Selecting a Cobra Sewing Machine or any leather sewing machine can be challenging whether you are a first time buyer or have years of experience. Doing the proper research to insure that you get the best possible machine to do the job you need it to do takes time and patience.
When I was in college doing leather work on the side, I hand stitched everything that I made. Hand stitching is a valuable and necessary skill that all LeatherHeads should take the time to learn and master. But there does come a point for most of us where a leather sewing machine becomes a much needed piece of equipment for our business.
There are so many different brands, sizes and styles of machines out there. Selecting the best machine for your needs can be daunting. The great news? There is tons of information on the internet as well as helpful and knowledgeable people waiting to help with any questions or concerns that you may have when making the upgrade from sore fingers and long hours to powered sewing machines. Continue reading →
Finding the best Leathercraft work surface is a quest that I find myself still on today. I began my leather work career cutting leather out on my bed in my apartment and doing all my work on a 2×4 bench that I made to fit by my desk. My roommate wasn’t particularly excited about my late night basket stamping sessions. Fast forward to today, and some of my benches are much more nuanced when it comes to the Leathercraft work surface that I work on. Some of them are still hodge-podge assortments of materials that simply work… nothing more.
You can get lost in trying to find the absolute best material to work on. Different leather craft techniques and processes requiring different types of material to work on. The important thing here is to find something that works for you and go with it. When you are a famous leather craftsman someday you can worry about how pretty your work tables and benches are. For now, the only thing that matters is you being able to accomplish your work effectively.
In this video, I go through all of the different Leathercraft work surfaces that I use in my shop. Why I use them and for what purposes. These are the best materials that I have found for completing the different tasks in my work.
I did some research to find the company in San Antonio that made the plastic cutting board material on my cut bench. I did find a company, but since I have never done business with them I didn’t feel comfortable recommending them here. I will continue to research a good source for this material and when I find a reliable source I will update this video. I do suggest doing a google search in your area and I bet you can find someone near you that has this material in any size you may need.
When it comes to getting the best possible edges in your work, sanding tools are one of the most important areas to focus on. Without a well sanded edge on your leather project, you won’t be able to get the smooth finish you are looking for. Even the best possible cut piece of leather still needs sanding on the edge to prepare the leather to be burnished.
There are many different ways to accomplish the same thing in leather work. Sanding is no different. There are antique line finishers, who’s sole purpose is to sand and burnish any leather edge to a high gloss finish… particularly on shoes and boots. But these machines are heavy and take up a lot of room in a workshop. There are cabinet finishers that take up much less room and do just as good of a job. But finding one of these on the used market can be difficult… most folks won’t part with them. There are even other “powered” machines used in other industries that can accomplish your sanding needs. Continue reading →
Sewing leather is by far the most common task that we have in our leather shops. Whether you are hand sewing everything, or using a leather sewing machine, you will have to sew leather on just about every project. In this post, I share the first of a three part video series on leather sewing machine best practices with the hopes of helping you become more efficient and safe while using an electric sewing machine.
When I started doing leather work, I didn’t have a leather sewing machine and spent many hours hand sewing my projects. Though this is not the most efficient way to complete projects, I do believe that it is very important to become proficient at this skill. So if you are still in the hand stitching stage of your leatherworking journey, don’t fret! You are at a very important stage and learning this skill will serve you well for the rest of your leather career. But when the time comes when you can upgrade to an electric sewing machine, I would highly recommend adding this piece of equipment to your shop. Continue reading →