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[medieval-leather] Re: stitching wheel (was: Water keg style)

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  • Helen Leaf
    ... when I ve tried pushing the awl through both bits of leather, even when I reckon I hold the awl at the same angle, I usually get one side neat and the
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 26 9:25 AM
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      .... I've made three smaller ones now and they all gave me
      >issues with the holes not matching up, I think I'm going to go get
      >one of those wheel things (for marking consistent stictch holes)
      >they sell at tandy or just find some other way to mark consistent
      >stitch length and punch as a I sew or just punch both sides at once,

      when I've tried pushing the awl through both bits of leather, even when I
      reckon I hold the awl at the same angle, I usually get one side neat and the
      other not...

      But..

      when I tried the stitching wheel, that didn't work out so well for me
      either. I had two halves of a pumpkin seed flask, and used the stitching
      wheel to mark them both out. Thought I'd double check before I started, and
      both sides had different numbers of marks on! Like, one had 107 the other
      110. I wondered if I'd pressed harder whilst wheeling round one.. couldn't
      quite work it out. Anyone else found that at all?

      My technique now is to have a card template (waxed stencil card is best),
      with my two rows of holes punched round the edge. I lay it on the leather,
      mark the holes, and lay it on the leather again flip-side-up for the other
      half. It's an extra step to the whole process, but for me it works out fine.

      When I make a costel/barrel-shaped/water-keg bottle, I just use my card
      template to mark out my exact hole positions on the larger central piece. I
      find that the two end inserts are supple and flexible enough through soaking
      to be able to mould into the space. I cut them out slightly larger, hold
      them there with equally spaced clothes pegs, and use the awl from the
      'outside' (big central piece) to the 'inside' (smaller end piece). The
      stitching somehow ends up quite neat. I do all the stitching in one go, and
      then trim the surplus leather from the end pieces after I've done.

      Helen

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    • Foster, Jim
      Stitching wheels are typically used to only mark the side you stab from. The uniformity of stitches on the other side is a result of how well you can stab
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 26 10:04 AM
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        Stitching wheels are typically used to only mark the side you
        stab from. The uniformity of stitches on the "other side" is
        a result of how well you can stab perpendicularly to the leather
        surface.

        >
        > when I tried the stitching wheel, that didn't work out so well for me
        > either. I had two halves of a pumpkin seed flask, and used
        > the stitching
        > wheel to mark them both out. Thought I'd double check before
        > I started, and
        > both sides had different numbers of marks on! Like, one had
        > 107 the other
        > 110. I wondered if I'd pressed harder whilst wheeling round
        > one.. couldn't
        > quite work it out. Anyone else found that at all?
        >
      • Marc Carlson
        ... I know what you mean - these things take time and practice :) I know that one of the problems I have with teaching shoemaking and leatherwork is the
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 26 10:46 AM
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          --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Helen Leaf"
          <helenhutileaf@h...> wrote:
          > when I've tried pushing the awl through both bits of leather, even
          > when I reckon I hold the awl at the same angle, I usually get one
          > side neat and the other not...

          I know what you mean - these things take time and practice :)

          I know that one of the problems I have with teaching shoemaking and
          leatherwork is the expectation that someone will just pick it up and
          get it perfect right out of the chute. That and the weird idea that
          you can learn to do it in a few hours are really a holdback to people.

          This is a craft, it takes some practice to get good at it. :)

          > when I tried the stitching wheel, that didn't work out so well for
          > me either. I had two halves of a pumpkin seed flask, and used the
          > stitching wheel to mark them both out...

          What are generally sold today for stitching wheels really aren't.
          They are intended that you run over your stitches with them afterwards
          and make them look pretty. A true stitching wheel has longer tines
          (like an old stirrup).

          > My technique now is to have a card template (waxed stencil card is
          > best), with my two rows of holes punched round the edge. I lay it on
          > the leather, mark the holes, and lay it on the leather again
          > flip-side-up for the other half. It's an extra step to the whole
          > process, but for me it works out fine.

          You might try taking the card template and use that to mark where you
          want the wheel to run over. That should clear up the problem with the
          different number of holes.

          Really though, if you just rubber cement where you are going to
          stitch, clamp it in something to free up your hands and use the awl to
          stab one hole at a time, all your holes should match and your seal
          should be tighter.

          > When I make a costel/barrel-shaped/water-keg bottle, I just use my
          > card template to mark out my exact hole positions on the larger
          > central piece...

