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About Handstitched

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Western Australia
  • Interests
    General leather work, carving, handstitching.
    Horse rugs repairs.
    Challenging projects

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Leather belts
  • Interested in learning about
    Heavy Duty Machine Sewing
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  1. Oil and Resolene?

    G'day, I concur with NVLeatherworx, I shape all top pieces according to Al Stohlman Soak the leather, then shape and pin it, let dry. Wood stoves are handy in Winter Then after any tooling/carving etc. I lightly oil, dye, , (use a sealer if required) , assemble, burnish and finish off with either neatsfoot, or a leather , saddle dressing. Its always best to have the clients knife / tool . I wrap mine in gladwrap, or plastic packing tape....or both prior to molding and remove just as the leather is drying. I use a block on some sheaths. HS
  2. Crocodile edges. Can you burnish them?

    G'Day Leahlovesleather , I have found ,with experience, that some leathers simply don't burnish and a fold is better. I have have tried croc, mainly on belts, but its takes work. BTW , I'm in the Central Wheatbelt WA about 2 hrs drive from you. Its rare to see anyone from Perth on here. Good to see. HS
  3. Consew 226 issues

    G'day, I know my response is a bit late, but I have a Seiko STW-28B ( converted to single needle ) , pretty much the same as a 226 . But mine is 51 years old....same age as me Ha ha !! I use mine for horse rug repairs and light to medium leathers. Anyway, if that little tongue isn't in the slot in the centre of the plate, nothing works right. Take the plate right out and it spins around like an idiot.... ha !! You can only just see the tongue in the pic. I've lost count the amount of times I've pulled out bits of thread from underneath the shuttle & bobbin. And it uses a LOT of oil. With horse rugs, often dirty , its absolutely necessary . Happy sewing and good luck with your 226 HS
  4. How to properly cut leather strips?

    G'Day, Some good hints & tips in there, especially from JLS Leather about moving the blade to make it last longer. I too have learnt to angle the cutter slightly . I mainly use butts & shoulders, but if the belt needs to be longer, then I use a side. And I guess, if push comes to shove and you run out of blades, use a ( good) pencil sharpener blade. Thats what I thought they were when I got my very first strap cutter. HA !! ( P.S , I sure I saw scalloped leather blanks in a (old ? ) Tandy catalogue once a long time ago ? Or, It may have been Birdsall Leather NSW Australia , haven't seen them since. ) Handstitched
  5. Staining after burnishing?

    G'Day, I have never used gum trag. Just a bit of water, and a slicker. My slicker is the plastic sort, but wood is better. Dye still soaks in fine. I also use the wide part of a wood handle on one of my bevellers as a ' burnisher '. Also the narrow curved part of the handle is just ideal to get into some tricky bits, like burnishing the inside of a hole or tight curves for example. Once I have dyed, I run the beveller handle over the edge once more. Works great. Something else I have used, if theres a tiny hole or a gap in between two layers , like on a leather case and won't burnish out, I have used some old left over boot polish thats has gone hard in the tin as a filler , burnish a bit more. Hardly the done thing I know...but it works a treat , and looks just as nice as the burnishing in the pic when I'm finished. Handstitched
  6. Dye before or after

    G'Day , I see on the inside of the strap that theres a number still visible. I try to remove these . I have tried dying over the top, but some can be a bit ' shiny' and the dye doesn't always adhere. So instead, I get a bit of very fine sandpaper or wet & dry and very gently & carefully remove them and then dye over any marks left behind. Nice hand stitching. Handstitched.
  7. G'Day, Another good tip (?) , give your machine a name. I call mine 'Brutus' . Its about time I removed the " F" & " R" magnets . I put those there on day one when I had my " L " ( learner plates) on when I was learning about my new toy....er....friend , many years ago I have a lot of respect for ' Brutus' .Its worked so hard and has now paid for itself. I have all the adjustments just perfect now to suit all my sewing and rarely needs re-adjusting. I regularly check all the nuts & bolts, the belt , cleaning and polishing as I go . Its regularly oiled and has never let me down.
  8. 'Re-cycled' boots.

