Design and construction of a multi-purpose machine for leatherwork

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Leather is versatile, pliable and elastic medium that readily lends itself to manipulation resulting in the production of functional and aesthetically beautiful leather artefacts. However, in spite of the availability of leather in the country, the end products of this material had been crippled with poor finishing. The principal attribute to this is lack of tools and equipment in the schools where students acquire the skills of leather production. Since its inception into the Education Reforms in 1987, no effort had been made by the authorities to equip these schools with the necessary tools and equipment for quality leather goods production. This research was undertaken purposely to identify and critically examine exiting basic leather tools and equipment; design and construct a multi-purpose machine for leatherwork that is capable of stamping, embossing, fixing of fittings and making of slits for thronging; evaluate the performance, efficiency and effectiveness of the multi-purpose machine; and produce an illustrated report on the project. The research methods employed in this project were basically cross-sectional survey, descriptive as well as historical. The main finding of the project is that it is possible to produce a single machine that performs the task of stamping, embossing, fixing of fittings and making of slits for thronging. It is recommended that the Department of Art Education, KNUST, should in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the National Board for Small-Scale Industries, replicate the machine and supply to schools and Teacher Training Colleges where leatherwork is offered. Again, future research into this study should be geared at the improvement of the performance of the machine.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Arts degree in Art Education, 2002