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Thread: bevel lace

  1. Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    bevel lace

    hi, I'm starting to get real interested in lacing leather projects. There's a world of info out there, but I'm having trouble finding out how to bevel the leather lace. Some experts say you should use kangaroo lace that's already beveled when you buy it, and that I have to learn how to dye the kangaroo to match my pre-dyed chrome-tanned leather....
    Well, that will be seriously difficult to do.

    Can I make my own lace from the leather I used on the bag? (it already matches!)
    Do I have to bevel the lace I cut? Is it possible to use a beveller knife on not-very-thick chrome-tan leather???

    I'm interested in learning how to do braiding along the tops of my bags and how to make turks head knots. I'll look at the B. Grant book, I guess.

    Thanks for any help!
    Pepper

  2. Hello Pepper, regarding how to bevel, Bruce Grant only touches on it in encyclopedia of rawhide and leather braiding P14 and p15 see fig 10. That is similar to how many of us do it here in Australia, except that we tie the end of the strand to a fixed hook, then shave the edge with the point of a sharp knife held against a leather sleeve placed over the left index finger while walking backwards, usually for 3 or 4 paces until the strand vibrates or stretches too much.[Don't trip over the dog or a saddle etc.]
    Another way is to pull the strand either towards or away from yourself through a home made or purchased device.
    I would rather buy the colored lace or colored hide to cut into lace as home dyed lace may bleed color.
    While lace may be cut from chrome tan leather, I think it is harder to cut and bevel than veg tanned drum stuffed [or waxed] kangaroo.
    Happy lacing,
    Cheers jasj

  3. Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Hi, Jasj - that's a great reply, thank you! I've picked up a Japanese knife that's really, really sharp! I'm going to make a Turk's Head knot going over the shank (I think that's the term for it) so that it makes a sort of handle for it (there's no handle on it now, just an extension of the metal of the blade). So the idea of a sleeve over the finger and walking backwards (ever mindful of the dog) sounds perfect. I'll work on that. Also, I'm not worried about dye bleeding onto the rest of the project, since the rest of the project ought to be similarly colored... although maybe after it happens I'll start becoming more concerned.
    Much appreciated, and I'll see how this works.
    Pepper

  4. Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    NE Oregon
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    Hi Pepper, Just saw your post. If you're interested in making your own lace then you should most definitely bevel it. Otherwise it won't lie flat and will look pretty rough. I've got a Lacemaster for making lace. I really like and Steve Derricott has been pretty good to work with. He's in Idaho. Try his website. I think you'll find one of the most important points on lacing is the strength of the leather when it's small enought to lace with. I've gone to almost all kangaroo lace just for that fact. Even cowhide can break easily when getting a tight double braid. Al Stohlman has a good beginning book on lacing, also. Hope this helps.

  5. Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Hi, Nancy - I read your post with great interest, thanks! I immediately went to look at the lace beveler Lacemaster, and mama-mia, that's an expensive gizmo!
    So... for the moment, I'll just keep practising my lacing and I'm guessing I'll come to understand how critical the bevel and also the strength of the lace is.

    I'm able to cut the lace with a see-thru ruler and a rotary cutter, altho it's painfully slow and requires alot of focus. There are some Australian strand-cutters that I'll look at as well... just little things that hug your finger... I'm not sure they'll cut at a bevel, tho.

    My Turk's Head knots are coming along really nicely, thanks to a DVD I purchased from a guy named Robert Black of Marlinspikeknotworks... He advocates a really easy method using a foam rubber mandrel and putting in pins at intervals to wrap the lace around... makes it so simple I was able to do it first try.
    Ok, more later when I've got a fancy knot to show off!
    Cheers, and thank you all for your help!
    Pepper
    Listening to Bonnie Raitt sing Runaway with a good sub-woofer ... watching your dog laugh... can life get any better?

