Leather....

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Shooter-55

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Jan 8, 2020
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Ohio
I am in the infancy of my pen turning adventure and am searching for things that will make new styling with different materials. I have been doing leatherwork for over 45 years primarily making CCW holsters, Cowboy Rigs, and some specialty items. I had a thought today (which always concerns my wife) if there may be a way to incorporate leather as a segment material in a pen. I am going to see if I can stabilize it in some way to make it usable. Can anyone tell me if this has been done in the past and if so, where can I see the results. If not, I'll keep you [osted on what happens.
As I stated, I am relatively new to turning, so if this has been brought up in the past, please forgive the redundancy.
 
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VA Jim

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Jun 10, 2018
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Charlottesville VA
Hi Shooter. If you use the search function and just enter 'leather' you'll get a lot of posts. (Your post is the top of the search results as most recent!). There have been some nice pens done with leather. I always appreciate things seeing things I haven't/can't do myself. Please be sure to post both hits and misses as you work on them (good to know what doesn't work as well as what does). Good luck!
 

dogcatcher

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Jul 4, 2007
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TX, NM or on the road
Search segmented cork handles for fishing rods. You can use that technique with dyed leather instead of cork. In my opinion it will be harder to accomplish thab using wood because leather is soft, but it will work.
 

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
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Sep 6, 2012
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Medina, Ohio
Stacked or wrapped, some with stitching. I can't recall anyone segmenting with it though.
Ron Blais has three pens (MAPG and 2 MPG Best of Show Winners) in the IAP Collection with segmented stacked leather. He also used soaking the leather in CA.

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IAP-52.jpg
IAP-46.jpg
IAP-52.jpg
 

Shooter-55

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Jan 8, 2020
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Location
Ohio
Thanks for all the replies. Looks like it will work, so I'll give it a try and see what I can come up with. Will keep you posted. Thanks again.
 

studioseven

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May 6, 2014
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455
Location
Wisconsin
Shooter,
I've never segmented with leather before but I have done it with an old pair of Levis jeans. I would think the leather would be a little easier.

Seven
 
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Sep 24, 2006
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Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
There was a fellow down in South Texas that used the leavings of a cow to make pens... he took dried bull manure, using CA to stabilize it around the tube and turned some nice looking pens from it... not one of my preferred materials, but something for everyone... no reason leather wouldn't work.
 

Sataro

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Mar 15, 2009
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Corsicana, TX
Shooter, I made one out of an old saddle girth strap that broke on me. I took a .50 caliber shell & cut off the primer end. Then I filed the cut end to about a .45 degree angle. Placed the small end of the shell in my drill press. It cut out perfect circles of leather to stack together. Glued each circle together until I had a stack long enough to turn. Made a slimline pen out of it. Leather works good.
 

MTViper

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Jul 22, 2009
Messages
642
Location
Clyde, Texas
My brother is a leather worker. He gave me some of his scraps. I just cut them in whatever shapes the scraps yielded about 1"x1" or there about. I used his hole cutters to cut holes in the center of the scraps and stacked them up until they filled all but the last 1/8" of each end of the blanks. Then I cut 2 wood pieces 1/2" long with holes through them to fit the pen tube. I glued the pieces together using Gorilla Glue or Med CA glue. Then glued the wood pieces on each end and clamped the whole assembly. The wood pieces helped keep the leather strips together and gave something solid to clamp against and hold the strips together.

When the glue was dry, used my pen mill to square off the ends and turned it just like I would any wood blank. Finished it with CA. A few things I learned: if you use dyed leather usually the dye doesn't penetrate all the way through so you'll have lighter stripes between the dye lines. A dark marker will fix this. To get the K-Bar look, I used a thin parting tool to add grooves and colored them with a dark marker again. Leather absorbs a lot of thin CA. I usually put on 3-4 coats before sanding, then 3-5 more coats after sanding. They do sand and seal nicely though.
 
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