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Matt S

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  1. You may be able to buy spares for these machines from one of the several sellers. Or if you strip it down and measure the piece (which I suspect may be a simple nylon tube) you may be able to buy a short length of standardish tubing to replace it. Failing that, as others have suggested, it's a simple job for someone with a lathe to turn from a piece of nylon or acetal rod. Even a wood lathe may be able to be used.
  2. Edge Kote is a product from Fiebing which is a combined colour and sealer for edges. I guess you can also use it to seal unfinished backs. I think it's a rather archaeic formulation of edge paint (in a bad way). I've never been happy with the results of Edge Kote, and I don't think it's up to the standard of modern edge paints from the likes of Norsol, Giardini or Fenice for instance. Modern edge paints can be very durable, bind well with the leather and previous layers of paint, are easy to apply, have a high "fill", are available in a variety of colours and finish effects and can be quick to dry. I associate none of these attributes with Edge Kote. I find that Edge Kote has all the "bad" characteristics which are often attributed to all edge paints, many of which don't apply to modern edge paints when properly applied. If this is what "accessible" edge paints were like "back in the day" no wonder so many craftspeople took against them.
  3. There are many reasons to use RFID blocking linings. One of the most common in my neck of the woods is avoiding "card clash" where you have multiple NFC-enabled cards in one wallet. Put your most commonly used ne (debit card for instance) in an unshielded outer pocket and your multiple others inside the protective cocoon of a Faraday cage and things work much smoother.
  4. My understanding of 45Ks fitted with reverse feed is that that secondary screw to the left of the stitch length adjuster (circled in red in @Constabulary's post) regulates the length of stitch in reverse. That is to say although it's a limiter it limits how far up the slot the stitch length adjuster can go when you make it sew backwards. The screw should be adjusted to match the length of forward stitch every time you change stitch length. Bit clunky, though I guess simple for the factory to implement and fine for production work where it's a case of "set it and leave it set". About par for the course with Singer's mid-century industrial machines!
  5. Oiled thread felts certainly help with friction and sticky glue. What oil do you use? I like silicone, but it's a swine to clean up if/when I spill it on the floor. This is the kit I was thinking of, and while I think that College Sewing is an excellent company I'm sure similar setups are available elsewhere. The nozzle looks pretty compact and I like that it comes not only with the valve but a regulator too. https://www.college-sewing.co.uk/ka-cns-needle-cooler-single-needle.html Alternatively I wonder if one of those ball-joint coolant nozzles would work? Should be long enough to screw it directly onto a solenoid valve or pressure regulator mounted directly to the back of the head.
  6. Brilliant bit of work Brian! I mostly use spring-guide feet rather than drop-down guides but think that the same idea could be applied. Then all I need is a limit switch and servo to turn the piece when I reach the corner... BTW you mention overheating needles. I generally use quite waxy/oily leathers so can get away with running my machines 2000+SPM. I think the heat dissipates by evaporating/burning off some of the excess oil but I expect that's not great for my lungs. Have you much experience with the needle cooler units? There's some neat little kits available that only switch on the air when the go pedal is down, to avoid wasting air. I'm tempted to try knocking one up with an aquarium air pump and bit of copper tube.