    Not that this is of any importance, but I convinced the client to go buy a new pair of boots today .... ha !! And these can go right where they belong.... and where they should have stayed.....in the rubbish bin.
  9. Help with Trace Straps

    G'day and thank you for your replies, Yes, they are in a bit of a state aren't they ? And I still have the martingale to do yet. Your answer is pretty much want went through my head too Big Sioux . I will be replacing the crew holes with some new ones, with the leather approx 10" in length, tapered, shaped etc as close to the orig. and spliced in. The other ends are the buckle in type, I'll be doing the same there too, approx 22" worth. They have been repaired once before with 'bits of this and that' .But I do agree with you, they would be better off with some new ones.....but...the client wants these repaired. So I will do my best to repair them, assuming they are for use. I do like the option of the synthetic webbing TT . , thanks for that. And yes, the stitching is pretty worn pretty much along the pair of them . But now I've read your replies, I will definitely keep the old thread in place.It might...'sort of' ..give some extra strength.....maybe, and may save a little time ( not sure about that comment either ) , and perhaps some cost for the client. It might take a while to get the awl & needles through, but I have handstitched some pretty thick leathers before. And , I know this sounds really silly, I'll be using my saddle machine ( without thread) to punch out the holes on the new sections so save a bit of time too. O'h well, I'll post some pics when I've finished....wish me luck I might have another chat with the client as well. Thank you very much for your replies, I do appreciate it. All the best, HS
  10. G'Day, I'm just in the process of repairing a pair of old trace straps and a martingtale as per clients request. The bulk of the straps are in two layers of harness leather and are in fairly good condition, although in some parts are a bit cracked and in all honesty, I'd rather make brand new ones, but thats not what the client wants. I have to replace the strap-ends , and the crew holes( see pics) and re-stitch the two layers. But, I don't think it will be a good idea to machine stitch them as the needle may split or damage the old original leather parts, and... despite my best efforts , the machine may not align exactly with original holes. . So the whole lot will be handstitched. So, I'm thinking of keeping the old original threads in place as a way of keeping both layers of leather aligned and handstitch over the top. It would also save me quite a few hours unpicking the old thread . As many would know, it can be a long laborious job. I would normally unpick on smaller jobs , like on the martingale that will come after this. Some input would be great. Thanks HS
  11. burinishing akward internal cuts?

    G'day, I too have had similar issue. However, what I have been using is this: Not the tool itself, but the wooden handle. (this is not mine, just an example) I have the same shaped handles on my bevellers .......who hasn't? duh I use slickers for all the 'straight stuff' belts etc. but I use the handles of my beveller for awkward corners , internal cuts etc. I have many other tools with smaller but similar wooden handles & shapes to my beveller handles that I use for a variety of curves etc. Wooden handles work best , I have found. I hope this helps HS
  12. Setting these $#%#@%#%$!! Snaps!

    G'Day, now its my turn. I too have had problems. Mainly with the post being too short. I have found, from my own experience , its depending on which supplier I get mine from . ( I'm in Western Australia) Some are the 'Tandy ' sort, and some are from Birdsall Leather NSW, and some are even some 'non-descript' brand off ebay. I prefer the long durables, 8mm ( line 24's ) from Birdsall Leather. They are also cheaper, but sometimes not always in stock. Before setting, I have a tool that is used for another type of snap. It has a hole in the centre that accomodates the length & diameter of the posts . I place that over the top of the post first on both the eyelet & cap, and give it a few firm taps. That pushes the leather around it downwards exposing a bit more of the post . I guess the same could be achieved using a small socket from a socket set. It makes it so much easier when it comes to setting the stud . Depending on the brand , the hole is either set high or low( if that makes any sense ? ) . This is where the Birdsall brand are good, the hole in the stud is low. My old setters are so 'rounded' & worn now, but they set just perfectly . All the best HS
  13. Thread keeps breaking in my sewing machine

