I came up with this idea when I was not really happy with my leather stitching. I looked around for stitching wheels and being cheap and resourceful, I decided to build my own! This project took around 2 hours and was from mostly recycled materials. Enjoy!
chunk of wood
3/8" aluminum tube
1/4" aluminum tube
1/8" brass rod
star lock washer
2 part epoxy
your choice of wood finish
drill/ drill press
3/8" drill bit
1/8" drill bit
Step 1: Materials
Gather your materials and check for good fitting between your star washer and aluminum tube.
Step 2: Making Your Cuts
Safety first! Make sure you are using the proper safety gear for the tools mentioned.
Now, measure how much room you need to make the star washer fit in the aluminum tube. Mine was around 1/8"
cut you wood to length
trim the 1/4" aluminum tube to fit in the 3/8" aluminum tube
Step 3: Drilling and Deburr
. Now that the slot is cut you need to drill the 1/8" hole for the brass rod to fit in and the 3/8" hole in the wood.
Take the file and straighten the cut up and remove any burrs on the 3/8" aluminum rod.
Step 4: Shaping the Wood and Aluminum Rod
Using a belt sander, round off the 3/8" aluminum rod and deburr
Then, shape the wood, I shaped mine to comfortably fit my hand
Step 5: Completing the Lower Part
Using JB weld steel stik secure the star washer to the 1/4" aluminum rod. This should be a snug fit.
Allow time to dry, then cut the brass rod to length, insert the rod through the recently completed star washer assembly and 3/8" aluminum rod and peen brass rod. Check to make sure the brass is properly peened and uses a belt sander to remove any extra brass.
Then trim the 3/8" aluminum tube so that it will properly fit in your handle.
Check to ensure it fits in the handle.
Step 6: Finish the Wood
Using the finish of your choice, finish that handle.
Step 7: Epoxy the Two Together
Using a two part epoxy (or other strong glue) attatch the 2 parts.
Allow time to dry
Step 8: The Completed Tool & Thoughts
Congratulations! You just made a fine leather working tool!
This turned out great and I will likely make a few more.
However, the two main complaints I have about this tool.
1. The wood I used for the handle was still green and did not take to the stain well. (Still functions and looks good though)
2. The spacing on the star wheel is a little tight; I might trim every other prong.
Overall I really love this new tool and i'm sure it will serve me well for many years!