Dpalmay

Problem with prickng irons

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Hi all,

 

New to the forums, and just returning to leatherwork after 30 years.

 

I;m having issues with using the craftool 3mm pricking irons. They get stuck in the leather, and I almost have to use pliers and a vise to remove them. I'm using 3-5oz veg tan, making wallets, card holders and phone cases. I had the same problem with 3-5oz black dye veg tan, and 6-8 oz veg. 

I've tried wet and dry leather, but having no luck. Do I need to be looking into other brands, or just a new technique?

 

Don

 

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You could try fileing down the knifes on all four sides to make it easier to push in as well as remove, just make them as smooth as possible without weakening them

Edited by chrisash

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If I'm correct, what you are using is not a pricking iron but rather a stitching chisel.  Is the one you're using black in color?  What size is it?  It says what size it is on the handle.  I believe the smallest is 2mm and they go up from there.

That chisel is designed to go through the leather all of the way.  Pricking irons aren't intended to go through thick leather, just mark the surface where the awl is to go.  They will, of course punch all the way through thin leather.

So to make it easier to remove the chisel, try dipping it into beeswax every so often as you are using it.  That will help in removing it.  I also use a small block of wood and hold the wood up tight against the chisel and pull straight up to remove.  Don't wiggle the iron as I've seen some so.  If you wiggle or rock it, you stand the chance of deforming or otherwise enlarging the holes.  That will effect your stitching.

Some chisels need to be polished to enable them to be removed more easily.  If you have the black Craftool chisels, then they are smooth from the paint coating.  Not sure polishing will help.

Hope that's of some value.

P.S. Watch Nigel Armitage's videos on stitching chisels, pricking irons, and  hybrids.  You will learn a lot!

 

1 hour ago, Dpalmay said:

Hi all,

 

New to the forums, and just returning to leatherwork after 30 years.

 

I;m having issues with using the craftool 3mm pricking irons. They get stuck in the leather, and I almost have to use pliers and a vise to remove them. I'm using 3-5oz veg tan, making wallets, card holders and phone cases. I had the same problem with 3-5oz black dye veg tan, and 6-8 oz veg. 

I've tried wet and dry leather, but having no luck. Do I need to be looking into other brands, or just a new technique?

 

Don

 

BTW, forgot to say welcome.  So welcome!

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Yeah, it's a 3mm chisel, painted black. I'll try out the wax idea this weekend.

I agree with them being painted, that polishing wouldn't do much for them. 

I appreciate the help folks.

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Good luck!

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I actually pull mine across a strop a few times before I start using them and then apply beeswax about every fifth hit. 

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8 hours ago, Tugadude said:

If you wiggle or rock it, you stand the chance of deforming or otherwise enlarging the holes.

I have also found, by trial and error, that wiggling the chisel instead of a straight pull will bend the teeth and eventually snap one or more off.

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I have a set the same. The black paint doesn't help them slide out, actually seems to make them stick. I sanded mine with 600 grit, then 800 grit till they were bare metal, then use beeswax on them fairly often. I also strop them every once in a while. They work fine now.

 

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Similar comments to those above

I have a 2 prong, 4mm spacing Craftool stitching chisel, and it did get stuck in thick layers of leather. This can be a problem with most stitching chisels. Here's how I dealt with it

Smooth and polish the prongs with a needle file then fine abrasive paper. If you haven't got needle files, just start with a coarser grade of paper

Glue the paper to slivers of wood like lollipop sticks, or stiff plastic. Make up 2 or 3 to cover the grit range about P400 to P800, or even P1000. If you don't have a file, use about P280 as well. Wet & Dry paper intended for car body repairs is probably the easiest to obtain, or Search The Net & Amazon for a mixed pack of small sheets. You want paper intended for metal, not woodwork. Any surplus paper can be used for sharpening knives - see YouTube videos

In use, rub the prongs over a piece of beeswax now & again

To remove the chisel, resist the temptation to twist it, just use a straight pull. I hold down the leather with a piece of wood, 130mm X 40mm X 10mm placed right next to the prongs, Round the corners of the wood slightly so there are no sharp edges to mark the leather

Do not hammer the chisel absolutely as far as you can - just enough to do the job

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8 hours ago, Rockoboy said:

I have also found, by trial and error, that wiggling the chisel instead of a straight pull will bend the teeth and eventually snap one or more off.

True that.  I actually hit mine with a glancing blow of the hammer and bent a tooth.  So on these in particular, no wiggling!

3 hours ago, zuludog said:

Similar comments to those above

I have a 2 prong, 4mm spacing Craftool stitching chisel, and it did get stuck in thick layers of leather. This can be a problem with most stitching chisels. Here's how I dealt with it

Smooth and polish the prongs with a needle file then fine abrasive paper. If you haven't got needle files, just start with a coarser grade of paper

Glue the paper to slivers of wood like lollipop sticks, or stiff plastic. Make up 2 or 3 to cover the grit range about P400 to P800, or even P1000. If you don't have a file, use about P280 as well. Wet & Dry paper intended for car body repairs is probably the easiest to obtain, or Search The Net & Amazon for a mixed pack of small sheets. You want paper intended for metal, not woodwork. Any surplus paper can be used for sharpening knives - see YouTube videos

In use, rub the prongs over a piece of beeswax now & again

To remove the chisel, resist the temptation to twist it, just use a straight pull. I hold down the leather with a piece of wood, 130mm X 40mm X 10mm placed right next to the prongs, Round the corners of the wood slightly so there are no sharp edges to mark the leather

Do not hammer the chisel absolutely as far as you can - just enough to do the job

I'm sure you are right about that.  Smooth doesn't necessarily equal slick.  Beeswax helps, but if one had the time, preparing them as you said is the way to go.  That is why good chisels are expensive.  That sort of hand work takes time and that has to translate into the cost.

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I would normally have no issues with sanding down and polishing, but smaller apartment life means not much storage space (aka, wife complains when I buy tools to work on my tools). If there's a better brand out there, I'll just upgrade the chisels and let these ones go.

 

I see the Weavers in a lot of vids, any other good quality ones I should look for?

 

 

Edited by Dpalmay

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1 hour ago, Dpalmay said:

I would normally have no issues with sanding down and polishing, but smaller apartment life means not much storage space (aka, wife complains when I buy tools to work on my tools). If there's a better brand out there, I'll just upgrade the chisels and let these ones go.

 

I see the Weavers in a lot of vids, any other good quality ones I should look for?

 

 

A few lollipop sticks & sheets of wet & dry are hardly major tool items, but who am I to disrupt married life? 

Nigel Armitage has done reviews of several makes of stitching chisels, Search YouTube

I have started using Seiwa European instead of Craftool, and they are better, but still a reasonable price. You can, of course get better still, but they have are priced accordingly. So far I have used the Seiwas without any polishing, just beeswax sometimes. But I might just give them a slight polish in the near future

Note - Seiwa make two types of stitching chisel. You want Seiwa European, and not Seiwa Diamond, which he didn't think much of. See Nigel's stitching chisel reviews #8 & #9

I ordered them from Goods Japan, who stock a wide range of tools & materials for leatherwork

Edited by zuludog

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Quick update.

 

I went with the Seiwa European 3mm. They came in yesterday, 1 project (using wrong thread, so too crappy to post) done, and they are fantastic in comparison to the craft tools I was using.

 

Thanks for the help on this one folks.

 

 

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