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  1. You should look into carrying Meisi thread. Particularly their Superfine linen and Xiange polyester. I love Xiange but the nearest source is in Canada and they have a very limited selection. Their website is http://www.meisi108.com/
  2. I haven't tried it, and I am opposed to it on principle because it's marketed to gullible, emotional people by lying about saving cows. Nobody "needs" leather, it's a luxury and it's okay for it to be an expensive finite resource.
  3. Here are 4mm and 5mm chisels with 1.0mm tiger thread on the outer lines and 0.8mm on the inner lines. This was on W&C 8/10 bridle leather, and the teeth will only go through one thickness comfortably. So on two stitched layers, you will either be completing the hole with an awl, or punching each layer individually. Some of the more expensive makers offer reverse sets, so you can punch both sides. I started with these chisels and quickly moved on to pricking irons, so you never know where you will end up.
  4. How many stitches per inch? I can't tell without seeing the whole holster but I would guess it's 6 SPI. These chisels in 4mm are what I would recommend for that kind of work. Maybe even 5mm, if you are going to be doing thick welts.
  5. If you can show us an example of the sort of stitching you want to do, we can give advice on how to achieve it.
  6. 0.8 mm Ritza tiger thread and John James 002 needles would be better suited for those irons. 1/0 needles are too big, they would go with 4mm irons and Ritza 1.0 or 1.2.
  7. I'm sure it can be done, but I'd like to know if anybody actually does it or has tried it and is it worth doing. I've seen plenty of people cutting and engraving leather but I haven't seen any instances of someone that uses a laser to mark the cutting lines instead of using a template. It seems like it would be more accurate than cutting out a piece of paper and tracing it onto the leather with a scratch awl, but on the other hand it might be more time consuming and frankly the soot is my biggest concern.
  8. I was looking into getting one of those cheap 2.5 watt diode lasers to cut out watch straps and it seems like it would be more hassle than it's worth to deal with the soot. But what if you just etch a faint line? You could have an oversize cut line, a final trim line, stitching lines, hardware locations, positioning marks. I've never used a laser so I don't know if this is a dumb idea or a useful shortcut.
  9. If you take one of these center finders and drill out the hole in the bottom it holds the small C.S. Osborne punches perfectly. I mark the leather with a divider, sight down the hole and center my mark on the x axis of the sight picture. Then I stick the punch down to make a mark. I only make marks with the tool, I take the punch out to drive it through. This is the only way I can make neat holes, because I can't manually center the punch on a dot to save my life.
  10. The parallel portion of the sides don't need to be sharp at all. You may want them more slender to reduce drag but they aren't cutting anything, only expanding the hole cut by the tip of the awl blade.
  11. I've spent hours trying to sharpen awls the Armitage way and the method I've settled on is to just use a Dremel with a felt buffing wheel with green polishing compound. I like the tip to be completely rounded and very thin. If you have a point it will pierce the leather in the first place it touches, but with a rounded tip it can nestle down into the prick mark and be perfectly centered. It will still go through the leather like butter. The diamond shoulders definitely need to be removed at the tip, and smoothed out as much as possible on the rest of the blade. My ideal awl is not even a diamond shape but flat with parallel edges.
  12. I have a set of Barry King grooved edgers and one Ron's rounded edger and I prefer the Ron's. I like the bigger handle, but mostly I like how easy it is to sharpen perfectly. The initial edge that it leaves does actually look better but there is still a line that you need to sand.
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