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  • Leatherwork Specialty
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    leather sewing and stamping
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  1. The local Tandy store is 60-120 miles away and the local hobby stores don't much thread for sewing leather. Its either sinew or leather lace. I would really like information for stitches per inch required for various leather thickness. I will be hand stitching and have learned the 2 needle method quickly. I do have a roller spacing wheel set. I'm still not any good with a diamond awl haft. So to avoid an ugly project (hopefully a messenger bag) I just chose the more expensive modern approach or shortcut to get me started a little quicker. I purchased a Craftool Pro 3.5 mm Fine Diamond Punch which works great. I however have purchased various thicknesses of bagged scrap leather to perfect my hand stitching using 40%- 60%coupons and will someday need another stitching punch to get the spacing / stitches per inch correct for each type of leather and thickness encountered in this journey. My very first attempt at hand stitching went well and I hand sewed a replacement purse strap for my wife. Friends say it looks a lot like a machine did it. It was enjoyable and very relaxing, even very satisfying. I just need a little thicker thread to properly fill the punched diamond holes for a better appearance. I'm experiencing the slight frustration of scattered and incomplete information which basically slows down my attempts to eventually master this hobby. There are so many types of thread sizes and what they are made of and then combining that with correct needle. Leather crafters really need a needle size, thread weight, and stitches per inch chart for various thicknesses of leather in pdf. If any chart exists lets put it somewhere that is easy to access if not maybe someone will someday make one. Thanks for your time.
  2. I'm just sick of paying mechanics tool prices (and most mechanics tools are lifetime guaranteed) for non warranted garbage or tool shaped "specialty" objects imported and sold to leather crafters at the customers expense to make a quick profit.
  3. I may have gotten a recently manufactured Craftool Pro Fine Diamond Chisel 88057-08 3.5 mm or just very, very lucky as the handle and prong surface my 6" ruler is resting on in the photos was that way when it came in the mail. The angled surfaces between the teeth did have a few light horizontal machining lines as shown in your photo. But they weren't as deep as the photo of your teeth / prongs. I sure hope its not a gamble every time a order a stitching punch from them.
  4. I'm an advanced woodworker that's a plane iron. Yes I can read newspaper print through my thin wood shavings. Under high magnification the machining marks on a blade look like tiny hack saw teeth at the cutting edge. When this catches the grain and fibers in wood it is like slamming on the brakes of a car. Lay the blade / plane iron flat bevel side up on some wet dry sandpaper approximately 1/2" from the edge work it until its flat and shiny like a mirror. Next hone the bevel until its shines. When its razor sharp no light will be reflected from the sharpened edge. If the sharpened edge looks like a tiny shiny, wire it is still dull.
  5. Brand names or popularity contests for tools mean nothing to me. Quality does. The bevels when properly made should be flat not round. The consumer in an ideal world should never feel the need to flatten and hone a brand new product fresh out of the box. When an edge is razor sharp you will not see any light reflected from the sharpened edge. If the sharpened edge looks like a teeny, tiny, shiny metal wire it is still dull and pretty much useless until it is sharpened properly.
  6. My 2016 very simple yet very tough 2x4 workbench with a 3/4" plywood top was be made for $35- 40 add $12 more for another plywood project panel if you want to double the thickness of the plywood bench top. Screw the 2x4's for the top together first squaring it up. Next screw on the plywood top and flip it over. Next clamp the legs in place checking they are vertical and secure the legs. With it upside down use 3/4" thick smaller plywood panels screwed to the legs on the ends of the bench this remove most if not all wiggle. Next flip it the entire bench right side up and add long horizontal 2x4 stretchers or 3/4" plywood lengthwise to join the leg for a very tough cheap workbench.
  7. I prefer a longer fixed handle like longer handle like a craft knife when compared to a wiggly jiggly hand cramping swivel knife. Get a cheap bag of scraps with a coupon and practice with either tool. The swivel knife bevels are supposed to limit the depth of cut. Other than that they both cut.