  7. As others have said, having more than a fathom of thread "in hand" at any one time leads to increased issues with tangling, unravelling, having to rewax the thread periodically, fraying and discolouration. I've done it, it's doable, but not my preferred way of working. Doubled-up stitches at changeover isn't hugely noticeable IMHO, are "honest" artefacts of how the item was manufactured, and it's often possible to hide them. On shorter belts it's also possible to start at the point of the belt with /two/ fathoms of thread. Pierce the centre hole and pull both threads through so they're crossing over equally, then start sewing down one side of the belt with the ends of opposite threads. Once you've reached the end start again at the point with the second pair of ends and sew towards the buckle. Of course this requires being able to sew equally neatly both towards and away from you. I've been hearing this a long time. Ron Edwards touches on how the idea probably became common, with saddlers directly comparing seams machined with skinny, slippery, stretchy synthetic thread (for light articles, rugs etc.) against chunky linen saddle- or back-stitched seams (for heavy and working articles) in the second half of the 20th century. I suspect also there's some mixup between lock-stitched seams and chain-stitched (which definitely do just "zip up" when you pull the right thread). Without meaning to sound rude or confrontational, how much experience do you have with threads broken on stitched leather articles? I ask as I used to believe the same thing. Now, with the experience of examining hundreds of such broken threads (through accident, wear or deliberate cutting) I can tell you it doesn't work like that. It is my experience (through direct study and asking the experience of professional leather tradespeople) that a "correctly" saddle stitched seam sewn in a decent thread with a grabby/hardening coad (not bloody beeswax or candle wax) /might/ be stronger than a lock-stitched seam... but I see precious little of that being done these days! For almost all practical purposes, when compared apples-for-apples, lock-stitch machine sewing is at least just as strong and durable as imperfectly sewn saddle stitching. I've handled plenty of items where one or more threads has been cut by wear or accident. Some (like the shaft tugs which hang above my desk) have the surface portions of both threads entirely worn away, yet are still solid. Similarly I've had to pick out plenty of machine-sewn work, that simply had to be cut and pulled out one or two stitches at a time -- same as saddle stitched. Others, saddle stitched even 100+years ago in linen thread, will disappear as soon as one of the stitches parts ways. The real difference in "staying power" in these cases is from tight holes (just big enough to admit the threads before they close back up, which is best achieved with a sharp awl immediately before each stitch, or failing that the smallest leather-point machine needle that will work), tight stitches, thread (preferably linen) saturated with proper drying stickywax (hardball or polymerising liquid), and a design that minimises reliance just on the thread to hold the thing together.
  8. Some of them do, either a third linear axis or a controllable focus. The cost of another stepper motor may be small, but there's also the cost of the leadscrew, rails/linear bearing, a third motor controller, a home/position sensor, extra power requirements, the extra space required... it all adds up, especially in a market saturated with bargain-basement penny-shaving designs sold at razor thin margins. The better designs have a height adjustable bed, which must really cost.
  9. There's both a functional and an aesthetic element to deciding stitch spacing. I come from a background in the English saddlery tradition (though I'm no saddler) and prefer fine stitching -- starting point is 8SPI (3mm spacing) with 18/3 linen thread in a slanted, non-grooved stitch made with a diamond awl. Either single-needle back-stitch or two-needle saddle stitch. Anything coarser is for very heavy or rough-and-ready use. Western saddlery tends to be somewhere around 6-7SPI (4mm spacing) as standard, a chunkier thread (say 18/5 linen) and may or may not be grooved by default. The modern fashion is chunky synthetic thread at very wide spacing, often 4SPI (6mm spacing) or wider and using round holes, all because the results are easier/faster but to the detriment of longevity, strength and (IMHO) good looks. The general rule is that the thicker the total thickness of leather you're sewing the wider your stitches are spaced, and so the thicker thread you use. When stitching across a strap every stitch is a weakness (like when they perforate paper for tearing off a coupon) and is generally best avoided. Where it can't be avoided (like a cartridge loop) it's best to keep the stitches as widely spaced as good design allows -- maybe 4-5 stitches per inch (5-6mm spacing). Alternatively you can use a rivetted or a laced style of cartridge loop to avoid stitching altogether.
  10. That looks great, very clean and ready for another 50+ years of use! A servo motor is a good shout, and clutch motors are great for workshop projects like burnishers or disc sanders.
  11. You wouldn't be the only one of us two to mix up the 21 and the 25
  12. I /think/ I understand what you're asking but not entirely sure. I would skive a long taper to a feather edge on the inner (orange) part, glue them perfectly overlapped (so the thickness is consistent all the way round) and then do the same with the outer layer, offset from the inner overlap. Contact cement will stop the ends of each strip from migrating. That or skive a half-thickness step, sew them grain-to-grain half the width of the taper back from the edges, and fold the unsewn ends of the taper back, with a little glue to keep the ends down. If you don't want to skive you've got two approaches. The problem you're getting is that you have two 90 degree ends meeting at an angle. One approach is to calculate that angle (some basic trigonometry) and cut the ends at half that angle so they meet neatly. Your inner leather looks chunky enough that contact cement should stop it from shifting left and right before applying the outer layer but can't be relied on in its own right. The other approach: my wife and I took a one-day jewellery workshop to make each others' ring from bullion strip. We were taught that the soldered seam has to have the square ends of the strip meet straight for a neat joint, so we bent them to a D shape with the joint in the middle of the straight. Then once the joint was soldered and dressed we made them O shape again on a mandrel. You could try that with your inner layer, there might just be enough surface area at the butt joint for the contact cement to hold and pull the edges to the right angle as you pull it round. Then once your outer layer is glued on you should be golden.
