buckles, so I am constantly removing the screws to change buckles when customizing a belt. 

bevel
edge beveler

The Flashback Friday series this week highlighted some of the tools used to finish the edges of belts. 

 The tool shown above is a bevel.  It is used to round off the edges of belts.  The scraps shown are the pieces removed when beveling.

leather burnisher

 

The photo to the left shows two different burnishers.  The white plastic circle is something I used to rub down belt edges by hand.  It is very hard on your hands, and as the quantity of belts I created increased I had to find an easier way to finishes the edges.  Many years later, I discovered the wood burnisher that would attach to a drill press as shown here.  Now I can just glide the belt along without causing pain to my hands.

Author Bio

Jan Hibbard was born and raised in Wakefield, Mass. My love of animals and my interest in crafts developed as a child. My journey with leather began 42 years ago as I working on my teaching degree in Boston. Barnes & Noble opened in downtown Boston and I found a book on leatherwork. It mentioned 2 leather companies located in Boston. I went there the next day and I purchased my first hide of leather and a few tools. I made a leather vest which I still wear today. My LOVE of leather was born and it continues to grow.

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