Matt S

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Everything posted by Matt S

  1. Matt S

    Benefit of having a splitter

    I find the split useful occasionally. Mostly for prototyping and such. However the major benefit of a splitter is that many leathers are only available in a certain few thicknesses. Being able to make all your leather pieces a consistent, specific thickness will improve the quality of your products. What sort of splitter is it? A band-knife splitter is the most useful sort and if it's functional, affordable and you have the space it's a very handy piece of kit. I wouldn't be without mine, though I would be very jealous of the width if yours is a 470! They are a bit fiddly though.
  2. Matt S

    BUSM Pilot Heavy Harness Sewing Machine

    Hi Mike, it's an interesting machine and a good price but a long way for me to come for a quick look. Any chance you can provide more details? What does the machine come with, what's its condition etc. What sort of needles does it take -- are they readily available? Ditto bobbins. Matt
  3. Matt S

    How to cut belt tips and holes easy

    Brian, those are some excellent jigs and a great, clear tutorial. Thank you for being so generous with your time and experience.
  4. Matt S

    Kudos due to College Sewing.

    College are, simply, an excellent company to deal with. A great range of parts and needles and very honest advice. I've bothered them when phone calls many times and always got friendly and honest help, even if it loses them a sale. As a result they're always my first port of call when after some part.
  5. Matt S

    Problems with econosew 2060e8bld

    Those grub screws control not only the hook timing but also its spacing from the needle. First check your hook timing, and adjust as necessary. Upholstery-weight machines like yours I tend to time so the point of the hook passes the needle scarf at or just after the centre of the scarf. The easiest way to adjust, in my experience, is to tighten the grub screws just enough that it won't move without deliberate effort. Then, holding onto the hook with one hand and the balance wheel with the other, you can make some surprisingly fast an accurate adjustments. Then adjust the hook spacing. With the largest needle I'm likely to use I like to tweak it so that the hook just kisses the inside face of the scarf, then back it off enough to just not touch, if you see what I mean. I believe the technical term for this amount of clearance is a BCH. If everything else (needle bar height, foot timing etc.) is good that should get you pretty near bang on. With a horizontal-hook machine like yours, this can be a very frustrating 5-handed job until you've done it a few times.
  6. Matt S

    Paracord "core" thread use?

    I tried it a few times, years ago. Being excessively thick, ugly, difficult to terminate securely and stetchy, I found no reason to continue with the practice. I believe that Nigel Armitage twists paracord innards together to make cores for rolled handles etc.
  7. I reckon so, as do enough people to keep them at full production capacity.
  8. Matt S

    Experimental Nylon Gear Singer 29K

    Only if you're making an exact copy of that worn part. Extrapolating the original dimensions, using a combination of all available evidence, experience, and some trial and error, is up to the individual. Being able to rapidly and cheaply produce iterative changes to that part design is a huge advantage and could make the difference between "viable" and "nonviable". Once you have a working prototype a bunch of them can be sent out for trials in other machines if you're wanting to produce in quantity (for different usage parameters and in a wider tolerance range). Once confirmed as final the drawing files can then easily be sent to a company with facilities for more appropriate materials (metal sintering 3D printer, or a CNC machining centre), modified to produce dies for metal injection moulding, or to a more traditional machinist who will turn the blank and mill the teeth. I acknowledge that it would be better to start from a NOS or at least functional original part though!
  9. Matt S

    Experimental Nylon Gear Singer 29K

    Yes but there are a lot of factors in the longevity of any mechanical part, such as gears. The material is but one. If I had a machine that I could not run without a certain part I would far rather have a short-life copy of a part I could afford to replace every so often than a part I could not afford to buy, or that was simply not available. For a hobbyist or collector simply being able to run that machine would be worth the price of entry. For a professional that part would help in producing enough product to replace the part with a "proper" part or upgrade to a better machine. Further, for many machines technical drawings for replacement parts are not freely available. Being able to rapidly and inexpensively prototype replacement parts in order to test design and function prior to investing the time and money in producing that part in proper material would be an enormous advantage.
  10. Matt S

    Rawhide lace

    I just about spat my coffee. Known a few of those sorts -- "farmers/tradies/manual workers do it, how hard could it be?" The sort of people who you hear circus music in the background whenever they're talking. You could always apply a touch of marketing wank to avoid all that "eeew horse leather" stuff and call it brumby leather... something tells me the sorts who get uppity about using a slightly different type of hooven beast's hide aren't going to know much about cattle stations.
  11. Matt S