  6. Hi Pepper, Just a note to say that the Aussie Strander that you can buy in USA for about $30 will cut strands much more easily than your rotary cutter, but it will not bevel them.
    Cheers, jasj

  7. Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
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    Hi, Jas - again, thank you for your helpful note - I wonder why it's so difficult to get a little gizmo that would bevel? I'm thinking of asking one of my metal or wood *guru*-types (friends who work metal and wood as a zen thing -- cleanses their souls) to make me up a jig that would strand as well as have the blade at a bit of an angle...

    Jas, here's my other question that I prolly put in the wrong category here -- I've been using Kiwi saddle soap as a lubricant for the kangaroo lace I'm using in my knots. The knots become easier work, but the saddle soap leaves a tacky feel after the knot is done. I see now that the tackiness evaporates/dries after a day or two. Regardless, does it matter which brand of saddle soap I use? Are all saddle soaps created equal, or do some of them impart properties into the leather that are particularly desirable?
    Thank you SO much -- all of you experts sharing your knowledge just ... are wonderful. ppppP
    Listening to Bonnie Raitt sing Runaway with a good sub-woofer ... watching your dog laugh... can life get any better?

  8. Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    104
    Pepper,
    It is not difficult to get something to just bevel lace. The Grant book shows a single edge razor blade in the end grain of a board at an angle. You just use your thumbnail as a guide and pull the lace through. The porblem is that you have an exposed blade waiting to eat you. Been there, and got really lucky. You can buy a handy little lace beveler from Barbara at Y-Knot Lace (used to be Jim Downey's business) for $70 for the lace beveler that does 30 and 40 degree angles. She sells a lace and strap beveler for wider lace and strings that does 15 and 30 degree angles for $90. I had one of the originals that only did 30 degrees and just upgraded last weekend to the 15/30. Handy to have, easy to adjust, and safer to use. Here is her website http://y-knotlace.com/ . The only problem with just a beveler is that isf your lace varies a little in width, your bevels will too.
    The more expensive ones are string tools that you are looking at. They are serious tools and they do several functions. They are mainly used by braiders and some have another bar modified for wider things like saddle strings. They most all will cut lace to width, split it to thickness, and crown strings or bevel lace with infiinite and minute adjustment. They are a precision tool and do a more consistant job than most people can by hand. I have borrowed a couple different ones to try, and they are really nice if you are serious about braiding. For sure a person could get by with a string cutter like an Aussie strander, drawgauge, or even the Tandy lace cutter. You can have a splitter with good minute adjustments to level everything. You can bevel with a knife and notched stick, razor blade or knife in a block or whatever. These allow to do all that in place usually quicker.
    Last edited by Bruce; 07-22-2010 at 12:41 PM.
    Bruce Johnson
    Mal 4:2
    www.brucejohnsonleather.com

  9. Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    Bruce, I immediately went to the Y-Knotlace website, after inhaling your message about her beveler. What a great device she's offering! and thanks for the recommendation. She's also got some great lace, I see, and the prices are very reasonable.

    Good advice is hard to come by, and I surely do appreciate everything you folks are giving me. I have to say that lacing is really so much fun and also is immediately rewarding that I'm trying to devise a design that would incorporate the lacing just because it's so pleasant to do and pretty.

    ps: I'm buying the single-edge beveler, as I'm not sure why I'd need a 15 degree angle on the bevel, unless I'm not understanding the angle thing. I'm assuming when she says it's 30 degrees that she means the cut is more acute than a 45 degree angle, that they're measuring the angle from the flat of the grain as the base, as zero degrees, rather than saying that a 30 degree bevel is 90 degrees minus 30 degrees.... this is turning out to be somewhat difficult to explain.
    Anyway, thanks again, everybody!
    Pepper
    Listening to Bonnie Raitt sing Runaway with a good sub-woofer ... watching your dog laugh... can life get any better?

  10. Hi Pepper, in reply to saddle soap for use in braiding knots, and edge lacing, I was shown that pulling both sides of the lace across a block of translucent glycerine saddle soap [in Aus we have Lyddy's], makes the strand better to work with but with enough friction to hold in a knot. Do not use any water. I am not sure about other saddle soaps, but I don't think a paste or liquid would work as well.
    jasj aka Jim
    Prov 16:16

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