Yes , it’s another post about my clothing purchases. Contain yourselves.
I loved this skirt. I bought it when I was 16 or 17 , when I apparently thought “sexy” was an ankle-length, gathered-waist suede skirt. (Nothing like being completely covered in cow hide to attract a young man, eh?) I wore it throughout college , but it seems to have shrunk. I haven’t been able to fit into it for 15 years (and I’m not sure I’d want to wear it now, anyway). But I hung onto it, moving it from apartment to apartment, and finally to the auxiliary closet in my house (where all my old clothes go to die).
But now, I’m glad I kept it. The buttery brown suede is just the thing for lining one’s vise faces (though the first cut was a little painful to make). Here’s how to do it (with thanks to Editor Chris Schwarz for the lesson , and for the record, those are his hairy knuckles in some of the pictures, not mine):
Measure the vise chop, then cut the suede to fit. If you can’t get it cut perfectly, it’s better to err on the side of a little small, as you don’t want bits of suede hanging over the edges of your vise chop.
Then, grab a sheet of wax paper and tape it in place opposite the chop’s face; this will keep the glue from sticking to the leg and top of your bench. Grab the yellow glue (though if you’re not afraid to mix your cows, hide glue would work, too), and squeeze a goodly amount onto the backside of the suede, and spread it out. Pay careful attention to the edges , that’s where it’s most important that you get enough glue for a good bond.
Now apply the sticky-backed leather to the face of your chop and smooth out all wrinkles. If your vise chop cinches tight along all its face to the benchtop and leg, go ahead and cinch it tight and let to glue set for an hour or so. If, as on my leg vise, you have a parallel guide that pivots the vise slightly toward the top edge of your bench, insert a block of wood that’s as deep as the suede-covered face, cover it with waxed paper, then cinch the vise tight (that way, you ensure equal pressure along the entire suede-glued face). You can also stretch painter’s tape across the suede to hold it tight while it dries.
After a half-hour to an hour, un-cinch the vise and scrape off any squeeze-out with a dull screwdriver, or some other implement that won’t tear the suede. Do this before the glue dries completely , you don’t want any bits of hardened glue on the vise; that could mar your work.
Now you’re ready to go to work , just after you hide the evidence , and hope your mother doesn’t read the blog post about your having cut up an expensive skirt…¦for which she probably gave you the money.
Disclaimer: No cows were harmed in the making of this blog. They were harmed 25 years prior.
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