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Selvune

Stitching

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13 hours ago, Spyros said:

But (other than you becoming really quick with an awl over the years), how can it be explained that making the holes one at the time with an awl is faster than making them 10 at the time with a chisel?

its very simple you hold the awl in your right hand with your needle you poke the hole and stitch it. Takes a second or so compared to punching all the holes with a seperate tool then going back and enlarging them because they closed during the time you  were fiddling with it then stitching it. Or punching one side then having to go back and use the awl then the needles. 

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8 hours ago, Spyros said:

Second time this is mentioned but I'm still not sure what we're talking about.  Do you mean using inverse chisels to punch the bottom layer separately?  That's a specialised technique for some very unusual situations, I've only really heard it mentioned once (by Equus leather I think) but I haven't actually seen anyone doing it.

i used to punch the front piece first then mark carefully the top hole on the second piece then run my chisels through the rough side , no need for reverse chisels, then use small brads to line up the holes glue and set the leather. Both sides punched and lined up. not fast by any means but it works well.

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12 hours ago, Spyros said:

I know, sorry, I get it.  I must remember that not everyone does what I do.

90% of the miscommunication on the forum. lol 

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13 hours ago, tsunkasapa said:

Just 85% of everything that has been said. Try using them on a holster for a large pistol that is 1/2"-5/8" in the trigger guard area. I'll  pass on chisels.

i dont have the experience as you by any means i use chisels now on the front then use my awl to go the rest of the way through then sew. That way only the back is jacked up lol.

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1 hour ago, chuck123wapati said:

its very simple you hold the awl in your right hand with your needle you poke the hole and stitch it. Takes a second or so compared to punching all the holes with a seperate tool then going back and enlarging them because they closed during the time you  were fiddling with it then stitching it. Or punching one side then having to go back and use the awl then the needles. 

Chuck, what you describe doesn't happen, at least not in my experience.  I never, ever have to go back and enlarge holes even if the project sits overnight.  Ever.  If you have had that problem, perhaps the chisel isn't big enough for the thread in the first place?

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10 hours ago, Spyros said:

Second time this is mentioned but I'm still not sure what we're talking about.  Do you mean using inverse chisels to punch the bottom layer separately?  That's a specialised technique for some very unusual situations, I've only really heard it mentioned once (by Equus leather I think) but I haven't actually seen anyone doing it.

Some people really struggle with getting an angle to their stitching on both sides and so they do punch the backside separately.   Some find it helps.  And yes, some go to the extent of using inverse irons.  By the way, even the "European" pricking irons are available in the portmanteau style.

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6 hours ago, Klara said:

I have tried both ways, which is how I know that I enjoy awl work more. There's situations where it's vey helpful or even necessary to have pre-punched holes, but for me those are the exceptions. Btw., my living heroine is Jo from JH Leather... (the Stohlmans are the dead ones)

It's getting OT now, but to me it looks like leatherworking is going (or has it arrived?) where knitting and woodworking have gone before: People who hardly know what they are doing are following an instructive pattern to produce something presentable as quickly as possible. Hardly anybody seems to want to learn the basics any more. I've always wondered whether that's because as adults we don't have a "good" way to dispose of our first, ugly attempts (as a child I dappled in pottery and produced ugly candleholders and sculptures - I gave them to my parents as Christmas presents and they put them in our display case). 

Here's the issue I have with responses like this.  You are being intentionally dismissive of those who disagree with you.  You say you've given chisels a chance, but that's all you say.  You don't explain which irons, which configuration and how long you tried to master using them.  I say master because there is a learning curve to anything.  Maybe you had substandard chisels and didn't get good results.  Not a good test.  

Regarding leatherworking in general, isn't it a good thing that the medium is growing again?  Or seems to be?  Maybe some of the serious ones will eventually come around to wanting to learn to stitch with an awl.  Automatic transmissions on cars make driving easy for most.  And real car nerds prefer manual transmissions.  I say let everyone drive what they prefer.  So long as you arrive alive, who cares.  And nobody asks either.

Anyone who tries a good set of stitching irons and gives them a chance will see some benefit.  Maybe not enough to change their ways, but they will understand the appeal.

I've never dismissed awls, as I said, I use one at times and they are extremely helpful.

