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Left handed hand stitchers


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#1 JamesR

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 06:59 AM

I am left handed and find I have to adapt to many things designed for right handed folks.
Most of the time I do not even notice I am doing it.
I would like to know what other left handed leatherworkers do to adapt to the tools and methods of leatherworking particularly hand stitching. Some of the things that come to mind are:
Left handed stitching horse?
Thread twist direction?
Left handed shears?

Thanks in advance

Jim

Edited by JamesR, 31 March 2009 - 07:01 AM.


#2 Richard Hidalgo

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 08:49 AM

Jim,
I'm left-handed and have not had too many problems in the right-handed leatherworking world. I use a sit-and-stitch stitching horse which can be used by either right or left handers. I do not pay attention to right or left twist thread. Three of my worst problems of being a left hander are using the skife skiver, the single-edge creaser and the draw gauge. However, Weaver sells a left handed draw gauge. Braiding and knot tying is another story. I find it difficult to follow right handed instructions but I eventually figure it out.
Regards,
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#3 greg gomersall

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 09:17 AM

Richard for braiding use the graphs in Robert Woolery's book. photocopy them and turn them over looking at the graph from the back side. As for the skife cut the handle off and silver solder it on the other end, works great. i am not left handed but i did have a guy work for me that was and he was quite creative at making things work for him. Greg

#4 wildrose

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 10:55 AM

I'm a lefty and have the "good fortune" (?) of being right handed with shears. Other than that, I find leatherworking to be pretty easy to adapt to as a lefty. (I'd also done calligraphy, and found all the pens were cut for rightys) I did have a challenge learning the double loop stitch, but found that if I sat opposite my husband, I could watch and do it that way (same way I learned guitar chords). Basically like looking in a mirror, after all. The only tools I have for leftys are a stitching palm and I modified my strap cutter.
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#5 HarryB

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:10 PM

James, I've had to adapt to using all those right handed tools left handed. It just takes a little practice. I use a skife left handed: I usually clamp what I am skiving to my bench and use both hands on the skife. It gives a lot more control. It seems the older I get the more I try to use my right hand. I have finally learned to use a draw gauge right handed and everything else seems to work itself out. I've cut with right handed scissors so long that I can't use a pair of left handed ones now. Just keep practicing.

Edited by HarryB, 31 March 2009 - 04:11 PM.


#6 wildrose

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 08:44 AM

A while ago, I did a poll here, and was amazed at how many leftys are in this group! It was disproportianate to the general population.
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#7 Luke Hatley

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:06 AM

James, I've had to adapt to using all those right handed tools left handed. It just takes a little practice. I use a skife left handed: I usually clamp what I am skiving to my bench and use both hands on the skife. It gives a lot more control. It seems the older I get the more I try to use my right hand. I have finally learned to use a draw gauge right handed and everything else seems to work itself out. I've cut with right handed scissors so long that I can't use a pair of left handed ones now. Just keep practicing.

***************************************************

and yes i remember when you were using a "right handed round knife"
and almost cut the end of your index finger on your left hand off"
:rofl:
Luke

#8 cem

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 07:42 PM

The only thing I've changed to is the freehand stitching groover, I was using the normal one but was getting a sore wrist trying to use it backwards.

#9 Kevin

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 08:18 PM

I sometimes don't know if I'm left handed or right until I actually do something.
It's perfectly natural for me to use the awl right handed, but I stitch left handed (right needle first, then left needle). But my stitches look ok.
I use a swivel knife left handed, but stamp right handed. Round knife, I cut right handed, but skive left handed. Straight knife, cut and skive right handed.
Now I know why I can't type.
Confused constantly,
Kevin

#10 sorethumbs

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 11:22 AM

It's the danged stitching groover every time. I've taken to using my swivel knife (with a fat blade in it) and just free handing the groove. You can mark the lines before cutting with a ruler if need.

