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Everything posted by TomE

  1. For leather sewn to heavy canvas or webbing, a single needle backstitch is used when hand sewing tack. This pattern creates longer stitches on the back/fabric side that gather more threads in each stitch. It is used to repair horse blanket closures, girth billets, and "rubber reins" that incorporate nylon straps sewn to leather billets. Creates a durable stitch but the backside is not as tidy as a saddle stitch.
  2. We call it a brow band or a front. It’s sewn by hand but using #207 nylon thread from my machine. Marking holes with a pricking iron and decreasing the stitch size improves the appearance of my sewing.
  3. Thanks, Jonas! Yes, the throat latch consists of 2 points with a skived square of leather on one end that tucks between the head piece crown and padding. The squares are secured by both lines of stitching on the head piece. It is patterned after a Antares bridle.
  4. Since I took the time to photograph this and upload to another thread on this forum, I decided to post it here as well. Sorry for the spam. I appreciate your feedback to improve my craft. This "practice piece" was made from imported veg tan. I'm cutting out a second bridle from HO bridle leather now that I've finished a prototype and have a better idea how to do this.
  5. Agree that a liner is ideal. The bridle head piece, front, and nose band have padded liners. I am slicking the backs of the cheek pieces and throat latch. Have tried slicking with gum trag but think the penetration of the Fenice adhesive may improve wear. Still experimenting.
  6. So I've started making bridles out of single layer straps (9-10 oz) with the flesh side exposed. Feedback from folks who make a living showing horses is that its important for the backside to be smooth and easy to clean. Oiling and conditioning with a wax based balm didn't seem like quite enough, even for HO bridle leather with a pasted moss-back. I read old threads on this forum about various concoctions, mostly stuff used for burnishing edges, to smooth the flesh side. Then I found this water-based, flexible adhesive made by Fenice for creating a moss-back. So far, I'm pretty happy with it but don't know how it wears with use. I dilute it 50:50 with water, apply with a wool dauber, and use a glass slicker to work it into the fibers on the flesh side. After 30 min, I apply a second light coat and wipe it smooth. The pasted surface is smooth and not tacky. It doesn't wrinkle when bent, which is different from the pasted back on HO bridle leather. I think the adhesive penetrates several millimeters into the leather. Probably can control this with how much is applied in the first coat. Seems like an improvement over other methods I've tried.
  7. TomE

    Edge Creaser

    Yup. That's what I said previously. Mine works fine after a bit of smoothing and polishing. Good time to invest in a buffing wheel.
  8. Maybe you need an apron for yourself! Saw this pattern pack https://leathercraftersjournal.com/product/farrier-apron-pattern-pack/ and am thinking about making a new apron. I've rasped through the stitching twice on my current apron and it's looking tattered after 12 yrs. Also, a DVD on chap making https://leathercraftersjournal.com/product/chaps-dusty-johnson/.
  9. Turned out great! Maybe a farrier's apron is in your future?
  10. Thanks so much for explaining this adjustment. I've learned so much from this thread and forum about using and maintaining my 441 clone. Much appreciated.
  11. TomE

    Edge Creaser

    I would ask those who make watch straps and wallets. My exprience is limited to heavier leathers mostly heating the creaser with an alcohol lamp. It has a different feel on cased leather so I would experiment. Another modification I've seen is shortening the creaser relative to the guide (or reversing them to make a left handed tool) to help it rest on the edge. If yours is difficult to hold on a beveled edge you could consider that modification.
  12. TomE

    Edge Creaser

    I think the sizes refer to distance from the edge. You can make the crease line thicker or thinner by shaping and polishing the tool. For a crease line less than 1/8 in from the edge (using the Osborne #21 size 3), I have better luck creasing before beveling the edge with a small beveler. You can do it however you like.
  13. TomE

