This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
By MARY C. SCOVEL Part II
When laying out designs for leather work, avoid making them too small and intricate. Bold, simple designs are the best. The relation between the shapes of the background and of the design should be well balanced. The design should not be so small that the large background shapes overbalance it. One good way is to let the design partly follow or repeat the contour of the object. If the article be rectangular in shape, let some of the lines of the design follow rectangular lines; and if circular, follow the curves of the circle.
The first piece of leather work considered, will be an artistic cardcase. The foundation of a card-case is a rectangle. Take a piece of paper 10 by 4 3/4 in. and fold it in the middle, making each side 5 in., then fold in 2 in. on each outside edge toward the center. This last fold makes the pocket of the case. If a deeper pocket is desired, a longer piece of paper must be used, and the fold more than 2 in. Cut out the leather according to the paper pattern and allow at least 1/4 in. for the margin. This gives enough ex- tra material for fastening the leather on a board outside of the pattern. Moisten the leather on the rough or unfinished side. Remember that, as previously stated, Russian calfskin is the best for tooling. Place the folded paper on the right side of the leather, then with a ruler, triangle and lining tool draw the vertical lines where the paper is folded. If the leather is moistened enough, the tool will make a deep line. Make these lines where the leather is to be folded in the center, and for each pocket. Line all around the pattern on four sides to indicate the outside border of the pattern. Note that there are four vertical panels or rectangles, two wide ones and two narrow ones, as the leather lies flat on the board. Select either of the wider rectangles for the front of the card-case. Transfer the design onto this side. Place the paper on the moistened leather and go over all the lines of the design with a hard pencil. When this is done, take the paper away and deepen the lines of the design with the lining tool. If tooling is desired, use the broad-end tool and press down the background with firm even strokes. Keep the background and edges of the design sharp. If stamping is desired, make rows of small circles, regular or irregular, by-using the nail set and a wood mallet. The inside or lining is made of skiver leather or silk. The two center rectangles are the only parts lined. Cut out the piece of silk or leather about 1/16 in. less at the top and bottom of the rectangles and 1/4 in. wider on each side. If leather is used, apply library paste on its back, then place carefully on the inside, smooth it down firmly and put it under a heavy weight to dry. If silk is used, apply the paste around the edges for a width of about 1/4 in., and put it under the weight. The case is then folded and sewed at top and bottom. Cut off the surplus leather about 1/8 in. from the stitches.
Ill: Back of Magazine Cover
The next article is the useful magazine cover, which anyone should delight in making. It requires a piece of leather 11 by 15 in. Allow enough margin to fasten it to the board. Fold the narrow edges together. The design can be placed on either side. A border design bounded by rectangular lines is very suitable. The margin allowed around the design shown in the illustration is 1 in. from the front edge, 1 1/2 in. from the top edge, and 2 1/4 in. from the bottom edge. The design is 5 1/4in. wide. It is placed on the moistened leather and lined, tooled or stamped as described for the card-case. The inside of this cover is lined with heavy silk. Allow a 1/4-in. margin to turn in on all four sides. Two strips made of the lining material, 2 1/2 in. wide and 11 in. long, are placed 1 1/2 in. from each side, over the lining on the inside. The lining, strips and the leather are stitched together about 1/8 in. from the edge on all four sides. The strips are to hold the magazine in place as the cover of the book is slipped be-t w e e n the cover and the strip.
Cover Designs for Cardcases Silk Lining of Magazine Cover
Other kinds of leather, such as ooze cow and ooze calf, may be used, but these only allow the method of cutting out the de-s i g n, as shown in the bag and stampcase. The design is traced on the wrong or smooth side of the leather. Do not moisten the ooze leather. Fasten the leather firmly on the board and cut out the design with a sharp knife. A soft silk is best for the lining. Apply the paste on the leather near the edge of the design and after laying the silk in place, put it under a weight to dry. The stampcase and handbags are laid out, and the designs made in the same manner as for the cardcase and magazine cover, but instead of stitching the edges on the handbags, they are joined with thongs run through holes cut in the edges of the leather. The stampcase edges are sewed together. Bear in mind that Russian calf is used for tooling and stamping, and ooze cow or calf for perforated designs.