          Sounds good.

          marc
        • sue_mccartin
          Wow, good idea there with the card, I love this place, everyone is so sharing with good ideas! What I think I ll try first is just marking one side with the
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 27 5:30 AM
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            Wow, good idea there with the card, I love this place, everyone is
            so sharing with good ideas! What I think I'll try first is just
            marking one side with the wheel and punch both sides at once. I
            know exactly what you're saying about the numbers of holes not
            coming out even. My first bottel I did in a class using a buckskin
            3/32" four prong chisel and it came out perfect, all the holes
            matched, not one problem. I've made three more since (to a smaller
            pattern that came from the same teacher) and had a problem with
            every one in that the holes were always one or two off on one side
            only, agggg. I like the idea with the card, think I'll try that
            too. I have to make about 30 bottles for christmas gifts and I'm
            going to experiment as I go along to see what works the best. My
            big problem right now is I can't find anybody locally to turn any
            wood stoppers for me but I think I'll just do the medieval
            style "leather wrapped" stoppers that I can probably make from
            dowels and just work them (i.e. grind the top and bottom) a bit with
            my dremel tool.

            Does anyone know, should the leather around the stopper be treated
            with wax or sealant of choice as well?


            --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Helen Leaf"
            <helenhutileaf@h...> wrote:
            > .... I've made three smaller ones now and they all gave me
            > >issues with the holes not matching up, I think I'm going to go get
            > >one of those wheel things (for marking consistent stictch holes)
            > >they sell at tandy or just find some other way to mark consistent
            > >stitch length and punch as a I sew or just punch both sides at
            once,
            >
            > when I've tried pushing the awl through both bits of leather, even
            when I
            > reckon I hold the awl at the same angle, I usually get one side
            neat and the
            > other not...
            >
            > But..
            >
            > when I tried the stitching wheel, that didn't work out so well for
            me
            > either. I had two halves of a pumpkin seed flask, and used the
            stitching
            > wheel to mark them both out. Thought I'd double check before I
            started, and
            > both sides had different numbers of marks on! Like, one had 107
            the other
            > 110. I wondered if I'd pressed harder whilst wheeling round one..
            couldn't
            > quite work it out. Anyone else found that at all?
            >
            > My technique now is to have a card template (waxed stencil card is
            best),
            > with my two rows of holes punched round the edge. I lay it on the
            leather,
            > mark the holes, and lay it on the leather again flip-side-up for
            the other
            > half. It's an extra step to the whole process, but for me it works
            out fine.
            >
            > When I make a costel/barrel-shaped/water-keg bottle, I just use my
            card
            > template to mark out my exact hole positions on the larger central
            piece. I
            > find that the two end inserts are supple and flexible enough
            through soaking
            > to be able to mould into the space. I cut them out slightly
            larger, hold
            > them there with equally spaced clothes pegs, and use the awl from
            the
            > 'outside' (big central piece) to the 'inside' (smaller end piece).
            The
            > stitching somehow ends up quite neat. I do all the stitching in
            one go, and
            > then trim the surplus leather from the end pieces after I've done.
            >
            > Helen
            >
            > _________________________________________________________________
            > Express yourself with cool new emoticons
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          • Helen Leaf
            hey, thanks for those thoughts. You mentioned that true stitching wheels have longer tines - I didn t know that. My own one must be one of those for making the
            Message 5 of 7 , May 4, 2004
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              hey, thanks for those thoughts.

              You mentioned that true stitching wheels have longer tines - I didn't know
              that. My own one must be one of those for making the stitches look smooth.
              Seems like I'm off track on that too! Once I've stitched, I use a hammer
              (slightly rounded) to tap the area smooth and flush where the stiching is.
              It seems to make the stitching kind of sink into the leather, and the whole
              thing looks really smooth.

              Also, rubber cementing the pieces before stitching... I hadn't thought to do
              that. I've never had much problem with the leather moving around, so it
              hasn't crossed my mind. It seems like a good idea though, and I'll try it to
              see how it makes a difference.
              What I would think of as rubber cement, would be a contact adhesive I'd use
              on dry surfaces. Do you mean this kind of thing? So, you'd stick the
              surfaces when they're dry, then soak them before stitching? Would the rubber
              cement be ok through being soaked?

