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Thread: Gluing leather

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA

    Gluing leather

    I am making a binder for my worship service materials. I have some Moroccan Leather that I want to use for this project. So, two issues.

    The first is gluing the leather onto very stiff cardboard. Wanted to use plywood but couldn't find any 1/16" thick. I got this stiff cardboard at a scrapbook store. Though I might use a 3M spray adhesive or water-base contact cement. Strangely enough, I could only find solvent based contact cement locally. Will have to look further as I am also making a new kitchen counter top and planned to use WB contact cement for it. Anybody ever glued real leather? What do I need to know?

    Second issue: I want to make it about 2/3's the size of a regular 3 ring binder. Now I need to modify the ring binder thingie. I want 1/2" and cannot find, after much Googling, a three ring binder of the right length for this special purpose binder. Think about shortening it by about 2 inches. (And yes, I have an adjustable hole punch to accommodate a custom binder!) Anybody ever fool with the mechanism of a 3 ring binder? Your insight would be great.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Coastal plain of North Carolina
    I glued leather on the faces of some of my wooden mallets that I made to knock dovetails together without marring the wood. The mallet faces were end grain so I applied two or three coats of contact cement to both the wood and leather.

    That was quite a few years ago and none of the leather faces have loosened despite heavy use.
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Carol i have glued leather to my vise jaws and used solvent based contact cement. I did not know there was other contact cement available.

    Now over here i came across a mallet tutorial and the guy just used our normal pva wood glue to make a mallet by layering the leather together.
    I am gonna give this a try soon and given you are using cardboard i think the pva or white glue would work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Leather is easy to glue. Almost anything will work OK. Duco is very good. Just read the labels on whatever is available at the hardware store. Try to stay with something that remains fairly pliable.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
    Back in the day.... When I used to teach Printing (back before everything was computer generated) one of the projects was to produce a bound book. We used leather and the adhesive of choice was Rubber Cement. Applied similar to Contact Cement where you apply to both surfaces and wait till "Tacky" then apply the leather to the substrait. We also used a thick card stock (as is used in industry) Why Rubber Cement?/ Way we always did it , way industry did it back when hand bounding was the way to go, way I was taught in scholl. ETC.

    When you bind in Leather, you need some thin leather but you also need to skiv the edge so that it is thinner to fold over the edge and "disappear" on the inside of the cover, The inside was usually covered with Marblized paper.

    Good luck with your project and hope to see progress pictures. I had almost forgotten the years I taught printing but in the past week there have been two posts reminding me of that dieing art.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Reno, Nv
    Hey Carol,
    Instead of cardboard, could you glue of several sheets of veneer? I don't have any idea of the process, just poppin' a suggestion
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    For thin plywood, check out a hobby shop that caters to model makers..

    Thin Plywood
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    Ditto what Brent said. I have found 1/16" ply from hobby stores. I have used contact cement on leather.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    Carol I have bought 1/16 ply 12"x36" in Model Air Plane shops and you can also use hide glue. Thats what is used in organ bellows also John Smith just shows using just plane old wood glue.

    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars

    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Central Illinois
    Back when I was working leather, we used Rubber cement. You could roll it flat so that there were no wrinkles and it stayed flexible. I have a piece I made in 1990 and it's still flexible and holding well.

    Just MHO.

    Bruce Shiverdecker - Retired Starving Artist ( No longer a Part timer at Woodcraft, Peoria, Il.)

    "The great thing about turning is that all you have to do is remove what's not needed and you have something beautiful. Nature does the hard part!"

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