    G'Day, Have a look at the pic. Spot the difference? theres not a lot in it eh ? That and a Consew 226? It took me a while to figure out why my thread was breaking when I first got my machine some years ago. ( My STW 28-B is now a single needle set up , not a twin needle ) . And even to this day, the same problem occurs occasionally . I use mine for horse rug repairs, medium leathers etc. First, my tension was all wrong. I messed around with the tensioners, so basically now , backed right off and totally loose now, that helped . Thats how it is now, don't ask me why, but it works fine. The second problem is....I think...... is the take up lever. My machine is just over 50 years old , and the holes for the thread in the take up lever are now a bit worn almost to a sharp edge. So every now and then, if/when the thread is at the right 'angle' (?) it 'catches' and cuts the thread . Yeh, I know time to replace it, but apart from that, it runs sweet. I also had a look at the tension spring on the shuttle, as the thread was ' codging' up underneath. You can barely see the tension screw in the pic. So I adjusted that too, it was too loose , all sweet now. There maybe other issues with your machine, but I hope that my experiences may help. All the best HS
  14. Neatlac

    G'day, and thank you for your replies. The lacquer that was available from NSW Australia, was called 'clear lac'...or something like that from Birdsall Leather NSW. . I guess it was the Aussies answer to Neatlac. Neatlac was the only thing that seemed to work, but I don't have much left. I did try ordering some ( clearlac) several months ago, only to be told that it can't come by air as its highly flammable. Road freight was out of the question, it would have cost more than the product. But now, I can't find it on their web site. So originally I 'thought outside the leather square', and took a punt. I tried some varnish I found in the shed, on a scrap piece, even though it was 'cedar' in colour ( also water based) . That worked. After it dried, I bent it ,twisted it, and it looked good. Thats when I decided to go to my local hardware shop and get some clear varnish. The product I now use is called ' Pascol Clear Varnish' . Its made in Australia. Water based. In either gloss or satin. I have the gloss. Looks nicer imo. https://www.masters.com.au/product/100842441/pascol-interior-varnish-clear-gloss-1l.jsp;jsessionid=j5R2l1zCBn-5NEDFGEHWMA__.ncdlmorasp1202?bmUID=lpqsJJr#product-overview Its white in colour in the tin, but dries clear. Very little odor. No nasty chemical vapours. I tried one coat first, but only a tiny bit of dye was visible on some paper towel after the first coat dried, so to be sure, I applied two coats. It dried fairly quickly , but as its been cold down here, I used my trusty hair dryer to speed things up a bit. I guess if it was oil based, it will take longer to dry, and may have issues later. You may not even have to try this as 'Neatlac's variants are readily available in the US and theres so many suppliers in the US . I really do envy you guys. Theres a LOT that we can't get down here. As a result of my little experiment , I can now go ahead and make a heap of heavy belts with a retail value of approx $4500 - $5000 . I do appreciate that to many leather workers, this is not the done thing, but........it works. Thanks once again Best regards, HS
  15. Neatlac

    G'Day , Thank you for that, and handy to know. But the same problem still exists, it can't be shipped internationally by air. I just had a look at one of my leather suppliers in the east ( australia) . they no longer supply the lacquer that was available before. Just a heads up, there are very few leather suppliers in Western Australia. Nearly all my supplies come from the eastern states where there are several suppliers and it takes 2 weeks for them to get to my place. There is one( very small one) in Perth ( Western Australia) ...and thats it. Even he has limited supplies. I have a wholesaler for my sides of leather in Perth. The clear varnish seems to be working quite well . Its white in colour , water based, and dries clear, and is flexible . I use 2 coats .Dries pretty well on its own, but I use a hair dryer to speed things up ( its winter here right now) I can now finally make a heap of belts with these hides...yey ! All the best, HS