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Working with Hands - James E. Price


 
  Cumberland Gap National Park Event, Part 2 by James E. Price 1 of 4  

 

This post is a continuation of the one I did on making a leather strop (The Cumberland Gap) for putting that final polished edge...

... on chisels, plane irons, drawknives, spokeshaves, and even axes. I made this one for a coffin making toolkit I will be using in a National Park Service demonstration at Cumberland Gap.

The toolkit will appear to date circa 1800. This leather strop was made on a piece of a rived red oak board and has its original split surface on the back.

Today I mounted leather on the wooden stock that I made yesterday. I took plenty of photos so if you want to make one like mine you have enough information to do so.

I have never had trouble finding the main ingredient for leather strops... leather.

I didn't have to go to my stash for leather because I purchased all you see in the photo for $5.00 at an outdoor flea market. New leather from a supplier is expensive but fortunately I have always been able to buy scraps aplenty.

I selected an area of half a hide that had a rectangular piece cut out of it. For a good strop the leather should have a smooth but porous surface.

I used dividers to determine the length and width of the piece of leather to attach to the wood. Cut the leather at least 1/8th inch oversize on both sides because the excess will be trimmed off once it is mounted on the wood.

Next I marked the outline of the piece of leather I was going to harvest from the hide.

Using scissors I cut out the piece of leather. You don't have to be precise in this task since the leather will be trimmed later.


 
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