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Matt S

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About Matt S

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    nr. London, England

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  1. Great work Stewey! I look forward to hearing how they hold up. I've been considering turning some myself from solid, but that looks like a far more efficient process. I've heard that the ones from Aaron Martin may not fit original shuttles so you're probably wise to steer clear.
  2. Hi @Marievee, how and why is the outer foot hitting the feed dogs? Unless you're running it empty without the foot raised (don't do that) there should be leather in between the two. Are you absolutely certain there isn't some other cause -- that the outer foot isn't hitting the inner foot for instance? Sewing machines, like all mechanical devices, tend to move, slip, wear and adjust themselves over time. This happens more often with "not exactly top quality" machines such as Jack. Although you may not have conciously made the change, something has changed. We just have to figure out what and how to put it back how it was. Even a thread jam or needle strike can knock the machine out of time. I've found through hard experience not to start adjusting things willy nilly when something goes wrong. That's a quick way to turn a simple problem into a complex one! To paraphrase one of my machine's manuals "do not adjust any part of this machine unless you know exactly what it does, why you're adjusting it, and how its adjustment will affect the other parts of the machine". I understand your frustration with the instruction manual, but it's about as verbose as any industrial sewing machine manual gets. They don't go into all the detail like you'd get with a domestic machine or other consumer good because they expect the user to be a factory worker (where an experienced operator would train them how to use the machine) or an experienced lone worker/craftsperson. My carpentry tools didn't come with instructions how to be a carpenter either! Luckily we live in an age where websites such as Leathwerworker.net and Youtube allow generous and experienced people to provide enormous amounts of valuable information for free so it's never been easier to learn these skills. Would you be able to shoot a short video (with sound) of the machine exhibiting the problem? That would be the quickest and easiest way to diagnose the problem over the internet.
  3. Yep, but it's a generic name for the style, independent of material. You can get them in brass with little trouble, and sometimes aluminium.
  4. Double cap rivets with longer stems than 1/2" (13mm) are relatively rare. I've used 15mm (a blonde one under 5/16") before but can't think of many greater than that. I've just had a glance over Aliexpress and I struggled to find any offering anything over 13mm. Looks like you may have to alter your design or change your choice of fasteners. What about Chicago screws/binding posts/sex bolts, or brass saddlers rivets?
  5. 1.1mm total thickness with T135/V138/TKT20 thread top and bottom is pretty tight. That thread is 0.4mm diameter, so your lockstitch knot is going to be only a little smaller diameter than the thickness of what you're stitching. Any minor variation in material grippiness or thread tension will bring that knot into visibility, and even a minor variation would bring it to the surface. Very few actual makers of stuff (using a lockstitch) would use that combination of thread size in that thickness of material. To answer your most recent question yes that is acceptable quality but an unrealistic one to expect to be maintained.
  6. Maybe beeswax is different on this side of the pond but I wouldn't call it hard at room temperature. You can push your thumbnail into it without much trouble. Rub a little onto the edge (with the bar), then a vigorous rub with a rag to remove the excess. Heat from a paint gun or from a burnishing wheel improves penetration but isn't necessary if speed isn't an essential factor. Heat is the key. @Leather20 it's not clear, are you using something after the gum trag to seal the edge? If you're using a resin like edge kote or tan kote that will prevent the wax from penetrating.
  7. I admire your ingenuity and drive. I am curious in seeing the result, though I have an inkling what it may be. Before you spend too long trying to motorise that machine you might want to get it working the way you want. Depending on the state of whichever one the factory drops on you there might be a significant amount of fettling needed. What is your definition of "heavy leather", out of interest? These contraptions have some heavy limitations.
  8. @Sheilajeanne Sorry, but 20 head of horse is no excuse, the place I grew up riding (and later worked full time at) was a similar size and composition. The owner and the place in general was cheap in every sense of the word but never would she tolerate such corner cutting any more than she would buy mouldy feed or have some random person have a go at farriery with carpenters nails and a pair of wire cutters. Some things you either do it right and find the money somehow or you don't deserve horses. I know what you're saying -- there's a third billet under each side so if one's too far gone just swap onto the other one and you're golden. Problem is, by the time one's unsuitable at least one (and maybe the third also, if the girth has been regularly cycled between different pairs of billets) is in the same state. I don't think I've ever seen an English style girth with more than two buckles per end, it only takes one broken billet to unbalance the tensions (maybe allowing the saddle to slip, or pinching the horse) and two on the same side to break at once (perhaps when the horse bucks or rears, or when mounting).
