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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Leather Shop (Moderators: Marshal Will Wingam, Ten Wolves Fiveshooter)  |  Topic: Hand Stitching Leather 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Hand Stitching Leather  (Read 66526 times)
Slowhand Bob
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« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2006, 08:36:57 pm »

Until recently I considered the craft tool line to be suitable for hobby work but my opinion has changed drastically downward lately.  As to the large eye economy hooks that come with the little leathercraft kits, yes their quality has deteriated drastically.  If you will move up to harness needles you should find a great deal of improvement.  If your first needle will not pass through the punched hole with relative ease or you are really strugling and fighting to get either needle through with a pair of pliers, you proble need a larger awl hole.  Use of pliers in stitching is fairly common but having to really struggle with them is not and it ruins the needles.                               
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« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2006, 10:00:20 pm »

As I recall, the Tandy needles are fairly large. I use C. S. Osborne #517 harness needles, size 4. If I need a slightly larger needle, I use size 3's. The tandy needles are easier to thread, but if you use good thread and taper the end properly before waxing it, you can thread the needle fairly easily. In fact, you can get thread that is larger than the eye through if you do it right. Here's a link to them:

http://www.csosborne.com/no517.htm

I use a Vergez Blanchard VB3.904 Straight Blade Stitching Awl, size 38. The tip is too blunt, but a little time on a stone will put a great taper on the awl. It will make the appropriate sized hole for the #3 needle. The awl is the 7th one down the page.

http://www.siegelofca.com/view_cat_product.asp?id=8&curpage=2

12/3/2013 - I went to Siegel's but couldn't find this awl. Here's a link to a Vergez-Blanchard diamond-shaped awl.
http://www.fineleatherworking.com/blanchard-leather-sewing-awl
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Coop Trawlaine
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« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2006, 09:07:55 am »

Thanks for the information and links,   I am not doing as much leatherwork as I use to about 10 years ago and getting back into to it a little I have found that the quailty of tools from Tandy has greatly diminished and I really appreciate your input.

Thanks again, Pards.
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« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2006, 09:27:51 am »

Lots of good tips here, but I do not belief that anoyone mentioned the flat owl? The flat owl is better for making holes!
The round owl is for enlarging already stitched holes so you do not cut the linnen tread.
The flat owl is easy to use, just remember to stick the holes 2 o clock!
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Blackey Cole
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« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2006, 02:10:36 pm »

I too have had problems with the needles.
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Marshal Will Wingam
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« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2006, 05:46:43 pm »

The Osborne needles are top quality. I've also noticed a severe drop in quality of Tandy tools over the years. Cutting edges aren't tempered properly, snips and punches don't line up right and decorative stamps are almost unrecognizable compared to what they used to be.
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Tommy tornado
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« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2006, 09:02:06 am »

The Osborne needles are top quality. I've also noticed a severe drop in quality of Tandy tools over the years. Cutting edges aren't tempered properly, snips and punches don't line up right and decorative stamps are almost unregocnizable compared to what they used to be.

And I am not impressed with Tandy's conchos.  I'd rather buy from Buffalo Brothers or some of the other online outfits mentioned in the leather shop.
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« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2008, 12:18:38 am »

I made my holsters double thickness out of pretty heavy leather and they wound up being about 1/4" thick. I knowed really quick the arth in my hands wern't going to let me use an awl. And I was going to use the 2 needle saddle stitch with waxed thread so I had to do some figgerin and come up with my electric drill with a drill bit that was pretty small. I drilled the hole smal enough for a threaded needle to pass and barely big enough for the other needle to pass through with a thread already in the hole. It still took awhile to sew by hand but, when I got finished it looked pretty good, even if I do say so myself. This picture shows bout as close a pic as I have. You can tell a little about it maybe.
Texas Toby Tongue


* TN4.jpg (3.23 KB, 150x100 - viewed 1071 times.)
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« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2008, 12:36:31 am »

Your stitching looks fine. It's good that you found a way to make the holes that works well for you. There have been times when I've drilled the holes instead of punching them with an awl, like through some very thick stuff that an awl isn't long enough to go through. What I've found works good for that is a Dremel with really fine drills. I got a set of torch re-sizing drills that range from about 1/16" down to the diameter of frog's hair. Depending on the size thread and the needles I'm using, I can find something that'll work right. I learned that trick from the old saddlemaker I worked for. You figured it out on your own. Cool.
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« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2008, 07:11:55 am »

There's more than one way ta skin a cat and it looks like ya found another'n, Toby.
Looks good. Thanks for the pictures of your holsters too.

Horse Pen
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« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2008, 01:17:32 pm »

I use an awl and hand stitch. I am using Tandy needles and have been using the same 4 for 5 years now and never broke one. Musta been good quality when I bought them, still have 8 more in the package. Marshal, waxing the needles and/or awl REALLY helps, especially in 10 oz leather like I usually use.  I have 3 awls that I like, filed them till they were all the same. Wasn't easy but it was worth it. Nothing worse than a recalcitrant awl.
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« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2008, 03:37:48 pm »

Good ideas all!
I use an osbourne 4 prong 3/32" diamond shaped saddle stitch punch for long runs after gouging out the stitch line.  Around corners I first mark with a #6 overstitch wheel, which comes out to 3/32" spacing or so, and use a single prong diamond saddle stitch punch.  Sometimes I use an osbourne peg awl hasp with a 2" diamond shaped stitching awl blade, depending on what I'm working on.  Then I use 2 needles and stitch it together.  I also have noticed the deterioration of needles from Tandy, so I no longer buy them from there, or much of anything else toolwise.  I also often use rubber cement to hold the parts together.