So why the animosity towards stitching irons or chisels?  How about just letting it go?  

I so wish some that use them regularly would add to this discussion.  There is some incredible work being turned out by those who use them.  Photos of their work appears here regularly.  Maybe they avoid these discussions?  

As I said, this discussion really has become silly.  Examples as to why chisels don't make sense have been made that are either totally incorrect or weighted so far as to make them laughable.  Would I ever try to punch through two layers of 6 oz. leather with a chisel?  Not likely.  Does that mean they have no value?  Not hardly.  And on it goes.

 

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35 minutes ago, Tugadude said:

Chuck, what you describe doesn't happen, at least not in my experience.  I never, ever have to go back and enlarge holes even if the project sits overnight.  Ever.  If you have had that problem, perhaps the chisel isn't big enough for the thread in the first place?

i dont have to enlarge, i did use the wrong word sorry, them at all but they do close back up thats the whole point of the diamond shape and why videos i have watched show most folks either working thier needles or opening them back up with an awl of some sort.. I use chisels like i said they work great and are a lifesaver for those of us who dont have the experience to use an awl with nice even results. But they are what they are a tool that evens the palying field for those that dont have the experience or dont want to go the extra mile and learn thtraditional awl sewing. No big deal IMO no one is wrong or right on this subject so feelings neeed not be hurt. Most of the miscommunication comes from us because we all make diferent products with diferents leathers and diferent personal opinions. Beating a chisel through three layers of 10 oz is not the same as running a chisel around the edge of a 2mm wallet and takes alot longer to do than just useing an awl and neither is sewing the two the same by any means. I can easily sew a wallet without re-opening the holes not so much with a holster.

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Ok, so I made a lighter case yesterday and made a wallet today.  Getting ready to punch for stitching.  I didn't skive down the edges as I haven't started it...with that said, the wallet is pretty thick.  If the irons don't go all the way thru, do I just finish with an awl like if it was a pricking iron?  I don't want to try and punch from both sides.

If I should post this somewhere else or in a new post, just let me know.  I know forum etiquette can be pretty important on these boards.

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1 hour ago, Selvune said:

Ok, so I made a lighter case yesterday and made a wallet today.  Getting ready to punch for stitching.  I didn't skive down the edges as I haven't started it...with that said, the wallet is pretty thick.  If the irons don't go all the way thru, do I just finish with an awl like if it was a pricking iron?  I don't want to try and punch from both sides.

If I should post this somewhere else or in a new post, just let me know.  I know forum etiquette can be pretty important on these boards.

If the leather for the wallet is thin, say about 1mm you can probably manage without skiving; but as the thickness gets towards 2mm the total thickness becomes rather a lot. So usually you skive the edges of the inner compartments & pockets, but can probably manage without skiving the outer layer. There are several YT videos about skiving; or make your wallet without skiving, see how it goes, and practice skiving on scrap, ready for the next one

Your ideas about punching a thick layer of leather are correct

Knife sheaths are typically made from 3 to 3,5mm leather, then either folded over or made as a front & back, plus a welt. So the total thickness would be 3 + 3 + 3 = 9mm or more. But the prongs on a stitching chisel are usually about 7 or 8mm long, so you have two choices -

Glue the leather together.....use the chisels as far as possible..... then complete the holes with an awl...... that's what I do. And yes, this is similar to the traditional method of using a pricking iron and an awl . An awl should glide through the leather with hardly any effort and with the minimum of distortion to the leather, so you will probably need to sharpen & polish it. It is only the expensive & custom made awls that you can use straight out of the box. 