  9. @KeriYokie I think that JCUK was rather reserved in his statement in the interests of politeness. English saddles are a lot more minimalist, exacting and unforgiving of defects than more robust styles, and the few dozen stitches which hold the girth points are all that stands between the rider and a half-day out with the undertaker. Far be it for me to discourage enthusiasm but indeed some hands-on training by a saddler experienced with English styles of tack would be well worth the cost. If you intend to do this for others you also have to consider your responsibility and liability to them, and even whether your insurance company would consider your policy valid in the event of a claim if you've not taken professional training. Of course what you do with your own saddles is your business but remember you may not have control over what happens to that saddle if it's ever out of your hands. I've known professional saddlers who hobble their junk/display/demo saddles to prevent them being used and I think that's pretty sensible.
  10. I bought one a few years ago, partly out of idle curiosity, partly so I could do repairs easier, and partly so I could run it as a feed-up-the-arm machine for occasional use. I degreased and deburred the machine, cleaned the swarf and casting sand out of it, retimed the hook, found out which of the miniscule bobbins actually fitted the shuttle, put some half decent needles in. It worked, though not reliably enough to do neat looking repairs on. And every time I touched it or looked at improving it, a phrase about a silk purse and a sow's ear came to mind. My curiosity was sated. I continued doing repairs by hand. I found a real feed-up-the-arm machine. The patcher got sold on.
  11. Dash it Chris, I've been very quietly watching that, wondering if I can justify a round trip for it! Now you've let the cat out of the bag Please somebody put a bid on it that makes me forget about it. I have 4 industrials already sitting in storage, including two 45Ks. It's a 45K89, last of the line for real Kilbowie-made 45Ks that I think came out in the 1960s. Jump foot drop feed and a reverse that had to manually be matched to the stitch length in the time where Adler had been making needle or triple-feed 105s with reverse as standard for years. A bargain if it goes for something like the opening price and it'll last a lifetime of use but frankly it was obsolescent when it was new 50 years ago.
  12. Looks like @Sonydaze beat me to it! I ended up modding a cheap arbor press to hold my loop stapling dies, and it's dedicated to that job now. That frees my milling machine up for the very pressing task of gathering more dust in the corner. Thanks again to @BigSiouxSaddlery for her help pushing me towards the Weaver loop staples. Excellent product -- simple, solid, reliable, quick, smart and inexpensive. (Well, the staples are inexpensive. The dies cost more than the twin needle machine I bought to dedicate to sewing the loop strips. )
  13. You're right, it can't. I call it a lap skiver because I use it primarily for lap skiving turnbacks, at which it excels. Mr Kildow calls it a splitter. Works okay for straps up to 2", but longer than a few inches it suffers from the same issues as any fixed-blade splitter/skiver without any outfeed support (diving and climbing depending on the angle of the output), so straps longer than say a foot need nursing. No good for edges. I used to use a Chinese copy of the Scharffix bookbinders paring tool for skiving edges but lost too much leather and claret to keep going and bought a bell knife skiver. No regrets on that.
  14. I have a little lap skiver made by Randy Kildow. It takes standard utility/Stanley knife blades, is about the size of a coke can and only cost about $100. Would be ideal for thinning welts.
  15. Yes, some level of censorship is fine and arguably necessary in any social group in order to maintain function. Your bank teller is legally censored from discussing the balance of your account with anyone who has no business knowing. Your doctor is similarly censored from telling people about that intimate rash you picked up on holiday, no matter how funny it might be. There is also self- or social-censorship -- your mother doesn't want your partner discussing your sexual peccadillos with her, your colleague doesn't want to hear about your terrible haemorrhoids, and your brother probably shouldn't mention that time he had to lend you a mortgage payment when you had an unexpected car mechanic's bill. And life goes a lot easier because your sister hasn't told your brother-in-law what you said about his dress style and personal hygiene. This is a privately run forum for discussing leatherwork. People have (sometimes very) different opinions about most things. There are, in my humble opinion, far better places to discuss politics and other non-leather-related topics and if members here are unable or unwilling to discuss them in a civilised manner (whoever you are and however your opinions might align with mine) might I suggest you simply don't discuss them here. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: this forum's moderation team has a pleasantly light-handed approach. Please don't ruin it for the rest of us. Many other forums would have swung the ban-hammer simply for questioning a moderator's decision. This is Johanna's house, her rules. Don't walk mud on the carpet, lest she gets fed up with cleaning and we all have to take our shoes off at the door.
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