Some years ago i had to repair my shoes, but the standard leather needle was not feasible to use since the other side was not accessible being inside the shoe. So I came up with this. It is a simple bolt turned into a one sided needle that can be used to sew leather, fabric and other soft materials.
Follow me as i guide you through the process. And I can assure you, you will have a useful tool in your arsenal.
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Step 1: Things Needed
1. Long Bolt (approx. 5 to 6 inch)
2. Small Wood Block
3. Heat Shrink Tubing
1. Bench Grinder
2. Drill Machine
4. Hack Saw
5. Sharpening Stone
Step 2: Handle Making
1. First of all cut a 1 inch cube of wood.
2. Mark and drill through the center on the cube.
3. Screw the piece on the bolt
4. Sand the piece into a nice and round shaped handle.
5. Sand the edges round as to make a nice and comfy push backing.
6. Hack off the head of the bolt
Step 3: Rough Head Making
Now we will start on the head. Mark and tape two inches from the end.
Start grinding on a course grinding wheel as to form a gradual curve. I have given the cross section diameters so that you can make it exact to dimensions i have made but there no hard and fast rule. You just have to form a gradually thinning needle.
Take breaks to let cool and use gloves and safety glasses to avoid injury. When you have achieved the desired size and curvature, you can move to the next step.
Step 4: Fine Head Making
Now we move on to refining the head. Using the dremel with grinding attachment, start to form the curve. It wont require much work but just make sure it had a nice and even shape.
Then we need to flatten the edge of the tool. So we will fix it in a vice and grind evenly from both sides in the small edge to form a flat end. Use slow speed and be careful since this is a sensitive edge and it can get ruined.
Once flat use a fine sanding attachment to smooth the ground surface. After that use a sharpening stone to shape and sharpen the edge forming a nice flat needle like edge.
Step 5: Crucial Cut
The slit is the most crucial part of the entire build and it can ruin all the effort. Use a jewelers saw if you have it to make a fine slit. The slit will have a slope such that a string can get stuck on the pull stroke.
If you dont have a jewels saw like me, you can use a combination of a dremel and hacksaw. I made an initial grove with dremel cutting disc and then used a hacksaw at the angle to make a slit.
Step 6: Refining
Further what i did was slide a piece of heat shrink tubing just for a comfy grip and its aesthetic value. You can further sharpen it and polish it if you like. Although i didnt do that.
And you are all done.
Step 7: How to Use It.
Now the questions comes is to how to use this needle. Follow the steps
1. Insert the needle and hook a loop from the other side. Take it out and take out one end of the string.
2. Insert the needle again in the next location and hook a second loop from the same string from behind and take it out.
3. Put the forward string through the loop you just took out.
4. Pull both sides and tighten the knot.
5. Make as many stitches as you want.
6. At the end. Take out the back string an tie them in the front. Use a dab of superglue to keep the knot from unraveling.
Step 8: Conclusion
I hope you found my homemade needle simple and useful. Please do comment your thoughts and vote if you found it interesting. I would appreciate it.