    Experimental Nylon Gear Singer 29K

    I don't have a 29k but great idea! I'll keep you in mind for a few projects that I've got on the back burner, if you're amenable.
  12. Pit tanning (agitated by water wheel), hides manipulated by hand, and almost entirely hand finishing. They keep a good stock of crust so even if what you want isn't "off the peg" they can finish a hide for you pretty quickly. But if you want something special that doesn't match their part-finished hides they start your order by putting a wet blue in the liming pit, and it takes as long as it takes. They also brew/ferment their own tanliquor from oak bark. Most of the tanners have forearms bigger than my thighs. And that's just for equestrian/SLG type leather. Soling is about 24 months.
  13. Could be worse, I know of one tannery where it's 14 months...
  14. Matt S

    Campaign stool leg binding

    I've seen one where the "pivot" was made with a turks head, prevented from slipping down with some large fencing staples.
  15. Matt S

    Is this a good starter kit?

    Le Prevo probably has all you need to get started in one shop. Only exception is scrap/offcuts but there's some reasonably inexpensive hides available, either in their regular or clearance ranges.
  16. Matt S

    'Fast' thread snips for thick thread

    I use these too. At about £1 a pair I can afford to have one tied onto each machine with a piece of string, plus one on the bench and a few spares here and there. Always one to hand when I need it.
  17. Matt S

    UK beginner, need cheap leather for practice

    I'm not sure of any sellers anywhere near you so you might get stuck with online sources. Le Prevo often has some low-price stuff in their "odds and sods" page. Again it depends on what sorts of leather you want to use -- if you want to practice techniques specifically for a type of leather get as similar leather as you can. I know it might seem obvious but if you want to make cut-edge chunky wallets from tooling leather, buy some cheap chunky tooling leather. If you want to make thin wallets from supple chrome tan leathers with edges that have been skived and folded, get some cheap thin supple chrome-tan.
  18. Matt S

    Luberto Wyndham Cub

    I look forward to seeing what improvements Weaver makes to the Cub. I was really tempted to scrape together the pennies for one several times. Partly for practicality, partly for the ready parts availability, partly because I love the solid simple effectiveness of the Pearson-derived mechanism. I'd be very pleased with a motorised version especially if it had reverse. If it's cordless I think I'd sell a kidney to buy one.
  19. Matt S

    UK beginner, need cheap leather for practice

    Depends what you want to make, and what sort of leather you want to ultimately use when not practising. Probably the cheapest you can buy is upholstery offcuts/scrap. Somewhere around £5-10 per Kg... but about as much use as a chocolate fireguard if you want to make tooled knife sheaths, for instance. Where are you in the UK? You may have a shop near to you that will let you rummage in their remnants bin, or a leatherworker who'll let you rummage in their offcuts bin.
  20. For a few years now I've been using a small 6 ton hydraulic bearing press for my clicking needs. It was cheap, doesn't take up much space, capable of many jobs and doesn't consume electric or make noise. It's also fairly resistant against attack by idiot. However it's only got 13" of daylight between the two uprights. It takes about 4-5x pumps of the handle to cleanly click leather up to 4mm thick. I have 12x12"of steel as a bottom plate and a few upper plates up to the same size. I have to take multiple "bites" at anything longer than that. Now I could live with the slowness but the awkwardness of having to nibble away at longer pieces, let alone splitting up hides into pieces small enough to fit within the frame, is getting rather old. I'm also getting some distortions in the clicked pieces from moving the leather mid-cut. So I'm looking at my options. It occurs to me that this is a topic that could interest a lot of leatherworkers. My essential requirements are: Able to click pieces up to 12"/300mm without moving the leather (4mm thick). C-shape (open) frame or a very large O-type frame. No slower to "click" than my current press -- say 3 seconds. Machine no wider (or easily broken down to be no wider) than 26" due to access issues. Machine no larger than 36" wide when assembled (space available in shop). Desirable requirements: as low initial cost as possible (say under £500). Quiet running. As low weight as possible (say under 200Kg), or at least easily broken down to lighter pieces (access!). Able to click longer pieces as long as 30" (750mm) in one hit, or at least not having to move the leather to do so. I'm not ambitious or anything am I... Obviously a professional swing-head or beam press would be my best option. However I have extremely narrow and awkward access to my workshop and only the smallest swing-head clickers will fit. The Atom SE8 is typical -- a bed 24" wide by 12" deep and 12x12" head. About 430Kg, which is potentially manageable. I'd have to click anything longer than 12" with multiple hits, but that's a compromise I'm willing to make. SE8s and similar 8 ton clickers don't come up very often and a new one would be well beyond my means. Second-hand they can be as little as a few hundred up to several thousand £ depending on age, condition, model, location etc. There would also be additional costs of moving, refurbishing and phase conversion on some examples. Tippman pneumatic clickers have an open frame, an acceptable weight and size, and cycle pretty quickly. I even already have a compressor. However they are very expensive to import (only ever seen one second hand and that was on a Hebridean island, which is about 12 hours' drive and a ferry trip away... weather permitting...). Further while the Tippman designs are C-frame they are not swing-head presses and the size, even of the larger model, means I'd have to move the leather (with knife embedded) for longer cuts. Manual toggle-link clickers like the Lucris and its various cousins (Cowboy and Noya) would be quite lightweight and easy to setup onto a bench, which allows storage underneath. Maybe I could even integrate it into a layout bench. No noise (apart from grunting). Cost about £1500. However I'm worried about the size and the 4ton capacity -- seems a bit wimpy. There's also limited ceiling height in this workshop, which might be an issue if I extend the handle. There's a small manual clicker press that's got 4x pillars, a toggle on the top and a capacity somewhere around the size of my nutsack hand. It's not something I will even consider. I've looked at building a simple open-frame press with a bottle jack that swings out the way but realistically it's beyond my enginerding abilities and paying a professional to build one would proabably work out to be an expensive option, and I wouldn't have the fancier features of some of the other options. I can't find a bearing press any wider than 24" between the uprights. Other than that such a thing would most of my other requirements, so long as I fabricobble some upper and lower plates. However it occurs to me that if I bought one that had a bolted rather than welded frame I might be able to produce some longer upper and lower frame pieces, essentially giving me as large an O-frame as I can fit in the space. Not much change out of £500 for such a machine that fits my size desires, and no improvement to the clicking speed -- in fact potentially a slower speed if I can't find a smaller/faster bottle jack than my current one. (Air-over-oil jacks are limited availability here and all seem slower than my humble 6tonner.) If I am able to leave the jack just loose enough to slide along the top rails I could have a poor man's travelling head press... maybe... (Something like this... just longer/wider... and a worse paint job...) Sealey import a 10ton C-frame bearing press that might work with a little modification. About £300. Very compact. However I'm worried the manual pump might be a bit slow and I would be dubious about hooking up a hydraulic powerpack. Mostly cos I'd prefer not to spray hydraulic oil all over the shop (again). Is there an option, a solution or a problem that I've missed? Do I need to just pick one or man up and deal with my current situation? Am I overthinking it? Do I need more coffee?
  21. Matt S

