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Tools for a beginner

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  • Tools for a beginner

    I’m interested in trying some small leather projects as a hobby and would appreciate advice on the basic tools that I will need to start. I plan to attempt a few watch straps first and then maybe a simple card sleeve or something similar. From my research, the following list is what I think I might need. Let me know what I’m missing, as well as any recommendations on tools to avoid or that you rate highly.

    Cutting tool


    Diamond chisels


    Wing divider

    Scratch awl

    Stitching needles

    Nylon thread


    Glue applicator

    Self-healing mat

    Straight edge

    Bone folder


    Hardware (watch clasp, spring bar, etc.)

    Leather (thickness?)

    Edge burnisher

    Edge dressing/paint



    Strop compound

  • #2
    Looks about right. You will need a round hole punch or oval punch. thickness depends on type of leather you are going to work with. for the liner on the strap i would say .5mm or 1.50z


    • #3
      Terrick posted a great video on this topic a few days ago.
      I think you have a pretty comprehensive list here, but for a beginner hobbyist, it’ll be pretty expensive to buy in one big chunk. You could combine a few of your tools to begin with, such as the cutting tool/skiver and the bone folder/edge burnisher. I didn’t see a regular diamond shaped awl on your list or a stitching pony (clam), which are two of my most used tools. Best of luck to you. Hope you enjoy the craft.


      • #4
        I just ordered a 190+ piece tool kit from Amazon, that had most of that. It was somewhere in the area of $50. I think I saw a few larger kits, for something like $70 or $80.

        A stitching pony was mentioned; YouTube has a number of videos that give you instruction on building your own. I've probably got everything I need to build one, laying around my garage already. But, even if I didn't, buying the supplies would be cheaper, and building it would be quicker than ordering one. Seriously, it's not a complex device. I'll have mine built in a couple of hours after starting, and it will take that long because I'll be stopping for a cigarette break, fairly frequently. Anyway, it's worth checking out those vids, at least to see if you find the project worth the doing.

        Also, since I intend to start with smaller projects, I've also ordered a 5lb bag of med-large leather scraps. That was about $35 from Brettuns Village; free shipping in the continental US.