Mocivnik

Proper stitching chisels from Tandy?

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Does Tandy have some proper stitching chisels to use? I'm talking about 2-4-6 prongs, buying as set from the photo below.

I've got the diamond shaped ones from China, they're pretty useless, I think. They're impossible to pull out from nearly just 1 layer of leather, but really impossible to use them at 2 or even 3 layers of 7-8 veg tan at once (or is it that I'm doing something wrong?!).

 

61ZmnLsa5tL._SX425_.jpg

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Not sure about your experience level so I'm just throwing this out there. Have you polished them? 

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1 hour ago, kiwican said:

Not sure about your experience level so I'm just throwing this out there. Have you polished them? 

Yes, you can improve stitching chisels by polishing the prongs

Make a small file or 'wand' yourself by gluing some wet & dry abrasive paper to a thin sliver of wood like a lollipop stick and carefully smooth or polish each prong. It's a slow job but it can give good results. Start with 400 grit, then 800 grit

It is easier to remove the chisels if you lubricate the prongs by first rubbing them on some beeswax

Hold down the leather with a small block of wood, and make a straight pull, resist the temptation to twist the chisel as you pull it out

Tandy have recently changed the way they do business, and have closed a lot of shops. The only shop left in Europe is in Spain, but any goods ordered from Tandy by customers in Europe will be supplied directly from USA, which will involve shipping and import duties

So if you have to import items to Slovenia anyway, you could have a look at www.goodsjapan.com and www.leatherhouse.eu

Have a look at Nigel Armitage's channel on YouTube; he has reviewed a lot of pricking irons and stitching chisels

Edited by zuludog

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12 hours ago, kiwican said:

Not sure about your experience level so I'm just throwing this out there. Have you polished them? 

Neither am I :lol:

But the answer is NO. I haven't polished them, because I thought that punches are hardened. (hardened + sandpaper = NO GO). But will give it a go!

11 hours ago, zuludog said:

Yes, you can improve stitching chisels by polishing the prongs

Make a small file or 'wand' yourself by gluing some wet & dry abrasive paper to a thin sliver of wood like a lollipop stick and carefully smooth or polish each prong. It's a slow job but it can give good results. Start with 400 grit, then 800 grit

It is easier to remove the chisels if you lubricate the prongs by first rubbing them on some beeswax

Hold down the leather with a small block of wood, and make a straight pull, resist the temptation to twist the chisel as you pull it out

Tandy have recently changed the way they do business, and have closed a lot of shops. The only shop left in Europe is in Spain, but any goods ordered from Tandy by customers in Europe will be supplied directly from USA, which will involve shipping and import duties

So if you have to import items to Slovenia anyway, you could have a look at www.goodsjapan.com and www.leatherhouse.eu

Have a look at Nigel Armitage's channel on YouTube; he has reviewed a lot of pricking irons and stitching chisels

Will give it a go! Probably from all 4 sides each spike, right?

I know for beeswax but it's taking hell of a long time if I stick it into wax between each punch..I know I'm already super-slow, but this would expand time x10 :/

Twisting the chisel you mean probably from one side to another?

Yes, but I got friend going to US for couple of weeks and he said he can bring me 3-4kg pack of items from US :D therefore I decided to spend all the weight on Tandy :D 

 

 

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1. The teeth/prongs will be case hardened. You'd have to file away quite a bit to get through it. A bit of polishing by using a jewellers file or a metal nail file followed by smooth grades of wet & dry grit paper will make a lot of difference.

2. Mix a pot/jar/tin of soft bees wax and olive oil. Not soft and runny, just softer than beeswax on its own. Before you make the first set of holes dip the chisels into the beeswax mix, then as you go on, after about every third time dip the chisels again, if the leather is really dry you may need to dip after every second hit.

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I stopped fighting the chisels.  I use them to lightly space the stiches.  I use a short length of an ice pick to push the holes through.  I mount it in my small drill press, which I have drilled an 1/8" hole in the edge of the table.  This allows me to pass the ice pick tip through as many layers of leather as I need.  I run the drill press at a medium speed.  You can then easily stitch the sheath using blunt needles, and no fighting to pull the thread through.  I also cut a groove for the stitching to lay in after pushing in the holes.  A few taps on the finished stitch closes the leather fairly tight, since you did not remove any leather, just "pushed" it out of the way.  This gives a nice flush stitch.  The blunt needles are great-  no blood from the pointed ones, and no need for finger cots!

