Finding the best Leathercraft work surface is a quest that I find myself still on today. I began my leather work career cutting leather out on my bed in my apartment and doing all my work on a 2×4 bench that I made to fit by my desk. My roommate wasn’t particularly excited about my late night basket stamping sessions. Fast forward to today, and some of my benches are much more nuanced when it comes to the Leathercraft work surface that I work on. Some of them are still hodge-podge assortments of materials that simply work… nothing more.
You can get lost in trying to find the absolute best material to work on. Different leather craft techniques and processes requiring different types of material to work on. The important thing here is to find something that works for you and go with it. When you are a famous leather craftsman someday you can worry about how pretty your work tables and benches are. For now, the only thing that matters is you being able to accomplish your work effectively.
In this video, I go through all of the different Leathercraft work surfaces that I use in my shop. Why I use them and for what purposes. These are the best materials that I have found for completing the different tasks in my work.
I did some research to find the company in San Antonio that made the plastic cutting board material on my cut bench. I did find a company, but since I have never done business with them I didn’t feel comfortable recommending them here. I will continue to research a good source for this material and when I find a reliable source I will update this video. I do suggest doing a google search in your area and I bet you can find someone near you that has this material in any size you may need.
In this video, I show you some tricks I have learned to easily edge leather straps and strips. Strips of leather that are wider don’t seem to be as challenging, but those that are narrow can be a problem. Sometimes even dangerous.
Having a sharp edger is the first step in getting the quality edges that you want to see in your work. But there are some things that you can do to make your job a lot easier.
The edger that I am using in this video is the #3 Ron’s Edger. I upgraded my old set of Osbourne edgers (which I used for many years) last year and I love them. If you are interested in trying some, give Aaron at Maker’s Leather Supply a call.
We created this video, “How to Make a Leather Shavekit,” in the fall of 2017. I just realized that I never posted it to the website. So this is not a new video technically, but if you do subscribe to our YouTube Channel then it may be new to you.
In this video, I show you my process for making a tooled leather shavekit. These toiletry bags are good projects whether you are new to leatherwork or a seasoned veteran. They are great sellers as well.
In the video I walk you through my entire process of making the shavekit as well as tell you the different weights of leather used to make it. I also have a companion pattern pack that goes with this video if you would like to purchase that. It contains all the cut patterns as well as six different tooling patterns.
If you would like to purchase the companion pattern pack, you can check that out by Clicking Here.
If you enjoyed this video, please like and subscribe to this channel.
The music in this video was performed and produced by my brother Ben Schane. If you would like to to hear more of his music you can find his music on itunes. The song in this video is from his album “Antique Noises.”
In this video series, I show you the complete tooling of a Cluster Flower Pattern. The goal of these videos is to show you my complete tooling process when stamping leather tooling patterns.
This video covers the following tools and the order that I use them in:
-flower center liner
-undercuts (4 different tool sizes- small to large)
-crowners (2 different tool sizes)
There is a FREE PDF for this pattern that you are welcome to download. If you would like that then Click Here. Just enter your email address to confirm access to download a copy to use so that you can follow along with us.
In this Project Video, I show you how to make an item that we have made in our shop for many years. This Leather Wine Rack is easy to make and sells well. The unique design is a great way to display your favorite wine bottles in your home.
The video walks you through my entire process for making one of these and the leather that I use. You can make these out of any leather that you have. I prefer to make the body out of 4/6 oz chap leather and the tooled pieces out of 6/7 oz or 9/10 oz veg tanned leather.
Are you interested in making one of these? Then Click Here to purchase a complete DIGITAL Pattern Pack for this project. The pack includes all the measurements that you need to create your pattern for the main body of the wine rack, as well as 8 different floral tooling patterns for the tooled panels.
ALL OF OUR PATTERNS ARE INSTANT DOWNLOADS THAT YOU PRINT OUT ON YOUR OWN PRINTER (use the “actual size” printer settings). WE DO NOT MAIL THESE TO YOU.
Here are some useful links for getting supplies and some helpful videos I mentioned in the video:
I was going to put a link to my favorite wine, but I am only sponsored by Boxed Wine companies… Just kidding.
SIDE NOTE: Project videos take me a few weeks to create plus creating the pattern packs. I had this video started back in last part of March and the workshop just kept me too busy to be able to get it out until now. With that being said, Corter Leather posted a similar project on their Instagram/Youtube a few weeks ago. I contacted them because my project was very similar and I didn’t want to cause any problems. We laughed at the coincidence of us both working on same type of project at the same time. I haven’t ever met them but I follow their work and they seem like really cool folks. So if you want to see their version of this project then Click Here.
Are you under the impression that having multiple jobs or projects going at one time is more efficient for your leathercraft productivity than focusing on one one project at a time?
Have you been told and/or taught that it’s better to cut out all your jobs for the week or month at one time and get them all going?
Are you finding at the end of the week or that month that you haven’t finished anything? But you have 47 things started!
I use to be this way, and oftentimes still am. Truthfully, I still fight this battle everyday. For years we have been told that multitasking is a skill that the best and most efficient Craftsmen do. This is what makes them successful and productive.
Multitasking is not as efficient as people once thought.
“Highly successful people attribute success to the ability to focus on one specialized activity. They don’t rapidly switch around from one interest to another — they start a task and then they reliably follow through with it. Instead of just “getting it done,” they achieve mastery or create something truly complete.” -Article by Forbes Magazine in 2018 “Is Multitasking An Asset Or A Liability?”Continue reading →
When I started my leathercraft business, I really didn’t have a “Store Policy” on custom orders. At that time we were dealing with mostly local folks and I was pretty trusting of them.
Customers came into the store and wanted to get a belt made. I spent 30 minutes or so with them designing their belt. The question that followed was usually, “Do I pay now or when I pick it up?”
At the time, I was hungry for work and wanted to make a good impression on our new customer. I would reply with, “You can pay for it when you pick it up.”
This worked out well for the most part… For a while.
Eventually the items waiting for “pick up” began to grow and money tied up in finished products began increase. I soon realized that I had built many items using shop money that might not ever get picked up and paid for.
We then started taking a deposit of 50% of the job. This worked well to ensure that the customer would be back in the store to pick up their items. As well as to pay us the rest of the balance.
But this became somewhat difficult to handle from an accounting standpoint.
Over the years I have developed our store policy on custom orders into what works best for us. We take all the money up front on all custom orders.Continue reading →
Phone book ads, business cards, brochures, newspapers, and local radio. Fifteen years ago these were still the main components of a good marketing strategy for the leathercraft business to get the word out about their services.
When I began my business, I spent a substantial sum of money using marketing products just like these. The world of Likes, Comments, DM’s and Sharing photos to thousands of people with the tap and swipe on a piece of expensive glass was not yet a reality.
Facebook was just a place for college kids to connect and share funny anecdotes. Instagram wasn’t a thing yet. And twitter… well, twitter (if it was around) was still as confusing and useless as it is today.
The best option for connecting with our customers online during those days, was for them to happen onto our website and hopefully be able to navigate their way through the makeshift debris of photos and half written content. At best, they would be able to get our phone number to just give us a call.
Today we live in a hyper connected world where anyone has the ability to express an opinion, share a photo, or even share an hour long live video on how they prefer to assemble their peanut butter sandwich. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become ingrained into the fabric of a great majority of the population for staying connected with friends, family and businesses. Continue reading →