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Found 30 results

  1. CarlRosati

    Best Pricking Irons

    Hey, Long time listener, first time poster. I am currently agonising over which pricking irons to invest in. Having used cheap chinese irons for years, I'm ready to invest in the perfect set. Problem is, where to start. I know I don't want to go old school so i'll dismiss brands like Blanchard and Osbourne for starters. I favour penetrating at least 3mm worth of leather over only using awl (I know I know, its just my way. I do like to work with an awl but I like having the option for certain projects). I'm looking at 2+8 teeth at 3.38 and/or 3.85 So far, my opinions are thus: Crimson Hides: Great for consistent penetration but makes large holes and are neither diamond nor euro style Amy Roke: Great irons, well made and ideal for those wanting to do the awl work but punching through opens up hole too much which significant differences between entering/exit holes. Wuta: Same as Amy Roke, just cheaper and smaller. Other than that, little difference. KS Blade: Ideal for marking holes and punching through. Just unbelievably expensive. Even the new 'Black' range isn't that much cheaper! cmdachong: Great for both marking and punching through reasonably thick leathers without huge difference in enter/exit holes. Good price... But he has decided to stop making irons! These are just the opinions/descriptions I have formed to date based on research and discussion. If you can shed any extra light, opinion or introduce other suggestions, feel free. What are you using, and why do you like them etc (and if you're selling any irons, do get in touch!). I'm favouring the Roke at the moment and will just have to suck up the awl work and forgo the punching through unless you guys can help!
  2. Hi, I am making a knife sheath that is causing me some trouble and am wondering if anyone has a solution. I have the welt glued in with reina aquilim 315 which is a water based contact cement. It works great and I do follow the directions about applying to both sides, waiting until clear (around 30 min), then pushing pieces together and hammering. Then I waited at least 24 hours before using my awl and it seems as though the glue gets stuck to it creating little boogers. It makes it hell trying to punch the holes as well as slightly dangerous and prone to error when trying to hit the groove on the back side. I have been gluing the entire piece, so my next thought is I should try gluing everything except the area close to the approximate location of the stitch line. I think that would help, but on a welt - there really isn't much space there. I really don't want to resort to using Barges or the other hardcore cements, anyone else have this issue and have a solution for it? Thanks!
  3. I found some old tools from my Great grand father. Unfortunately he died, so did my grand father and father. I heard he was a shoe maker. Can anyone identify the brand of the awl, I can't make anything from it ? Maybe it helps if I mention I live in belgium. Thx in advance Bert
  4. LeathercraftMasterclass

    New TITANIUM awl review

    Hey guys, I did a video review of a new titanium (not the blade though!) saddlers awl from France. So I thought I would share with the community here. What do you think? Revolutionary or a waste of money? Click the image below to watch.
  5. I probably should get a diamond shaped awl to help stitch 2 or 3 layers of 8 oz leather, and thinner leather in upcoming projects. Steel and comfort I suppose matters most. Sharpening and finishing is a side-hobby of mine. From reading threads here, I found these in my $ comfort zone. Which should I purchase later this week? What size? - LeatherCraftTools dot com PRO Diamond Awl 3 Tools Set $21.50 - Rocky Mountain Kyoshin-Elle Awls $18.00 - Rocky Mountain Vergez Blanchard Awl - Diamond $21.99 - Springfield Leather Stitching Awl $11.99 - Adding Wuta, good price, long shipping... This might have been my first mistake - (incorrect size?) I have a 2 prong Tandy Craftool Pro 3.5 mm chisel (wow did I actually spend that much on it?), Tandy waxed thread and some needles.
  6. goody2shoes

    Diamond Awl problems

    Hi guys and gals, I'm having some awl problems, my trusty perfectly honed awl that was passed down to me snapped whilst making a cartridge bag, since then I have tried a few new blades but they all seem soooo sharp and no matter how much polishing each edge it doesn't feel right,and I can feel it just slicing through the leather. I'm using a Blanchard at the mo, any suggestions? Thanks
  7. I have three Awl's with width of Awl in 3mm, 4mm, 5-6mm width diamond shape and all about just under a inch in length The 4mm looks about write stitching 8 stitch per inch roughly, but question what others use or suggest
  8. Killerwork