    Edge Creaser

    I have an Osborne #21 size 3 creaser. IMO it needed some reshaping when new to work properly, like all Osborne tools. The creasing edge was sharp and cut into the grain. The outside flange had machining marks that caused it to drag on the edge of the leather. I used a round Arkansas stone slip covered with wet/dry paper and a buffing wheel to get it into shape. I like the Osborne tools but they require some attention to work properly. I really like the Vergez-Blanchard screw crease right out of the box, but I am creasing 8-10 oz leather for tack.
  14. That combination generally works for me with 2-3 layers of 9-10oz HO bridle. Also check for a burr on your needle, and that your foot movement and timing are correct.
  15. Happy with Osborne round knives, but you'll have to sharpen them. #70, #71, #73 An alternative to a stitch groover is a scratch compass. Osborne #34 or this one, which must be very nice https://www.ranch2arena.com/collections/horse-shoe-brand-tools/scratch-compass#MainContent Have you tried sharpening your current groovers? Can cut a groove in heavy leather, fill it with jewelers rouge, and strop the blade. It's possible there's a burr inside the hole. Can use a welding torch reamer to lightly dress inside, stroking from the back towards the front (sharp) edge so you don't round the cutting edge. I rarely cut a groove for stitch lines. You're removing the strongest part of the leather.
  16. I thought you asked about embossing a line on a strap, and a creaser would be my choice. It can be argued (has been argued on this forum) that you should not cut a groove for stitches unless abrasion is truely going to be a problem. You're removing the strongest part of the leather on a strap that typically is under tension. Here is another perspective on working with straps
  17. Now I understand! But easier on shoulders than building fence.
  18. Yes, the 145 has the same chuck as the other hafts I listed and it "holds all Osborne awls." It's as good as any of them. You're correct about the definition of haft and awl. If you're new to sharpening an awl, I follow Al Stohlman's method and stroke on a stone or wet/dry paper moving back and forth parallel to the long axis of the awl. Need to watch carefully that you keep each of the four faces flat on the sharpener. I strop on the grain side of heavy veg tan coated with green jeweler's rouge. For stropping, I draw the blade towards me and move slightly sideways away from the cutting edge. You will end up with a diamond profile that has 2 cutting edges and 2 obtuse noncutting edges. Takes time but once you have a really sharp awl it will be a pleasure to use.
  19. Check out the CS Osborne description of haft #141. "Hardwood handle. Clear lacquer finish. Brass chuck designed to hold thinner awls or larger needles. Knurled chuck makes it easy to tighten manually." I use the same awl shown above with their hafts #142 and #144 for sewing up to about 16 oz of leather. I like the peg awl haft #143 for heavier projects. In addition to sharpening the Osborne awls you might like to reshape the point slightly with a gradual taper - more pointy.
  20. Those are very good looking boots. I imagine most clients will be familiar with velcro closures and can tell you if they want more. Extending the tab and adding a snap could be an option. Might also consider padding around the top of the boot. The coronary band (hairline at top of hoof) is sensitive tissue that produces new hoof. When bandaging a leg we take care to pad around the coronary band to avoid irritation.
  21. Very pretty. I'd second the idea of using smooth leather for the bottom trim. If the horse is tacked up and placed in a stall between jumping rounds there will be shavings, liquid, etc sticking to the fabric. Also, I wonder if the velcro closure will be enough. Might test this with the prototype and reinforce with buckle(s) if needed. Bell boots protect the front heels from interference (contact) by the back toes as the horse tracks up. If the horse really needs boots they will give that closure a workout.
  22. So it depends on the type of leather. Bridle leathers typically have a "moss-back" a.k.a. pasted back that is smooth and dense. The fibers on the flesh side are essentially glued together with a flexible resin. A finisher from Hermann Oak Leather Co told me the terminology moss-back or mossed comes from the outdated process of making a glue-like substance by boiling peat moss. There are commercial products to create this type of sealed surface on the flesh side but they come in industrial size quantities. https://leatherchemicals.co.uk/product/unisol-moss-back/ https://campbell-randall.com/product/sup-bt639-g-leather-finish-for-sealing-flesh-side-moss-back-suede-1-gal You can search these forums to find threads about sealing the flesh side with waxes, gum trag, and other potions. Some folks use a heavy glass slicker to finish the flesh side. Or, you can leave it alone.
  23. That's a great legacy. Would love to see your book collection. This publisher produced some gems about tack and harness making. https://www.museumofthehorse.org/j-a-allen-the-horsemans-booksho/
  24. TomE


    In defense of using an awl and stitching horse, I don't see a way to punch through 2-3 layers of 9 oz veg tan without leaving an unsightly hole. I doubt it's faster to prepunch the holes since most of the time is spent pulling up the stitches and (re)positioning the work. I'd also say that Stohlman's books on sewing and case making are arguably better than most instructional videos.
  25. I’ve been pleased with SLC customer service, in store and for online orders. They just missed on checking my machine. Learning how to maintain tools is a fulfilling part of the craft for me. The sewing machine expertise and generosity found on this forum is a treasure.
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