Or you could make the holes on each piece of leather separately then align them as you make up the sheath (or whatever); this is called pre - pricking. Nigel Armitage has a few YT videos on making pouches which show pre - pricking. As you've probably gathered, the same sort of techniques, like stitching, skiving, edge finishing, are used on most items of leatherwork

There are several videos on Skiving, but this one is good and impressive

When, Why, and How to Skive Leather by Hand - YouTube

And this shows pre - pricking, but it's worth watching the first one, where he makes the templates, and others

How to Make Pouches: 2 Round Pouch Flat. - YouTube

Edited by zuludog

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He is where i sit on this i would rather have the ability to stitch with a Awl then not have it because for sure if you can stitch with Awl you will be able to stitch with stitching chisels i am not saying its wrong not learning to use a Awl just saying it a good skill set to have. As to anyone who thinks its quicker to using stitching chisels i think not in a lot of cases it depends of who is doing the stitching, most tutorials on how to stitch with a Awl are slowed down to a pace where they can explain the process i bet you would been surprised how quick some can stitch and get good results, as for stitching three layers of 9/10 oz (10mm +) i very much doubt the chisels will go through three layers as someone said maybe KS Blades might do it i have looked at their chisels the blade is only 10mm in length and even if they can do it i wonder how many times you will have to strike the chisel to go all the way through and then having to pull it back out pretty time consuming me thinks, also i have seen they offer replacement blades and $5 a pop and you are responsible for round shipping cost so they must break, in some 25+ years i have never broke pricking iron, the thing i find really ironic they offer a rather expensive uncomfortable looking Awl  on their sight do they know something we don't know That all being said yes i was lucky enough to been taught how to stitch with a Awl and would not have it any other way and one other thing when you are pricking your work as you go with the Awl you get a feel for the leather you are working with which you will not get with pre punched holes and i would not advise anyone who makes and repairs tack not to use chisels.

Hope this helps

JCUK

 

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50 minutes ago, jcuk said:

He is where i sit on this i would rather have the ability to stitch with a Awl then not have it because for sure if you can stitch with Awl you will be able to stitch with stitching chisels i am not saying its wrong not learning to use a Awl just saying it a good skill set to have. As to anyone who thinks its quicker to using stitching chisels i think not in a lot of cases it depends of who is doing the stitching, most tutorials on how to stitch with a Awl are slowed down to a pace where they can explain the process i bet you would been surprised how quick some can stitch and get good results, as for stitching three layers of 9/10 oz (10mm +) i very much doubt the chisels will go through three layers as someone said maybe KS Blades might do it i have looked at their chisels the blade is only 10mm in length and even if they can do it i wonder how many times you will have to strike the chisel to go all the way through and then having to pull it back out pretty time consuming me thinks, also i have seen they offer replacement blades and $5 a pop and you are responsible for round shipping cost so they must break, in some 25+ years i have never broke pricking iron, the thing i find really ironic they offer a rather expensive uncomfortable looking Awl  on their sight do they know something we don't know That all being said yes i was lucky enough to been taught how to stitch with a Awl and would not have it any other way and one other thing when you are pricking your work as you go with the Awl you get a feel for the leather you are working with which you will not get with pre punched holes and i would not advise anyone who makes and repairs tack not to use chisels.

Hope this helps

JCUK

 

Forgive me, but gee your post is hard to read.  Breaking it down into shorter sentences would have been better.  You've only got 3 sentences there, but golly your second one is LOOOOONNNG!

 

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4 hours ago, Selvune said:

Ok, so I made a lighter case yesterday and made a wallet today.  Getting ready to punch for stitching.  I didn't skive down the edges as I haven't started it...with that said, the wallet is pretty thick.  If the irons don't go all the way thru, do I just finish with an awl like if it was a pricking iron?  I don't want to try and punch from both sides.

If I should post this somewhere else or in a new post, just let me know.  I know forum etiquette can be pretty important on these boards.

yes finish with an awl.

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10 hours ago, chuck123wapati said:

its very simple you hold the awl in your right hand with your needle you poke the hole and stitch it. Takes a second or so compared to punching all the holes with a seperate tool then going back and enlarging them because they closed during the time you  were fiddling with it then stitching it. Or punching one side then having to go back and use the awl then the needles. 

But even when you're using an awl, don't you have to first use a separate tool anyway to mark the holes, like a pricking iron or a wheel?  Or you just eyeball them?

About enlarging the holes.  It's a redundant step, that was exactly the whole point of my long post earlier.  Enlarging holes with their right hand needle is what some people do on those videos, because they insist on starting the stitch with their left hand on the back side, which is where the exit holes are, which are barely visible.  As I was saying, I disagree with those videos, because nobody has to do that.   I always start from the side where the chisels first pierced the leather, which is typically the skin side, and those holes are plenty enlarged and well formed and clearly visible.  They practically suck the needle in.  No reason to start from the other side, and no reason to start from the last hole and work your way backwards towards yourself.  People can simply do the opposite, like I do...

