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Sheilajeanne

Tandy Pro Stitching Chisels

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I just found my cheapo Tandy stitching chisels, the black ones, are pretty much beyond the point of saving, even though I've always used a poundo board underneath them.

The Tandy pro chisels are on sale for 20% off right now. I'm in Canada, so importing stuff from the States (or elsewhere) is pricey and slow. Would the Pro tools be worth the money?

Edited by Sheilajeanne

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I have a set of the Japanese style and I love them, they were sharp right out of the box and they make your stitches look great! One note I would offer is definitely use the smallest needle you can with the thread you're using as the holes will be much smaller than tandys other chisels

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I've posted a few times about Tandy's Pro chisels.  I like them.  The ones I have are the stainless steel ones.  The teeth are long and narrow and have a flatter angle than some.  I with they were a tad narrower and angled a bit more sharply, but they work well as-is.  They call them "Fine Diamond Chisels" now.

Craftool® Fine Diamond Chisels

 

But my recommendation is if you got decent results from the black irons from Tandy, then give Springfield's diamond chisels a try.  They sell them as a set, quite cheaply and I've been extremely happy with them.  They are more of the "chunky" diamond shape, but smaller than the black Tandy irons.  I think they are a great all-around stitching chisel.  I bought the smallest size and have been having good luck with them on wallets, etc.  They come out of the leather much easier than the black Tandy irons.  These are the ones I mean below:  Retail is $34.99 but if you have a wholesale account it drops to $29.99.

3DPSC.Set.01.jpg?resizeid=22&resizeh=1200&resizew=1200

 

 

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Tugadude, thanks. I have two of the above Tandy chisels, but need one with the teeth slightly farther apart for the current project - 8 stitches per inch, while the diamond chisel I have is 9. And I am NOT satisfied with the black ones! They are supposed to be the higher quality 'pro' chisels, but in spite of me never having used them without a poundo board beneath them, they are pretty much ruined. And, of course, this happened in the middle of a project, so I want to get something quickly so I can finish it.

Are the poly boards easier on punches and chisels than the poundo boards?  Just wondering what I could have done to have gotten a longer life from these chisels.  :rip_1:

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I use poly cutting board with a spare piece of old leather between the chisel and the board. most times the chisel never touches the board. I use the french style (slits instead of diamonds)

Edited by chrisash

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58 minutes ago, Sheilajeanne said:

Tugadude, thanks. I have two of the above Tandy chisels, but need one with the teeth slightly farther apart for the current project - 8 stitches per inch, while the diamond chisel I have is 9. And I am NOT satisfied with the black ones! They are supposed to be the higher quality 'pro' chisels, but in spite of me never having used them without a poundo board beneath them, they are pretty much ruined. And, of course, this happened in the middle of a project, so I want to get something quickly so I can finish it.

Are the poly boards easier on punches and chisels than the poundo boards?  Just wondering what I could have done to have gotten a longer life from these chisels.  :rip_1:

The black ones suffer from bending of the tines.  I don't think that will be nearly as easy on the ones I have.  I have bought two sets of what Tandy calls the 2mm Pro irons (the black ones) and they work fine right up until they don't.  And they seem to work best with larger thread due to the size of the teeth.  The teeth on the ends of the irons bend over time I think because it is nearly impossible to consistently pound squarely down.  There will be times when you hammer a bit off-kilter and that shouldn't necessarily result in bending the tines or teeth.

The Springfield irons are holding up just fine so far.

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When I look at the tines under high magnification, it's not so much bending as it is they've become blunt. VERY blunt - to the point the metal has spread out sideways from the points. You'd think I'd been pounding it on a rock...:(

Yeah...Springfield. Unfortunately I'm in Canada. Shipping and duty costs, plus really slow shipping is why I prefer to deal with a Canadian seller, if possible.

The Canadian postal service is MUCH better than the USPS. Last time I ordered something to be shipped from Tandy's, it arrived within 3 days! :o 

Edited by Sheilajeanne

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8 hours ago, Sheilajeanne said:

 

Yeah...Springfield. Unfortunately I'm in Canada. Shipping and duty costs, plus really slow shipping is why I prefer to deal with a Canadian seller, if possible.

