First page of the lacing pony archive.

Ever made a Pony?

Posted by is9582 on January 4, 2016 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , ,

As I mentioned in the article I posted yesterday (here), I planned to make a Stitching Pony. While I was working on a project, I happened to recall seeing Jason Thigpen’s video over at TxHeritage.net a while ago, where he used his saw vise to hold leather he was stitching. I figured I should give my saw vise a try, at least in “Test Mode”, just to see how mine behaved for me.

At first I was a little concerned that I might not have enough travel, on the front jaw of my saw vise, to handle the thickness of leather I planned to use. It turned out that I had a little to spare, but not a great deal. I guess the positive thing, in my saw vise build, is the bolt I used isn’t glued into place and it would be simple to swap for one that is slightly longer. When building the vise, I never imagined wanting to hold any saw’s plate that would be anywhere near the thickness of two layers of this leather.

 

I clamped a small section of leather in the saw vise I made a while back, to see how it would handle stitching some pieces.

I clamped a small section of leather (red arrow) in the saw vise I made a while back, to see how it would handle stitching some pieces.

 

While I was mounting my awesome saw vise, I began thinking I really should go forward with building the Stitching Pony. This is in part because I expect I’ll do at least some leather stitching, at my bench inside my house, during the colder Winter months as well as the scorchers in the Summer.

I’ve seen a number of Stitching Pony ideas, and I’ve decided to make mine a little smaller in scale than some out there. At this point I’m not planning or expecting to do a ton of leather stitching, and the stuff in mind is fairly small, so it should do just fine. If something changes down the road, I can always make a larger version, and use the small one for smaller scale work.

I used some off-cuts that were in my shop, to get the two jaws of my future Pony glued and clamped up. I used polyurethane glue for the Pony jaws, and brought both inside so the glue would cure properly, and will leave them clamped overnight.

 

Stitching Pony's left jaw,  with parts glued up and clamped.

Stitching Pony’s left jaw, with parts glued up and clamped.

 

Stitching Pony's right jaw,  with parts glued up and clamped.

Stitching Pony’s right jaw, with parts glued up (a bit heavy on the glue, I know) and clamped.

 

Tomorrow I plan to trim and shape the dried jaws, and I’ll see if I have enough spare time to complete my new little horsy, er um, Pony.

Thanks as always for stopping by and checking out the article. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Lee Laird

Every Head needs a Cover!

Posted by is9582 on January 3, 2016 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , , ,

Ok, with many places having rain/snow/wind it sounds like my title is relating to the human head, but as you probably have figured out, it isn’t. As you may have read in my last article, I spent some time to make my old Plumb hatchet cut like it was intended. If you haven’t yet read this post, you might want to start here first, although it certainly isn’t required for this to make sense.

The Plumb hatchet has been around for many, many years, and I’m not positive this one ever had a head cover, even though most of those I’ve seen do have one. Since there isn’t a cover presently with the Plumb, I think I’ll see if I can make one that will protect the hatchet’s edge, from damage as well as creating the accidental cut (in flesh, not wood).

A couple of my better hatchets have nicely made protective covers, and I tested one on the Plumb, and even though it wasn’t a perfect fit (especially on the dimension regarding the length from corner to corner, on the cutting edge), it had a good basis for establishing what I’m after.

I took the time to draw out my initial thoughts regarding what I was making, including the layout for a few aspects that will probably stay exactly as I first envisioned. After creating my plan, I made a basic template from my drawing, and took it to a small piece of leather I had around. At first, it looked like I would need to find a larger piece of leather, but when I re-tested the cover that lead to my design, I noticed I’d left too much excess in one area.

 

These are the design plans, and on the left side (blue arrow) is what I initially drew, with the picture on the right (red arrow) is the updated sizing that looks like a better fit.

These are the design plans, and on the left side (blue arrow) is what I initially drew, with the picture on the right (red arrow) is the updated sizing that looks like a better fit.

 

Instead of trimming my pattern, I decided to just fold it over, so it became the “new” design size. I brought the pattern and leather together again, and this time it was a match made in heaven. I have a new X-acto “B” sized handle with #2 blade, which is for more medium duty cuts, than the lighter weighted “A” handle and blades. Since there were a number of edges on my pattern that were either straight, or nearly so, I was able to use a metal ruler as a guide while I cut out the two halves of my cover. As a note, the leather I’m using is fairly thick, so I made my cuts with a number of light passes with the X-acto so I didn’t stress the blade which can either break or cause it cut more in an unintended arc. If you aren’t used to working with really sharp tools, you may wish to get some instruction or guidance, before trying this type of work. If you decide you are still going forward, just make sure you don’t have any part of your body in the direction the sharp edge will move, as the blade doesn’t know leather from skin.

 

The two pieces for my protective cover is in the foreground (red arrows), and the cover which I'm somewhat basing is in the background (blue arrows).

The two pieces (both with their rough side facing inward) for my protective cover is in the foreground (red arrows), and the cover which I’m somewhat basing is in the background (blue arrows).

 

I got down the old leather kit my mother was kind enough to provide (thanks mom!), and found there were a number of items that will come in handy, but I still have a few other tools that I’ll need to complete this protective cover. I plan to use a similar tactic to what was used on the “model” cover, which is to rivet at three corners, and hand sew the same section. I plan to buy a groover, a chisel set for making the holes for the thread, and a small riveting kit, as well as some “thread” and possibly alternate needles (my kit has some light-weight needles we used to feed plastic lacing, but I’m not positive they will suffice). I also plan to build a lacing horse/pony, that will hold the leather pieces, while I have two hands to do my part. Just based on one design I’ve seen, I think I can make one for next to nothing, using left over wood off-cuts and a few bolts/nuts/screws.

It’s funny how many of the things we experience during our childhood, can sit dormant, and all of a sudden you can bring them back to life. Specifically, my parents both did some leather working, and introduced it to me when I was young, and now I get to put some of that to use. Thanks Mom & Dad!

Thank you for stopping by and checking out my article. As I proceed with this hatchet’s protective cover, I’ll provide additional articles so you can follow along. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Lee Laird