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You may want to check out stitching chisel reviews by @Dangerous Beans (Nigel Armitage)'s youtube channel.  There is a LOT of good information there and a LOT of chisel reviews.  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8urn9l3pybW5LztUa6zbOA

 

-Bill

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2 hours ago, Mocivnik said:

Neither am I :lol:

But the answer is NO. I haven't polished them, because I thought that punches are hardened. (hardened + sandpaper = NO GO). But will give it a go!

Will give it a go! Probably from all 4 sides each spike, right?

I know for beeswax but it's taking hell of a long time if I stick it into wax between each punch..I know I'm already super-slow, but this would expand time x10 :/

Twisting the chisel you mean probably from one side to another?

Yes, but I got friend going to US for couple of weeks and he said he can bring me 3-4kg pack of items from US :D therefore I decided to spend all the weight on Tandy :D 

 

 

The advice from FREDK is good, do the best you can. Ordinary sandpaper will not work very well on metal, but wet & dry paper will

You don't need to rub the chisel with beeswax every time , about every 3 or 4 times is OK. FREDK's tip about softening the beeswax with oil is excellent! I hadn't thought of that, but I'll definitely try it myself in future

You should place and remove the chisels at a right  angle to the leather where possible. Any kind of twisting, wobbling, or moving from side to side may damage the prongs and/or the leather

I have used both types of Tandy stitching chisels - the Craftool Pro with the flat, silver handle, and the Craftool with the round black knurled handle. I think the Pro has slightly finer prongs, but they're both OK. I polished the prongs on both types, which improved them

Have a look at Tandy's website and get a shopping list together for your friend. Perhaps you could tell us whereabouts in the US, and some of out American members could give you some advice?

Remember that you can use a stitching chisel to just mark the position of the holes, by only knocking it in part way, then making the holes all the way through the leather with an awl

Edited by zuludog

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I think that you would be wasting your money on another set of chisels. There is nothing to be gained by it. They all have the same problem with sticking in the leather. Just suffer with the ones that you already own. We all do! 

Polishing seems to help a little but not as much as you would hope. Same with bee's wax. I am usually going through two layers of leather that add up to 8mm thickness, and that is right to the top of the tines of the chisel. I put wax on the tips of the tines, tap the chisel in about half-way, take it out, wax it again and then go all the way through. Using a wood block helps but even with that, if I didn't wiggle the tool to get it out, I would never get it out. 

The only way to make it easier is to use chisels with fewer tines.  I would not even think about using a chisel with more than four tines.  But that is from an old man who doesn't have much grip strength any more, YMMV.

nick

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16 hours ago, Mocivnik said:

Neither am I :lol:

But the answer is NO. I haven't polished them, because I thought that punches are hardened. (hardened + sandpaper = NO GO). But will give it a go!

Will give it a go! Probably from all 4 sides each spike, right?

I know for beeswax but it's taking hell of a long time if I stick it into wax between each punch..I know I'm already super-slow, but this would expand time x10 :/

Twisting the chisel you mean probably from one side to another?

Yes, but I got friend going to US for couple of weeks and he said he can bring me 3-4kg pack of items from US :D therefore I decided to spend all the weight on Tandy :D 

 

 

Unless they're case hardened, which I highly doubt, sanding/polishing will not effect them (that's how you sharpen a knife).
You only have to worry if you're using them on powered grinder and bring the heat up past the temp. they were tempered at. Your fingers will burn first 

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On 7/6/2019 at 10:59 PM, Mocivnik said:

Does Tandy have some proper stitching chisels to use? I'm talking about 2-4-6 prongs, buying as set from the photo below.

I've got the diamond shaped ones from China, they're pretty useless, I think. They're impossible to pull out from nearly just 1 layer of leather, but really impossible to use them at 2 or even 3 layers of 7-8 veg tan at once (or is it that I'm doing something wrong?!).

