Leather Strap Cutting – Workspace

My studio is 9.5 x 12 feet so not small at 114 sq ft but with a couple of work benches and some shelving the floor space left is not enough to roll out a full shoulder when its time to cut some straps.

It is not everyday that this is necessary so what is needed is some form of occasional use space that can be utilised when needed.

I have an additional space at the side of my bungalow which is a timber structure with a polycarbonate roof which is a multifunctional space with sink and dying bench, industrial sewing machine, freezer, washing machine, bike storage and a place to propagate plants and pot them on at a small potting bench.

So when I need to roll out a big piece to cut some straps (maybe twice a month or so) it this little bench that I convert into a bigger bench with the help of an additional top and a stool which is adjusted in height to match the table and acts as a second leg to the bench top which is stored vertically at the side of the potting bench when not in use.

 

With the bench top covered in cutting mats its ready to bring out the leather and prepare for the first cut which is to trim the leather to form the straight edge we need to cut parallel straps.

The has to be done manually with a knife and a straight edge. I use a pice of aluminium angle iron which was left over from building the roof to the structure.

This is lined up on the leather to ensure as little water as possible and is clamped to the worktop to ensure it does not slip.

A utility knife with a fresh blade is as good as anything for this cut as it has some heft to it and going steady against the straight edges has the desired result.

After this it is a simple case of adjusting the strap cutter to the desired width and I can cut as many straps as I want at a very comfortable height and with the leather hanging over the edge of the bench.

It is then a 5 minute job put the bench away.