Leather edge guard (for adze)?

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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby ToneWood » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:52 pm

Here are 2 of the 3 Sean Hellman inspired edge guards I have made so far:
Image
Edge guards 2.jpg
The large one is made of ash.
I thought the smaller one was crack willow but pretty certain that it is actually beech now.
Edge guards 2.jpg (102.37 KiB) Viewed 11651 times

Edge guards 3 with tools.jpg
Edge guards 3 with tools.jpg (68.9 KiB) Viewed 11651 times

Edge guards 4 with tools.jpg
I used an overhand knot as a stopper on each side of the smaller guard, to retain the cord.
I've used a double overhand knot a.k.a. surgeons' knot underneath on the larger guard for the same purpose.
The green cord is English-made polyester washing line - great stuff, I use it for all kinds of things.
Edge guards 4 with tools.jpg (73.15 KiB) Viewed 11651 times

I'm pleased with the "folksy" finish but probably not everybody's cup of tea.
Excuse brown, I used it to blur my name, which I've carved on the base in case of loss.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby ToneWood » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:24 pm

It dawned on me today that the small edge guard above is clearly beech not willow. I made a 4th wooden edge guard for my other draw knife this morning from a what remained of the same off-cut ...of beech.
Edge Guard #4 -white top mk3.jpg
Excuse the decoration, I've been using the edge guards to practice as they are just for my own use.
Edge Guard #4 -white top mk3.jpg (60.49 KiB) Viewed 11623 times

Although not perfect, I made a better job of cutting the edge-slot with my 1/8" mortice chisel this time - it is deep, straight and pretty clean. I started off with a fairly large piece of wood but the grain and end faces were skewed, so I had to square all the faces before reducing it down to the required size, with axe & draw-knife. The "wasted" wood makes excellent kindling.
Edge Guard #4.jpg
Beech
Edge Guard #4.jpg (68.58 KiB) Viewed 11623 times
Last edited by ToneWood on Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby ToneWood » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:40 pm

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Last edited by ToneWood on Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:06 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby ToneWood » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:47 pm

I made another leather guard. Instead of using the Speedy Stitcher awl (which I like) on 3-layers of thick, dry saddle leather (which broke my needles last time), I decided to try using the old saddle-makers technique with 2 needles and an awl. I used black polyester thread with 2 leather needles and a vintage leather awl. It worked very well. I used beeswax to "lube" the thread - an old saddle-makers trick (suggested by Sean Hellman I think).

To help preserve my axe guards, I have polished them with shoe polish, inside and out. I found it had the side benefits of giving them a more uniform, matt finish, it makes the edge colour & texture match the sides more closely and it blackened up the "natural"/white stitching.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby ToneWood » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:47 pm

I just came across a traditional technique used for making leather sheaths that doesn't require stitching or rivets - just a hole punch & something to help push the leather "toggles" through the holes. The results are, I think, impressive [see links for details]:
http://www.britishblades.com/forums/con ... heath-Mk.1
ImageImage
http://www.britishblades.com/forums/sho ... heath-Mk-2
(The MK3 version - on the MK2 thread - is particularly fine looking.)
Perhaps this technique could also be adapted to making tool guards for axes, adze, etc.

UPDATE: a similar technique is used to make birch bark containers, here: http://www.slojdeniskogen.se/slojden/sf ... verburk/4/ [See forum thread: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2662]
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby robgorrell » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:38 pm

I was buying leather recently at Tandy Leather and the girl working there said I had to be careful about which kind of leather I used. Apparently the chemical tanned leather, as opposed to vegetable tanned leather, has chemical residue that will rust steel. I went back and looked at a couple of axes with covers that I made ages ago and sure enough, rust.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby AlexanderTheLate » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:57 am

When I was a lad in the boy scouts, our leader told us never to leave our knives on leather sheaths any longer then necessary, I am glad to learn it only applys to Chemical tanned leather, but I almost never use leather sheaths, I make them out of birch bark, either by weaving the bark (only attempt this after a good night's sleep!), or by stitching it like leather.
I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.- Unknown.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby jrccaim » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:10 am