Later you can invest in two pairs of these;

1802293318_Stitchingpliers01s.JPG.7e7c0d62d60eff915ea25ae8f60d078e.JPG

Available with four teeth and two teeth. Costs as little as about 12 Euro a pair. They make diamond shaped sewing holes suitable for 0.6 to 1.2mm thread. Most of what I make is no more than about 5mm thick (about 7 oz I think) and these do the job first class. With these I can punch stitching holes round an item really fast. Downside is the depth of the jaws, that is from the teeth to the hinge, only about 2cm so I can't punch holes within something which is further in than that, so the hand chisels come out for those jobs.

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I bought a tandy chisel to replace one of Chinese origin and found that the way they measure the spacing is different, a 4mm tandy has wider spacing than the 4mm other brand. One is measured tip to tip while the other is measured in between prongs so be sure to check.

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Tandy sells two basic types of chisel.  The black ones and the stainless steel ones.  The black ones are similar to some of the popular diamond-shaped tools out there and yes, they measure those differently so you have to be careful when ordering.  The black ones are coated, that is what makes them black.  They are pretty smooth.  Used with bee's wax blend to help lubricate they work pretty well.  I still use a block of wood when punching through thicker leather to enable the chisel to be pulled out without twisting.  

The stainless steel ones are totally different, sort of an elongated diamond shape, more like a slit and less chunky than the black ones.  I have two sets, one for finer work, 2.5 mm,  and the other for larger items where I'm looking for more strength.  The larger chisel, 3.5 mm, allows me to use 1.0 mm thread.

Nigel Armitage reviews the Tandy Craftool Pro chisels on a youtube video.  He wasn't as fond of the smaller irons as he was of the larger ones if I remember correctly.

 

Craftool Fine Diamond Chisel 2.5 mm88044-06 - Craftool® Pro Line Diamond Stitching Chisel 6 Prong (5/64" (2mm) Spacing)

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On 7/7/2019 at 2:07 PM, fredk said:

1. The teeth/prongs will be case hardened. You'd have to file away quite a bit to get through it. A bit of polishing by using a jewellers file or a metal nail file followed by smooth grades of wet & dry grit paper will make a lot of difference.

2. Mix a pot/jar/tin of soft bees wax and olive oil. Not soft and runny, just softer than beeswax on its own. Before you make the first set of holes dip the chisels into the beeswax mix, then as you go on, after about every third time dip the chisels again, if the leather is really dry you may need to dip after every second hit.

1. I tried to polish them yesterday, but unfortunatelly - no better feeling. Going out same as before :/

2. Will try with beeswax aswell, but I doubt it will make much more difference.

 

On 7/7/2019 at 2:18 PM, OldGuardDog said:

I stopped fighting the chisels.  I use them to lightly space the stiches.  I use a short length of an ice pick to push the holes through.  I mount it in my small drill press, which I have drilled an 1/8" hole in the edge of the table.  This allows me to pass the ice pick tip through as many layers of leather as I need.  I run the drill press at a medium speed.  You can then easily stitch the sheath using blunt needles, and no fighting to pull the thread through.  I also cut a groove for the stitching to lay in after pushing in the holes.  A few taps on the finished stitch closes the leather fairly tight, since you did not remove any leather, just "pushed" it out of the way.  This gives a nice flush stitch.  The blunt needles are great-  no blood from the pointed ones, and no need for finger cots!

Yeah, I want to avoid that. I tried, but the holes I poked on the other side were uneven and sideways, when I piked holes with ice pick from one side.

But I could try making holes like that..will do in future as test for sure!

@wizard of tragacanth: Will try to do this aswell,  but already now it takes me eternity, then it will take even longer for me :/

@fredk: But is it easier to pull them out?

@chuck123wapati: Yeah, metric standard is TIP-TO-TIP while imperial is stitches per inches.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Mocivnik said:

 But is it easier to pull them out?

very much a very big yes they are

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I've bought all chisels from (China) photo below, sized 4mm apart. None of them is working as should. Are any of them from Tandy better than Chinese ones?

 

s-l300.jpgDIY-3-4mm-Leather-Lacing-Stitching-Chisel-Lacing-Hole.jpg

s-l1600.jpg

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