• Spring cleaning sale: I've reduced prices on the BladeForums.com Logo Tshirts and PVC patches to move these out of here! We're down to sizes Large & XL on the shirts, but have plenty of every colorway left on the patches. Get them before they are gone! https://www.bladeforums.com/help/bfcmerch/
  • The search engine is not working correctly. We are aware of the problem and are working on a solution. Thank you for your patience.
  • I've implemented new password tools to try and cut down on the number of people getting their profiles compromised by reusing the same passwords that they have used elsewhere. If you are using a password that has been exposed in a data breach and is listed on haveibeenpwned.com you will get a notification to change it the next time you log in. When you choose a new password it will show you the strength; you will need a "Medium" strength or higher password for here, 8 characters or more in length.

    Thanks for your support!

Size thread for sewing sheath?

Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
3,722
Hello ya'll, I got one of those cheap manual Chinese walking foot sewing machines. I'm pretty impressed with how well it works. A big question I have is what size thread to use? I've been using a fairly large waxed thread and artificial sinew for hand sewing. I expect the wax on the thread would give problems. I've been playing with #69 thread and a 110/19 universal needle. This combo sews really good, even did 3 layers of about 11 oz leather (3 layers is 7/16" thick).

I loaded the bobbin with #207 thread with #69 thread in needle and it actually sewed pretty good thru 3 layers of 8 oz veggie tanned leather. That #207 thread is waaaay too large for the #110/19 eye. This size thread does look like it would look pretty good on a sheath. OR - is a smaller size actually better?

What needle and thread combo do ya'll use for sewing 7 to 8 oz leather sheaths?

Thank ya'll for any guidance and suggestions.

Ken H>
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
3,722
Dave, I'm pasting this from the other thread (https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/whacha-been-up-to.1609622/page-83) where you posted this info. I'll never find it again in a couple of months or so. By copying the info here I can find it again.
Howdy Ken
I saw your post last night and meant to answer it this morning but it slipped out of my rusty trap of a brain.

I run 207 top and bottom on my Cobra 4 with size 200/25 needles. The only time I'll switch out needles is when Nichole uses it for the top stitch around the top of her totes. Then I go down to a 180. Outside of that for everything, I do I use the 207 thread and the 200/25 needles.

Recently a pretty well know leather maker bought one of my knives and sheaths. He messaged me and said he was in awe of the stitching on the sheath. He asked what sticher I was using. Well turned out he had a Cobra 4 too. Then he asked about needle and thread and he was using much heavier stuff and just wasn't getting the as clean of stitching as he was hoping for. Unless you are building absolute battleship tank like sheaths like Duramax, I don't see any reason to go heavier than 207. I often get old stuff in for repair and or replacement and I can tell ya this stuff is used:

(photos remove)

I would say that the 207 thread is lasting the life of the product and I can't see where a heavier thread would add any to the durability.
Here is my reply to Dave:
Thanks for the info Dave - I was thinking #207 thread was really needed. As mentioned I've got #138 thread sewing using a 120/19 universal needle. I've even used the #207 on bottom, but I don't have a needle large enough for #207. I need a Flat Shank 15X1 HAX1 130/705H needle to fit the machine I've got (cheap Chinese walking foot shoemaker machine https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087F7KMQG). I know a Cowboy or Cobra would be MUCH better machine but since I'll make very few sheaths per year I didn't see enough reason to spend the big bucks.

I've found the 200/25 needle a couple of places but not in the 130/705H to fit my machine. I'm told it needs the flat shank also (HA indication?). I've got some size 21 needles that should fit and be here Tuesday.

Thanks again for your help,

Ken H>

Yep, the 130/705 size needles is the same size as my Brother home machine. I've not found that size in larger than #22 so far.

Thanks again for all the help to all:
 
Last edited:

Horsewright

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
9,315
Wonder if ya could make one?Could a larger one be cut down to your specs?
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
3,722
Yep, I think so. The 135x17 DPx17 which is MUCH more commonly available is only a tad longer than a HAx1 needle (38.9mm vs 34.8mm) and doesn't have the flat side to the shank. I shorten the shank so needle would be same length and put a flat on one side. With a size #22 I was able to sew 207 thread, but do need a larger needle, perhaps at least a 23 or 24. Also still working out tension.

Another problem with the Chinese walking foot sewing machine is the presser foot - it's got a very aggressive set of teeth to pull leather thru. Some folks say use a file to "dull" the teeth. That helps but still marks leather pretty good. I made a new presser foot that is wider (to spread pressure over a larger area) and smooth on bottom. That wouldn't pull leather thru. I put saw marks on bottom and it works good and doesn't mark at all - on a single layer. With 3 layers of 8 oz leather it won't pull thru, just slips. So, I'm still working for a solution for the leather marking by presser foot.

For the amount of time I'm spending learning this walking foot machine I could have made all the sheaths I'll normally make in a year. I make much more kitchen knives than hunting knives. BUT - I have fun learning new stuff. They say us "old folks" need to work cross word puzzles and stuff to keep our mind active. Me - I'd MUCH rather be learning interesting stuff :)
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
3,722
OK, time for another update on the Chinese ShoePatcher machine. I'm currently using a #24 leather needle by Organ in size 332LL which is a tiny tad longer than a 135x17 needle. All I had to do is adjust the presser foot rod to account for longer needle. To use a needle larger than #22 I had to drill out the bobbin plate hole a good bit so there was room for needle, and for larger thread to come up thru. Also the channel in the bottom sewing arm had to be made larger for the larger needles. Now I'm sewing with #24 needle with #207 thread. The first roll of #207 thread I got didn't sew as good, but this last roll (bonded nylon) seems to be working better. Here's a test strip with 2 layers of 8 oz and a 12 oz layer in the middle to simulate a sheath with heavy welt. The double row isn't the best, but first time I'd ever tried two seams side by side.
SewTest.jpg
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
3,722
Thanks for comment - I fully realize a short test strip like that is MUCH easier than a full sheath. I might use a single row of stitching on first sheath as I learn to control machine better.
 

Horsewright

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
9,315
Thanks for comment - I fully realize a short test strip like that is MUCH easier than a full sheath. I might use a single row of stitching on first sheath as I learn to control machine better.
Never really seen the purpose of two rows anyhoo unless decorative.
 
Top