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how to reduce thickness of leather? Answered


how to reduce the thickness of the leather ? is there any machine available in the market for this job or maybe similar machine which likely accomplished the job ?

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Valas Hune (author)2011-02-18

When ever I have to reduce a piece of leather I skive it. it can be done with a knife or a skiving machine.
the knife has to be slightly flexible, same idea as a filet knife. apply force to the knife bending it and running it across the seam you want to reduce the bulk of.


here is a video link to get an idea about it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCTyGv1QXOM

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Burf (author)2011-01-18

If you're not concerned about the looks of the flesh side (the inner side of the leather) you can use a coarse sanding disk on a drill and thin it fairly easy. Stretch the leather out on a board or plywood and secure it with push pins or nails. Sand it away, being careful not to sand all the way through.
With a little caution, you can do a decent job. Wear a dust mask and work outside.

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caarntedd (author)Burf2011-01-18

This would probably be the best way. I've never used machinery to sand leather, but I sand the flesh side by hand with coarse glass paper to "break" skins after I've tanned them. It comes out very clean, smooth and professional looking.

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orksecurity (author)2011-01-18

If you websearch "skiving knife" you'll see the old non-machine approach to doing this. Depending on the size of the piece you're working with, and depending on how much you care about rescuing the layer you've removed, that may be a good alternative.

(The leatherworkers I know are mostly with the SCA and pride themselves upon not using tools that wouldn't have been available "in period".)

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Kiteman (author)2011-01-18

How large an area do you want to thin?

Maybe you could shave the back with a razor blade?

Or maybe (I'm just guessing here) you could soften the leather by soaking in hot water, then pressing and stretching it, and leaving it to dry under tension?

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steveastrouk (author)2011-01-18

There are indeed special machines called splitters or skivers to do what tyou want. They are pretty expensive.

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