    Awl Haft

    So I would like to start out by stating I know that this a leatherworking forum and not woodworking, as I am not a woodworker by any means. But I am curious. I have access to a lathe and would like to try my hand at making my own awl haft. But I am not sure how to make it hold a blade, prefferabbly to be able to replace the blade. Would anyone have any experience they would be willing to share with a newbie?
  9. Hello all, After a few simple no-sew projects, I've decided I should learn to stitch. I've watched a couple of videos, have the Stohlman book on order, and now it's time to buy an awl. I've read enough to know I should avoid Tandy and the other inexpensive version, so I'm looking at the Barry King hafts and blades (available from the same source). Good choice for a first tool, or should I pick something else? Which one? I have medium sized hands (7.5" tip to wrist). My guess is the small haft with the flat side, but if someone has a better idea, I'm all ears! Blade: Are the Barry King blades good for a beginner, or should I bite the shipping bullet and make a second order from Bob Douglas? Blade size? I'm working with small-ish projects (journal cover or smaller) and using ~5oz leather , 2-3 layers. Also, will one small blade cover most small to medium projects, or will I need more than one type? Thanks!
  10. Calling all saddle-stitching gurus, I realize that when it comes to the balance of TPI, thread weight, technique there is a lot of grey area, but of course there are some hard-fast rules. Here's where I'm a little lost: I know part of this depends on the quality of the pricking iron, but when can and can't you just punch all the way through the leather and not use an awl? My understanding is that theoretically the iron is meant to mark the stitch and your awl provides just a big enough hole that your thread can pass through, but then allow the leather to neatly "close up" around the stitch. When is this pertinent? Is it based on leather weight and type (veg tan/bridle vs. something soft and pliable)? I attached a photo of a simple iPhone clutch I made using a Tandy pricking iron (7 TPI) and .8mm Tiger Thread on Horween CXL Horse Strip. I mean, it looks pretty sharp to me, but maybe one of you can offer a critique that I'm not seeing. I have just ordered a couple Vergez Blanchard pricking irons (9 TPI) for when I start sewing up kangaroo or exclusively horse front leather goods. I know that these exquisite tools will create a finer hole for stitching, but, is it enough just to have a highend iron or should I get over myself and discipline myself on an awl? Lol. I do aim to produce high-end, extremely durable goods. I tend to value quality of construction/function a little more than aesthetics. Thanks in advance for any constructive criticism and ideas! Laura
  11. SasQuiche

    Awl slipping from handle.

    Hello y'awl (I won't do that again), While sewing some pretty thick leather all was business as usual. Until I tried pulling my awl out from its hole only to be left with a handle. I wanted to ask if this happened to you before? How would you go about fixing it? and would glue be a good idea?
  12. Barry King awl handle with flat side and Bob Douglas standard awl blade (used on one small project). Selling together. $50 plus $5 shipping in CONUS. PM for details on payment.
  13. brettra

