Lately I’ve had a hankering for extra grippage in my vice jaws. I know that some people suggest using shelf liner but I’ve always wanted to use suede/leather. Unfortunately, it is a bit of a hassle finding small quantities of genuine leather so I need an alternative. The English Woodworker came to the rescue the other day when I came across this post where he suggests using chamois leather as a cheap alternative. I thought I’d give it a try and I’m very pleased with the results. As the post points out, chamois is quite thin and so will not last as long as proper suede, but it is cheap enough to be renewed more often.
There was a lot of chamois left over so I thought, “why stop there? What else can I use this for?” Two other uses sprang to mind.
First, I wondered what kind of strop chamois would make. Answer: not bad at all. As with the vice jaws I just used contact adhesive to stick a piece of leather to a piece of ply, stuck a thin strip of ply to the bottom for the vice to hold on to and presto, a new strop. It works really well.
Finally, I had noticed that the blade of my Frame Saw was getting some surface rust on it. It’s not a big deal really – it cleaned up in no time – but no ideal. Due to space issues, I
have to choice but to leave it hanging unprotected in my workshop, whereas most of my other important tools are protected inside a cabinet. No doubt condensation is responsible for this so I need a way of preventing this from happening again. The answer was to raid Goatgirl’s sewing kit for some press studs and glue them onto a strip of chamois. Then to make sure they don’t come loose I sewed them on…
…well I tried to anyway – chubby fingers – Goatgirl might have helped a bit.
The resulting blade sheath, I hope, will stop moisture condensing onto my blade in future. I’ve still got a little chamois left over, so I’ll have to have a think about what else it could be used for.
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