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About Handstitched

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Western Australia
  • Interests
    General leather work, carving, handstitching.
    Horse rugs repairs.
    Challenging projects

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    Leather belts
  • Interested in learning about
    Heavy Duty Machine Sewing
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  1. Handstitched

    Marks on leather

    .......or you could just trim your nails @tstan47 I always use neatsfoot oil on my belts and some other products before I dye them, but with brown or lighter coloured belt & products , I use a thin oil similar to ' Armorall' for car upholstery, as it dries mostly clear and doesn't darken the leather like neatsfoot does. HS
  2. Handstitched

    Prepunching Holes?

    Well, just to throw a spanner in the works. I dont use the ' traditional ' diamond awl, I use sewing machine needles in sewing awl hafts. Have done for the past 15 years This works just fiiiine for me, and may never work for anyone else .., it may not be ' traditional' ...but it works . Here are my awls. The one on the far left is the one I use all the time ,at the end on the haft, theres a tiny hole that I use to help push the needle through. However, depending on the job, and needs a heavier thread, I use the one in the middle or the one on the * right. ( *its actually a needle from ' Brutus' , my saddle machine ) . The sewing needles I use are ' John James Egg Eyed Harness needles # 1, or # 1/0 . The bit of wood on the far right, is a piece of soft ' MDF', so I have something to push against, mainly because my hands do have the usual aches & pains ( and maybe a bit of arthritis) and the wood helps, and doesn't damage the needles. I do sometimes pre-punch the holes , and sometimes do one hole at at time, however, I cant always hold both the needle & the haft in the same hand, my hands aren't big enough . I have used a pricking iron on occasion, and even used my saddle machine to make holes as well because my hands are so sore. . My preferences vary from one job to the next. . The bag is just one example of the end result , using the awl on the left, and a pair of JJ 1/0 needles. Each to his or her own. Everyone here is different . Just do what works for you. Thats my 2 cents worth . HS
  3. Handstitched

    Show Your Favorite Machines?

    Well,I have 5 machines x4 industrial x 1 domestic , but heres my faves, the machines that get used frequently . The first is a Juki 144 clone, made by ' Q Stitch' of Queensland Australia( they no longer do these any more) . Its called ' Brutus' , and does all the medium & heavy stuff from belts , tool cases, & heavy leather to heavy webbing.Took me yonks to choose it. The model is called ' Colt' , the one up from that is called ' Stallion' . I bought it....um?? a long time ago , its also a declared asset for taxation purposes ( AU) , its also due for a service The second is a Pfaff 60 ( simply ' Mum's old machine ' ) and does all the light stuff like thin leather , wallets etc. I call it an ' industrial machine' but it is in fact a very well made German cast iron domestic . My mother used to make our clothes on it , amongst the 'gazzilion' clothing alterations as we were growing up when we were kids back in the late 50's & 60's ...onwards , so theres sentimental value as well.My Mum brought it with us when we moved to Australia, only some minor damage to the wood case. . She even made me a sheep skin vest on it when I was a wee lad. You can easily & simply replace the bushes on the motor from the out side. It has a new life now. A basic simple machine, and so well designed, it takes industrial threads I use for horse rugs, and gets a lot of love . Apart from the odd broken needle & belt, it goes great to this day. The third machine is a ' Seiko STW 28-B , ( ' Stewart' ) my ' bread & butter machine' , especially during the quiet leather/market months in Winter . Its does all my horse rug repairs, and medium weight leathers. Its 53 years old ( I checked) Its originally a twin needle, but I only use a single needle. A friend of mine moved, when she was having a ' cleanout' before moving, she was going to just give it to me for free, but I knew the value of it and bought it from her . Its cleaned and serviced frequently, as some horse rugs can be a bit dirty. The forth pic , are the needles from the 'Pfaff' , Seiko' and the Colt. HS
  4. Handstitched

    Staple Guns

    If its of any help, according to the instructions for the S & J staple gun, the minimum pressure is 60 PSI, max of 100 PSI . I had it set to around 65 PSI . I might put it up a bit higher, to about 70, but I don't see the need. If I have time , I'll take a few pics of my ' test piece' of wood so you can see the difference. It may be of some help to someone else in the future. HS
  5. Handstitched

    My bags have fat seams - skiver?

