Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Tools!

Like any crafter, I have a working wish-list of tools. It's always a happy day when you can cross something off the list!
My newest additions to my ever-growing workshop are two tools I think are must-haves for any leather crafter.
The first one comes with a reasonable price tag and is widely available at any leather-crafting supply outlet. It's a relatively new style of punch for lightweight leathers. It has a wheel that turns to allow for five hole sizes. It has an easy squeeze and punches a beautiful clean hole. Even the smallest hole is distinct enough to stay open, which is a boon to anyone who sews leather like deerhide with a needle -- if you've been poking your holes with a scratch-awl, you know how hard it can be to find your hole once you get moving on the stitching. This punch removes that problem.
My second new tool is one I have never seen at any leathercraft supply store. Despite over thirty years in the trade, I never saw this tool until my brief period of employment at a canvas & upholstery shop. It's called a Pres-n-Snap and it's without question the best portable tool I have ever used for setting heavy-duty snaps! It comes with the parts needed to set both the male and female snap sides, as well as a setter for grommets. Built like vise-grips, it requires a bit of either strength or table-edge leverage. It sets the snap tightly and puts a good curl on the post. A bit pricey, but it will last for years. I don't know why the big-name leathercraft suppliers don't offer this tool -- it works every bit as well as the bench-setters they sell and it's easily portable, which is a boon for sizing belts at a craftshow! I located it by name through an internet search, and I absolutely love it! No more cussing and throwing away snaps because the inadequate drive-setters messed up another post!
Of course, new tools means more work, right? Gotta go!


leather furniture said...

Pres-n-Snap is a useful tool.

SYLK n SO said...

Dear Kathy, I have been searching for quality hole puncher for awhile, for thick leather and that makes different hole sizes. Is there a brand you recommend?
Btw are you still happy with this punch tool for small holes?

Thank you!

Art of Spirit LeatherWorks said...

Well, here i go again; another free plug for Tandy/Leather Factory... seriously, they should be giving me a commission! lol
here is a link to the Rotary Punch selection on their website: the high-end one is superior, the mid-price one is okay. The tubes on both are replaceable, so the inevitable dulling that comes with punching thick leather can be overcome quite easily. Works for quite a ranges of hole sizes in thick leather: if you are looking for a punch for thinner leather, i recommend the one in this blog post, called a "hand sewing punch" on the Tandy website.
Thanks! - Kathy