Leatherworking requires a lot of tools and materials if someone is really interested in doing it as a hobby or as an occupation. That includes having a good surface where the leather worker can work on several leatherworking projects, such as leather stamping and leather tooling. The striking force from the mallet to the leather tools will surely impact on the surface where the worker is doing the task. These kinds of activities can lead to cracking, chipping, poking, or even damaging the table surface. Hence, having a stone slab on top of the leatherworking table is very important.
What are the different types of stone slabs for leatherworking? Three of the most common stone slabs used in leatherworking are marble, granite, and quartz. These stone slabs offer durability, stability, resistance to friction and inertia, and many others. It also offers aesthetic qualities to the workstation.
This article will discuss the different things you need to know about using the perfect stone slabs for your leatherworking projects. We will also discuss the different characteristics of marble, granite, and quartz as stone slabs for leatherworking projects. Lastly, we will provide you different tips and tricks on how to score your free stone slab without having to spend anything on it.
Why Do We Need Stone Slabs?
There are reasons why we need stone slabs in leather working projects. Here are some of those.
We Need Stone Slabs For More Efficient Stamping
Leather stamping is the art of carving designs on the leather hide. This process is not as easy as the simple sculpting and carving designs on wood or clay.
Leather, as a material, requires extra care when working on stamping or other related processes because without the proper tools and skills, you would just have to waste leather from the countless times of trial and error.
Thus, leather stamping must be done in a smooth and stable surface that can easily take the strikings of the leather tools against the leather.
Having a stone slab underneath the leather hide before the stamping provides a much stable surface for the leatherworker to work on the leather hide before anything else.
Stone Slabs Promote A Sturdy Surface For Leatherworking
Leatherworking requires a stable and sturdy surface for the leatherworker to work on the leather without having to worry about the leather hide moving away from the worker or slipping down on the floor.
Using a stone slab will allow you to stabilize your position in the workstation without having to worry about the leather hide slipping away down on the floor while working. This will also prevent your leather hide to have unwanted cuts, creases, and holes when you are working on the leather on top of the stone slab.
Your stone slab is meant to be the centerpiece for your leatherworking workshop, thus having a stone slab is very important.
The Stone Slab Protects Your Leatherworking Workstation Surface
Lastly, having a stone slab on your leatherworking workstation protects the surface of your work table from the blunt force coming out of the different leatherworking projects.
When someone is doing a leather working project, their tables always get poked, chipped, or damaged because of the force from the striking of the mallet to the leather hide directly to the surface of the table.
Using a stone slab protects the surface of your table, ensuring that it will not be damaged in any way possible. It also makes the leatherworking station look more presentable and aesthetically pleasing, especially if marble, granite, or any stone slab is used.
Different Types of Stone Slabs For Leatherworking
There are different types of stone slabs you can use for your leatherworking projects. Each has different qualities and characteristics that distinguish them from each other, but these are all good options for stone slabs.
Marble Stone Slabs: Protection With Aesthetics
Marble stone slabs are commonly used by leather workers of different experience levels in their leatherworking projects. One of the advantages of using marble is that it is very sturdy and durable, which provides the much needed resistance for leatherworking projects.
It is also inertia resistant as it reduces inertia in the process of leatherworking projects, such as stamping. Also, it adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to the leatherworking station because of its marbling patterns that add natural designs to it.
Granite Stone Slabs: Offers More Protection and Other Benefits
Granite slabs are also commonly seen in leatherworking stations used by leather workers if they find marble too white for their taste. Granite slabs offer the same benefits as marble stone slabs but it has additional features and advantages that are only characteristic to granite slabs.
Aside from its durability, granite slabs are also heat-resistant and can also handle high and low temperatures without cracking or getting damaged due to the temperature changes.
Granite slabs are also chemical and stain resistant, so if someone spilled on the granite stone slab, such as spilling varnish, dye, paints, and any other liquids, it will not stain on the stone slab and thus damage the overall appearance of the slab.
It also offers an aesthetic appeal as most kitchen countertops are usually made of granite and they usually look beautiful.
Quartz Stone Slabs: An Underrated Yet Durable Choice
Some leather workers use quartz stone slabs in their leatherworking workstations, which is an underrated choice for those who are looking for stone slabs in their workstations. Quartz is surprisingly durable and can handle multiple strikings of the mallet to the stone slab for a long time.
