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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 06-23-2005, 03:55 PM
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Hand stitch a little easier

I was visiting with Sandy on the phone a few minutes ago and we came up with this idea. We are surely not the first to think of this, but here goes. You've completed your project and ready to hand stitch. Run your groove line with the groover of your choice, then within that groove using an overstitch wheel or some other means of measuring, mark where you want your stitch holes. Then chuck up a nr. 26, 27, or28 saddle stitcher needle or an awl blade or just an old ice pick ground down to your choice of diameter in your trusty drill press. Have a glob of bees wax handy (parafin will do also). DO NOT TURN ON THE POWER! Lube the needle with the bees wax or parafin, line up the hole mark and pull the press down.. Repeat as needed. You should find perfectly spaced holes, even both front and back,and your sewing should go much faster, easier and neater. Be sure to use the bees wax every hole or two and it should go through up to 3/4" fairly easily. This will produce a hole without the possible ragged edge that a drill bit might cause. I always use this method using my heavy saddle stitcher with out thread to punch holes when I need to hand stitch. The principle is the same. Give it a try!
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Old 06-23-2005, 06:55 PM
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I have been using this method for the six months i have been making sheaths. It works great. I first tried it with the drills press on and it worked ok, but soon found it made better holes without power.


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Old 06-23-2005, 08:21 PM
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I've tried both 1/16th" drills, and also the same drill with the shank end sharpened, in the drill press. Helped a little, but the bit still wanders coming out the back. I use power though. Do you think my problems will be solved if I leave it off??


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Old 06-23-2005, 10:06 PM
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What's a drill press
I've been using an awl (actually a really old ice pick, flat ground and slightly larger than my needle), and a medium weight mallet. A little slower than drilling, but much cleaner holes, and I can hit the back groove line pretty consistently.

Mike


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Old 06-24-2005, 09:47 AM
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Robert; I actually use my heavy saddle stitching machine without thread to pre punch my hand stitch holes. The drill press deal is the same principle. I would recommend this be done with no power for the best result. The main advantage here is that if you are working on a flat surface the hole should be very straight through the leather making the back side as nice as the front. I use the same needle that I would use in the machine. also don't forget the bees wax or parafin to make things go easier.
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:13 AM
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I am willing to try this one, but I am a little ignorant of where to get the 26,27 or 28 saddle stitch needles? Is that something I can get from Tandy or a similar online place? I have had very good luck with a running drill press and a regular needle. If I get some bits of leather hanging on the back side groove, I just run the groove through the groove real lightly and it ususally does the job.


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Old 06-28-2005, 11:12 AM
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Progunner; The 25, 26, 27 etc are the sizes of Schmetz brand needles for heavy duty (saddle) stitching machines like Toro, Artisan, etc. The main reason I used them as an example is because I use my machine without thread to pre punch holes for hand stitching. If you are already using a needle that satisfies you then don't try to "fix it if it ain't broke". As long as you are using a needle and not a drill bit then I guess the power on or off question is not important because you shouldn't get ragged holes any way. This post was meant primarily for those who were using an awl and were not real satisfied with the even line up of the holes on the back side. The drill press thing does cure that.
Regards,

Paul
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Old 06-28-2005, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheathmaker
Progunner; The 25, 26, 27 etc are the sizes of Schmetz brand needles for heavy duty (saddle) stitching machines like Toro, Artisan, etc. The main reason I used them as an example is because I use my machine without thread to pre punch holes for hand stitching. If you are already using a needle that satisfies you then don't try to "fix it if it ain't broke". As long as you are using a needle and not a drill bit then I guess the power on or off question is not important because you shouldn't get ragged holes any way. This post was meant primarily for those who were using an awl and were not real satisfied with the even line up of the holes on the back side. The drill press thing does cure that.
Regards,

Paul
Thanks Paul. I do use a drill bit, I have since I started making sheaths. It seems like many of you guys suggest otherwise, so I am looking into just punching the holes using the press as you described above. I could probably chuck my needle into the press, but I do pretty thick work, and I am concerned it might snap before punching through. Next sheath I make, I will try it to see what happens.


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  #9  
Old 07-04-2005, 09:35 AM
A T Barr A T Barr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Progunner
I am willing to try this one, but I am a little ignorant of where to get the 26,27 or 28 saddle stitch needles? Is that something I can get from Tandy or a similar online place? I
I get mine from http://www.weaverleather.com/

A.T.


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Old 07-04-2005, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A T Barr
I get mine from http://www.weaverleather.com/

A.T.
Thanks A.T., I'll check it out.


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  #11  
Old 07-18-2005, 11:10 PM
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Easy punching

One of the tricks I have always used is to use the drill press with power but to use a sheet rock nail with the head cut off to drill the holes into the leather. I never did like to use a drill bit because it pulled the leather up but with the nail it burnishes the sides and spreads it out. I use a glover needle to sew with and find that when you put the second needle through the hole it is extremely tight and sometimes the needle has to be pulled through the hole. The Nyltex thread is waxed and makes for a good durable binding.
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Old 07-19-2005, 06:31 PM
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When making my pouch type sheaths, I have templates for the welt, belt loop, border for the exotic leather insert and pouch. For the insert, I use plexiglass in the shape of the insert so I can see the pattern of the leather. Each hole is punched one at a time, so on a batch of 30 sheaths I made for a friend, there were almost 10,000 holes. Whew! This is a design I made many years ago out of 6"L X 1/4"id pipe, knurled the barrel, cut off the threads on one end and threaded the inside for the standard 00 punch tip and capped the other end with a pipe cap. Beware of not emptying the tool often as it is a bugger to pick out the packed in punchings.


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