  8. Torture stick. I nearly stuck my finger with an awl haft the other day not to mention the holes left were undesirable and inconsistent (my fault) I now use a very simple modern tool which is the single tooth Craftool Pro Fine Diamond Awl 88057-01 and it works great when used with the Craftool Spacer Set 8091-0 If your really dedicated to using an awl haft and handy with a hammer and propane torch go get some inexpensive drill rod or tool steel. Heat it, pound it then quench it in light weight motor oil then sharpen.
  9. A stiff Revlon diamond fingernail file wrapped with wet dry sandpaper worked great to hone my Craftool Pro Fine Diamond stitching chisel 8 tooth. It looks like you have some heavy burrs or bent tips. When using buffers or grinders take care and dont overheat the metal.
  10. I agree about quality issues. It makes me want to buy some 0-1 precision flat ground tool steel and hacksaw my own custom teeth then quench it in oil. I have never hand cut any long prongs / teeth before though. What the number of the stitching chisel in the above photo ? This will help others avoid it or in the very least know what they may end up with. I tinker with metal and restore metal hand planes. Your stitching punch will require more than a simple final honing. If your lucky the teeth will have the same dimensions and equal spacing. When filing, shaping and honing your teeth / prongs keep the stroke length and pressure the same. Some people count the honing strokes for router bits. Take measurements as you go and try to avoid accumulative error in measurement. When making a box joint in woodworking even a 1/64" error will add up fast as each slot is made until you have a mess. I personally would call and email the manufacturer with a photo. Good luck.
  11. My individual Craftool Pro Fine Diamond Stitching Punch 88057-08 shipped to me is a pretty nice punch and the pointed tips are sharp enough out of the box. I personally chose to gently hone the angles flats in between the prongs / teeth as they were getting stuck easily. With the larger thread size I should get a decent looking stitch as the teeth / prongs are pretty wide. Various thread size recommendations will be greatly appreciated. So far people have suggested Tiger thread .6mm - .8mm 1.0mm I have seen someone use the stitching pony in a video to support the leather when pulling the chisel straight out. I used a dirt cheap Revlon diamond nail file wrapped with a folded strip of 400 wet dry and it worked fine with no glue needed as the diamond grit held the sandpaper in place. The angled space in between the prongs or teeth is easily honed and polished using slow controlled strokes with light pressure. It took approximately 44-50 minutes to remove most of the machining marks. To preserve metal, strength and tooth geometry I personally chose not to go crazy honing and removing enough metal to obtain a glass smooth surface like I do on my professional hand plane irons finished with 1000 and 2000 grit that are razor sharp. When honing in between the prongs or teeth stop and take measurements of the flat area of each prong near the radius and the tip, measure both sides. Also slip a steel machinist ruler along the angled prong / tooth and measure the length. I did not hone or polish the diamond pointed tips, flat handle surfaces or the flats shown above the ruler. Good luck. If needed practice you filing and sanding skills on some junk scrap metal first.
  12. Thanks for the post. Those are great results. Did you use a stitching groove or just scribe a faint line? I just got my chisel in the mail today and had a few questions. What size and type of needle with that thread ? Did you hone or smooth the inside edges of the chisel prongs or use wax on them? So far I found that going through 2 layers of 1/8" leather the chisel would get stuck in there pretty bad. So far I have had to punch one layer at a time leaving a mark for the next.
  13. I'm a beginner and could use some advice as to which diameter thread or lace to use with my diamond chisel. I recently purchased the Craftool Pro Fine Diamond Chisel 3.5mm. 88057-08 Its sharp and easily punches through 2 layers of leather fine. Removing the tool and is a little difficult despite the tools price. The Craftool Pro Fine Diamond Awl 3.5mm made 7 diamond shaped slots or stitches per inch in the White leather scrap and don't look all that good. The slots it punched are much wider than my Chinese import. I used the same 150 speedy stitcher waxed thread for both leather scraps shown in the photo. My imported diamond punch from China made 8 stitches per inch nice or ok looking stitches with the same thread in the Brown leather. The only difference was the leather scraps used. Take note that the prongs on the Craftool are larger in width than the Chinese import. Both punches were held and used vertical. No stitching groove was cut. I used my stitching pony, I threaded 2 needles stitched as shown on a tandy video.