Using those transferable skills… to make a leather tool roll

15 Jul

This week I worked on making the  leather roll for my new chisels.  I decided to make one instead of buying one.

Following some advice from local crafters, I cut the leather off  a damaged leather couch on a curb  a while ago and kept the leather for a rainy day project.

This is that project. To be clear, I don’t know how to work leather, but I like making stuff- so when a project such as this comes along- I give it a go. Working plans for this roll consisted of this sketch and relative measurements(the sizes of the chisels, and the lengths of leather I had to work with)

The process wasn’t unlike woodworking, I had a raw material that had defects and rough edges. I cut one straight edge…

Then I brought a chisel into the picture to get an idea of how large my pieces needed to be.

Then I carefully cut each piece down to size keeping my chisel handy to double check my relative measurements.

Since I’m modeling this roll after Lie Nielsen’s design, I then cut round corners. I found that a disposable tape dispenser has several pleasing curves on it. I used various parts of the dispenser to trace my knife around curves.

Here’s the result- now onto sewing!

I used some office supplies to keep the pieces aligned.

I hit the web to get some much needed advice on sewing leather. A #16 needle is best, and polyester or nylon thread. Also a walking foot for the machine helps. I did test runs on scrap to no avail. I ended up using someone else’s sewing machine- worked fine!

Next I drew out each pocket line and sewed the divisions. I would like to find rivets eventually to reinforce the tops of each pocket, but for now I’ll be careful not to put too much force on the seams. If you’re wondering the spacing was 2″ between pockets.

The flap then got sewn on along with a tie to wrap the roll up with.

And I added the chisels! You’ll notice there are quite a few pockets to grow into! I’m going to add carving chisels among others.

I realise that the roll keeps the chisels from getting dinged but what I didn’t know was that the leather protects the chisels from rusting. All in all I’m pleased with my leather roll, I didn’t focus my efforts on getting it perfect, but on getting it done quickly. And now I have a lovely place to store my chisels!

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6 Responses to “Using those transferable skills… to make a leather tool roll”

  1. Marilyn July 15, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Very nice! I have my chisels and brace bits in rolls. I love the handiness of being able to grab the roll, take it to my bench and not have to make another trip if I need the next size down.

    • Warped Boards July 15, 2012 at 9:39 am #

      Very true, the less back and forth the better! Work flow is important!

  2. Megan Rain July 20, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    2 things I love: you reused the leather from the couch, what a great idea. I think I’ve used every everyday item in the house to trace shapes on fabric-and you suggest a new one! I’m so excited.

    • Warped Boards July 20, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      I try! Do share your favourite objects for tracing around! For the record (since I’m talking with seamstress here) I intended to have a thin strip of leather edging around the entire tool roll, but four layers of leather was too thick for either of the sewing machines I could get my hands on. Heck even two layers was too much for one machine!

  3. giles Watts November 28, 2012 at 7:02 am #

    how thick was the leather you used? Cheers Giles

  4. giles Watts November 28, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    just seen it was a sofa cover – love the recycling and economy!

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