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Guillotine or round knife for straight edges?


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Hey guys, I'm wandering if anyone has any good ways for cutting perfectly straight lines in leather? I'm actually looking to make something for someone. The person I'm making it for loves making bags but struggles cutting straight lines. I'm just undecided if it'll be a really nice round knife, an overbuilt paper guillotine, or somethingelse. Of course I want to make the guillotine but there's a chance I wont get it right. I realize the blade has to be bent inward like scissors blades. If I go that route I'm thinking I'll use 1/4" 1075 or 1080. Have the top jaw bent and the bottom one of course straight and screwed to butcher block. 

 

Here's an interesting idea.

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://leatherworker.net/forum/topic/88085-guillotine-cutter-for-leather/&ved=2ahUKEwiW-qrwla3uAhUpvlkKHXvLB9gQo7QBMAB6BAgAEAE&usg=AOvVaw1-4B48lQWxgYXw8L9_s6QJ

Edited by Zeb Camper
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That is a pretty slick method. I keep meaning to make myself  nice head knife, but never seem to get there.

I have a really long straight edge and use an Exacto #22 blade. If they want it for cutting the shoulder straps, there is a strap cutter. I have one and it works really well.

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A metal straight edge (ruler) and X-acto is what I used on the 2 belts I've made.  

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Heavy metal straight edge (a length of 1x1/4 mild is fine) and any sharp blade.  The two keys to success are that the blade has to be SHARP, and the straight edge has to be firmly holding the leather down.  If the leather can move at all, you won't get a clean straight cut.  If I were a leather guy I'd be sure to have a table like that guy in the video.  No room here, though, so I have short thick plywood boards and sawhorses to make temporary tables of any size as needed.  You'd be surprised how handy a 48" x 10" x 1" stain-grade plywood board can be...

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If the person is making bags I am going to assume this is fairly thin (5oz or less) leather. I use a rotary cutter and straight edge for cutting straight lines in light weight leather. Just like I do for cutting fabric. 

 

But if you want something to make for them I would go more of a kiridashi type knife. Personally I would not want to use a round knife with a straight edge. Too risky if it jumps the edge. 

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On 1/21/2021 at 12:26 PM, Jonathanbradshaw said:

I use a rotary cutter and straight edge for cutting straight lines in light weight leather. Just like I do for cutting fabric. 

I didn't even consider garment leather in the equation. This is the same way I cut soft garment leather. An exacto or other fixed blade tends to pull the leather and cause a wrinkle in the cut.

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