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I'm a hobbyist leathercrafter here in Indianapolis, IN. Got my start making belts and occasionally, holsters. I'd like to start saving towards a sewing machine but there's SO MUCH information out there and I've got the following conditions: - I'm only doing this as a hobby now but wouldn't mind going pro, or at least semi-pro so something that can speed up production is important. -workspace is very much at a premium. If I were to invest in a table or pedestal mounted machine then that would be it. Ergo, I need something that can do lots of different types of projects. Myself and I, I like making cartridge belts and Old West holsters but I figure that is more a niche market around here. So conditions mentioned, here come the questions. -Are there ANY tabletop, COMPOUND feed machines that don't need a servo motor or is that a pipe dream? I know I read on one of these forum posts that machines like Sailrite Walking Foot machines aren't true Compound feed as they are not triple feed, only double feed. -Is it worth it to start with a tabletop machine(read:portable) if you plan to do heavier materials? I've heard a lot of "buy once, cry once" on this forum and as expensive as some of these machine are I want to do just that.
Actually, it was almost free, since a saddler buddy of mine donated the rawhide ( after a good chuckle ), so all I was out, was about a foot of rawhide lacing. And the rock, like nearly everything else we know, is made of stardust. I have used a rawhide mallet for 45 years to do leather tooling with no problem. I even have a couple of the plastic mallets, And yes I have a maul. So what was this big following that mauls have developed over the last decade? Do they really improve your tooling? Are they worth the money that they cost? What are the advantages, and disadvantages, to using a maul? One development of my research into this subject, which consisted mainly of watching YouTube videos, was that maul users seemed to consistantly hold the maul in a way that was no differant than you might hold a rock, or a brick, to hit a nail. So.......why not a rock? Living, as I do, in a river valley in Wyoming, I resolved to go down to the river and see what nature could provide. As it turned out, I didn't have to. I noticed a rock in the alleyway at work which looked like it would fit the bill. Since I didn't want to be hitting my tools with a bare rock....nor did I want rock dust on my tooling bench, I made a covering out of rawhide which I wetted, stretched around the rock, and laced together. After the rawhide dried, I tried it out......using it in the manner as shown in the videos. The learning curve was very short as the 99 cent maul had one big advantage over a maul. It had a much larger "sweet spot" than a maul.....which, until you get very used to using them, can result in a miss-strike since the sweet spot on a round tool, be it a bat, billiard cue tip, or maul is relatively small. The 99 cent maul even worked well using it in the ergonomically correct manner as shown by Don King above. Notice that he is not using his maul like a nail driving hammer, but much like the way reccomended for mallets........his elbow on the table and the action supplied by his wrist and forearm. I suspect he started out using a mallet, or striking stick.......and moved to mauls when he began tooing saddles (heavier leather) with his distinctive deep tooling style. LOL And I suspect that is why some folks think mauls are better......just the fact that they got a heavier maul than the mallet they had been using !