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Gods alive sewing leather is difficult. Does anyone has any ideas to make it easier?

I'm punching the holes with an awl and sewing it with a saddle stitch. 2 needles.

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It's a pain, that's for sure. Are you poking both sides of the leather? I've found making the hole from one side, and then the other really helps. The holes kind of close up a little afterward anyway, so you can make them larger than you actually need. Alternatively, if you have a very small punch you could just punch holes to sew with (holes won't close the same way, so make sure it's a small punch).

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I poked the hole in one side then used a small drill to make it stay open. When I'm done its getting boiled and wet formed to stiffen it up some.

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Main trick i would suggest is a good sharp awl (diamond section preferably), make sure you piece the leather fully and leave a hole larger than the needle, this will close as you work the leather so only do 3-5 holes ahead a most.

Use a stiff blunt needle with smooth circular head (not elongated), if using synthetic sinew (mt preference) split it down into at least 3 strands (the thinner the better really) and if using linen make sure you wax the heck out of it, use short lengths and not overly thick thread.

HTH

N.

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This actually made me laugh out loud. ... I find it fairly easy, but I use a leather punch to make my holes .. I love working on leather (small amounts that it is so far) everything just grows so fast!

I tell my leatherworking friends all the time "What do you mean? I make chainmail, a 1000 stitches? That's less than a square foot! and I can be done in a DAY? .. ROFL literally"

I do however have multiple blood blistered fingertips .. better than dual hand cramps .. :)

Get a leather hole punch from tandy or wherever .. much faster and then it's just 1 2 zip..

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I can't really afford anything new at the time I might get enough from a 1911 holster to buy a good awl or punch. I'm using waxed polyester because its what I have. For my amt sa 380 backup holster I used power pro microfilament braided fishing line with a 50lb test. It looks really good and since its an old junker gun with retired leather from a jacket I didn't care about its service length.

Edited by heckle

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If you can get a pony to stitch for you, then you should have both hands still free to maille! Almost as good as a helper monkey...

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what thickness leather are you working with? For thicker leather 8+ oz I mark the locations of the holes with the awl and then drill the holes with a hand held drill. I try to find a drill bit the same diameter as the sewing needles I am using and it works well. If I cant find the right size drill bit, I have been known to put a spare needle in the drill and use it as a drill bit.

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Other then boiling it in wax, how else could I stiffen 4 oz split leather? Is it a lost cause? This is 40 year old leather that was rescued from an old coat that was going to be thrown away. I don't want rock hard just as stiff as I can get short of wax.

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Random tip I find useful: A spike, rubber mallet, pliers and stiff as hell foam over the table top with a hard protective layer under it. I have messed with leather before, mostly repairing saddles and I would just put the leather on the table over the stiff foam, take a spike and hammer that sucker through, pull the spike out with the pliers and then put my sewing needle through it. Cheap solution I know, but if it works!

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I ended up boiling it in water then putting it in the clothes dryer on high heat. I put it on the rack so it wouldn't tumble. In between the water and the dryer I formed it with a vacuum bag for an hour. Turned out stiff but not quite what I wanted. It wasn't sealed but it is ugly leather. It's got a bunch of dark stripes on the back and the front it faded in spots. Boiling evened the color and darkened it some.

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The nice piece I have now looks impossable to stitch the way I did last time since its twice as thick. I think I may just buy a groover and a diamond shaped stitching chisel. A 6 prong and a 2 prong should do me.

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