    Sharpening a new skiving knife

    Sharpening, IMHO, is a bit like edge burnishing or saddle stitching -- there's a lot of approaches to the same destination, beginners find it harder than they think they ought, and once it "clicks" you wonder how you ever found it difficult. (This latter aspect also manifests itself as "why are you finding this difficult" once the trials of learning have been forgotten.) I've been sharpening tools since I was in primary school, and rarely had much money spare so had to make do with what was around. I've sharpened with natural rocks, broken grinding discs, cheap oilstones, second-hand stones, paving slabs, old bricks, files, sandpaper, all sorts of things. Ruined a few tools along the way but I'll dare say that while I'm no expert I'm pretty competent these days. Here's the secret: most things that are slightly abrasive will work. It's the proper technique that's key and that can only come with practice. Use what you got and works for you. For me that's usually a cheap double-sided oilstone slathered in whatever oil I have lying around. Then a fine stone if I'm feeling fancy (dunno what it is, some local stone I was given years ago in Asia), and a strop. Lots of stropping. With compound. Using this method I can take a knife from "hammer" to "razor" in a reasonable amount of time. Nowadays I have a felt wheel on a motor, which is a fantastic timesaver but a major hazard to the untrained or inattentive. If the bevel needs redefining I'll start with my belt grinder, at about 150 grit.
  22. A welder is actually on my shopping list. I agree a bloody useful skill to have but I haven't welded in 10+ years, and I'm not sure I'm going to trust any of my beads to hold several tons of pressure at chest height any time soon... Suppose I should call up my welder friend and see what he'll do for a bottle of whiskey... Yes I guess it might be worth it to see if Harry will let me have a go on his, just to see what the capabilities are -- even if I do have to traverse half of the world's biggest circular carpark.
  23. Matt S

    Awl choice for repair project

    Garment leather is normally sewn with a glover's needle (sharpened chisel tip like a leather-specific machine needle) rather than with an awl. (Well, it's normally sewn by machine but I assume that's not an option.) The fabric lining probably goes entirely behind or within the fold of the leather edging.
  24. Matt S

    BUSM Pilot Heavy Harness Sewing Machine

    Potentially interested. I take it it's in Beverley?
  25. Unless you're stamping with a powder-actuated nail-gun, you'll be fine.