              Helen


              > Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 17:46:37 -0000
              > From: "Marc Carlson" <marccarlson20@...>
              >Subject: Re: stitching wheel (was: Water keg style)
              >

              > > when I tried the stitching wheel, that didn't work out so well for
              > > me either. I had two halves of a pumpkin seed flask, and used the
              > > stitching wheel to mark them both out...
              >
              >What are generally sold today for stitching wheels really aren't.
              >They are intended that you run over your stitches with them afterwards
              >and make them look pretty. A true stitching wheel has longer tines
              >(like an old stirrup).
              >
              > > My technique now is to have a card template (waxed stencil card is
              > > best), with my two rows of holes punched round the edge. I lay it on
              > > the leather, mark the holes, and lay it on the leather again
              > > flip-side-up for the other half. It's an extra step to the whole
              > > process, but for me it works out fine.
              >
              >You might try taking the card template and use that to mark where you
              >want the wheel to run over. That should clear up the problem with the
              >different number of holes.
              >
              >Really though, if you just rubber cement where you are going to
              >stitch, clamp it in something to free up your hands and use the awl to
              >stab one hole at a time, all your holes should match and your seal
              >should be tighter.
              >

              >marc
              >

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            • Grooby, Peter
              ... to ... it ... it ... I d ... The normal order of operations in the above example would probably be. Glue-dry pieces. Stitch dry pieces Soak pieces. That is
              Message 6 of 7 , May 4, 2004
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                >
                > Also, rubber cementing the pieces before stitching... I hadn't thought
                to
                > do
                > that. I've never had much problem with the leather moving around, so
                it
                > hasn't crossed my mind. It seems like a good idea though, and I'll try
                it
                > to
                > see how it makes a difference.
                > What I would think of as rubber cement, would be a contact adhesive
                I'd
                > use
                > on dry surfaces. Do you mean this kind of thing? So, you'd stick the
                > surfaces when they're dry, then soak them before stitching? Would the
                > rubber
                > cement be ok through being soaked?

                The normal order of operations in the above example would probably be.
                Glue-dry pieces.
                Stitch dry pieces
                Soak pieces.

                That is what I do anyway. For jacks, I fold the jack pattern in half and
                glue a filler piece in between and clamp them together. Then I mark my
                stitch holes and do my stitching. Finally I cut out the inside of my
                handle. I do this after stitching. So that the holes will line up
                perfectly. I also re-trim the outside edge of the handle.
                I then soak the whole thing, then insert my mould and then dry it in the
                oven. Then I make up the base using a piece of wood with a whole cut in
                it, and a slightly smaller insert, I put wet leather into that to form a
                cup shape. Then I dry that in the oven. Then I insert it into the base.
                Can use glue here but it is not so important, then stitch around the
                outside.

                Vitale


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              • Marc Carlson
                ... My pleasure. ... I m not even sure you can -buy- the old style ones any more. The longer tines were sharp and you might not even need an awl if the
                Message 7 of 7 , May 4, 2004
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                  --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "Helen Leaf"
                  <helenhutileaf@h...> wrote:
                  > hey, thanks for those thoughts.

                  My pleasure.

                  > You mentioned that true stitching wheels have longer tines - I
                  > didn't know that. My own one must be one of those for making the
                  > stitches look smooth.

                  I'm not even sure you can -buy- the old style ones any more. The
                  longer tines were sharp and you might not even need an awl if the
                  leather you were using was thin enough.

                  > Seems like I'm off track on that too!

                  Not really. It's really only important as a finishing thing.

                  > Once I've stitched, I use a hammer (slightly rounded) to tap the
                  > area smooth and flush where the stiching is. It seems to make the
                  > stitching kind of sink into the leather, and the whole thing looks
                  > really smooth.

                  Try running the wheel back over the stitches once they are smoothed
                  out and see how they look :)

                  > Also, rubber cementing the pieces before stitching... I hadn't
                  > thought to do that. I've never had much problem with the leather
                  > moving around, so it hasn't crossed my mind. It seems like a good
                  > idea though, and I'll try it to see how it makes a difference.

                  I seem to recall back when I was doing more of that sort of
                  leatherwork that it was really useful.

                  > What I would think of as rubber cement, would be a contact adhesive
                  > I'd use on dry surfaces. Do you mean this kind of thing? So, you'd
                  > stick the surfaces when they're dry, then soak them before
                  > stitching? Would the rubber cement be ok through being soaked?

                  Well, it is a little iffy when wet. I seem to recall soaking the
                  leather, then letting it dry out a lot, and stretching that over the
                  mold and cementing that. Clamps also were useful -- wooden ones don't
                  stain the leather, while the metal ones WILL mar the leather where it
                  comes in contact with the metal (there is a clamp style of paper clip
                  that can work wonders)

                  Marc
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