1willi4

Which needles for hand stitching

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I’ve read that size 4 and size 5 harness needles are the most common needles to use for saddle stitching. I ordered some CS Osborne # 517-4 and 517-5.  Did I get the wrong needles?  What should I have gotten?

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There really is no right or wrong but there sure is what makes life easier. I use size 2 John James harness needles. I broke more CS Osborne needles than was sensible, then once I've switched to JJ needles, I think I've broken 1 needle in the last two years. I wish they sold shirts...

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Wow!  I think I’ll return these and get some John James. Thanks for your input. 

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As Battlemunky says, use John James needles. I’ll use the same pair of needles for a year.  If you use the right size awl and give it a twist the needles easily slide through the leather - I never have to use pliers to pull needles through the leather.

Gary

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I've got various JJ sizes, and am still using some from from my college days in the early 1980s. I don't use pliers, so that may well be part of it.

If they made shirts it wouldn't matter, I'm 4 sizes bigger than when I was in college...

:(

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It must be that wonderful Norfolk air and way of life , as i seem to have grown in certain areas as well, since moving here, wrong side of 90 kilo

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16 minutes ago, chrisash said:

It must be that wonderful Norfolk air and way of life , as i seem to have grown in certain areas as well, since moving here, wrong side of 90 kilo

I know the feeling I'm just under 90kg, and struggling to keep it there

But to get onto the question - 

I started out with Tandy 'big eye' needles as they came with the beginner's kit. Then a couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to go on a demonstration & lecture by Nigel Armitage, and he recommended two things to improve my stitching - change to John James needles, and stop using a stitching groover;  instead mark the line of the stitching with dividers

Now I use John James Saddler's Harness Needles size 002, JJ product code L3912, and 18/3 linen thread. The needles are sold in small paper packets of 25 needles, which JJ call 'envelopes'.

Be careful. You want size 002 and NOT 2/0, which are too big

This question has been asked before on this forum, and I remember one comment - John James needles are just about the cheapest precision tools you can buy for leatherwork

You should be able to push the threaded needles through the holes in the leather quite easily with your fingers for 95 % of the time. The only time you might need pliers is when back stitching; in which case wrap the jaws with a bit of tape to avoid scratching the needles 

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Thanks again for everyone’s response. It looks like I’ll be returning the Osborne needles and getting the John James ones. 

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Another vote for John James harness needles and their confusing sizing system. I use #4 for fine threads (e.g. hand-finishing or making repairs with TKT40 thread), #2 for most hand sewing threads and #00 for heavy 18/5 (5-cord) linen. Don't know what prices are like on tother side of the pond but over here they're about £2/pack so that cheapest top-quality professional tool you'll likely ever find.

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Hello,

Extreme newbie here: I ordered some Sajou Fil Au Chinois Waxed Cable 832 Linen thread and 1/2/4/6 3mm prong punch. For such fine thread, what's the correct needle size? John James harness needle #4?

It's meant for a watch strap

Thanks

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Douglas awls, JJ needles :)))))

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18 hours ago, Error404 said:

Hello,

Extreme newbie here: I ordered some Sajou Fil Au Chinois Waxed Cable 832 Linen thread and 1/2/4/6 3mm prong punch. For such fine thread, what's the correct needle size? John James harness needle #4?

It's meant for a watch strap

Thanks

Not Lin cable 832, but equivalent from Meisi (Slightly thinner Meisi M30/0.35mm) and I used KevinLee 2.45/11spi and JJ4 needles. But I use JJ4 with 9/10/11 spi and thread from 0.35mm up to 0.51mm (Lin cable 632)

First.thumb.jpg.6d6250ad762abea618ebddd3780bf1ce.jpg

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On 3/29/2019 at 8:01 PM, battlemunky said:

There really is no right or wrong but there sure is what makes life easier. I use size 2 John James harness needles. I broke more CS Osborne needles than was sensible, then once I've switched to JJ needles, I think I've broken 1 needle in the last two years. I wish they sold shirts...

+1

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Started also using the JJ 002 and what a huge difference.  I too made the mistake at  first of buying the JJ #2 size!

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On 4/7/2019 at 1:37 PM, Danne said:

Not Lin cable 832, but equivalent from Meisi (Slightly thinner Meisi M30/0.35mm) and I used KevinLee 2.45/11spi and JJ4 needles. But I use JJ4 with 9/10/11 spi and thread from 0.35mm up to 0.51mm (Lin cable 632)

First.thumb.jpg.6d6250ad762abea618ebddd3780bf1ce.jpg

Thanks for the input!

Great work too!

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