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SteveS

Schärf-Fix Skiver Set-Up

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Greg

I've used Gillette and Wilkinsonsword blades - the Wilkinsonsword do seem to remain sharp a little longer than the Gillette.

Which brand are you using?

Steve

Edited by SteveS

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I keep saving the old blades in hopes someone will come up with a reliable resharpening device. Maybe all of you who have gone to hand skiving and sharpening have the right idea.

 

Greg

 

Perhaps stropping on smooth leather with a tiny amount of metal polish on the leather? This certainly revives the edge on my knife.

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Starting to make headway now.

Ditched the idea of using the paring machine for the fine thin edges and am using a knife - I find a half-round curved blade appears to work the best.

I have a marble slab that I'm working against - seems to be working well with the knife - just a little practice needed to get the edges nice and thin.

 

My first set of bellows - using an old Wheatstone bellows as a template, dimensions, etc.

Edited by SteveS

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Greg,

 

Do you recall the name of the Israeli blades? I note there are Israeli blades listed on the net, here in Aus Mensbiz.com.au list 'Persona Red Pack Israeli Blades' at $40 a hundred .

 

I also have had problems with Schärf-Fix 2000 blades, although have discovered they do work nicely on the more rigid chrome tanned kangaroo leathers, but very poorly on the supple gloving and bookbinding style leathers.

 

David

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The blades I really liked come in a whitish wrapper with blue printing. Dots about 1/4 inch in diameter and alternating "Super Platinum". No name brand. The blades themselves have black printing saying "Super Platinum; Made in Israel; Pat. No. 3071856". The ones that are acceptable come in a more clear wrapper which says "Super

Stainless" in black ink. There is no printing on the blade itself.

 

I bought both batches from Talus Bookbinders in Brooklyn, NY. Better ones were bought about 6-7 years ago and the others perhaps 3 years ago.

 

Greg

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Greg, it looks like the best blades are available at Amazon (and probably elsewhere): 120 blades for $17

 

The patent for "an improved safety razor blade with a cutting edge on which is an adherent coating comprising a fluorocarbon which improves the shaving effectiveness of the blade edge and to the making of such blades" looks to be interesting reading.

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Thanks Wayman, I've just ordered some of these from a UK supplier to give them a try. It seems "Israeli Personna" is the key phrase to search for. I did see an old Badger and Blade forum post claiming that Tesco own brand blades are actually the same thing.

 

I've tried stropping my dull Scharffix 2000 blades on my usual honing-compound-charged leather strop, and if anything it made them even worse. Probably dubbed over the edge. From what I've read, honing modern disposable blades that are made of very thin stainless steel with a fancy low-friction hard coating doesn't work very well.

 

One idea I've been noodling around is making my own resharpenable blade that has the same form factor as the razor blade holder.

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Thanks Alex - I'll check out these blades. I might go get some Tesco own-brand blades too.

 

Would you believe it? I'm now getting a nice thin-ish edge - no idea what adjustment I made :unsure:

The edge is about 0.2mm - still not thin enough for gussets and top runs - so I'll skive those edges with a knife.

 

A very sharp knife is critical - I'm noticing that my blade goes blunt very quickly - so frequent sharpening is necessary.

 

Has anyone tried wet-and-dry sand paper for getting an ultra-thin edge to the leather?

 

What I'm aiming for is around 0.1mm which seems to be what I'm seeing on the old Wheatstone bellows.

 

 

 

Ed. Alex - the diagram on the Tesco own brand blades looks very similar to that of the Israeli Personna - so they could well be the same. I'll go get a few packs.

 

Ed.x2 - the Tesco branded blades are made in Israel - I bought a couple of packs.

Edited by SteveS

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Has anyone tried wetting the leather first? I've read somewhere that the blades stay sharp for much longer if you do. No idea what it does to the process though. I've never made bellows.

 

Are we comparing like with like here, though? Comparing brand new leather to 100 year old bits?

Maybe the Wheatstone leather edges started out 0.2 mm thick, and has shrunk over the years?

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Patrick

What I'm striving (and skiving :lol: ) for is a virtually invisble joint in overlaps between leather components - eg gussets and top runs.

It also helps reduce the overall bulk of the bellows - and by skiving helps with the playability of the bellows.

We'll see how it works out.

Edited by SteveS

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What a difference these new Tesco blades make!

I'm now getting very thin edges. I take one or two passes with a regular blade, then move to the Tesco blades for the final pass - the result is about 0.1mm or better thickness.

These blades do seem to last a lot longer than the other regular blades I've tried.

 

A couple of things I've found in using and setting up the skiver:

 

1) the adjustment on the vertical adjuster is very sensitive - a slight turn is sufficient to move been blade settings for different thicknesses of skived leather. I adjust the blade height slightly for every pass.

2) it takes a bit of practice to get the tension right on the leather as it's fed into the blade. (Watch out for fingers here towards the end of the piece of leather.)

3) leather with soft long nap is harder to skive and results in frustration and wastage - I'm now selecting parts of the hide that are harder with a short nap.

 

I'm getting my eye in now, so there is less wastage.

 

Making a set of bellows is very labour intensive. I salute you makers who do this every day!! ^_^

Edited by SteveS

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What a diffedrent these new Tesco blades make!

I'm now getting very thin edges. I take one of two passes with a regular blade, then move to the Tesco blades for the final pass - the result is about 0.1mm or better thickness.

These blades do seem to last a lot longer than the other regular blades I've tried.

 

A couple of things I've found in using and setting up the skiver:

 

1) the adjustment on the vertical adjuster is very sensitive - a slight turn is sufficient to move been blade settings for different thicknesses of skived leather. I adjust the blade height slightly for every pass.

2) it takes a bit of practice to get the tension right on the leather as it's fed into the blade. (Watch out for fingers here towards the end of the piece of leather.)

3) leather with soft long nap is harder to skive and results in frustration and wastage - I'm now selecting parts of the hide that are harder with a short nap.

 

I'm getting my eye in now, so there is less wastage.

 

Making a set of bellows is very labour intensive. I salute you makers who do this every day!! ^_^

:)

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I'm glad you've managed to get to where you want. It was all sounding a bit OCD to me to start with, but I've never had a go.

I have looked at a Lachenal bellows before now, and thought to myself that the join on the bellows frames looked a bit obvious, but that's the only time I've noticed skiving, or lack of it.

 

I just had a go at some bits of scap leather and can see the problem, when it gets very thin. It's hard not to cut some off the straight edge and leave it crooked.

 

Maybe you can use the knife on the bits with the longer knap, to prepare it for the machine?

And I found my soldering combination, of head torch and strong specs helped a lot. Still wasn't impressed with my skiving though.

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Patrick

 

You're right, when the leather gets very thin its becomes easy to nick the leather cutting out a piece from the edge thats just been skived - resulting the piece being wasted more often than not (although some pieces can be recovered I've found).

 

Lachenal and Wheatstone bellows offer good examples of skived joints that are extremely thin, and it's similar that I'm trying to achieve.

 

After I put the leather through the skiver, I finish off the edges with a very sharp knife - working against a marble slab, and tensioning the leather between thumb and forefinger, I can pare down the very edge of the leather to give me the thin result I'm after.

Edited by SteveS

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