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Burnishing Leather Edges

Burnishing Leather Edges - work in progress


  1. SAND EDGES -sand all edges to even out the surface, especially when using more than one layer of leather, 80 grit or courser works well. For smoothing the leather the sandpaper used should be between 150-220 grit.
  2. EDGING - use an edger to remove all sharp edges from your leather. Size of edger should be determined by the style of edge that you prefer. This may be completed when the leather is cased or dry.
  3. DYE EDGE - dye all edges that you intend to burnish. Be cautious not to get dye on any area that you are not going to burnish.
  4. Alcohol based dyes tend to work best, as they are readily absorbed into the leather.
  5. BURNISH - apply Fiebings saddle soap with a wet sponge to the edges that you intend to burnish. This will soften the leather and help to create a smooth surface for burnishing.
  6. A hand burnisher or motor operated burnisher can be used. Although powered burnisher with Cocobolo tool is top of the line and gets a professional looking edge with ease.
  7. A Cocobolo hand burnisher or any wood burnisher you may have will also work it just takes longer.
  8. TOUCH UP DYED EDGE - touch up any edges with dye to create uniformity in the color of the edge.
  9. APPLY WAX - to the edge. Beeswax, or a combination of wax and Neatsfoot Oil may be applied at this time.
  10. RE-BURNISH - the edges in order to create heat. This will melt the wax, making a soft, smooth, polished surface to the edge.
  11. APPLY WAX - reapply wax as needed.
  12. POLISH - buff edge with a canvas strip. This creates heat, causing the wax to melt. This final step creates a smooth, professional looking edge for your work.