- Have you ever wondered how they get that hard smooth edge on belts and
on handbags like Brighton that have raw edges. In the Equipment folder
in the photo gallery there is a picture of a machine I made to do
that. It is # 2511.
First a word about the photo gallery. I have to put the photos there
for you to view. The editor for these Yahoo groups doesn't allow
putting them in this post because this gets sent in an email and they
have to keep the file size under control.
Ok... I made my burnishing machine out of a fan motor that I bought
in a second hand shop for $10.00. I welded up a stand for the motor
and plywood table out of scrap I had in the metal shop. The arbor on
the motor shaft is a standard thing available in any hardware store.
It's made for mounting a grinding wheel on a motor but instead I
clamped in several thicknesses of belt leather. I chucked the arbor in
my lathe and turned the leather round and put in a groove that would
match my belt edges. This could probably be done inplace on the motor
instead. The arbor is mounted with the grove even with the height of
the plywood table.
After beveling the edges of the belt I apply Gum Tragacanth to the
edge with a sponge and then burnish the edge by sliding it through the
grove in the machine... with the fan motor running... this produces
heat through friction and the gum cements down the fibers and makes a
smooth hard edge.
Normally I wouldn't use or try to order any product that I couldn't
pronounce. In this case it works so I had to learn to say it... try
Traga-Canth. It's the gum of a shrub found in Asia. So, did the
American Indians have rough edges on their belts while the Mongol
Hoards sported a finished product..?? One Wonders.
Once the edge is hard and smooth I apply an Edge Dye & Sealer. I
used to use a daubber but have a better way to do that now with less
chance of slopping over the edge and onto the top and bottom of the
belt. It only cost me a couple bucks and saved me a lot of time and
daubers. Maybe I tell you about that next... or maybe show you the
nifty machine that bevels the edged or the belts.
In the news:
check out www.opus90.com There is a guy in the US doing this also.
This could be really interesting to handbag designers. The only
problem is the specific kind of leather that has to be used for this
to work. There is a handbag in the designer photo gallery that I think used a
similar process it's Photo 3Lrg