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The Sheath/Holster Makers Forum This is the place to discuss all forms of sheath and holster making.

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  #1  
Old 03-23-2016, 09:30 AM
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Exclamation Question

Guys I'm looking for the best place to buy thread for sheaths for a sewing machine I just found.

Also if there is a specific weight I would like some information on that as well.


Please help


Thanks

Bigjohn


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Old 03-23-2016, 11:40 AM
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John, insufficient information from you for a good answer.

What type, brand etc. is the machine? What type sewing do you intend doing? Sewing the edges on sheaths, for instance could use from 207 on up to 346, depending on your personal choice and how heavy duty you are making them. Lighter weight work, detail sewing etc on a flat bed #69 thread is an excellent choice. You give more information and you will get more information.

Paul


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Old 03-24-2016, 05:27 AM
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HI Paul, sorry I didn't realize. I started making knives in the early 80's and I became familiar with cat-gut and hand pulling.
The machine is a Bradford Heavy Duty. I am looking to do the sheath edges with the machine to save my hands and time.

Thanks for taking the time to help.

Bigjohn


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Old 03-24-2016, 06:11 AM
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Wouldn't go any lighter than the 207 on edges, but a lot will depend on your construction approach. Can you post pics of what you have done in past?

Also, need to read up on owner's manual to make sure you know what the mfgr. recommends for different material thickness and temper. Can make a huge diff. in between expected and actual results. Keep in mind there are diff. needles for diff. threads and materials.

All that being said, I pretty much use 207 on everything I do and buy bulk spools.

Paul will give good/better advice on this as he makes a heck of a lot more sheaths each year than I do.


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Old 03-25-2016, 04:02 AM
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Thanks C Rex, The owners manual says its a clone of a Singer 15 class, like a 15-30 or 15-87.

Its a HA-1 machine

Bobbin is a 15 class with needles known as 15X1 (A) US

That's about all I have on it,

can you recommend a good supply house for the threads and needles

Thanks


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Old 03-25-2016, 04:41 AM
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Most of the Singer 15-30's I've seen are treadle or early conversion to motor type. Didn't look like they would handle the heavier threads like 207 and up. I'm no expert here with Singers, just my wife is a seamstress and she has more machines than I have anvils.......which is wrong the way I see it (does give me some leverage if I see a good one needing a new home).

From what I have been able to find so far on line, I'm not sure your machine will be able to handle heavier leather stock like multi-layered 7-8 oz or thicker. I'd test a stack and see before investing in a lot of needles/thread/bobbins etc. You can test without thread. If it will work with the leather stack you need to specify leather needles for that machine - they are stronger/thicker and have a special point design just for leather.

Since it is a Singer Clone, you should be able to get replacement needles, thread, etc on line with a little creative googling. I'll keep poking around on more info and see what my wife's contacts might have to say.
She's a long time active member of The American Sewing Guild. Not much different than The Knifemakers' Guild when it comes to networking.

Will get back with you if I find anything. Mean time, if you have some needles with the machine try some dry stitching with stacked/glued leather scraps same thickness as you would normally do a sheath.


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Old 03-26-2016, 12:42 PM
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If it truly is a Singer 15-30 clone, then it is not nearly heavy enough machine to sew the thicknesses you will encounter on the edges. It might (and I stress might) handle 1/4" or maybe even 3/8" at the extreme outside. #69 thread would be about the heaviest thread I would use and that's not nearly heavy enough for edge sewing. As Crex advised, I prefer 207 thread for my edge stitching, but it's on a Cobra 4 machine.

Paul


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  #8  
Old 03-26-2016, 06:15 PM
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These are the pics I was sent before I bought the machine. I hope they all come out, thanks for the help guys I really do appreciate your input and guidance.

[ATTACH][ATTACH][ATTACH][ATTACH][/ATTACH][/ATTACH][/ATTACH][/ATTACH]


Bigjohn
Attached Images
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File Type: png IMG_0719.PNG (49.7 KB, 17 views)
File Type: png IMG_0720.PNG (56.1 KB, 14 views)


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Old 03-27-2016, 04:48 AM
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Well, since you already bought it, try it out. Pics are a bit small to see much, but the presser foot assembly looks a bit undergunned for a lot of leather work. May work out for you just fine, sure hope so.

I'm thinking it's going to be a bit like using a Cub Cadet to work a 1000 acre farm. Don't run it too hard until you get totally familiar and confident with it.
According to what I've been able to find it will use Singer needles just fine, but as Paul stated #69 thread looks to be it's top end. Can't really tell from here, hope you can acquire a good manual to go with it. They help a lot.

Side: Hey Paul, got to spend a little time with Dad (Sandy) last weekend. He lives just over the ridge from where I hold my Hammer-ins and always manages to come over and hang out. He's still getting out and chasing. Hope I'm still around and as active when I grow up!