But the best tool I use for stitching anything is a gunsmiths' PanaVise in the largest size from Brownells.  I had it in the shop mounted on an iron pipe and bolted to the floor to hold a checkering cradle for gunstocks, but since my doctor won't let me do woodworking anymore because of lung disease, I use it as a stitching pony.  I padded the jaws and it's adjustable for any angle  and I can move it around with the piece still in it.  AND, it sits just the right height so I can sit in my office chair comfortably and sew for hours, if need be! Smiley
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JD Alan
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« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2008, 10:06:27 am »

Hey Kid, do you possibly have a picture of that vice set up you could share?
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« Reply #38 on: November 22, 2008, 12:32:15 pm »

Howdy JD  Cheesy

             I hand sew, using the saddle stitch, and if the leather is too thick for me to push my needle through , I'll use a 1/6" drill in my Dremel Tool to make my holes, before sewing I use my stitch grover to mark the distance from the edge of my leather and also make a nice grove in the leather,( I do this on dampened leather ) then I use my stitching marker to mark the type of stitch I'm going to use, ( which is usually the # 6 wheel on holsters and gun belts and also on dampened leather ) Then THANKS to my FRIEND ACE LUNGER, for making me this stitching mule, I can now sit in my chair and sew comfortably, the mule holds my holsters and gun belts tight and secure with no movement at all,and is at the right height for this 6'4" cowboy, which has really speeded up my sewing time and is easier on the bode. When using your sewing awl make sure it is polished and smooth, if it is not it won't push through the leather very easy, and sticking it in some bees wax also this will help you push the needles through too. I use waxed linen thread on everything I make, the saddle stitch is the strongest stitch there is , and as long as my hands hold out this will be the stitch I'll use, My Friend CowboyWC has been my Mentor since I begun doing leather work and really helped me get started out right , and I've also learned a ton from the Leather Workers on this forum, it is a great source of information, and a Great bunch of Pards ta boot. I hope this was some help to you JD, and I hope you will enjoy working in leather as much as I have.


                                            tEN wOLVES  Wink Cheesy Grin
          Here is the link to the Stitching Mule.


                         
      http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,20864.0.html
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« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2008, 12:46:39 pm »

 Cry Sadly, JD,  my stupid camera phone is broken and it's the only digital camera I have at the moment, which is one reason I haven't posted any pics lately.  I have asked for a good one for Christmas though, so as soon as I either get a camera or my phone fixed I'll put a picture of it up so you can see it.  But it's pretty simple,  Just get a piece of iron pipe however long you need it, mines about 3 feet, at the plumbing store with 2 flanges and bolt the vise to one flange and the other to the floor or a piece of wood big enough to hold it up.  I pad the jaws with a 9 oz piece of scrap leather with a piece of sheepskin glued to it and cut the wool pretty short.  It holds the piece you're working on firm, but doesn't mark it up. Smiley

Here's a pic of the pana-vise base from brownells.  You get the vise head separately.  It'll rotate 360 degrees and tilt 180.  Both pieces run about $75.00


* 695300000.jpg (5.88 KB, 240x211 - viewed 344 times.)
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Dutchman Dick
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« Reply #40 on: December 02, 2008, 06:40:22 am »

I hand-stitch with one needle, usually - through all the holes once, then back again to where I started. I use a small-tined, 4-prong chisel to punch the holes on long, straight seams and a single-prong chisel on sharper curves and corners. I normally use a groover so my stitches are flush with the surface of the leather.
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« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2008, 09:45:28 am »

PM sent
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« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2009, 03:41:42 am »

ok guys i was just lookin threw my tandy catalog and am lookin  at thread what is the best for hand stitching?Huh
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« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2009, 04:11:47 am »

Howdy
I use the wax cotton / linnen on all my light work. For heavy stuff I use Weavers nylon.
WC
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ChuckBurrows
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« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2009, 05:05:40 am »

IMO forget Tandy......
Linen Thread - 5 cord left or right hand twist is a good all purpose thread:
Campbell- Bosworth: http://campbell-bosworth.com/catalog/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=linen - I have not used the less expensive Hungarian thread myself but reports that I have received from others who have state that it just fine and costs half as much as the Barbour's.
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« Reply #45 on: February 01, 2009, 08:59:30 am »

Thank you  Chuck and WC you guys have been way helpfull and im loving the work you guys do it inspires me to get trying different things even tho i dont know what im doing LOL
             Cowboy316
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« Reply #46 on: February 01, 2009, 10:34:33 am »

Thanks for that info Chuck. Can you address the right-left twist issue, and why you would prefer one over the other? (Or someone else who might know)

Hey WC, what would you conisder light verses heavy in leatherwork?

Thanks to both of you busy pros, JD.
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« Reply #47 on: February 01, 2009, 01:24:04 pm »

Thanks for the link, Chuck. I ordered some of the Hungarian thread to see what it's like. I'll report back when I get it.
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« Reply #48 on: February 01, 2009, 04:58:27 pm »



Hey WC, what would you conisder light verses heavy in leatherwork?

Thanks to both of you busy pros, JD.
[/quote]

Howdy
Wallets, checkbooks, notebooks, etc all get light thread. Holsters, sheaths, saddles and tack get the heavy.
WC
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« Reply #49 on: February 01, 2009, 05:24:02 pm »

JD - left hand and right hand are only appliable if the thread is bing used in a machine, for hand sewing either one. FWIW - I use 5 cord for my holsters and 3 cord for sewing the lining on belts, etc.

Will - I look forward to your opinion as I'm starting to get low on thread......
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Leather Shop (Moderators: Marshal Will Wingam, Ten Wolves Fiveshooter)  |  Topic: Hand Stitching Leather « previous next »
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