Each wallet is finished the old tried and true way, by hand. With moisture, friction, and a little effort, the edges of the leather item are sealed. The logo is then stamped, completing the project.
The Edge Slicker
With grooves of varying width, the wooden edge slicker is perfect for burnishing the edges of leather. Applying water or gum tragacanth to the edges and then using the edge slicker to apply friction generates heat which helps to bind the fibers of leather together and complete the item.
Trimming The Corners
Before burnishing, the corners are trimmed with the scalpel to help create rounded corners.
Beveling The Edges
The edge beveler is an interesting tool. In order to help the rounded edge form, running the edge beveler over the leather creates a small bevel that can then be sanded to complete the rounding before burnishing.
To Sand Leather
You don't always think of sanding when it comes to leather, but it is an integral part of burnishing the edges. A light sanding with a fine grit sand paper or emery board is the final process undertaken to complete the rounding before using the edge slicker.
Slicking The Edges
Finally, after trimming with a scalpel, beveling with the edge beveler, and sanding with the fine grit sand paper, the humble edge slicker is applied to the edges of the leather. Along with water or gum tragacanth, friction with a back and forth motion is applied to the edge. Burnishing the edge is a delicate skill. To know when to stop, or how different types of leather burnish is a skill developed through time, experience and (much like stitching) many many mistakes.
After all is said and done, the very last step to finishing the project is to put my name to it. I'm proud of what I get to do for a living and my stamp encompasses the blood, sweat, tears, years, and effort I put into what I do.
For me, that stamp represents not just the item I'm stamping, but every wallet, belt, bag, strop, briefcase, sheath, whip, glove and shoe that I've made previously. It represents the purchase of one kangaroo hide many years ago, happily bumbling around with my tools to make a wallet and turning that into a business that can sustain a living for my family. It represents long back breaking days, sleepless nights, and a bit of luck. It represents the experience I have gathered along the way. This experience is put into every item when my 40oz maul strikes down on the brass stamp, embossing the leather with my name.
I'm certainly far from perfect, but I'm proud of the journey I've made, and fortunate that I get to wake up tomorrow and think "Alright, let's get started!"