Raksha

awl for saddelstitch

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Hi guys! 
I have cheap ebay awls, (as everything else) and one of them is diamond shaped, and I can switch the pointy end.. But, even the smalest of them are to big to make small ice holes for sadlestitching with thin thread. And I can't seem to find smaller in my go to norwegian webshops. Sooo, where can I find diamond shaped awls with small diameter ( for 0,6 thread). 

 

 

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Two ideas;

1. use a sharpening stone and file to reduce the size of an awl bald to the necessary size

2.  mount a glovers needle in a handle and us it as awl

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12 minutes ago, fredk said:

Two ideas;

1. use a sharpening stone and file to reduce the size of an awl bald to the necessary size

2.  mount a glovers needle in a handle and us it as awl

Thank you! I'll try glovers needle :D  

 

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I've not seen it mentioned much but having bought lots of dead saddlers' tools it seems that a common way to get a fine awl blade is/was to seat it very deeply in the handle, so only say 8mm sticks out. This avoids the fiddliness of grinding a tiny piece of steel freehand.

Is your 0.6mm thread flat braided or round laid? I have stitched plenty of 18/3 (3-cord) and 18/4 (4-cord) round laid linen thread using a Osborne no 43 awl. These are both finer than 0.6mm round laid thread. The Osborne 43 is about £10 and comes already mounted in a handle that isn't terrible if you remove the varnish. John James also makes very good awls at just a few £ for a blade but they are rough and need a lot of smoothing/sharpening/polishing. Also they only come naked -- but at least this gives you a choice of handles.

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I just finished re-profiling a ~100 year old German awl blade on a sharpening stone to get a much smaller hole, and couldn't be happier.  I think it will become my new favorite awl.  Highly recommend trying it if you have awls on hand you aren't using and you need a different size/shape.

YinTx

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41 minutes ago, YinTx said:

I just finished re-profiling a ~100 year old German awl blade on a sharpening stone to get a much smaller hole, and couldn't be happier.  I think it will become my new favorite awl.  Highly recommend trying it if you have awls on hand you aren't using and you need a different size/shape.

YinTx

Definitely, I watched armitage grind one down and had an osbourne that arrived sharp as a butter knife so it sat in my drawer, I decided it wouldn't hurt to give it a go and in less than an hour it was Knight and day difference!  I plan to set some more time aside to really work it over...

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15 hours ago, Matt S said:

I've not seen it mentioned much but having bought lots of dead saddlers' tools it seems that a common way to get a fine awl blade is/was to seat it very deeply in the handle, so only say 8mm sticks out. This avoids the fiddliness of grinding a tiny piece of steel freehand.

Is your 0.6mm thread flat braided or round laid? I have stitched plenty of 18/3 (3-cord) and 18/4 (4-cord) round laid linen thread using a Osborne no 43 awl. These are both finer than 0.6mm round laid thread. The Osborne 43 is about £10 and comes already mounted in a handle that isn't terrible if you remove the varnish. John James also makes very good awls at just a few £ for a blade but they are rough and need a lot of smoothing/sharpening/polishing. Also they only come naked -- but at least this gives you a choice of handles.

It is flat braided.  Thanks I'll have a look at the osborner and john james ! 

Thanks guys, I have a small multitool I can try to change one of the old ones :D 

 

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On 8/6/2018 at 10:24 PM, koreric75 said:

Definitely, I watched armitage grind one down and had an osbourne that arrived sharp as a butter knife so it sat in my drawer, I decided it wouldn't hurt to give it a go and in less than an hour it was Knight and day difference!  I plan to set some more time aside to really work it over...

Also heard Nigel say that it was a quickie for the video, and he usually spends over an hour to get one to where he likes it.

And he buys the good stuff!  Sounds like a little work is to be expected  with new awls...

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1 minute ago, porcupine said:

Also heard Nigel say that it was a quickie for the video, and he usually spends over an hour to get one to where he likes it.

And he buys the good stuff!  Sounds like a little work is to be expected  with new awls...

This is true, I did the quickie version and the improvement was night and day...i finished my stitching for that project (pictured below) then put the awl aside to work over more later...I spent about an hour on it last night and it is improved some but i think i still have a ways to go before i get to where i want it to be.

tCunLU0.jpgB7wECho.jpg

 

 

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I'm still at the 'watch and absorb' phase, trying to put together a minimal starting set of tools. Done so much reading about tool steels and comparison shopping for the leatherwork basics, my head hurts. Have absolutely non-existant budget, so I am making and/or scrounging everything I can find that might be of use...$30 and up for awl points ain't even onthe radar for me, but love to see the good stuff  in the hands of the pros.

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Start with a EBay special for about £20 which has most items you need to start, polish the blades with jewelers rouge and you have a cheap start, then as you grow with experience replace with better tools when you can afford them, 

More expensive tools say knifes will hold there edge better and longer, and some tools look fantastic, but you need the skills first to appreciate the difference

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55 minutes ago, porcupine said:

I'm still at the 'watch and absorb' phase, trying to put together a minimal starting set of tools. Done so much reading about tool steels and comparison shopping for the leatherwork basics, my head hurts. Have absolutely non-existant budget, so I am making and/or scrounging everything I can find that might be of use...$30 and up for awl points ain't even onthe radar for me, but love to see the good stuff  in the hands of the pros.

I did the glasses case with a $10 can osbourne awl and $12 stitching prints from Amazon, the leather is black cherry featherstone from sb foot I picked up from @nstarleather for $6/sqft, I used some waxed braided thread 150d size

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2 hours ago, porcupine said:

I'm still at the 'watch and absorb' phase

That is a great phrase. I like the fact that somebody recognises where they are at, and they have the humility to say so.

Depending on where you are, country and/or locality, there are a few things you can do to build up a decent tool set.

There is a thread somewhere on LW.net about cheap tricks and hacks. Check that out and change it to suit your needs and abilities. And don't forget to post questions, successes and less-than-successful-attempts. Above all else, have fun with it.

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