These are the same chisels as Springfield's ... without  the brand  but the same "great" quality ...next day delivery  too. 

Or just $10 here if you are willing to wait more that 6 weeks 

 

Edited by LeatherLegion

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Wow, with the price being that cheap, I'm willing to give this a try! I really need something so I can finish my project, and if I use Chrisash's tip, hopefully they will last a long time.

I would pay much more than that for a single one of Tandy's Pro Diamond Chisels! 

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I have several sets of those chisels from China. Once sharpened and polished they are the bees knees. Nary a prob with them. I think I got them for about an average of £5 per set of 4 - a 1, 2, 4 & 6 prong. 

I bought them to see if they suited me. My intention was if they suited what I wanted I could replace with 'better quality' ones but they've proved to be excellent and not needing replaced.

BTW, I punch through into a piece of scrap leather not any sort of board, if this makes any difference

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Honestly I'm a weaver fanboy. Weaver has wonderful chisels. They're priced good. Cheap enough to throw away when destroyed.. but honestly I don't use chisels that often today anymore with the laser cutter. 

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27 minutes ago, Gulrok said:

Honestly I'm a weaver fanboy. Weaver has wonderful chisels. They're priced good. Cheap enough to throw away when destroyed.. but honestly I don't use chisels that often today anymore with the laser cutter. 

What size holes are you making with the laser cutter?  Are you only using black thread?  If not, how to you prevent the "char" from getting on lighter color thread?  What is it you are making using the laser cutter for your patterns?

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Chisels have arrived! The prongs are thinner than the Tandy black chisels, and therefore should be sharper/easier to punch through the leather! They also match the 8 stitch per inch width I need for this project.

Fred, how did you sharpen yours?  

Edited by Sheilajeanne

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12 hours ago, Sheilajeanne said:

Fred, how did you sharpen yours?  

Very carefully,  :lol:

I started with a smooth cut jewellers file, on each side and the angles of the tip of each prong. Then I progressed to a used * card & grit nail file. After this I used a slip of a broken 'India' stone from my sea-fishing days - that was used for sharpening the hooks. * used cos its very, very smooth, almost just polishes the prongs

BTW. I've been experimenting with this, as a punching block for stitching chisels only

Wax punching block, 01LWs.jpg

Its a flat block of wax, about 4 inches x 5.5 inches by 1 inch deep. Made from all the scraps from incomplete burnt candles and some wax I had left over from when I made candles to sell. I think I heed to add some carnauba wax into it to increase its hardness. When I find a: a bigger tray and b: more wax I'll remake it with a bigger surface area.

It does multiple things - it'll take the stitching chisels points without damaging them and also they get a wee bit of wax on them, for lubrication. Its almost self-healing - after doing some punching the surface is a bit chewed up with holes but I just put it onto a little electric cooking ring I have, heat it up and the wax melts and smooths out and a short time later its ready for use again.

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Cool idea! I think I have some paraffin blocks, as someone recommended them for finishing edges.

I have some small files, but they aren't as fine as jeweler's files. Will see if I can find some. And, of course, nearly all women own that type of nail files. Wonder if jeweler's rouge would also work for the final polishing.

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3 hours ago, Sheilajeanne said:

Cool idea! I think I have some paraffin blocks, as someone recommended them for finishing edges.

I have some small files, but they aren't as fine as jeweler's files. Will see if I can find some. And, of course, nearly all women own that type of nail files. Wonder if jeweler's rouge would also work for the final polishing.

I have sharpened the prongs of stitching chisels. I used #2 cut Vallorbe needle files, but only for a brief and first  go, as I thought that even those might be too coarse or rough, and I didn't want to risk damaging the prongs by doing more harm than good

So I made up some files or wands by gluing wet & dry paper to lollipop sticks - 400, 600, and 1,000 grit, and work through the grades. You could use slivers of aluminium sheet or stiff plastic instead of lollipop sticks

I expect you could make a similar, miniature strop; I used green chromium dioxide compound just on the wood, with no leather, but I found the 1,000 grit paper was fine enough

It's a bit of a tedious job, but as with sharpening a head knife, you only need to do it once, then occasionally on the fine grade or strop as required

There are a few YouTube videos about polishing stitching chisels

Edited by zuludog

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