Basic Leather Carving Instructions Part II
Swivel Knife Usage

Most cutting when doing leather work is done with a swivel knife. Proper technique is essential for good results so you should practice on scap leather.

5. The swivel knife is held as shown. Forefinger atop the yoke to control downward pressure. Thumb and middle finger on either side of the barrel to control direction. Fourth finger against the side of the blade for stability. Before beginning your project, practice using the swivel knife on some scrap leather. All cuts should be to a depth of 1/2 the leather thickness. 6. If your design has a border, this is cut first. To ensure straightness, a steel straight edge may be used as a guide. Take care not to over cut at the corners.
7. Examine your pattern and photocarve. Determine which design elements are in the foreground. Begin cutting the foremost objects first. There is no way we can illustrate this - you must visualize the design as a series of layers. 8. Continue cutting, work from the foreground to the background. Any lines that do not end at another line should be cut with progressively less pressure to gradually reduce the depth of cut.

The pattern used here is from the excellent tutorial book The Leatherworking Manual. I highly recommend this book.

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Disclaimer: The information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and common leather working practices as of the time of this writing. This article was originally published to the internet in June 2009 and has been modified and republished in April 2012. The author and the publisher accept no liability for the use or misuse of any of the information presented in this article. This article is presented for informational purposes and is used at your own risk.

Author: Bob Sherman

Publisher: Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc.

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