    Issues With Stitch Holes

    Hello Folks, Looking to pick at the knowledge base. I did up a long wallet from template and used my diamond hole chisel on the inside and then used the diamond shaped awl to push through the remaining layers. (Up to 4 in some areas). The awl pushed through easy enough but the end project obviously had ascetic issues due to the tear out on the leather. Awl was sharp and did not really bind up as I pressed it through the layers. Leather was very low in the stitching horse. I wanted to ensure minimal movement. I had concerns with the holes lining up on the various thicknesses so I was of the mindset, this was the way to best line up my holes. Any suggestions to keep this from happening again? Thank you.
  14. Newbie here in need of clarification/direction. I've read lots and lots and lots of stuff about Tiger thread (and like everyone else in the world watched Ian A. and Nigel A. use it on their videos). It seems like it's hard to find in US without buying short lengths for a huge mark-up. So if I don't bother with Tiger thread, what else should I get to use with saddle stitching by hand (no machine). I currently use the Tandy waxed nylon thread they said I should buy to start with. This is what I have: https://www.tandyleather.com/en-usd/search/searchresults/1227-02.aspx . It appears to have three small threads to form the main thread. It's been okay as my starter thread (I have in all three amazing colors - white, black, and brown) but now that I'm better at stitching, I'm ready to get some better stuff next time. What I like about it - prewaxed is easy and I'm fearful of my ability to know how much wax to apply if I get unwaxed. What I don't like about it - seems sort of thick for what I'm making which have been journal covers (these projects really show how much my stitching is improving though , pouches, some not-so-great wallets, basic beginner stuff, nothing heavy duty like sheaths. I'm also wondering if I'm doing something wrong, I'm being picky, or it's just the thread but it seems sort of "furry" after stitching. Definitely not frayed or anything, but I thought the wax would keep it "neater" and less feathery. How do you know how thick thread is? I've read there are different thoughts on linen vs. nylon. So if someone recommends a good thread, what harness needles to use with it? I am soooo confused with the harness needle numbering system. I've gathered that I should get John James which I know SLC carries. Seems JJ needles will do an adequate job and I think the prices are okay for my budget. Some places say UK sizing of JJ needles are different from US. I understand that I should use the smallest needle that I can, but isn't that dependent on the thread (which as I said above I don't know how to determine its thickness/weight/or whatever is the correct term for it)? So how do I "match" them? I have to mail order it sight unseen. http://springfieldleather.com/20059/Needle%2CHarness%2C%2200%22Med%2C5pk/ Finally, I can't believe what sharpening my awl did for me!! I'm sure I didn't even do it "right" or as long as I should have. I watched the Nigel A. video on sharpening. Since I don't have sharpening stones, I bought a variety pack of fine wet/dry sandpaper (400,800,1000,1200 grits). I used it dry since I thought adding sharpening oil would leave residue on the leather even after wiping. I finished by stropping with the jewelers' rouge that came with my starter Tandy set. So I have two questions here about awls. First, is there an affordable sharpening stone set for awls or should I stick with sandpaper for now? I'm grinning at the idea that my awl could be even better with the right tools. Seems like I can find lots of stuff for sharpening swivel knife blades but not the diamond shaped awl. Second, how does the awl size work with the needle/thread size choices? [As a side note, I wanted to order from SLC an Osbourne haft (there are 3 choices - which one? http://springfieldleather.com/24630/Awl%2CHaft%2CPalm/) and Osbourne blade (a bunch of sizes - which one? http://springfieldleather.com/16526/Blade%2CAwl%2CHarness%2C1-3-4%22/) to use as my primary awl and use the somewhat sharpened Tandy awl as my backup so if I'm getting new thread and needles, this is a good time to get a coordinating awl set-up.] And just in case this makes any impact on the advice above, I am using Tandy's Pro Line Diamond Stitching Chisels (I have 2mm in 2 and 4 prong versions and 3mm in 2 and 4 prong versions https://www.tandyleather.com/en-usd/search/searchresults/88044-02.aspx). I pound in the chisel but not all the way through all the layers of leather. I use the awl to open one hole at a time and stitch. I'm slow but following my Al Stohlman book instructions (Don't put the awl down between stitches So I guess I'm assuming thread steers the size decisions for all the other things, but maybe I have that backwards. I know this is a really long post but I wanted to provide as much information as possible to hopefully help someone help me. This is my first post and I want to say thank you for all of you that have been posting such great information that I've been reading. Whenever I jump on the forum, it's like I get to go to a really awesome leather "class" anytime I want.
  15. Oldtoolsniper

    Stacked Leather Handle Tracing Awl

    I wanted a long nosed tracing tool for marking or scribing around objects to make patterns. It's made from stuff I had on hand and was no longer serviceable in its present condition. I used: A practice tooled belt from an eBay auction A size A Starrett pin vise that was in two pieces A brass compression fitting from some plumbing project long since forgotten A broken eyed John James needle A piece sawed from a broken solid brass hinge A 6x32 brass screw from a lamp fixture Epoxy It was a fun and challenging way to make a tool and learn some new things about leather. I used up a bunch of stuff that was basically going to the trash so I'm pleased at how well it came out. I have a box of these belts from different sources, word of warning here, one of the belts came from a heavy smoker and it wasn't bad to work with until I started sanding down the stacked leather to get my final shape, it just reeked like a moldy ashtray, it was disgusting so I tossed it. If it smells like cigarettes when it's whole it won't be to bad, start sanding it and the bouquet will intensify 20 fold. I used epoxy rather than Weldbond contact cement to hold the leather washers together because the shaft on the pin vise is round and I didn't want the handle to rotate. The leather washers were cut from a tooled belt, I just clamped them until they were dry and as you can see from the edges the tooling in the belt did not cause an issue in the final product.
  16. Hey guys, I want to get more into handstitching, especially on bag handles.. Right now my handstitching doesn't look great. I've heard there are some pricking or stitching irons that you can use to punch the holes as well (as opposed to marking the leather then using an awl). I have a set which I've been using like that, but the holes don't look as clean as I'd like.. Does anyone have a recommendation for some pricking irons that would work for punching clean holes? Affordable is a plus! I'd love to know what you expert stitchers are using.. Thanks!
  17. MorningStarL