  13. @Rickard Sorry for the late reply. A few thoughts occur to me. The 205 was designed when synthetic rather than linen threads were common. I've not tried to sew linen thread with such a modern machine (having several older ones available which do the job very well). Nothing jumps out at me to say that a more modern machine can't sew linen, it's just that I've never tried it if you see what I'm saying. Perhaps there is something subtly different about how more modern machines are constructed that make them unsuitable for linen. A 45K would do admirably, linen is what they wre designed for! If your linen is very close to 1mm diameter a 205 probably isn't going to like it. That's pretty common for modern, hobbyist hand-sewers but way off the heavy end of machine threads. I've got one of the heaviest closed-eye-needle harness stitchers commonly available, which maxes out around 18/8 linen, roughly metric/TKT 5 (v554), and even that's only 0.8mm diameter. I've just looked at the original prospekt, 205s are/were designed for needles in the range nm160-230, which indicates a thread size range of roughly TKT20-TKT8. In linen this would be roughly 25/3 to 18/5 (0.4-0.65mm). Also you mention wax. As I'm sure you're aware sewing with dry linen is a tough row to hoe. It has a lot of friction, fluffs and frays, doesn't stick to itself in the stitch, absorbs water in use, and is quite weak. Sewing machines setup for linen either wet the thread with a liquid wax solution as it's being used, or has a heated wax bath for the same purpose. Prewaxed thread is generally too "sticky" so what few machines were ever designed to use it heated the thread as it was being used. If it sounds messy, that's cos it is. A 205 isn't setup for any of these arrangements, though you could add a solution box and fill that with liquid wax or thread lube. They stick on the top of your machine with a magnet. Linen can be a real hassle to machine sew with. Get it all right and it looks beautiful. Core-spun looks very similar for a fraction the ballache! ;-)
  14. Well put! Then you should be used to it, and as you know there are workarounds. I'm always a bit leery about painted machines, especially if I don't know who did it or how carefully. On the plus side if you want to strip and restore it a 45K21 is an excellent machine to cut your teeth on. Depends entirely on your local market, any work you'll have to do on it and what is your budget. I think that may be the 45K25 that came with a roller presser. AFAIR the 21 was a plain presser foot. Clutch motors are solid, reliable, and an acquired taste. One that I've never managed to acquire. If you're not used to you may wish to budget for swapping to a digital servo motor, unless you enjoy using both feet and all three hands at once.
  15. 45Ks are very solid, simple, reliable machines, popular in Britain and its (now former) dominions for over a century. The 21 subclass has a cylinder arm and a plain presser foot with drop-feed and no reverse. Like all drop-feed machines they can have issues climbing up and down large changes in thickness, and will leave dog marks on the back side of your leather. The permanence of these marks will vary depending on your leather and application, but on a belt or a sling I find them to be insignificant. Indeed many vintage pieces will exhibit dog marks on close inspection. Certain later models came with a jump-foot to make feeding easier and some with a slightly clunky reverse feed. Max thickness for 45Ks is usually around 1/2" or 13mm. Some will do a smidge more. Thread size is probably 18/3 to 18/5 linen, or TKT13/V207 to TKT8/V346 nylon. Max speed 900 SPM. There is/are Chinese clones of the 45K21 being produced still today, sold as the GA5 or CB2500. (Really it's a clone of the Adler Kl5, which was in turn a very good copy of the 45K21). This should give you a pretty realistic idea of a 45K21's specs: https://www.tolindsewmach.com/cb2500.html I believe the 45K21 to be well suited to sewing belts and slings, and with a little careful driving should work for your holsters providing they aren't any thicker than 1/2" and you're able to make do without reverse.
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