Introduction: Sewing Jig for Traditional Kazan Mosaic Leather

Picture of Sewing Jig for Traditional Kazan Mosaic Leather

This jig is used for making items in traditional Kazan (middle east region) leather mosaic technique (see examples on the photos (I'm not an author of those)). Along with Making Sewing Awl instructable, this one is meant to be a supplement for upcoming instructable, dedicated to the technique itself.

Despite the technique being pretty old, originaly it was realized with much simpler contraption, which I do net recommend because it's atleast uncomfortable to use and maybe even bad for your posture. The jig, I'm presenting was designed in 1980's, and in my project I'm dirrecting with the plans, presented in Lilia Satarova's book "Kazan Patterned Leather".

Step 1:

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If you have basic skills and experience in woodworking, basically, all you, probably, need is the plans. Moreover I'm myself not replicating those from the book in my project preciselly, so there's a room for improvisation according to the materials and tools you have.

But I made a lot of photos during the making process anyway, and it won't hurt to look at what I was doing for last two weeks anyway.

For the most of the construction I used pine, and working bar on the top was made with oak, but any hard wood will do.

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    So, first detail is basis, and for it I used this 5 cm thick board, glued from two narrover ones. Marking, squareing the edge. The notch at the edge, made with a knife, is to position saw at the beginning of sewing.

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    Cutting off the piece of required lenght.

    I'm using Paul Sellers style can with oily rug to keep my tools in good shape, so I reccoment to go and look his video on how to make one.

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    I do not have a shooting board, so I'm just sanding the endgrain on the cutted edge.

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    Now I have to make the detail narrower, and since the grains on the board were pretty straight I decided to split the excess material off with an axe. The rest was trimmed to the size and finnished with handplanes.

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    Since the board had some curve in it I had to flatten it with hand planes. A bar, secured on the table with c-clamps acts as a stop when planing, and vedges are preventing the board from rocking.

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    To give the board required shape a material should be removed from the bottom, so I'm making necesserally marking first.

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    Then, I'm making a series of parallel cuts through the area, that needs to be removed.

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    Then I chipped off the bulk of the material with a chisel.

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    Roughing plane finnished the job.

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    Now I'm planing the narrower edge.

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    Two bars were planed and cut into size to form vertical bars.

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    A bunch of measurements were taken and transferred to mark the notches on the basis.

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    To prevent fibers fron tearring on the edge during the sawing and to guide the sawblade, cuts were made with sharp knife according the markings: one perpendicular to the surface and another one at the angle to the previous.

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    Then notches were formed.

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    At this point I still haven't decided weather I'm going to glue the parts together with adding dovels, so I just screwed them down. Anyway, gluing is has to be done at later stages.

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    The height of the jig depends on the height of the person using it (the measurement given in plans is for a person of 164cm height) , so to determine it I'm sitting into working position and measuring the lenght of the bar so that the working area is in comfortable possition somewhere at the middle of your chest.

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    Connecting bar at the top is cuted.

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    To make the pedal operate, piano hinge is used. Cutting into size, breaking sawblades, and smoothing edges with a file.

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    Small plank is made to elevate the hinge above the basis.

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    Relatively thin wider board was used to make a pedal. Cutting it into size first.

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    Than planing. It has notacible curve in it but I'm ok with it.

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    I decided to give a pedal a little champher along the edge, so I used my homemade marking gauge to mark and handplane to... hand plane.

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    Once again, Im not folloving the book planes exactly, so I shaped the pedal a little bit my way, and this is the way where all your foot fits in it.

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    The thing, I called working bar is essentially 5X5X5X~38cm triangualr prism made of hardwood. The best option I had was to glue three piecer of narrow oak board into a bar. The cut offs will be used in different project.

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    Gluing with white glue and clamping.

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    While the glue is drying Im screwing down the elevation bar for the pedal to the basis.

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    The piano hinge is attached to the pedal.

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    But before screwing the pedal down to the basis, two holes are have to be done for the rope.

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    The glue has dryed on the working bar piece, and I'm planing one side which is to be the bottom one.

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    I'm cutting than the piece ino required lenght.

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    A line along the middle of the bottom bar side is used then to align the triangle template on the edge.

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    After adittional lines were added to the edges, it's time to cut off the excess, and... I don't have a wide choice of ripsaws, so I'm using the best I have.

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    After one side is removed I can use two remaining parallel surfaces to hold the detail in the vice.

    Another surface of the prism is then planed into size.

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    After removing the second side I had to secure the detail somehow to plane the remaining surface, so I screwed the top bar I made earlier to the bottom of the working bar.

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    Now the piece can be secured in the vice or at the edge of the table to be planed.

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    A champher was added to the piece, and now you can see how it all comes together.

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    To attach the working bar along with the top bar to the construction I used screws, so some marking and drilling had to be done.

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    And than some more of that.

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    Before assembling the construction I decided to add a champhet to the sides of the basis.

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    Then I attached the pedal.

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    Two more planks for holding the tool pocked were the last wooden details to make.

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    To find the right place to attach them I had to measure, where my knee is in the working position. I don't know if it has to be that way, because the book plans don't give any specific measurements, but I found it convenient to position them that way, so that you can hold the frame with your knees for greater stability.

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    When the mesurements were taken the planks were screwed to the frame.

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    The frame now can be attached to the basis with pedal, and since the whole wooden construction is now accomplished it can be finnished with something suitable. I used boiled linseed oil. I had nothing else anyway.

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    And now it's tyme to deal with the belt part.

    You need some leather belt. Cut the buckle and the part with holes off. Shape the ends and punch holes for the rope. The slit in the middle is cutten than.

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    From the part with holes cut four pieces and glue them to the bottom of the basis in the corner to make pads.

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    Now we need a piece of leather to cover the working bar. In my case it was 15X15cm rectangle. The leather is soft ~1,5mm scrap piece from furniture manufacturing.

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    Marking the position of the leather piece on the working bar and securing it with nails. Iwasn't able to find my "really small nails", so I had to snap bigger ones into size.

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    Now, when I added the leather, the top bar is has to be locally carved to accomodate additional thickness.

    After that the working bar was screwed back again.

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    The hole I made for the rope in the belt was a bit too big, and instead of making bigger knot I added leather washer to the rope.

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    The final detail is the pocket for the tools.

    I had a piece af fine linen burlap, which I used for this. Two loops for the holding bars and folded edges - this is all the sewing I've done.

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    After installing the pocket, the jig is finnished and soon I'll put it into good use, so wait for the instructable on the stitching technique.

    Anyway, this is it for now. Thanks for your attention, and how many different planes and saws I used in this project?


    If you feal like I'm doing something useful and you want to see me doing more of that, please, concidere to support me on patreon. I always have new Ideas and willing to explore new crafts and stuff, so even with some humble extra budget I'll have more directions to explore and efforts to spend on my projects.

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