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Scaled Arm Guard

Project Summary: Using an English Point End Punch to create a consistent scale pattern is a simple technique that works nicely for a number of shapes and sizes of projects. We’ll start by making a pattern for a basic arm guard shape. From there we’ll finish our edges, add a scale pattern and accent the scales with a camouflage and bevel tool. Red oil dye, antiquing and a top coat will finish out a very professional looking project with untold possibilities in design.

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What You Need:

Step-by-Step Instructions (with pictures):

  1. Begin by writing down three measurements: the circumference of your wrist, the circumference of your arm just below your elbow and the length between the two. Use a measuring tape or piece of string and a ruler to get these measurements. If it helps you to visualize the project, draw a small sketch and label it with your measurements.step1
  2. To prepare to sketch your pattern, fold your piece of paper in half. Smooth it out with your Utility Knife. If you drew a small sketch of your measurements, fold the piece of paper so that this space is still visible.step2
  3. When we sketch, keep in mind that we are working in halves. Make a mark at the center of the folded edge of the paper at 5 ½ inches. Next, take your forearm length measurement we got in Step 1 and divide it in half. Make a mark at this distance below and above the 5 ½ inches mark.step3
  4. Place the long edge of your steel square at your top mark. Take the circumference of your upper forearm, which we measured in Step 1, and divide it in half. Make a new mark this distance to the left of your top mark. Make a straight line from the mark you just made to your top mark.step4
  5. Now place the long edge of your steel square at your bottom mark. Take the circumference of your wrist, which we measured in Step 1, and divide it in half. Make a new mark this distance to the left of your bottom mark. Make a straight line from the mark you just made to your bottom mark.step5
  6. Use your Steel Square to connect the ends of the two lines you have just drawn.step6
  7. To add a point near the top of your arm guard, make a mark on your paper’s fold one inch above your widest line. Connect the end of the line to that mark with a curved line. (Note: In the second photo below, the crafter has turned the paper 180 degrees.)step7
  8. To prepare for your lace holes, use your Steel Square to make a parallel line ½ inch inside your diagonal line. Make a mark 1 inch inside each end of the line you just drew. Make two evenly spaced marks inside these marks so that the 4 marks are equally spaced from each other. Circle each mark. Proceed to mark the middle of each circle with your Awl.step8
  9. Use your Steel Square to cut the straight outside edges of your pattern with a Utility Knife. To cut along your curved edge, just freehand it.step9
  10. Unfold your cutout. Lace holes are already punched through the side with no pencil marks. Go ahead and mark these with a pencil.step10
  11. Using a Utility Knife, cut rounded corners on your cutout. For pointers on doing this, refer to Chuck’s method in the video.step11
  12. To prepare for an oval detail that will adorn the middle of our cuff, use your Steel Square to draw a straight line along the fold that crosses with your middle mark. Extend the middle mark line so that it is perpendicular to the fold line.step12
  13. To create an oval cutout, cut out a rectangle from your scrap piece of paper, roughly 3" x 4". Use your Steel Square to create two perpendicular lines. Make a 2" long x 1" wide oval by marking each side of the long line 1 inch from the center and marking each side of the short line 1/2 inch from the center.step13
  14. Fold your rectangle along the perpendicular lines, and unfold it. Draw a curved line that connects the two marks on one fourth of your paper. Fold your rectangle into fourths again, and cut along the curved line with a Utility Knife. You now have an oval cutout.step14
  15. Place your oval cutout on your arm guard pattern so that both sets of perpendicular lines line up. Trace around your oval so that you now have the oval shape on your arm guard pattern.step15
  16. You are now ready to trace your pattern onto your leather. Place your leather on your Silent Poundo Board. Then place the pattern on your leather, and anchor it with your Steel Square (preferably with nonslip tape on the back). Carefully trace along the outside of you pattern. After this, mark your lace holes with your Awl.step16
  17. To cut out your oval pattern, fold your pattern into fourths along the perpendicular lines, smoothing the fold with the bottom of your Utility Knife. Cut along the curved line of the oval.step17
  18. Unfold the paper to reveal an oval-shaped hole in the middle. Mark the cutout piece for your rivet holes, making a mark a ½ inch from the center lengthwise on each side. Circle both marks and the place where the lines intersect in the middle.step18
  19. Place your pattern back on your leather so that it fits in the outline drawn on your leather. Use your Awl to trace the outline of the oval onto your leather. Then, drop the oval cutout back in the pattern’s hole, and mark the rivet holes with your Awl.step19
  20. Using a Utility Knife, cut your leather along the outline you have sketched with your pencil. Round the corners using the Utility Knife like we did with our pattern.step20