Edited by Spyros

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11 minutes ago, Spyros said:

No reason to start from the other side, and no reason to start from the last hole and work your way backwards towards yourself.  People can simply do the opposite, like I do...

Exactly. I have no idea where that came from, but the old guys at the saddle shop I used to hang out at as a kid did it R to L, and 'near to far' so to speak.

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23 minutes ago, Spyros said:

. . .  Or you just eyeball them? . . .

When I make these hats using soft thin-ish [about 1.3mm thick] upholstery grade leather I eye-ball the stitching. Usually I don't even mark the stitching line. The leather is so soft I use a sharp glover's needle, sewing from the top down firstly then [hopefully] using the same holes back to the top and tie off the thread. Roughly 10 minutes per seam hand sewn. The seam is on the inside, no-one really sees it or inspects it and as I've gone both ways with the stitching any irregularities in the spacing is covered up

Basic hat, #3 - Cropped.jpg

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Spyros said:

. . . No reason to start from the other side, and no reason to start from the last hole and work your way backwards towards yourself.  People can simply do the opposite, like I do...

 

18 minutes ago, tsunkasapa said:

. . . but the old guys at the saddle shop I used to hang out at as a kid did it R to L, and 'near to far' so to speak.

When using my clamp thingy I sew right to left and away from me/near to far

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2 minutes ago, fredk said:

When using my clamp thingy I sew right to left and away from me/near to far

Thingy is a 'Technical' term. :lol:

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Fred and Tsunkasapa have done this so many times they can probably stitch behind their back just by feel :)

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56 minutes ago, Spyros said:

Fred and Tsunkasapa have done this so many times they can probably stitch behind their back just by feel :)

That's a bit hard on the fingers, all those pointy things and all. :rolleyes:

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10 hours ago, Spyros said:

But even when you're using an awl, don't you have to first use a separate tool anyway to mark the holes, like a pricking iron or a wheel?  Or you just eyeball them?

About enlarging the holes.  It's a redundant step, that was exactly the whole point of my long post earlier.  Enlarging holes with their right hand needle is what some people do on those videos, because they insist on starting the stitch with their left hand on the back side, which is where the exit holes are, which are barely visible.  As I was saying, I disagree with those videos, because nobody has to do that.   I always start from the side where the chisels first pierced the leather, which is typically the skin side, and those holes are plenty enlarged and well formed and clearly visible.  They practically suck the needle in.  No reason to start from the other side, and no reason to start from the last hole and work your way backwards towards yourself.  People can simply do the opposite, like I do...

Do it how ever you want to i'm not going to argue the point any longer if you think adding a couple steps in the process is faster then go ahead and do it that way most beginers do until they get good at sewing. I did i still do but the fact reamains taking less steps is always going to be faster.

As i said to tug and you probably read but decided to re state any way. i  used the wrong word in enlage, you have to re open them that is what a diamond chisel does it cuts a slit but the shape opens a hole in the center after a few minutes it closes and has to be reopened either with the needles or an awl of some sort. thats what diamond awls and chisels do  thats why the hole closes after you sew it up thats why you hammer it a bit to set the thread and close the holes.  

i also wrote this to tug.  :)  Most of the miscommunication comes from us because we all make diferent products with diferents leathers and diferent personal opinions. Beating a chisel through three layers of 10 oz is not the same as running a chisel around the edge of a 2mm wallet and takes alot longer to do than just useing an awl and neither is sewing the two the same by any means. I can easily sew a wallet without re-opening the holes not so much with a holster.

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Yeah but you're still telling me that I added steps, and I still have no idea what those steps are.    

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Spyros said:

Yeah but you're still telling me that I added steps, and I still have no idea what those steps are.    

 

 

i'm sure you will figure it out. good luck!

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nah I'm good, thanks anyway :lol:

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1 hour ago, Spyros said:

nah I'm good, thanks anyway :lol:

i doubt that but its your story ;) Now back on topic please so the person asking the question doesn't think all we do is agrue about stupid shit.

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