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Matching Awl size to Needle size (HandSewing)


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#1 ToddB 68

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 08:21 PM


LeatherNewb here Posted Image

Just wondering if there is a way to determine the proper needle size to match an Awl that produces a diamond-shaped hole.

I've visited several websites selling leatherworking tools, but haven't seen a match-chart or a description of how to match an Awl to a Needle, size-wise.

Can anybody explain, or direct me to this information ? Perhaps it is somewhere on this website, but jeez, where ???

Thanks folks !

Todd



#2 D.A. Kabatoff

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:20 AM

Todd,

because there are a few different companies making awl blades and needles plus a variety of of styles of both awls and needles, it is very difficult to provide numbers of which awl goes with which needle with which thread size. Your best bet is to get a feel for what you are doing and try to sew with a needle that has an eye just big enough to get the thread size you are using through it. Try to choose an awl that will allow you to make a hole that is big enough that you don't need to use pliers to pull your needle and thread through it yet makes a hole small enough that it closes up tightly around your thread.

You may or may not have seen in previous threads that the overwhelming majority of people agree that Bob Douglas's awl blades are the best thing going and if you try a few different ones versus Bob's, you'll quickly agree. If you speak to Bob and let him know what kind of work you are doing and what size of thread you are using, he should be able to send you something appropriate. It will then be a matter of trying a few needles to find which works best for the type of work you are doing.

Darcy

Edited by D.A. Kabatoff, 24 October 2009 - 12:23 AM.


#3 ToddB 68

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 08:07 PM

Darcy,

Thanks for the explanation and advice; very logical and makes good sense. Posted Image

Think I'll hold off buying any tools until I've talked to BD.

I'm just getting started in hand sewing leather and my first project will be a sheath, made of 9oz veg-tanned cowhide, for a 12" long digging tool.

I have Al Stohlman's book The Art of Hand Sewing Leather, plus all the help from members and browsing the forums on this fantastic website !

Have a great time over the upcoming holidays ! Posted Image

Todd

Edited by ToddB68, 24 October 2009 - 08:10 PM.


#4 ToddB 68

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:26 PM

Todd,

because there are a few different companies making awl blades and needles plus a variety of of styles of both awls and needles, it is very difficult to provide numbers of which awl goes with which needle with which thread size. Your best bet is to get a feel for what you are doing and try to sew with a needle that has an eye just big enough to get the thread size you are using through it. Try to choose an awl that will allow you to make a hole that is big enough that you don't need to use pliers to pull your needle and thread through it yet makes a hole small enough that it closes up tightly around your thread.

You may or may not have seen in previous threads that the overwhelming majority of people agree that Bob Douglas's awl blades are the best thing going and if you try a few different ones versus Bob's, you'll quickly agree. If you speak to Bob and let him know what kind of work you are doing and what size of thread you are using, he should be able to send you something appropriate. It will then be a matter of trying a few needles to find which works best for the type of work you are doing.

Darcy


Hi Darcy !

Well, I decided to postpone a call to Bob Douglas at this early stage in my leather newbie career Posted Image lol , as I'm sure the price of his high-quality materials and workmanship are outside of my intended budget for the moment.

Probably by the end of this coming Summer, with a few projects under my belt, I'll know if I want to stay with leatherwork as a hobby and whether I want to invest in better tools. At this stage, I'm economizing until I see how it goes. Even with that approach, I've already spent $81.24 on a few tools and supplies, of which 33% ($27.12) was for Shipping, Handling and taxes alone !

I've had a few hobbies in the past that were very exciting at the start, but didn't work out in the long-run after spending extra money for top-quality tools, supplies and equipment. So I'm trying to be more cautious with expenditures on this new Leatherwork hobby. Now, I fully realize that starting out with economy tools might somewhat affect the results of the work, but since my first project is just a utility sheath for a digging tool, nothing real fancy, I think the tools I've chosen will serve.

Since this topic thread is focusing on Hand Sewing and Matching Awl size to Needle size, I decided to attach a photo of the awl, needle and thread that I'm going to use. If you really think I'm heading for big trouble using any of these items, I would be interested in your opinions and anyone else's that might be reading this post.

Again, I really appreciate your reply and of course the first paragraph was especially helpful to me at this time.

Best Regards,

Todd

Attached Files


Edited by ToddB68, 30 January 2010 - 07:34 PM.


#5 oldtimer

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 08:59 AM

My advice will be buying a stitching awl, a round awl, thread and a piece of bees wax and saddlers needles, and start sewing with two needles and a thread.

I´m quoting "The leathercrafters Bible" by John C. Simonds :

" Johnny, let me give you a piece of advice ! Take the needles out of that awl and put them on a shelf somewhere in case you ever find use of them ! Pull the thread off the spool. then step out the back door there and throw that awl as far as you can. When you come back I´ll show you how to stitch leather" Posted Image

/ Knut

Edited by oldtimer, 31 January 2010 - 09:01 AM.

"The gun fight at the O.K. corral was actually started by two saddlemakers sitting around a bottle of whiskey talking about saddle fitting"...





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