Sunday, April 17, 2011

Making a simple hairing knife

A lot of people ask "where do I get a multi-blade hairing knife.  Hidecrafters used to carry one that Robb Barr used but I don't think they do anymore. Jan Schoonover sells one made out of a modified Craftool swivel knife for around $65. Bob Beard told me how to make a very simple version of these knives and said that he and Robb used them a lot to make feathers. I've made a bunch of these and used them in classes and they work just fine.

Start by cutting a 3 inch long piece off a 1/2 inch wooden dowel.
 Then mark the center on one end of the dowel and drill a 1/4 inch hole in that end, about 3/4 inch deep. It doesn't matter if you are off center a little.
You will need some 2-part epoxy, available at most hardware or craft stores. You will also need 5 number 16 X-acto knife blades.
This stuff is made by Super Glue and it's nice because the syringe has 2 plungers and  you don't have to measure the resin and the hardener.
 Stir the resin and the hardener together.
 Fill the hole in the dowel with the mixed up epoxy.
The hole doesn't need to be filled all the way to the top because some will push out when you stick the blades in. You will want to poke something in the epoxy to make sure there isn't an air bubble preventing the epoxy from going in the hole.
Stack 5 X-acto knife blades together and insert them into the epoxy filled hole. Be careful as some of the epoxy may spill over the top and run down the sides. Wipe off any excess on the sides, but if it stays on top, that's okay.
Press the tips of the blades against something smooth and hard to line them up evenly. Don't use your finger tip to try to line them up. It doesn't work well and requires band aides!

Stand the knife up on it's end and let the epoxy dry the required length of time. Your knife will then be ready to use.
The knife is held like a pencil and hair can be drawn onto the leather. Cut rows right next to or slightly over lapping each other to avoid gaps in the hair. These blades are a lot sharper than a regular hair blade and cut a lot deeper into the leather.
A scalpel is then used  to cut  under the rows of  hair that were made with the multi-blade knife.This allows the  individual hairs to  separate and lift, giving the appearance of realistic hair.


noiseman said...

great! thanxs for iluminatedme! jojojo

noiseman said...

great! gracias por iluminarme!

ray said...

SUPERB IDEA and great tutorial.

God Bless.