    @tagfan I second that, I quite like it as it is , looks great, lovely colour too HS
  6. Handstitched

    I need clicker help

    That reminds me of an old leather shop that closed in the Perth CBD ( WA) some years ago . It was on 3 levels. All the big machines presses etc. were on the basement floor. Over the 40 years it was there, the rear doors to the basement were blocked off, so the only way to get the machines out were through the front window by removing it, on the shop / street level , using an industrial crane . Hope to hear some good news about your machine soon. Don't give up . I haven't given up on mine, I've had mine for around ten years , still confident I will one day use it, just waiting to win lotto to buy a 3 ph generator. It will happen. HS
  7. Handstitched

    Staple Guns

    Well, like a kid with a new toy at Christmas, I just had to try out my new staple gun today , admittedly only on wood, not a M/C seat but it worked great , compared the electric one, the staples went in effortlessly and much deeper . Even on wood like pine , the electric one struggled a bit , the staples either bent or simply didn't go in very far. The air stapler pushed the staples in just a fraction below the wood surface. Wow !! I just need to do another M/C seat to do a full review, but I do feel confident that it will do the job so much better than the electric. HS
  8. Handstitched

    Staple Guns

    G'Day and thanks RB Your opinion doesn't exactly fill me with confidence, however, unlike shovels etc. this tool is pneumatically powered so I'm hoping it will do the job well. I'll just have to try it out for myself and see. I bought it from ' M10' , mainly to spite the big ' B ' , apart from the fact that are no ' Big B's out my way. My last staple gun is an Ozito, Ok on soft ( flat) woods....and thats it. I told the helpful assistant at M10 that I'll be using it with a GMC compressor, he went a bit green with envy. Seems they are much sort after. Some of my other power tools are GMC , and to this day ( touchwood) they all work well. HS
  9. Handstitched

    Staple Guns

    G'Day, I've been doing a few more upholstery jobs lately, mostly on M/C seats, and perhaps a few more jobs on the way, but using the " other stuff" ....that isn't leather ..... as per clients request. I've just recently purchased a ' Spear & Jackson' pneumatic stapler. http://www.spearandjackson.com.au/products/PA-8016K Does anyone have one of these and are they any good ? I did try searching on here for info, and also product reviews before buying, but nothing on the S&P . The last stapler was electric, and it was useless. Good on soft woods like pine etc. but no good for hard formed plastic M/C seat profiles . Thanks, HS
  10. Handstitched

    I need clicker help

    @turbotexas Is that valves ( tubes ) that I can see ? The machine is how old ? I used to restore vintage radios in another life so they look familiar. Check those, pull them out and put them back in, contacts can tarnish. If they're white on the tops, they'ye stuffed. If a radio didn't come to life, I checked the primary & secondary voltages on the coil. And paper capacitors were notorious for drying out . Old resistors can have dry or broken contacts, fractures etc. But as mark842 mentioned , rats love wire ' nom nom ' , they could well be the culprit. http://www.robinsandberg.nl/hydraulicpressmachines/tag/usm-clicker-press This is like mine, but not new, mine is about mid 1980's vintage, and 3 phase. RRP at the time $7,500, I bought mine from a former leather worker for $500- But just waiting to win lotto to buy a 3ph generator, theres no 3ph power in my street, and single phase conversion is about $1200+....DOH !!! Hope you get your machine working well HS
  11. Handstitched

    How to fix / hide scratch

    If it was me, it'll be a good ' excuse' to get creative and cover it up .I've restored old leather bags doing that to cover up scratches, marks , old or poor tooling, monograms etc. I once made a spelling boo boo on a belt. So , I got a separate piece of leather just slightly narrower and shorter than than the belt, punched out some holes and did a nice braid, and then sewed the whole piece to the offending belt,covering my mistake, only to find it sold really quickly.So I made a few more, they too sold quickly. HS
  12. Handstitched

    Working with snake skin

    Off topic: P.S. , I forgot to mention, that too much Fosters causes a bloke to be....um ...... under performing in the bedroom, aka the ' Fosters Flop ' . HS
  13. Handstitched

    Working with snake skin

    @robs456 yes, there are snakes everywhere, but the skins are not readily available . Thanks for the offer of a Fosters, but Fosters tastes like sh* t, its very rarely sold here, thats why it sold in the UK, cos' no-one else in their right mind would drink it !!! . HS
  14. Handstitched

    Contact Adhesives

    G'Day , Just a quick update. I received my tin of Toluene recently, and already its worked. ( But as soon as I opened the tin, the smell immediately brought back memories of my fibreglass pool days, I don't miss it ) I put a little into the tin in the morning , sealed it, and by the arvo, it had already turned 'the almost solid lump' of adhesive into something I can use. Over time this will hopefully save me a lot of $$$ in expensive adhesive. Yey , I like it when stuff works Thanks for all your advice and input . HS
  15. Handstitched

    Thinning Barge

    @AA3JW Although its a different brand, and ingredients maybe different, I have used acetone with ( Selleys Kwip Grip ( Au) contact adhesive, in the hope it will thin it out.........it didn't . It just went a bit ' gluggy' , and useless. MEKP = Methyl Ethyl Ketone Peroxide , aka catalyst for resin , like fibreglass etc. Not sure if MEK and MEKP are the same ? Geez, we've gone from leather crafters to chemical freaks.... nah , just kidding HS