I am blown away, as the younger generation says, by all these edge guards. But do remember that the whole purpose of the edge guard is , well, to guard the edge. Keep it free from knocks, scrapes, and other accidents. Requirement is that the guard be softer than the edge. Piece of cardboard (or for that matter old beer can) will do the job. I do not mean to denigrate all the beautiful edge guards I have seen here. I admire them. By all means guard your edge, if you don't you will be sorry. But a piece of cardboard and masking tape will do the job just as well! You do not need anything very elaborate. Not esthetic. Never make it into a museum. Cheerfully admit the lack of art. But cardboard (or old beer can) and tape is effective and very cheap.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby ToneWood » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:24 pm

robgorrell wrote:... Apparently the chemical tanned leather, as opposed to vegetable tanned leather, has chemical residue that will rust steel. I went back and looked at a couple of axes with covers that I made ages ago and sure enough, rust.
Chemical tans often use chromium which is can produce very nasty pollutants that cause some hideous illness & defects. Use vegetable tanned leather instead, it looks better too.

I polished my edge-guards inside & out with shoe polish and that seems to have worked well, for both leather & axes, and covers up my rather untidy stitching too :) - it might help protect your axes from the chemical tannins.

I hope to get some live birch bark this spring/early summer. My first attempts last year used bark from fallen birch and did not work out well. BTW I see Jogge sometimes uses thin strips cut from roots rather than bark for the wrapping material, which seems like it good idea. Although I have seen a picture of a sewn birch bark axe guard, to me it seems like the non-sewn birch bark guards might be better suited to smaller, lighter tools like knives & chisels.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby AlexanderTheLate » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:25 pm

JR-

You raise a good point, and to an extent I agree with you. But, I know you make a lot of your tools, so do I, I learned most of what I know from your blog. So just think, if you took all that time to select a piece of steel, anneal it, cut and grind to shape, put a nice even bevel on it, heat treat and temper, then sharpen and strop to a razor edge... Then wrap a bit of card board around it? Certainly functionality is the key, but in my opinion, to do all that work, then skimp on the sheath, is like taking all day to prepare a fancy meal then serving it on a paper napkin. Just a thought, not to be offensive.
I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.- Unknown.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby ToneWood » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:02 pm

"Origami" chisel protectors (folded business card + tape :D): http://www.popularwoodworking.com/woodw ... protectors.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby voodooalpaca » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:39 pm

I've been curious about working with Leather (mainly for edge guards, but in general) I went on a basic leather working course last weekend, it was hosted in Kent by http://www.bushcraft-magazine.co.uk/ it cost £35 for the day, including coffee (lots) and lunch! Also another fiver for the Leather I used (1x A4 sheet)

I learnt loads, most of which is already included on this thread (use Veg Tan!)

I'd been using a speedy stitcher and Rivets, but a well made Saddle stitch is way nicer - just make sure you include an additional bit of leather for the blade to touch against, rather than your stitching.

Saving now for tools and... er leather.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby ToneWood » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:27 pm

Sounds fun - and if you managed to make something useful on the course (a really nice edge guard for example), it probably didn't cost much more than buying a really nice one - and, of course, you can make more afterwards :).

BTW What's a "saddle stitch" - is that what you get when using two needles & a simple non-speedy leather awl? Did you learn anything about those "pricker" wheels/punches - I think I need something to help me stitch straighter/neater/more regularly. Did you wet the leather to soften it?
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby mrcharly » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:11 pm

'saddle stitch' is a technique where you work with two needles from both sides at the same time - push one needle through from one side, push the other through from other side. Apart from providing a continuous run of stitch, it helps with locating the holes from both sides.
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Re: Leather edge guard (for adze)?

Postby ToneWood » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:18 pm

Also, unlike the Speedy-Stitchers, one cut thread won't potentially allow to it all to unravel (but 2 cuts might) - a good feature.
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