    Awl Problem Solved

    I bought some good Douglass awls, but with a combination of arthritis in some fingers, trigger finger recurring in another, and some kind of repetitive strain thing starting down the back of my right thumb into my wrist, I couldn't use them. Someone here suggested I drill a hole in a piece of 1/4" hardwood dowel, insert the blunt end of the awl into that, and chuck the dowel into my drill press. Then I could use just the lever to push the awl through the leather. Except the blunt end of the awl was so non-blunt that when I reached the woodblock behind the leather, it pushed the awl up into the dowel and I had nothing left to go into the leather. My knifemaker was putting together a sculpture of a dragonfly this week and bought some steel rods for the legs. I had a Eureka! moment and got him to cut about 1/2" of the rod for me, inserted THAT into the drillpress chuck, then the dowel with the awl in it. Boy HOWDY! I am now stitching belt loops onto knife sheaths through perfect diamond-shaped holes and I'm very happy.
  18. Okay, I've been poking around the site now for a while and have learned a ton, but I also have lots of questions. Like... Should I be using a stitching awl or stitching chisel? Until now, I've been using one of several chisels (6, 2 and 1 points) I got from Tandy on everything I do. I've been using my awl (I got from Tandy) just to widen holes as I stitch so I can pass two needles through at the same time. It pointed, but far from sharp like what I hear about Bob Douglas awls. What am I missing here? When should I be using an awl or the chisel. Getting Stitching Holes to Line Up? What's the trick here? I think I've experimented every which way and cant say I've found the "right" way yet. If I punch holes first, they're less likely to lineup perfectly. But If I glue first, then punch holes, I have to go back over it with the dye again. Using the groover make it even more complicated and difficult to get things lined up. Should I always use a groover? I understand the groovers are used to recess and protect stitching lines. I've been doing it on EVERYTHING regardless of how it will be used because I thought 'that's just how its done'. After reading through the forums, I'm not so sure. Should I stop using the groover? Why/when should I use an overstitch wheel? I've been using it to layout holes around corners and curves. Should I be using it for something else? If it helps... I primarily have been working with leather weights between 3oz and 9oz to make variety of large and small cases/bags, iPad sleeves, and wallets. I've been stitching everything hand using Tandy needles and what I think is 4oz waxed nylon thread. Any help and suggestions you can offer are appreciated. Thanks. - Odin
  19. whipstitchwallets

    Bob Douglas Awl

    I got my Bob Douglas awl blade last night. All I can say is wow. I can't believe I thought my awl blades were sharp enough before! Worth every penny. I also got their low cost thread snips; I highly recommend those as well-- especially for the price. I'm off to go see what else I can poke holes in with this thing.
  20. Hello awl Does anyone have any tips on how to do a butt-stitch with only a straight awl blade and needles? I know that most people use a curved awl blade but the only ones I can get are from Tandy Leather and I have found their awl blades to be sub-par at best. (Yes, I can get them sharp enough to work, but they don't seem to hold an edge worth a darn and the last ones took hours of work to get them sharp enough). I have a Bob Douglas awl blade and haft and I am supremely happy with them. I hope that they can somehow be used for this method. Any tips, tutorials or videos would be very helpful!
  21. Oldtoolsniper

