Tree Stump For Leather Craft Work Bench
When I was in school in the 1970’s at Admiral Westphal Junior High School, some friends came home with me on the school bus to help haul this tree stump out of the woods and down the basement stairs at my parent’s home. A neighbour came over with a chainsaw to level off the top for me. Although I now have my own leather shop, this tree stump has been moved to several locations over the years and has been continually used for punching holes in leather and for holding leather craft tools.
A tree stump is very common in leather shops since it is so solid that their isn’t any bounce when pounding holes in leather or for setting rivets. On the side of the tree stump is attached a wooden block with holes drilled in it hold the various sizes of leather hole punches. More leather craft tools are held in place with short strips of leather nailed to the tree stump. I have been using this same tree stump work bench for many decades.
Hand Make Leather Craft Tools
The anvil on it is actually a train rail. My metal shop teacher in Junior High allowed me to come in on many many noon hours to use a hacksaw to saw the bottom off the train rail. A friend of mine helped me carry it from school to his house about half a mile a way where we took turns with a large electric hand grinder trying to smooth the narrow end which someone had originally cut with a blow torch. I still use the anvil for setting, rivets, setting snaps and pounding leather.
In the background you can see a red handled awl in a cork block which my uncle made for me out of screw driver. I have been using it since I was a young teenager. Other tools made at that time which I still use from time to time are imprint stamps that were made by hand filing and grinding designs into spike heads or metal rods. With my father’s guidance, we built a workbench out of 2″ X 4″ studs and heavy plywood for cutting my leather. Sometimes when I was able to pick up larger rusty items cheap like metal shoe lasts, another neighbour sandblasted off the rust and painted it for me so it look brand new. Even the local furnace repair man saved me some old furnace fan motors from replaced furnaces. I converted the motors into grinders and drum sanders with some attachments.
Involve Other Leather Hobbyists
You could also get someone else involved with your leather craft hobby so you could go splits on the tools to make it more affordable. My brother did leather work with me for about half a year when I first started and he bought some beginner leather craft tools. However his interest was only short lived.
When I was a young kid, I was lucky to have so many people support me and help me get started in my business since I did not have the money at that age to buy a lot of tools. Many of my original tools were made by myself or with the help of others. Every year for birthday or Christmas gifts, I would always ask for a new leather craft tool to start building my collection of tools which would expand my leather crafting capabilities.