  21. Place your Poly Cutting Board on top of your Quartz Tooling Slab. Place your leather on the Poly Cutting Board, and proceed to punch your rivet holes marked in the middle of your leather using a Rawhide Mallet and Belt Punch.step21
  22. Set your Revolving Punch on its largest punch hole, choke out your punch as far as you can, and punch out your lace holes marked on the two sides of your leather. Punch and twist your Revolving Punch for clean holes. (Note: Refer to the video to see this in action.)step22
  23. To create an edge decoration, place the shank of your Stitch Groover along the edge of your leather. Apply slight pressure while you take it along the edges of your leather, being especially careful around the corners.step23
  24. Bevel your leather where the surface meets the edge. Go all the way around. Flip your leather and repeat this process for the back side. Once again, be careful around the corners.step24
  25. Hold your leather above your work bench, wet a foam brush with water, and run the brush along the beveled edges of your leather. Holding your leather like this will help ensure that water only gets on the edges of your project.step25
  26. Hang one edge off the table with your hand on top of the leather. Burnish the edge with the largest groove of your Leather Slicker, remembering to get the corners too. Repeat on all sides.step26
  27. To prepare for stamping, case — or wet — your leather with a foam brush.step27
  28. Set your Wing Divider to a 1-inch width, have one tip on the edge of your leather and one tip on the inside of the leather, and scribe the border.step28
  29. With the help of a Steel Square, use light pressure and a Swivel Knife to trace the straight sides of the border you just scribed in. You’ll have to freehand the curved lines.step29
  30. Apply light pressure to your Swivel Knife and trace the oval in the center of your leather.step30
  31. Using a Maul and Beveler Stamping Tool, bevel the inner border of your leather all the way around. Then bevel the outside of your oval.step31
  32. Begin making your scale pattern with your English Point End Punch and Maul. Only tap the Punch lightly with your Maul, as the Punch is a cutting tool and could go through your leather. Make sure the tip of your Punch is facing the flat end of your arm guard. See the photo below for general scale placement. Continue your pattern until it fills the space. You will have open areas around your inner the border that cannot fit an entire scale. We will address this later.step32
  33. Use portions of your Punch to fill the edges by leaning it at angles so it won’t hit your beveled border. Use your Swivel Knife to etch in the rest of the scale on the edges.step33
  34. Bevel the bottom edges of all your scales.step34
  35. We will now add a camouflage pattern around the inside of your beveled border. To begin, place the end of the tool so that the points go on either side of the corner. Hit your Camouflage Stamping Tool with your Maul to make a mark. Do this around the entire inside border. Do this around the outside of your oval as well.step35
  36. Allow your leather to dry for 3 hours.step36
  37. In preparation for dyeing your leather, place a plastic bag on your tabletop and paper on top of that. Place your leather on top of your paper, and put on rubber gloves. Pour your Oil Dye into a plastic container. Dip your Foam Brush into your Oil Dye and brush it onto the surface of your leather. Don’t brush the edges; we will get those with a dauber next.step37
  38. Dip a Wool Dauber in your Oil Dye, making sure it is not too saturated — we don’t want the dye to run on the back of the leather. Pick up your leather and rub the edges with the Wool Dauber. After this, allow your project to dry for at least 3 hours.step38
  39. Once you have allowed your project to dry for at least 3 hours, you may begin the antiquing process. Dip a new Wool Dauber into your Antique Finish and rub it onto your project one section at a time, wiping the excess off with a cotton rag as you go.step39
  40. Once you have applied the Antique Finish and rubbed the entire surface with your cotton rag, give it one final good rub to get off all the excess dye. Allow to dry for 30-45 minutes.step40
  41. Once you have let your project dry, you are ready for your top coat. Pour your Leather Balm into a clean plastic container, and dip a clean cotton rag into it. You will want to use this Leather Balm sparingly. Rub it onto your project one section at a time, wiping the excess off with the dry side of your cotton rag as you go. Once you have covered the entire surface, buff the entire surface for a while to bring out the gloss.step41
  42. It is now time to add your ¼" and 7/16" Double Cap Rivets. Place your leather upside down on your Quartz Tooling Slab and place the male ends of your Rivets in their slots. The 7/16" Rivet goes in the middle.step42
  43. Flip your leather over and add the female ends of your Rivets.step43
  44. Set the rivets by placing the Rivet Setter on the Rivets and hitting the Rivet Setter with a Polyhead Mallet.step44
  45. Place a little Gum Tragacanth in the cap of the bottle and dip a new Wool Dauber in it. Rub the Gum Tragacanth on the edges of your arm guard.step45
  46. Burnish the edges once again with your Leather Slicker.step46
  47. Use your Latigo Lace to lace your arm guard in whatever way you please. Just make sure the knots are at the elbow end of your project so that they don’t irritate your wrist. Your Stamped Scale Arm Guard is now complete!step47