How to Make Leather Washers

Leather washers are used as seals in air guns and in making stacked leather knife handles. Leather washers are used to reduce noise when connecting pieces of metal together and to provide cushioning. Tooling leather is the best leather to use to make washers. Tooling leather is available in depths from 1/16 inch to 3/8 inch. A sharp die is used to cut the outer circle of the washer. A drill press is passed through the centre of the washer to make the inside hole.

File one edge of the 1-inch pipe until it is sharp. Angle both the inside and outside edge of the pipe at a 30- to 35-degree angle.

Lay the tooling leather on a flat stable work surface. Sit the sharp end of the pipe directly on top of the leather. Hold the pipe perpendicular to the leather. Hit the top of pipe solidly with the hammer to force the sharp edge of the pipe through the leather. Remove the pipe and check the cutting process. Replace the pipe. Solidly hit the end of the pipe until the leather is cut.

Mark the centre of the leather circle with the point of the compass. Place the marked leather circle on the bed of the drill press.

Select the desired size drill bit for the centre hole. Secure the drill bit in the drill press.

Line the bit of the drill press with the centre mark on the circle. Turn on the drill press. Pull the drill press down and through the centre of the circle.

Things You'll Need

  • Tooling leather
  • 1-inch pipe, 4-inches long
  • Round file
  • Hammer
  • Compass
  • Drill press
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About the Author

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."