Preparing to cut out the pieces for a vertical card wallet. They are first cut 5mm oversized, split down to the appropriate thicknesses, then cut to their final dimensions.
The two vegetable tanned leathers pictured are Conceria Walpier Buttero (Brown) and Badalassi Carlo Pueblo (Green).
It is important to have a sharp knife for cutting leathers. I prefer Japanese leather knives. They are chisel ground with a slight concavity on the backside or "Ura" (裏) in Japanese. The front side or "Omote" (表) must be a perfectly flat bevel in order not to push the knife away from your scribed line while cutting. Sadly, there is no real shortcut to achieving a flat bevel on water stones aside from practice and muscle memory. Thankfully, after a year of focused sharpening efforts with the intention of flat bevels, they are easily achieved.
Awls come in many shapes and sizes and the end result is often the same. I enjoy using finely crafted tools as they allow for a more pleasant and thoughtful crafting experience. I place Okada-san's awls at the top in regards to build quality, beauty and usability. For scribing cutting lines, I use a round handled round blade awl. Hand shape is an important decision. Care must be taken with a round handled awl as it can easily roll off the work surface. The trade off is, since the blade is round, the awl can be grabbed in any orientation and be used. Awls with two flat surfaces, as I prefer diamond blade awls, must be grabbed in a particular way. This allows for proper indexing of the diamond blade in relation to your workpiece. It also prevents the awl from rolling off the work surface.