How Does He do That?

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Forum topic by ccpenco posted 03-13-2009 03:05 AM 1893 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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84 posts in 4433 days

03-13-2009 03:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource jig tip question trick greene and greene shaker arts and crafts rustic victorian modern traditional refurbishing finishing scrollworking veneering woodburning sharpening sanding joining carving milling shaping turning box leatherworking leather leather working burn technique help how how to

I had the sudden urge to learn how to make a leather covered jewelry box. So… i looked it up on youtube, and i saw this video

What i’m wondering is: What/how is he doing that thing in the middle of the video to give the leather that finish?

I’m hoping someone out there is a leatherworker

8 replies so far

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84 posts in 4433 days

#1 posted 03-13-2009 03:09 AM

sorry, the finishing part that i’m talking about is more in the middle of the video

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768 posts in 4723 days

#2 posted 03-13-2009 03:31 AM

About 1:45. That looks interesting. Something electric, maybe burnishing?

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84 posts in 4433 days

#3 posted 03-13-2009 03:38 AM

All i know is, it looks really nice when it’s done!

View Chris 's profile


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#4 posted 03-13-2009 04:43 AM

It appears that there is a wax of some sort in the pan he keeps putting the iron in.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

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Derek Lyons

584 posts in 4617 days

#5 posted 03-13-2009 06:49 AM

Dave has it partly right… It looks to me like the tool is heated electrically (see the cord it is attached to?), which by itself would produce a nicely burnished finish. (I remember/know this much from my bookbinding work.) But it looks like his secret sauce is some form of wax in the skillet which is what gives it that mirror like sheen. The varying colors are produced (again from my bookbinding work) by varying the contact time of the burnishing iron with the leather.

Disclaimer: It’s been thirty years since I did any leather binding work, though I have been recently studying it again because I’m taking up bookbinding again.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4924 days

#6 posted 03-13-2009 07:23 PM

Interesting process.

-- Happy woodworking!

View odie's profile


1692 posts in 4889 days

#7 posted 03-13-2009 07:57 PM

I’ve been a leather worker for 40 years. I mostly make belts that are worn and treated roughly. The finish I use is carnauba wax just buffed on. I would say he is “burnishing” it in as you would with “spit shinned” boots like in the army.

I put leather on this box shown here to take an otherwise boring box in turn it into something special. Now if my customers would agree.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View epp_dog's profile


58 posts in 4462 days

#8 posted 03-13-2009 08:25 PM

The heated iron and wax make the process much easier. I have burnished some of my pieces with friction heat (rubbing a cloth hard/fast enough to create the interesting tones) but that is quite a workout. I personally don’t go for a “patent leather” look on my pieces so I don’t have experience with the glass look but wax makes sense. I most enjoy the carving on the leather.

This is a guy who does WONDERFUL leather boxes. I have had to call him for tips on occasion.

-- David, Florida

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