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I was liberating some old hand tools from my grandfather's shop again, before grandma throws them in the garbage, and found some more interesting things. This cutting tool was one of them.

small cutter

The following is a picture of the blade removed. The cutting edge when assembled faces inside the tool. The other is the underside of the tool.

enter image description here

Definitely designed to be hand held and has a blade with the cutting edge facing towards my hand in the picture. There is an adjustable guide that would allow cutting "stock" to 3 mm up to 18 mm.

My hunch is that you could trim veneer or cut of inlay stock by drawing the tool on a sheet edge but I am not sure. I can't go on anything but a hunch as there are no markings (that I can see) on the tool. It is possible that it is even not a wood working tool. My grandfather was also an electrician but this does not seem to fit for that profession. It was also in a wood working drawer and he was pretty organized.

What is this called, and more importantly what is it used for?

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Okay, I had a hunch that this was a leather-working tool, but could only find a similar tool for twine cutting, until I got a nudge in the right direction.

This is called a strand cutter, or lace cutter, or even just strander. This particular version is a vintage/antique made out of what appears to be cast iron.

To use this, you would adjust the width of the lace you want using the knob at the top. Then, you put the flat of the adjustable piece flush against your piece of leather and pull towards you. As long as the blade is sharp, and you keep the tool flush, you'll get even strands of leather.

Here's another such tool:

enter image description here

And here's a modern alternative, called he Australian Strander:

enter image description here

The modern tool performs the exact same function, except it's made from chrome-plated steel and takes replaceable carbon steel blades, so you don't have to sharpen it. Tandy Leather has a demonstration video here.

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  • Good work!. They even make ones that do multiple laces at once. You can look up: "Table Top Lace Cutter" – Matt Apr 30 '16 at 1:47

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