A common nuisance in leathercraft is the difficulty of sharpening an Edge Beveler. In this Instructable, George Hurst will walk you through building your own Edge Beveler Strop!
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
For this project, you will need:
Several Sizes of Vegetable Tanned Leather: 4/5 oz, 6/7 oz, 8/9 oz
An Edge Beveler
A Strap Cutter -OR- Utility Knife and Metal Ruler
Leather Weld (Item #2655-01)
2mm Round Leather Lace (Optional)
A solid paint stir stick or several glued together (not pictured)
Step 2: Prep Your Leather
For a proper edge beveler strop, you need for the leather to be somewhat rounded.
Choose a piece of each weight of leather (scrap works fine) that is at least as long as the stirring portion of your stir stick. To achieve the rounding that you need, begin by beveling each side of the leathers that you will be using. Dampened (not wet) leather may be easier to bevel than dry leather. You will need each piece to be approximately a foot long.
If you have 2mm Round Leather Lace, it can be used instead of the 4/5 oz leather and actually works a bit better.
Step 3: Cutting Your Strips
Once you have both sides beveled on each of the 3 leather thicknesses, you will want to cut them down to about an 1/8" strip. You can do this by either using a strap cutter (see below) or by very carefully cutting a thin strip with a metal ruler and a utility knife.
Step 4: Marking and Gluing You Strips
On your paint stick, use a ruler and pencil to draw evenly spaced lines down the length of the stirring stick.
The order of the leather strips is personal choice. Start by running a stripe of Leather Weld and gently placing the leather strip beveled side up in the glue line. Once it is in place, gently run your finger down the strip to make sure it has all made contact and that it is straight. It may be too long on either or both sides, however that is not a problem. You may also need to hold the piece for a bit until the glue sets slightly, especially with the rounded lace.
Repeat with all 3 pieces and let dry.
Once dry, you can use your utility knife to trim the pieces on each end to give it a more finished look.
Step 5: Rouge and Use!
Apply Jewelers Rouge on the laces by rubbing it on the leather strips. If you used the rounded lace, you may need to rough the surface slightly with a hobby knife so that it will take the rouge better.
Drag your Keen Edge Beveler at the natural angle and strop away!
To sharpen your Keen Edge Beveler, you can also lay a piece of 600 grit wet/dry sand paper over these channels and use them as guides for sharpening.
BONUS: You can glue a piece of milled vegetable tan leather (any weight) to the opposite side of the stick to use as a strop for your flat edge bevelers to create an all-in-one tool!
You can watch a similar video walk through and find out more on the use and care of your bevelers in George's YouTube Video: