Artisan's Clutch completed!

Finally finished the Artisan’s Clutch. I used Gorilla Glue, but it was messy and took lots of clamping and reclamping. Any suggestions for a better glue?



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A typical glue that leatherworkers use is contact cement. It can be messy and the fumes are nasty, but the clamping problem is a lot easier. You put the cement on both surfaces and let them dry until tacky and then press together.

It’s the solvents that have to dry off that make it so nasty so needs to be done in a place with good ventilation.


You’re not kidding about contact cement. I can be lazy about venting, but that stuff is pure evil… I don’t even play, I typically do it fully outside.

That being said, it has never let me down, like you said.


It looks great!
Another glue you might look into is a clear-drying pva glue like bookbinders use. It typically does a good job with leather, and should do fine with wood.

I don’t know how much less messy it will be than what you tried though, since it does not set up particularly fast.

tandy leather sold me some water based contact cement. i was told that it was very strong if applied correctly.

tandy leather has a water based variety!

I suspect you’re talking about their leather weld product? They may have renamed it in recent years, in order to highlight the eco friendly factor. It’s a white glue in a white bottle, that has a similar color and consistency as Elmer’s glue.

It’s good stuff, and it really works well for most projects - but it’s not as secure as a contact cement (like Barge). It also does not have the horrific odor and capacity to kill brain cells like Barge does, so there’s a trade off there :wink:

Personally, I prefer the leather weld whenever possible, but in this context where you’re trying to adhere leather + wood, Barge might be the better alternative. Not sure I’d completely trust leather weld to hold up over time.

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I have not used it yet. it is contact cement. the guy specifically said spread on both sides and let dry.

I have done a LOT of formica work so I’m well versed with the solvent based contact cement out there.

This is what we got. so it is ECOweld now.


Ah, that’s different than the product that I was describing. Perhaps it’s a bit stronger than the leather weld. If you do try it with wood, I’d definitely be interested in hearing your results. It’d be nice to have a viable alternative to the super toxic stuff!

Here’s the product that I was talking about (it’s now called “Eco-Flo leather weld” FWIW):

Sure, I will keep you posted!!!

I hope to make my wallet this weekend.

There’s an interesting new product called Bondic Evo which uses a UV light to cure it in seconds, kinda like the stuff at the dentist. It’s ultra rigid so not good for every application but I’ve had good results from a few small projects I’ve used it for. A unique approach if nothing else

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Would Barge be too weak?

What a gorgeous color this is! Nice job!

When I did the clutch I also had issues with gluing, so I designed a gluing jig to make it easier. It’s specifically for this design, you can find it in this post:


Yep, i agree. Beautiful color! It looks fabulous! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you so much for the link to the gluing jig! I kept wondering how I would accomplish a curved clamp and now I know! <3

I’m new to Glowforge (just finishing up my requisite Catan Board today) I’d like to buy this file and try it out, but I only have medium proofgrade leather on hand. Do you think that would work?

Old thread but just wanted to share: there’s line of water based contact cements shoe makers are using called Aqualim that does work as well as Barge. You can order them at Springfield Leather or Lisa Sorrel Notions.

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Since the design calls for thick leather (approximately 3/32") and you have medium which is approximately 3/64" you would have to make some adjustments. You say you are new to Glowforge. In my opinion, trying to modify a pattern or change the materials is a challenge you might find frustrating. One of the reasons the Glowforge catalog is a nice resource, is that is provides files tested for known proofgrade materials. I would suggest making the clutch with the required stated materials.

unfortunately, i’m not sure you can make the adjustments you’d need to since you can’t get the files out of the catalog and into a design program to adjust the design.

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