Tooling Leather with a Swivel Knife

Hello! If you want to make cool designs on leather, a swivel knife is a handy tool to use. I’ll guide you through the steps using it. Remember, it’s important to be careful as the blade is sharp.

Step 1: Get Ready

First, find a quiet, safe place to work. Lay down a cutting mat or a thick piece of cardboard to protect your table. Make sure your leather is clean and flat. Place it on the protective surface.

Step 2: Hold the Swivel Knife

Hold the swivel knife like a pencil or a small knife. Grip it firmly but don’t squeeze too hard. Your hand should feel comfortable, not strained. Ensure the blade is facing away from you to avoid accidents.

Step 3: Practice Makes Perfect

Before working on your main leather piece, try practicing on a scrap piece. This will help you get used to how the knife moves and how much pressure to apply.

Step 4: Start Cutting

Now, let’s begin! Decide where you want to make your design on the leather. Lightly place the tip of the swivel knife on the leather surface. Slowly push down while rotating the knife. This motion will create a shallow cut called a “scribe line.”

Step 5: Control the Depth

Control the depth of your cut. You don’t want to go too deep, just enough to make an impression on the leather. Lightly guide the knife, using your wrist to rotate it smoothly. Keep the pressure consistent for an even line.

Step 6: Curves and Turns

When making curves or turns in your design, go slowly. Move the knife gently, turning it as needed. Small, controlled movements work best to maintain the flow of your design.

Step 7: Safety First

If you need to stop, lift the knife off the leather rather than stopping mid-cut. This helps prevent accidental slips.

Step 8: Practice Patience

Take your time. Tooling leather with a swivel knife requires patience and practice. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect at first – practice will improve your skills!

Step 9: Care for Your Swivel Knife

After using the swivel knife, wipe the blade clean with a soft cloth. Store it in a safe place, away from children or pets. Keeping it clean and dry will help it last longer.

Step 10: Enjoy Your Artwork

Once you’ve finished tooling your design, admire your work! You can leave it as it is or continue embellishing with other leatherworking tools like stamps or dye to add color and depth to your creation.

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to use a swivel knife to tool leather. Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be creating amazing designs! — This guide provides simple, step-by-step instructions on using a swivel knife for leather tooling, emphasizing safety and practice to achieve great results.