tooling

Learn How to Tool Floral Leather Tooling Patterns

You bought a mess of leather stamping tools for tooling leather tooling patterns.

What do all these tools for stamping leather do and where to use them?

This is a common challenge for us when we start tooling leather.  We gather all the tools, a good mallet and some floral tooling patterns.  Yet we are unclear of what some of tools are for or how to use them.

Other areas that I struggled with early on was the proper order to use the tools in.  I found myself rambling through the patterns in a completely random fashion.  This led to long tooling sessions that left me feeling a bit lost and confused.

If you are new to tooling leather tooling patterns, then you are going to find great value in this!  Here you will find a 4 part video series that we created for our YouTube Channel.  The series is called “How to Tool Floral Leather Tooling Patterns.”

Each video covers a certain number of stamping tools in the order that I use them in my work everyday.  You will see how I use each tool for this particular tooling pattern.  The use of many of these tools takes practice and sometimes requires a little trick to use and we go through this in the videos.

So let’s just jump right in and get started! Continue reading

Drawing Vinework in Leather Tooling Patterns

Introduction into February Tooling Floral Theme

For the entire month of February, I want to focus on floral design and tooling.  Everything from drawing leather tooling patterns, carving them, and tooling them.  I want to spend the time using our different platforms to help you improve your tooling and design.

So whether you are a seasoned leatherhead or a rookie, be ready to follow us into this deep subject.  We will not have enough time in one month to cover it all.  We won’t even have enough time to cover a quarter of the subject.  But I hope to shed a little light on the subject and hope that you will find value in it.

Tooling isn’t something that you can just read one book about, watch one youtube video, or spend one weekend in a workshop and become a master at.  Learning to draw leather tooling patterns and to tool them, takes practice and commitment to the idea that you will become a true life long student of the subject. Continue reading

Undercuts in Floral Tooling

Leather stamping tools can be somewhat overwhelming when you look at all the different brands, styles and types that are available from all the different producers.  Then you try to figure out which tools you actually need versus the ones that are just nice to have.  There seems to be an infinite amount of choices in the “nice to have” category.  While there are many stamping tools that fall into the “nice to have” category, Undercuts are not one of these.

In my opinion, undercuts belong in the “must have” category for any tool collection.  I have seen many collections where the maker simply made his own version of undercuts but the fact is that he had a set.  Much like a beveler, the undercut is one of those tools that can make your job smooth or the lack of them can hinder your tooling progression.

In this article we will discuss the purpose of undercuts along with some of the ways to modify them to make them unique to your style of tooling.  If you have watched my video on My Tool Rollthen you have seen the types of undercuts that I use and the different sizes. Continue reading

How to Sharpen Your Swivel Knife

In this video I quickly show you how I go about sharpening my swivel knives.  A sharp swivel knife is key to a successful tooling session and is more times than not the reason for poor results.  I also take a minute and show you the difference between cuts made in leather with a dull or rounded knife blade compared to a sharpened blade.

If you are wanting to insure that your tooling sessions go as smoothly as possible, check out this video and see if it helps you to get a good edge on your blades.

*I apologize for the audio quality in this video… I am not sure what happened to it.

How to Draw a Leather Wallet

Learning how to draw on leather can really help to speed up your work and help you to not waste time drawing something and then having to transfer it later.  This is article will show you how to draw right on your projects and feel confident in your drawing skills.

How to Draw On Leather

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The first thing I do is find my center of the wallet where it will fold.  To allow room for the fold I make a mark 1/2″ on each side of center.  I do that on each edge of the wallet, so you should have four marks.

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Now I draw a line connecting the marks to define the fold area… I don’t usually tool the fold on my wallets.  Next I set calipers to the width that I want my border and scribe my border lines.  You should end up with two tooling windows ready for design.

how to draw If I’m  putting initials on the wallet I draw these in first.

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Here I have placed a flower next to the initials which will seperate the initials from the floral nicely.  Next I draw in some scroll guidelines roughly to determine the flow I want within the pattern.

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Now I begin to define my scrolls and vine work using my previous lines as a guide for flow.

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I didn’t like how the flow was layed in at first so I just simply erase the two lines I don’t like.  Using the 8B pencil allows me to erase and leaves no impression of the lines behind.

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I decided to fill some space with a leaf. When you add leaves and flowers into the pattern, keep the flow in mind so that it bends and shapes accordingly.

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As you can see the leaf took a lot of the open space and the gaps can easily be filled now with scroll and vine work.  For the most part, the original flow I sketched in is maintained.  The only thing I really changed was using the leaf to balance the pattern a little.

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