LumberJocks

Leather work #2: Table top leatherwork vise (stitching pony)

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Blog entry by Combo Prof posted 01-01-2021 02:28 AM 651 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Skiving knives - make your own. Part 2 of Leather work series no next part

There are several table top stitching ponies around. You can buy them commercially like this one for $106:

You can build your own (for under $20) as did LumberJock muesli did:

Click for details

You can also make a traditional chair seat one similar to what master mafe shows in his Stitching pony (quick and clean) blog

All of theses suffer the same flaw, the clamping mechanism requires a screw that travers the interior thereby limiting the vertical length of leather that can be clamped. In order allow long pieces to be clamped the screw must be kept low which decreases its clamping force. To solve this I have moved the clamping screw to the exterior and have moved up closer to the business end of the clamp. In this way I get excellent clamping force and can use the full interior between the vise jaws. Hence I can keep it at 9 to 10 inches high and thus at a comfortable height for use at the table. Placing it on a rubber shelf liner pad keeps it from sliding on the table and there is no need to clamp it down.

It works very well.

And I managed to make this hatchet sheath:

Yes not so pretty, but I am still learning leathercraft. It is however a functional safety addition for my favorite campsite hatchet.

I was going to now include an instructional blog, but I got excited and just finished it, forgetting to take pictures as I went. So the rest of the blog looks similar to a typical drawing exercise like this one:

Namely:

  • Step 1. Gather the blank pieces (I added jaw pieces latter.)

  • Step 2. Cut dados, shape and install center divider.

  • Step 3. Shape and install the rest of the pieces. Add fine details.

Maybe this will be the prototype and I will make another with proper instruction. On the other hand it works so well that maybe I will just use it for a while.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)



8 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6836 posts in 1590 days


#1 posted 01-01-2021 02:43 AM

Looks like that’ll do the job, Don. Well done!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2861 posts in 1170 days


#2 posted 01-01-2021 12:37 PM

well done indeed !!
I made my pony sort of in a hurry and see that I could have done
things differently – but, it works for me.
good job !

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View mafe's profile

mafe

12928 posts in 4097 days


#3 posted 01-03-2021 09:08 PM

Really nice work and thinking on this one, love the little stitching vice.
You might call it My little pony...
Clever idea to put the screw on the outside, really like that on a table top version, but it will not work on a stitching pony as you sit with it between your legs…
You don’t need a lot of pressure, so basically you can hole it clamped between your legs and if you do a lot, you would use a faster way to open, than a screw as I did, a cam could be an option. This could sit in a long hole, so it could be moved up and down, when more room were needed.

Picture from www.
I have a couple of these traditional clamps, use them when bigger is needed (once, laugh).
Most of the time I make sheaths and for this three inches or so would actually be plenty.
I have used my pony for app 60 sheaths or so, so it might be time soon to make a more elegant version, feel almost ashamed when I see mine now.
Best of my thoughts and a big smile my friend,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4585 posts in 2285 days


#4 posted 01-03-2021 11:24 PM

Thanks John, Dave and Mads for the kind words.

I did think about the cam. The wheel works pretty fast. You don’t screw it down till it won’t move. You don’t need that much pressure. So releasing and tightening is just a finger flick spin. On an earlier version I kept tightening and it broke the support which I made to thin at the base. This version is beefier. If I make it again I will put a hand hold I think in the non wheel support or just reduce it size. I also don’t like the hinge I used—to much slop in it. I may just make a wooden hinge.

I also thought about making it smaller with a 4 or 5 inch depth and operate without a hinge, more like a standard vice. But this is at a good height for me at the “kitchen table” or standing up at the “counter”.

Oh and Mads. I got the leather splitter dialed in now and she works fine. I also made strap cutter based on your post.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View mafe's profile

mafe

12928 posts in 4097 days


#5 posted 01-03-2021 11:45 PM

Big smile Don, so happy to hear you got the splitter running and even a cutter now!
I just posted a blog with some sheath making, here you can see my ways.
Best of my thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6836 posts in 1590 days


#6 posted 01-04-2021 03:16 AM

Don, I was thinking of making one that drops into the face vise on my bench, similar to the saw-sharpening vise I have. It has no clamp at all, just uses the big bench vise… of course, that means I can’t use it portably, so Mads’ stitching pony on a canoe-paddle looks appealing, too…

So many projects, so little time…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4585 posts in 2285 days


#7 posted 01-04-2021 08:41 AM

Dave: Glen Peterson made one and I should have included it among the examples.

Click for details

But necessarily the vise face would be perpendicular to your stance and I think therefore a bit more cumbersome. My goal was one I could bring into the same room and work along side my wife who would be spinning, weaving or watching the T.V. (and a sleep happily snoring away LOL).

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6836 posts in 1590 days


#8 posted 01-04-2021 01:21 PM

Thanks, Don! Yeah, there’s the direction it’s working. Or maybe I make a smaller one that works in my machinist vise… I’m not sure, and I need to make more knives before I worry about making more knife sheaths, I guess, so there’s no great hurry.

The wind was blowing last night, so the screen for the fireplace in the bedroom has moved back up the priority list, since we had wind blowing down the fireplace making the floor cold. I don’t know if I’ll get that done his year (it’s curved, so that makes it more difficult), but I think I need to get the jigs built so I can start working on making the curved screen and have it ready by next winter.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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