Step 4: And the Thread Goes Through It

Yes, this part is quite tricky so take your time and patience!

Now that you have the needle in, slowly run the thread from one side of the hole on the awl's handle to the other side.  It took me several tries and reusing the drill to define the whole a bit more before I got the thread through.  However, it is possible and the satisfaction of making your own tools is quite priceless.

So carry on!  You are almost done!

Once you have the thread through (or before), file some groves on the sides of the handle to anchor and run the thread.  I did not think of making this grooves until after I did my victory dance for running the thread through the hole and that is why the photo of the grooves is on this page.

Now make a couple of knots with the ends of the thread tight and close to the handle.  This will keep the thread in place while you wind the length of thread around the handle.

NOTE:  Pull on the needle before you wind all of the thread around the handle to make sure that the needle is in deed being held in place by the thread.  

The length of thread depends on the width of the handle.  I would say that I used approximately two feet of thread.

When you are getting to the end of your thread, tuck the end of thread under the winding part of the thread so to tie it up.  Do the same another two times and cut off the end.

At this point, test the needle again!  Pull on it to make sure that it stays in place.  If it is set and does stay in place, get some glue on one of your fingers and run it over the thread.  Make sure that you get glue on all of the thread and set it to dry for at least a couple of hours.
<p>I was thinking of making my own awl for leather working, using basically the same approach. The only difference I was thinking was to simply drill the hole in the face of the handle (not the side), and then use some epoxy to set the needle in, instead of a string. <br>I'm still trying to think of a way to &quot;cap&quot; the awl, so that I can put it in a toolbox without having to worry about pricking myself.</p>
<p>That's a good idea! I just do not use epoxy 'cuz of the smell and my allergies. I use a piece of cork to cap my awl.</p>
I ended up a bit different. I drilled the hole and then used a &quot;washer&quot; shaped magnet. The magnet holds the steel needle in place and if I want I can remove/replace the needle. I also made a cap in the same way; the magnets hold the cap on
This is a great instructable, especially for me as bookbinding awls are very hard to buy here. <br>I have a tip: when threading the thread through the handle and needle, perhaps you can use a beading needle? <br>It is basically a piece of thin wire, doubled over to leave a loop at one end like the eye of a needle - but the difference is, it is flexible, so it can go through a bead. <br>If you can't find a beading needle you could always use a piece of really thin wire. <br> <br>Also, if you have it, upholstery or topstitching thread would be a lot stronger than embroidery thread which is really only for decoration. Sewists are always told never to use embroidery thread for seams because it's not strong enough. Another option might be silk thread which is both strong and pretty. If not, the same waxed linen thread you are probably using for bookbinding would also be better.
<p>waxed dental floss works really well also and its a lot cheaper for way more thread. I've been using it in place of thread to sew everything for 20 years. I rarely ever use regular sewing threads unless I'm using a machine</p>
<p>Nice! Thanks for all of the suggestions.</p>
Thank you! This was a total &quot;duh!&quot; moment. You are so right about the easier way to thread the needle! I have added an <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/make-your-own-bookbinding-awl/step6/an-easier-way-to-thread/" rel="nofollow">extra step</a> to this instructable with photos showing how to use a needle threader... I do not have a beading needle yet both would do the trick. Also, thanks for the suggestions in regards to the thread choice. I used what I had at home yet will probably use stronger threads for my next awls.
Very good
This is the best DIY Awl I have found yet, I am making books for my family for X-Mas, and my store-bought awl is dull. Thanks for the share.
thank you! have fun making the books and do let me know if you have any questions and/or suggestions to make this instructable more helpful.

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Bio: Pretty much all of my interests focus on applying everything that I learn to create usable crafts... usable things... plus learning from others is quite ... More »
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