Unwilling to drop big bucks on a leather skiving machine? Then check out this inexpensive alternative.
The Tandy Super Skiver is a $20 hand tool that’s perfect for small leather projects that require a bit of skiving — which is the process of shaving the edges of leather in order to reduce selvage bulk.
Whereas skiving machines are usually large and stationary, the Tandy Super Skiver fits in the palm of your hand. In fact, it looks and operates much like a regular Gillette face razor.
Here’s how it works: Place the blade side of the skiver on the edge of a leather panel’s underside and pull back while applying a decent amount downward pressure — just like shaving. It takes a few passes, but with a bit of patience and elbow grease you can really thin out a piece of leather with this awesome tool.
When the blade gets dull, simply loosen the two screws on the skiver’s topside to remove the blade and install a new one. Retighten the screws to lock the new blade in place.
Check out this video of the Tandy Super Skiver in action:
I was initially apprehensive about trying the Tandy Super Skiver — assuming it was better suited for thicker belting type of leather than what most auto upholstery shops work with. However, to my surprise it worked very well on automotive leather.
The only downside to the Tandy Super Skiver is the handle’s awkward angle, which makes it bit difficult to apply pressure while simultaneously pulling back. But for $20 the tool is definitely worth keeping in your toolbox.
Auto upholstery shops that do a lot of leatherwork will still want to buy a skiving machine – as it’s quicker and easier. But for shops that don’t need one, the Tandy Super Skiver is a good alternative. For purchase information visit TandyLeather.com.
Shops in need of greater precision should also check out Hydes Leather‘s skiving service, which provides custom thickness shaving for all your leather needs. For details, visit HydesLeather.com.
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