    Ivory Inlay Awl

    I made this after seeing Rawcustoms post on making a new Awl blade holder. I used his idea for the blade holder and bought the double collet pin vise from EBay. I don't make my own blades, I buy them. The handle is turned out of Cocobolo with a brass ferrule turned to flush itself with the Cocobolo. The business end of course is the pin vise. I struggled with how to handle the reference point on the handle. I've read where folks sand down a flat spot for reference. That would serve to keep the handle from rolling around too. You would not have to look either but in my case I've been sewn back together enough to know I'm not real found of that. I prefer to watch myself stab myself so I went with an orientation inlay so I have to watch. The inlay is Ivory from a late 1800's piano that went to the scrap yard, I harvested the keys and soaked the ivories off to use as inlays. Figuring out how to cut the ivory was interesting to say the least. I am about three weeks into leather work and this site has helped me greatly. What drove me to leather work is unprotected sharp pointy things. My friends have a hard time not cutting themselves when they visit. I warn them if it's meant to be sharp and I own it, well it's sharp. I'm forced to either make sheaths for my sharp pointy things or get new friends. I see it this way, if you pick it up, unsnap the sheath strap, pull it out of the sheath and proceed to insert the sharp pointy thing into you body all by yourself you must have wanted it there. Thank you all for helping to protect my friends from themselves.
  22. Looking to purchase a Vergez-Blanchard sewing awl and wanted to get your guys advice on the size. The one I had in mind is this one: http://www.fineleatherworking.com/blanchard-leather-sewing-awl. I am currently using .8 mm tiger thread, 6 to 7 SPI with John James 004 needles. Mostly stitching 3 to 4 oz veg tan and 5 to 6 oz pull up. What size awl would you guys recommend? Thanks! Kev
  23. MonicaJacobson

    Made Myself An Awl Last Night

    So, in my (very futile) quest to try to do leatherworking without being a drain upon our finances, I have learned a lot slower than necessary, and cut a lot of important corners. NO MORE. I've been saddle stitching, using pricking irons and then stitching, but the last two bags have convinced me that if I didn't buy an awl to open up each stitch (as Nigel Armitage recommended), I would give myself a serious case of carpel tunnel syndrome. So, I finally turned a handle for the awl blade I bought months and months ago. Tonight I'm going to make some burnishing wheels to put on a drill. To be fair, without my husband's wood turning expertise, this would never have happened. And yes, I didn't bother with a collet. With all the exotic wood ends hanging around in his shop, I can make a new handle for a new kind of blade easier than chasing down a collet. The handle is ziricote, one of my favorite woods.
  24. mrcina

    About Awl Size

    Hello, I'm getting started with hand stitching and I have some questions about it. I've been reading LW forum for a few weeks and I will keep on doing so because it's such a great resource and I thank you all for that. I would like to make some wallets and phone pouches/sleeves first. I like simplistic, clean design and pretty much natural look of leather in all shades of brown and black. Something like that in the attachments, made by Nordic District. I'm going in with a very low budget and I don't know what size awl to pick. I think I should go with 8 spi as suggested in Stohlmans book and the 0.8 mm thread. I've been lookin at the 2.3mm (0.09") and 3mm (0.12") awl blades, can you please suggest what is better for that job? The other thing is what leather weight (calf, cow) is strong enough for a wallet and phone pouch, considering it will be going in and out of pocket dozen times a day. I've seen 2.5-3 oz, 3-4oz, 4-5oz and even heavier leather suggested. Also, can such thin leather be grooved? Would the holes made with pricking irons or diamond chisels be too big for these projects to look fine like the attachments? All suggestions are welcome, Thanks
  25. Southernleather

    Awl Is Tearing The Leather On One Side

    Hi everyone, Wondering if I could get some expert advice! I am currently working on some leather coin purses. For marking the stitching holes I use an edge crease and then a pricking iron. The pricking iron does go through the veg tan but makes a very small hole, meaning when I am stitching on the pony, I widen the hole using my awl to enable the needle to pass through. When I push the awl through, one side looks fine but on the back, the pressure of the awl is tearing the leather and it looks a bit cracked. On the finished product one side looks perfect but the back does not look the same, it looks a little messier. Whilst I am still very pleased with the outcome, I was wondering if there is any way I can prevent this? Or, is it a simple case of this is the way it is? Any help welcomed Thanks!