View Full Version : What is This?

Dr. Rob
01-14-2006, 07:29 AM
This has been on my mind for a decade now. Now I want to know, what is this? I've asked darn near everyone I know, and have over the last ten years come across two other examples.

Pics show item from two angles. One pic shows type of adjustments. Gathered evidence indicates that it is a craftsmans tool, rather than a machine attachment. It is made of steel. Calibrations on slide are in centimeters, so you can gather that size-wise that roller is about three inches long. One other example had a knife attached, as demonstrated. The roller rotates freely in either direction. Vertical / thickness adjustment is per thumbscrew, the others per tommy bar. Underside of left-hand side is softly contoured concavely, like for a finger.

So it could be guessed that something could be rolled up on the roller, and as it was pulled off againt the cutting edge it would make long strips of something of a decided width. Thin leather, or paper maybe.

Well? Anyone?



PS: So I see that my pics look a lot like tiny icons. That's funny; they were there just a minute ago. Just wait and see if the server wakes up. They'll be back. I think. Or right-click on the icon and try to get there thataway.

[This message has been edited by Dr. Rob (edited 01-14-2006).]

01-14-2006, 09:28 AM
I think it's an old and well-crafted leather trimmer. The knife is held in the clamp on the body and the roller is swung aside to admit the piece to be trimmed. The roller is swung back to hold the leather against the fence and the leather is then pulled thru the tool.

I have a friend who is a saddle maker and he has some tools which have a few of the same characteristics but none are an exact copy of your version. Back when horse were in common use, leather working tools were extremely common in all parts of the world.

01-14-2006, 10:29 AM
You only have part of it the numbering on the arm is for seven inches but it doesn't look like it will move the roller an inch per the markings. Also the loose end of the roller would need some kind of support and socket to go into. As having cut enough leather for belting (drive) belts (pants) and lace the loose end wouldn't hold the leather against the blade to get an even width cut.
But yes it is somebodies version a leather strap cutter. which needs thre things to work sharp blades, stable width control and a ways to hold it securely to a bench. thicker leather 8 onces (1/8) to 16 once (1/4) are a mother to pull throu a strapper or a skiver(thinner device) the proper tool looks like a wire drawing tongs. one of my cheap ones is also sold for splitting balsa wood and paper for crafts and most now use #11 exacto blades or single edge razor blades cuts well and cheap to change to keep sharp.

Been there, probally broke it doing that

Dr. Rob
01-14-2006, 11:22 AM
Okay. Thanks. Note though, that leather dulls knives quickly. Leather folks often use rotating wheel knives ( = pizza cutter) or radiused cleavers for exactly that reason.

So I'm a little against the leather theory, unless it is very thin.

By the way, the roller does not swing, but does move lengthwise the whole way. Graduations indicate the resulting (theoretical) width of cut.

More trivial info... One of the other units was made of brass. The other one was at a flea market, displayed as a Guess-what-this-is-and-win-a-prize contest. (I guess the guy wasn't really counting on anyone knowing, because he sure didn't know either)


01-14-2006, 11:46 AM

This is the page from my leather wholesalers catalog. with the current generation of tools http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Been there, probally broke it doing that

Dr. Rob
01-14-2006, 11:50 AM
Okay, Glen! Thank you! Indeed, very similar.