JamesR

Left handed hand stitchers

17 posts in this topic

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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,

Richard Hidalgo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm left hand dominant. So I had Danny Marlin make me a grove cutter and a skiver to be used with my left hand. I, also turned the jaws around on my stitching pony. One other point I have been hit in the right arm numerous time shooting the M1 Garand. With a little practice I was able to put my arm in a position that the shells just missed me. Love being left handed and left eye dominant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Safety Beveler - Some call it the skiver. Designed to be pulled towards you with the right hand. I push it away from me with my left hand.

Strap cutter - I flip the horizontal bar around, and use it with the inch markings upside down. No problems.

Stitching groover - I sold the basic model and bought the Pro model (which comes with a modeling spoon fitment). You can flip the guide bar around and use it left handed.

Other than that, not much problems.

Its hard sometimes being a lefty in a right handed world. When i was serving my compulsory 2.5 yrs national service in the army, I often had to endure hot empty shells ejecting from my M16 dropping into my shirt through the collar. The deflector they designed for leftys just didn't work.

Then the army switched to a self-designed SAR21, which had the shells ejected from the butt area. No room for a deflector, and we all had to learn to use it the right handed way. Eventually, I found that if you force yourself to "learn it", you can be proficient in it.

Its like a swivel knife, you don't feel "comfortable" with it the first time you use it. But you can train yourself to be proficient in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now