Shears- I keep my shears sharp and well oiled. This prevents the top part from baring down on the joint of the thumb so much. When I have to use them a lot, I wear a batting glove to pad my hand.

Australian lace maker- I just grin and bare it. Don't think they make them for leftys'

#11 PeterD

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 08:56 PM

Like Harry I use right handed scissors with my left. I doubt I would know how to use a left handed pair. The other tools I don't notice how I do it different. I just use them.

Like Harry I use right handed scissors with my left. I doubt I would know how to use a left handed pair. The other tools I don't notice how I do it different. I just use them.

#12 radar67

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:07 AM

A while ago, I did a poll here, and was amazed at how many leftys are in this group! It was disproportianate to the general population.


No offense to the right handed crowd, but it has been studied and left handed people are usually more creative than right handed people, something about the right side of the brain being the creative side and left handed people are usually more right brain dominant than right handed people.

#13 Barbed Wire Leather

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:51 AM

I am left handed and find I have to adapt to many things designed for right handed folks.
Most of the time I do not even notice I am doing it.
I would like to know what other left handed leatherworkers do to adapt to the tools and methods of leatherworking particularly hand stitching. Some of the things that come to mind are:
Left handed stitching horse?
Thread twist direction?
Left handed shears?

Thanks in advance

Jim


As a left-hander myself I must tell you we are all in our right minds. :blahblahblah: Most machinery is designed by for right-handers for right-handes with a few exceptions. I have learned to adapt and cave-in to the system:notworthy:
It's the impresion you leave that counts.

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#14 katsass

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:47 AM

Well, the grumpy old katsass is a southpaw too. As to a stitching gouge, I just keep it in the left (proper) hand, face the butt of the handle away from me, and 'draw' the gouge away from my body, rather than towards myself. As to stitching, I don't use a pony nor a horse. I work at punching my holes carefully prior to stitching, then sit and watch Nat Geo, The History Chanel, etc and go to sticking needles in the ity-bitty holes, from the outer (front) side first. I just use shears as they come --- in my left hand. Back some years ago, as a LEO firearms instructor, I taught other instructors how to handle a semi-auto handgun as a southpaw should (or can) do, without swapping the shooter to the right hand as most instructors did (and do) to this day. This, in order for them to try to teach lefty's how they can do things --- quicker, in a down and dirty situation. Most of those right-handers swore that it was impossible for them to accomplish some of the most simple actions left-handed, and it was as much fun to watch them, as it would have been to watch a penguin try to peel a banana. Pretty frustrating to them. I then told them that lefty's have been able to adapt, overcome and persevere this sort of thing all of their lives --- and now they have just a little bit of understanding of what we go through. For those of you that understand such things, I confounded my first competition rifle coach back in '63 -'64 during the Pac-Fleet championships, by being able to load the old M-1 Garand rifle with my left hand as fast, or faster, than many right-handers. AND --- no 'M-1 thumb' !!!!. Mike

P..S. .It's a total myth that a lefty will get hit by their own hot brass from firing an M-1 Garand, M-1 or M-2 Carbine, an M-3 Grease Gun or even a Thompson SMG.

Edited by katsass, 04 April 2012 - 10:03 AM.

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#15 ramrod

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 08:12 PM

interesting thread.

i am a lefty, but i have adapted all of my life. i agree with the OP - i don't even realize i'm using my right hand sometimes. i naturally pick up a pair of shears and use them in my right hand. it just feels natural. i guess it was from watching my mom sew and use them when i was a kid - i thought you would naturally use them in your right hand! after all, that's how my mom uses them!
same for shooting a rifle and pistol. it must have come from watching westerns as a kid. i just naturally used a weapon in my right hand because i saw it being used that way.

on a side note: i deliver for staples. on my route, i have usually about 40 stops a day. i'll have to actually count, but i'd say that almost half of my signatures throughout the day are from leftys. uncanny. and most of THEM are on the cornell campus.

creative AND smart, we are.





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