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Re: leather skiving or alternative?



Re: That Stropping of knives
    Eleanore Ramsey, the San Francisco design binder, put me onto Chromglanz, a
stropping paste that comes in a tube - I think now from Bookmakers.  Spread on the
leather strop-strip and worked in a very little bit, after your knife has been
sharpened first on a good stone, drawing it backward across the strop over this
paste will put on it the sort of edge Peter is talking about here.
  It does not need to be reapplied every time - a single application of the paste
will last a long time, and stropping frequently between skiving cuts will guarantee
you a very sharp edge.  (Watch out for going clear through the leather with it,
though.)
    Additionally, re: leather workability.  It's easy for a novice (like me) to
assume that leather is a homogenous material.  It is not.  It comes off an animal -
from the spine, both ways down to the edges.  Inevitably, the skin develops what
might be referred to as a "grain," that is, like wood, it sometimes seems to skive
more easily in one direction or another, the "other" presenting more resistance to
being shaved.  Looking for that resistance and trying to work from the other
direction sometimes makes the work easier.
    Also, skins may have a tiny weak spot which is not easily detectible until
shaving begins, so if the skin seems to be vulnerable at an unexpected spot,
proceed with care until you find out whether it's a "soft" spot too easily cut
through.
    Try the Chromglanz.  It's saved me tons of trouble.

"Peter D. Verheyen" wrote:

> The other issue is chrome vs. vegetable tan. Cheaper leathers, like the
> ones at Tandy, or even Ganes may well be chrome tanned which renders them
> harder, makes them dull Scharf-fix blades quicker, and stretchier. If
> you're working with a "bonded pleather" (Dregs of leather shavings mixed
> with glue, pressed and embossed) forget it. The only thing I know of which
> will pare leather like that is a Fortuna. There are also some place around
> (don't have addresses handy) which will pare a skin to a specified
> thickness. If you want to work with leather, invest in some nice skins
> (yes, they cost more) but you'll see the difference very quickly and your
> results will be much nicer. You'll also want to make sure your paring
> knives are sharp. I test mine on the back of my hand. If the hairs snap at
> the sight of the knife it's good. If they fold over, strop it some more.
>
> p.
>
>                                 >>> I love working in a library <<<
> >>There's something to be said for working in a place bound in leather.<<
>
> Peter D. Verheyen  <Email> mailto:pdverhey@dreamscape.com
> <Webmaster: Book Arts Web>  http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey
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>
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