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About TomE

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  • Location
    west of Saint Louis
  • Interests
    horses, fixing the stuff they break

LW Info

  • Leatherwork Specialty
    making and repairing tack
  • Interested in learning about
    construction methods, using and sharpening tools

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  1. I use a regular sewing awl and harness needles, per the method shown in this JH Leather video https://youtu.be/ZmgxmtkvISs which is essentially what Stohlman describes. It is helpful to pre-awl the holes in the strap that will be covered by the loop before inserting the loop end and sewing the second/final side of the loop. That way, you can feel your way through existing holes in the correct location while piercing the end of the loop with your awl . Also, Stohlman inserts the awl from the front side/loop side while deflecting the loop. I prefer how it's done in the video, awling from the side opposite the loop and watching the point of the awl appear underneath the loop. Gently withdraw the awl and insert a needle in its place to keep the holes aligned then pass the other needle through the hole while withdrawing the place holder needle then finishing the stitch as usual. I aim for 3 stitches securing each end of the loop and adjust stitch length accordingly. I am typically sewing 9 oz straps and splitting the loop stock to about 6-7 oz. I also do a lap skive to help the buckle turn lay down nicely, without taking too much thickness around the crew hole to maintain strength.
  2. That is a beauty! Interesting construction and a work of art (deco). Now my wife wants one.
  3. I learned to hand sew before buying a machine, and I still sew a fair amount by hand. The hand sewing gives me perspective on what a machine can/can't do, and how to set up a project to run it through a machine. Books by the Stohlmans (hand sewing, case making, leather tools) were a foundation in leather construction methods that I use as a yardstick to judge what I see online. Of course, they didn't use a sewing machine.
  4. TomE

    Edge Beveler

    He's using a common edge shave. Probably a Dixon https://www.tooltique.co.uk/shop/vintage-t-dixon-son-shoemakers-leatherworking-edge-shave/ Abbey England sells a similar style with a shorter shank https://www.abbeyengland.com/workshop-materials/tools/
  5. TomE

    Loop Irons

    The loop stick enables you to stretch the dampened loop a bit to size it and to block the corners, making them square. Particularly handy for fixed loops sewn on a strap with the stitch lines running through the ends of the loop, and for narrow fixed/running loops on a bridle.
  6. Sure. I use a round knife for skiving. For skiving small pieces I will switch to a smaller skiving knife like an Osborne #67. A small half round knife might be even handier.
  7. Finally solved the mystery of the Vergez-Blanchard plough gauge. Moving the blade 3 mm back from the fully forward position relieved the pinching and binding of the strap against the guide. It now slices through 12 oz HO veg tan with little effort. This fix was suggested on FB by a Kelsey Watson from White Hall, VA. I think he fabricates leatherworking tools. Thanks to everyone for tips on sharpening the knife - my skills continue to improve and I am sure that helped as well. Now if I could get more brass hardware that has been out of stock for 6 months.
  8. Not sure about the process but haltertags.com in Wilmore KY makes very nice brass name plates that are engraved and filled with paint (enamel?).
  9. Thanks for the link!
  10. That's a handsome piece of work! If he runs out of bullets that gun will make a good club.
  11. Maybe not just a legacy. I bought a new Vergez Blanchard pricking iron a few months ago that looked like a high school shop project. Stubby teeth with rough unfinished edges. Spent hours shaping, smoothing and polishing to make it useable. On the other hand, I am very happy with the Rocky Mountain European style pricking irons.
  12. No pattern, but here are a couple of pony sized cruppers photographed on a 1 inch grid. The larger crupper at the top of the picture loops through a dee ring mounted on the cantle. The other crupper loops through a T-shaped tab that slips into the slot between the panel and flap underneath the cantle. The dock is constructed like a suitcase handle with a leather cover sewn around a flexible material (felt?). These cruppers have a 1 in buckle securing the point, and 5/8 in buckles for the dock. Steinke ("Bridlework") suggests making the dock from a piece of liner leather folded in thirds and sewn flat. His dimensions are Point: 22-28 in x 5/8 in. Buckle piece: 13 in x 1 in, tapering to 5/8 in where point and buckle attach. Splits: 8 in x 1/2 in. Dock: 11 in x 2 in, folded in thirds.
  13. I appreciate and admire the work that goes into a pasture like that. Hope you're enjoying OK and the leathercraft.
  14. TomE


    Lovely! Thanks for sharing.
  15. Mike Graham, owner of Ruxton's Trading Post, is an expert in the history of western saddles. He has written books on the subject, and articles for Western Horseman. https://www.ruxtons.com/dynapage/PP03.htm
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