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Our leather blanks are created using full grain vegetable tanned leather.  You work with them like you would with most blanks.  The important point to be aware of is the leather blanks aren't a stable material.  They do have some flex to them because they are natural leather.  Vegetable tanned leather is often referred to as tooling leather.  Remember – leather blanks are not stabilized like wood or cast resin blanks.  You could stabilize them but you won't have the feel of leather! It is important to work at a slower rate and take more time. Be sure to wear a mask when cutting, drilling, turning and sanding your leather blank. Our leather blanks are packaged two 3” inch blanks to a package. You can modify these steps to your own process but please consider them.  They can make a difference in your finished product. 1. I like to drill the blank before cutting it to fit the tube.  The reason is – the entry hole is always slightly     larger than the exit hole.  I like to drill from the center band to the point and cap.  When using a single     blank kit I will drill from the cap to the point.  ( That way your tightest fit is always at the point.) 2. Measure your tube or tubes from the point and the cap towards the center and mark your cut. Try not     to leave more than 1/8th of an inch to trim up after you glue in your tube. 3. Make sure the tube has been roughed up for the CA and that the interior of the blank is clear. 4. I use a long handled cotton swab for the glue.  (I bought them on Amazon)  Start by applying a heavy     coat of Thick CA to the interior of the blank.  Next apply a heavy coat of Thick CA to the brass tube.     Insert the tube with a slow twisting motion.  (You may have to use a clean cotton swab to remove     some glue from inside the tube.)  A round file can be used if some dries in the tube. This is an     important step because the leather will absorb some of the glue.  5. Inspect both ends after the glue has dried.  Look for gaps between the brass and the leather.  Set the     blank in an empty egg carton and use some Thin CA to fill any gap and spray with an activator. 6. True up your ends.
I use a Skew Chisel to gently take off the edges and round the blank.  Then I use my Versa Chisels to finish the blank.  When I first started working with leather blanks I used my Roughing Gouge to take off the edges and round the blank.  I changed to the Skew because it is easy to to have catch with the Roughing Gouge that can cause the blank to separate  from the brass tube.  Use the cutting tools you are the most comfortable with just like you would turning any blank. Turn close to your finished shape and start using sand paper to bring down to your final shape and clean up your ends. I applied an Orange Leather Dye to the pen on the right Wood dyes will work.  I prefer alcohol based dyes. The dye on the bushings will come off when you apply the leather conditioner.  I use Aussie Conditioner from Tandy Leather.  It is thick and really protects the leather.  You can use any good quality leather conditioner. Some tips: Go light on the dye and build layers. Use two to three layers of conditioner.  I like to use three. Have Fun!
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