Monday, February 10, 2014
Also, in a rat-killing frenzy a few years back, I pulled out all of the homemade shelving the previous owner had installed. The shelves were hideously ugly, and even worse, had many cracks and crevices perfect for storing rat droppings and old walnut shells, but now all I have is a poorly-made (but not by me this time!) work "bench top" and the ribs of the walls on which to hang things. I put up a couple of pegboards, which are a little bit handy, but not by much. Mostly, stuff is stacked or lays on the floor -- not conducive to getting any work done.
Last night, however, I made a quick mental check of materials, and realized that I could bang out a quick version of a tool I've been needing for quite some time: A leather stitching pony.
A stitching pony is a third hand for leather workers. It is basically two long pieces of wood to make a clamp, vertically attached to one long piece of wood as a base. One of the vertical pieces is attached by a hinge, and the other is just screwed into place. A bolt with a wingnut runs through the two vertical pieces, and leather is glued to the ends, making a soft clamp for holding pieces of leather while you sew them together.
Here's a picture of mine:
Admittedly, not my best work. I used one long 2x4 piece of redwood, because though I knew I had two good pieces of 1x4, it turns out I really don't know what I know (now THAT would blow Don Rumsfeld's mind). I ripped a 16" piece with my rusty bandsaw, and attached the pieces to the base with screws lying around in the shop.
is my solution. I cut the ends off the screws with my rusty Dremel tool.
Next, I realized that I didn't have a bolt the right size, so I took a trip to the local hardware store, after all, for 5/16" bolts, wingnuts and a 5/16" drill bit. I was going to do at least one thing right. I picked 1.5" bolts, so that I wouldn't have a bunch of extra bolt hanging out the side.
At home, I put it all together, and glued leather pieces to the jaws. After glueing the leather, then placing an example piece in the clamp, I realized I'd bought bolts too short. So much for doing one thing right. One more trip...
Thus, the 20% markup on my projects.