Leather Paring Basics: Knife and Spokeshave

05/26/2021 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM ET



A fine binding is covered in leather that has been precision-pared for protection, flexibility, and sumptuous presentation. The pairing knife and spokeshave are essential tools in the this process. This workshop will provide demos on how to use these tools and keep them sharp.

The majority of the demo will focus on the English paring knife, the French and Swiss will be touched on briefly. Modifying a spokeshave for safer, more efficient use on leather will not be covered, but links to resources will provided. 

Students will not be making a specific book or project in this course, rather they are encouraged to practive paring along with the instructor during the demonstration. The workshop will provide a complete explanation of two these essential tools and more confidence in using them. Students should be familiar with the process of preparing a text block for traditional leather binding. Ages 18 and up.


Goatskin Sources - 

Knife and Sharpening Sources - Please note a "skife" or "skiving" knife is not used for fine leather work and will not be discussed. Nor will the German paring knife pictured on Tala's website. The less expensive English paring knife carried by Hollanders and Talas does not come sharp and cannot be sharpened within the time frame of this workshop.