Full Chisel Blog

December 6, 2013

Traditional Wallet

Filed under: Documentation,Historical Material,Of Interest,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 10:18 am

I have made wallets for my tombstone scrapers and my card scrapers, and my steel graining combs, so I thought I should make one for myself.  I have a couple of reproduction wallets, one I use for my checkbook and the other I use daily.  The problem with the pocket wallet is that when it is opened, it can spill half the contents out, and original design flaw.  The wallet was also slightly wider than it needed to be, so the new wallet is about 1″ narrower than the one I had been using.

Then I saw some historic 18th century wallets and billfolds and decided to copy those styles, so I incorporated features from several different examples and came up with a design of my own [which I totally ripped off from the past].


Made from hair cell pigskin I got from the Leather Factory [a Tandy outlet] here in Salt Lake and have used it before for my scraper wallets.  The thread is No. 30 Machine Linen thread from Belgium, and used two needles to sew it up.  [If I do much more leather work I will need to build a stitching horse or pony.  I used a traditional Hudson Bay trade awl for all of the holes for the stitches.  The open ends are doubled back for extra reinforcement.


The traditional clasp is made from pure silver .999, and I drilled the holes using pivot bits in my Archimedes Drill and even managed to make all of the cuts from the outside shapes to the piercings for the rectangular slots for the catch without breaking a blade in my jeweler’s saw.  I filed the edges and rinded the sewing holes to make them smooth to preserve the thread.  I lightly sanded the surface with 600 grit then burnished it with a steel burnisher to a high shine.

I may do some tooling to the surfaces but I can do that at any time, and I am thinking of pinking the scallops on the inside.

Now back to woodworking.


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