by Wild Rose Trading Company

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My original Pny - some 20+ years old
This one is a couple of years old - a gift from a student. It's made of nicely finished oak.

Parts List :

  • 3 - pieces of 2" x 4" x ?"
  • 3 - pieces of 1" x 4" x?"
  • 1 - 3.5" inch brass door hinge
  • 1 - 5" x 5/16" inch carriage bolt with, washer and wingnut.
  • 2 - strips of 2/3 oz vegtan to pad the jaws
  • 1 - spring 3/8" + inside diamater x 2" or so long(optional)

It's pretty self explanatory how to make and use: I sit with the 1" x 4" under my legs in a nice, deep easy chair. I made this one out of pine. Hardwood may be prettier, but this was cheaper. I have been using this one for about 10 years now.

Size is relative - make the height to fit you comfortably when sitting down (about mid to upper chest high).

Cut the two uprights with a 45° angle on top; make sure they're the SAME length. Clamp the two uprights together and drill a 5/16" diameter hole through both pieces about 1/3 of the way up for the carriage bolt.

Glue and screw the right hand upright and the center block to the 1" x 4" leg crosspiece. Mount the left hand upright flush against the center block and attach the door hinge to it and the leg piece.

Put in your carriage bolt and nut and tighten it down to hold the uprights steady, but don't "spring" the uprights inward (I epoxiesd the head end of the bolt into the wood to help prevent any chance of turning; another option is to drill in from the side and pin the bolt in place). This where the optional spring goes -place it over the bolt between the uprights - the spring tension will hold the jaws open.

Cut two pieces of 1" x 4" with a 45° angle on one end. Contact cement your strips of leather to the two 45's and trim flush.

Attach these two angle ended pieces of 1" x 4" with screws and glue to the two 2" x 4" uprights - be sure to match the padded ends in the middle. Trim off any excess 1" x 4" flush to the outside of the uprights.

Sand all rough edges and finish the wood with whatever you want (I never did get around to finishing the original).

I used to have a stiff 3 1/2" wide leather strip that ran down the right upright to cover the nut, which does help to prevent wrapping your thread around the nut as you sew, but it kept getting in my way whenever I needed to tighten or untighten the nut, so I removed it.

I can get enough clamp tension with this setup to even sew heavy saddle bags and chaps, but if you feel you need more torque get a welder to weld a little dog leg to the nut or do like a friend did and buy a cheap box end wrench and instead of a wing nut, he epoxied a hex nut inside the wrench head, or use on of the large plastic handle type nuts as shown on the new/improved version.

You can also drill a 1" - 1 1/2" hole almost through the right hand upright above the bolt and pack the hole with beeswax for waxing your awl blade.

It isn't real elegant, but it is cheap and it works great. I made this one many, many years ago for going to demos and since then I use it exclusively and extensively.

The above tutorial was originally written to share with my fellow leather craftsman on the CKD Forums Sheathmaking forum.
It is copyrighted and all rights are reserved by Wild Rose Trading Company.
Printing a copy or copies for private, non-commercial use is allowed.
Any commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Any non-commercial leather working site wishing to display or link to this tutorial
must get written permission from Wild Rose Trading Company

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