It also offers long-term use, as it is hardy and stable when used as a stone slab in leatherworking. It also looks appealing, same as marble stone slabs, which offers a neat and elegant finish to any leatherworking station.
Marble vs. Granite vs. Quartz: Which One is The Best?
Now that it was established that these three stone slab materials are great options, here is a deeper understanding on how they are different from each other.
Durability: Granite Stone Slabs Win
All three of these stone slab materials are durable enough to withstand the constant smashing force of the mallet to the leather tools multiple times, but granite stone slabs are proven to be more durable than the other two.
Most people prefer using granite stone slabs in their leatherworking stations because it is more sturdy and durable, without showing any signs of wear and tear with multiple uses. Aside from that, granite stone slabs are also sturdy enough to handle the constant wear and tear from the regular use of the stone slab in leatherworking projects.
Kitchen countertops are made with granite stone slabs for a reason, same as being used as stone slabs in leatherworking.
Resistance to Foreign Substances: Granite Stone Slabs Win
These three stone slabs also protect the leatherworking workstation surface from spills and accidents, but granite stones do it best. As mentioned above, granite stone slabs are also temperature resistant. That means it reacts well to low and high temperatures. It also reacts well to sudden temperature changes without breaking or cracking at the slightest.
It is also chemical-resistant, so spilling any liquid on it, such as paints, dyes, varnishes, and other liquids will not damage the interior or the exterior of the granite stone slab. Lastly, it is also stain-resistant, and thus it requires minimal maintenance compared to other two stone slabs.
Aesthetics: All Stone Slabs Win
No matter what stone slab you choose for your leatherworking station, you will not regret choosing any of the three stone slab materials. Marble lends a soft yet sophisticated aesthetic to it, perfect for beginners who want to keep their art levels intact in their leatherworking projects.
Quartz offers a dated yet classic aesthetic to it, which is perfect for those who prefer darker stone slabs for their workstations. Lastly, granite offers a face of resilience and durability, which works the best for the experienced leather worker who has done a lot of projects on a regular basis.
Useful Tips and Tricks for Finding a Stone Slab
Stone slabs are important in every leatherworking project, and thus these require care from the leather worker. Here are some tips and tricks you can use in finding a stone slab for your projects.
Do Not Spend Too Much on Stone Slabs
Even though it was mentioned that you need stone slabs for leatherworking, it does not mean that you have to spend a fortune in buying one. Do not spend a lot of money buying stone slabs, even though the sellers say that it is of high quality and made from the finest stones.
Stone slabs are needed in leatherworking but they are not as major as the other leather tools so there is no need to spend a lot of money on it. There are other options available in getting the stone slab you need in your leatherworking projects without having to spend a lot of money to buy one.
Ask Home Depot For Stone Slab Cutouts For Free
This tip is one of the underrated leatherworking tips that leather workers know in getting the stone slab they need.
You can go to your nearest Home Depot and ask if they have stone slab cutouts available, and they can give it to you at a much cheaper price. However, most Home Depot branches and other local hardwares can give you the stone slab you need for free.
These stone slabs are from the cutouts they did on countertops and other stone projects such as brick walls, and they are of the same sturdy quality as the ones offered in leather goods markets.
However, since you got it for free, it might be in an irregular shape and thus you must have to cut it yourself.
Take Care Of Your Stone Slab Everyday
Lastly, even though it was mentioned here that granite and marble slabs do not need regular maintenance, it does not mean that you do not have to maintain it.
Like all leather tools and tools in general, stone slabs are needed to be taken care of because if you do not maintain it properly, you would have to look for a replacement every now and then.
Stone slabs in general do not require high maintenance: you just need to wipe it clean every now and then, especially if you spilled liquids on it so that it will not stain on marble stone slabs.
Taking care of the stone slabs matters because you get to save more money by using the same stone slab for a long time if you take care of it well.
Stone slabs serve several purposes which makes it a requirement for every leatherworking project. It provides convenience and ease of work to the leather worker, and it also gives a touch of aesthetic to the leatherworking workstation. Marble, quartz, and granite are all great options for stone slabs. They have different characteristics that sets them apart from each other, but they all provide stability and durability in leatherworking workstations.