A stone slab is a very important tool to get when you’re starting out in leather work. It plays a major role of ensuring your hammer, maul, and mallet strikes are solid and deadened. But what are the best stone slabs for leather work?
The best stone slab for leather work are those made from either granite or marble. Between marble and granite, granite slabs are the most durable for all of leather works’ tooling and stamping activities. While you can find granite slabs already cut to size available on the market, there are some you can get for free.
For the remaining parts of this post, I’m going to help you find out more about the leather stone slab, how to choose the best ones, the best one I have found, and how to pick out one for free.
What’s a Leather Work Stone Slab?
A stone slab is one of the primary work surfaces for leather work. The stone slab is a piece of natural stone either marble or granite, used as a surface on which leather works are tooled, stamped, or punched. Stone slabs are great because they are very smooth and will not mar up the leather item you’re working on.
A stone slab is going to be the centerpiece for your leather workshop. Also, you’re going to set all your grommets, eyelets, and rivets on it. It’s a great tool that’s going to do a lot of good for your leather work table and workbench.
The best way to use a stone slab so you don’t damage your punches, stamping tools, fittings & fasteners, and the slab itself is to use it in conjunction with other leather work surfaces like the poundo board and the wooden board.
All you do is to sandwich the stone slab between the poundo board (down) and the wooden board (top) — your going to have the best setting that would help you accomplish your projects efficiently.
Best Stone Slab For Leather Work — Buying Guide
Your stone slab is going to be one of the leather work tools you’re going to keep for the longest time so you would want to pick out the best one that will serve you throughout your leather work journey. Here are the 2 main factors to consider when choosing stone slabs for your leather works.
- Type of Stone Slab
- Size and Thickness of the Slab
Type of Stone Slab
The are several types and categories of stone slabs such as marble, granite, sandstone, slate, limestone, quartzite, bidasar, travertine, and onyx. While some stone slabs are brushed, polished, and honed, others have a rough, textured surface and are slip resistant.
For leather work, you would want a stone that’s smooth and polished. The type of stone slabs that makes the best supports for leather work are the ones made from marble, granite, or any similar polished stone.
Marble Vs. Granite Slabs
Generally, granite slabs are more durable when compared to marble. In leather work, you will inevitably work with a lot of steel tools that can mar up your slabs especially if it’s a marble slab.
Another advantage the granite slab have over marble is that granite slabs are more resistant to heat damage than marble.
Fun Fact! The darker the granite, the more heavy, dense, and strong it will be.
Granite is a great choice for leather work slabs because it’s resistant to a lot of the substances you will find in most modern leather work products like glues, dyes, finishes, etc.
Granite slabs are also very easy to maintain —bu simply wiping it down with damp cloth or if you want a super nice clean look without any stains or sticky to feel then you can use the Granite Gold to wipe it down.
Size and Thickness of the Slab
The size and the thickness of the stone slab you get is also another important factor to consider when choosing a slab for your leather work. As far as the thickness of the slab goes, an ideal thickness you would want to consider is anything not more than 6 inches.
Anything quite heavier will impact the overall price and shipping of the slab. However, I must add that the heavier a slab is, the more enjoyable your striking activities are going to be. You will have no bounce or whatsoever to your striking tools.
For size, I would say always go for the largest slab you can possibly get and definitely nothing smaller than 1 by 1 inches. Obviously, we all have different workspace sizes so the slabs you will choose will differ tremendously from what I’m currently using.
Best Stone Slab For Leather Work — Review
Here’s a quick review of the best Stone Slab for leather work!
Tandy Leather Deluxe Tooling Slab
The Tandy Leather Deluxe Tooling Slab is the granite slab I will recommend for anyone starting out in leather work or if you’re a professional. This slab is a granite slab that’s going to give you the best of the best reinforcement for your tooling, stamping, fixing of leather fitting and fasteners.
The overall dimensions of this slab from Tandy Leather is 152 x 152 x 30 mm. The size of this leather slab is small enough to pack for a road trip and large enough to accomplish any kind of leather work project in-house.
If you’re interested in the Tandy Leather Deluxe Tooling Slab, you can check it out over here on Amazon for additional information about pricing and shipping! If you want more options in terms of size, you can visit the official Tandy Leather website here!
Where To Pick Out A Free Stone Slab For Your Leather Work
Starting out leather work can be overwhelming considering the number of leather work tools you would have to buy. And so any opportunity to cut down your initial cost, you will agree, is just a win. Here’s something you can try to get a free stone slab for your leather work.
From Development and Renovation Sites
If you have a lot of developments or renovation projects going on in your area, you’re going to save a lot of money if you can simply go over and say hi! Usually they will have these big chunks of sink cutouts, kitchen cutouts, scrap pieces stacked for the dumpster — so garbage to them, but a valuable tool for you to use while saving yourself a bunch of cash.
From The Grave or Head Stone Store, CounterTop Store
You can go to your local gravestone or headstone store or a countertop store and find out if they have any scrap pieces available you can pick up. For most gravestone stores and headstone stores, you’re bound to find a stone slab they probably messed up on and so cannot be used.
What you do is to show up with a few bucks, $5 – $10 tops just to appreciate the favor being done to you and you might go home with a huge piece of stone slab you can use. I personally prefer the grave stone because they are heavy and very dense and will make your work pretty smooth.
Call up 2-3 Grave or Headstone Stores, Countertop Stores in advance before going over. This will give them a bit of time to go through what they have and get you a good size that’s almost perfect. It will also save you the trouble of embarking on a pointless trip.
From The Reclamation Yard
A reclamation yard or a salvage yard is a place where old and unwanted building materials, furniture, and other objects are collected and sometimes sold. It’s also a great place to find some good pieces of stone slabs you can use.