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  #10  
Old 03-27-2016, 06:54 AM
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Thanks CRex, I was thinking the same thing. I will go very slow and steady. the benefit for me is to save me the hand pulling I have to do now and a more quality product.

I do have a manual but I would take yours and Paul's advice when it comes to leatherwork for sheaths.

I just don't do enough leather to justify a Cobra 4 type machine.

Thanks to you both for taking the time to help.

Wishing you both and your families a Happy Easter!

Bigjohn


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Old 03-27-2016, 05:16 PM
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Since we are on the subject of Sewing Machines for leather, what should one look for in a machine to guarantee he can do a sheath easily?

Is Cowboy a good brand?, if so what is the minimum level machine necessary, if it can do 3/4" leather is it safe to assume it can do what a knife maker needs.....lots of questions sorry

Thanks for schooling an old man

Bigjohn


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Old 03-28-2016, 04:32 AM
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Don't worry about asking questions - most of us figure that's what these forums are all about. Kind of an online guild of sorts. Sure wish it had been around while I chased the learning curve.

Never operated a Cowboy so can't say, but anything that will do 3/4" leather ought to work - as long as it will handle the larger threads and has plenty of clearance to turn and position work.
Only powered machine I've any experience with was an Artisian that Dad (Sandy) had. That was a limited exposure. Dad was one of those exceptional Master Leather Craftsmen. I was fortunate to be mentored by him for several years. He introduced me to Paul, Carla Van Horne and several other great leather craftsmen over the years. He could be tough on you (no sugar coating), but I like being told the truth.

l hand-stitched for way too many years then got hooked up with Dad. Shortly afterl I got an old school Tippman Boss. It's hand powered and can get tempermental but I've learned to deal with it. All I know for sure is my pinkies love the heck out of it and it freed me up to think about doing more advanced and creative sheaths. Lot of makers dislike the "Tipper" and others wouldn't have anything else. I can only say I am happy with mine and don't see making any change or upgrade.

Hope everything works out for you.


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  #13  
Old 03-28-2016, 05:26 AM
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Thanks CRex, ill keep my looks at 3/4 or larger. That's the need to know info. Your right these forums can shave a lot of time off the learning curve if you use them.

I'm looking at a tippman also


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Old 03-28-2016, 03:39 PM
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To follow up on Carl's last excellent post.

The Tippman Boss is an excellent first machine. It'll do probably up to 7/8" thickness and use the heavier needles and threads. Like every machine it will have it's own "personality" and once you are in sync, life is good. Just remember full stroke up and down each stitch. Short strokes equal big problems. It will not get along with lighter weights and thinner materials. If you are doing those as part of your construction like inlays and decorative stitches, then you will need a flat bed machine, but once again something that is heavy duty for its class, capable of doing 3/8" easily.

I started out with a Tippman because it was slow and forgiving, (I had number 3, which was the first one sold out of the factory), then I upgraded my sheath styles to include inlays and went with an Artisan 797AB flat bed, then I upgraded from the Tippman to an Artisan Toro 4000 heavy stitcher. Both the Artisans had clutch motors. I later changed over to all Cobra equipment with the Cobra 18 flat bed, Cobra 4 heavy stitcher, and Cobra 14 splitter, all with servo motors.

(Incidentally, the servo motors do a lot to straighten out the learning curve. You can sew as slowly as you like with ease)

The reason I switched from Artisan is primarily personal, but the customer service and help after the sale is absolutely perfect with the Cobra guys. I have complete confidence in them. They were the tie breaker between the choice of brands. The reason I mention this because the Cobra, Cowboy, Artisan and any other Juki Clone are all essentially the same machine and perform exactly or at least very similarly, and that goes for the heavy stitcher and the flat beds, and they are priced similarly respectively. The difference is in the trust I have with the people who back up the machines. I will be with Cobra from here on out.

So to sum up, if you are going to be doing primarily sheath edges and thicker stuff up to 3/4+ inch then the Tippman would be a reasonable choice for you, but the price of a Tippman gets fairly well along toward the price of one of the motorized stitchers, and sooner or later if you stay with it, you'll probably want one.

Good luck

EDit to add: I don't know about Cowboy and Artisan any more but the Cobra 3 is less money and is the same as the Cobra 4 except for the depth of the throat and for sheath making it has all the depth you will need and then some. I have yet to use up all the throat space my Cobra 4 has.

Paul


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Last edited by sheathmaker; 03-28-2016 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:31 PM
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Awesome info, thank you very much Paul. You guys are really helping me. I was going to ask if the Cobra 3 was a close comparison. Yours and CRex's experience is invaluable to me, if I can ask one more question, are the Cobra machines available from dealers or can I buy direct?

Based on your explanation Who would you recommend I work with?

thanks again.

Bigjohn


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