Stitching Lacing Pony How I Made It Long Ago




Introduction: Stitching Lacing Pony How I Made It Long Ago

About: I'm a professional chef and in my idle time I keep busy making leather and fabric products. Just about anything I put my mind to, I give it a go, usually with decent results.

Stitching ponies are like an extra set of hands to a leatherworker, they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and the larger ones called lacing horses are made to sit on and look like a rocking horse, they basically do one thing. Hold your leather project still so you can use both hands to lace or sew. It's not necessary but it sure is helpful. I made this one about a year ago and I was recently asked to post some pics and basic dimensions. I figured why not make an instructable.
If you've got a few basic tools and some spare time you can make this for a few bucks

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Step 1: Tools and Supply List

Wood saw. Power or not depending on how much work you want to do
Phillips head screwdriver
Measuring square
3- 3/4 inch x 4 inch solid wood pcs at least 21 inches long each for uprights and base
2- 3/4 x 4 solid wood pcs. For the jaws
I- 2x4 about 4 inches for center post
17 washers
11- 2 inch wood screws
6- 1-1/4 inch wood screws
1- 3.5 inch bolt
1 T-Nut ? Insert nut ? matching size to bolt.
Enough leather or heavy vinyl to cover the heads.

Step 2: Rambling a Little

Since this is already assembled and is fairly simple to make I am going to describe my pictures and how it was assembled,
I designed this for the height I felt comfortable at sewing in my truck bed, picnic tables and in my office chair or any sitting position, it's mid chest high and is not meant to be a tabletop version, I've used it standing up on the table with ankle weights holding it in place and it was stable but a little short. it fits under my legs and with rounded edges I barely feel it at all.
I guess the most important part of the whole thing is that every connection point must be square. If not the jaws won't grip your project correctly.

Step 3: Preparing the Uprights

The 2 uprights are about 20.5 inches tall. I screwed the inner top blocks in place, level with the top using 3 1-1/4 inch wood screws from the outside. I drilled pilot holes so I wouldn't split the wood. Make sure to position the screws in a place where you won't be cutting into them when making your angle. So mark that angle off before making the pilot holes. Then I starting cutting away at the angle until my fingers felt like they would be comfortable doing awl and needle work. This worked out to be 45 degrees. So just mark off 45• from the biting edge and lop that corner off. Just don't go into the biting edge of the inner blocks. You want this as straight as possible.
I then used thumb tacks to hold a piece of chrome tan in place. I changed that later into contact cement but couldn't get to the inner part without taking it all apart so I left the inner tacks in place. You need this leather here to prevent marring your project.
I measured down somewhere I didn't think would be in the way on most of my projects, about 10 inches and drilled an appropriate sized hole for the t- nut insert nut. I wanted it flush so my thread wouldn't get caught on it. Thread gets caught on everything. Why add one more hook somewhere. On the opposite side I used a washer to stop the bolt head from getting stuck in the hole. I changed that later to that square looking washer thingy to help tighten projects. Not needed though. Just squeeze the 2 pcs of wood together with your hand to cinch it down then Tighten the bolt by hand.

Step 4: The Base

The base is 20 inches long. I marked off the center point and drilled 3 pilot holes to mount the center block. I then cut a 2x4 wide enough to match the base and from the bottom I screwed upwards into the block with 2 inch wood screws
Then i made pilot holes in the uprights appropriate with the center block and I screwed the uprights into the center block with my screws on the right side slightly offset from the screws on the left side so they couldn't connect inside the center block.
I used a razor knife and shaved all of my base and upright sharp edges to save sanding time then sanded those areas smooth for more a comfortable overall use of this thing and I was done.
No I wasn't.
So when I started using it I quickly realized that my perfect fitting uprights that fit perfect on the top were way too tight when I put something in there. My top biting edge was being pushed out at an angle and I wasn't getting an even grip on my projects and the whole thing was putting way too much pressure on my projects. I then took the uprights off and put 2 washers on each screw. This gave me somewhere between 3/16 and 1/4 inch total spacing up top and I let the adjuster bolt do the job it was intended to do.
It's ugly as hell but using junk pile wood and hardware from the odd n ends box the only thing it costed was time.

Thank you for Checking out my stuff.
I'm not a carpenter I'm more like a wood butcher, but I'll try to make something I need from scraps before I pay full price for it.

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    2 Discussions


    5 years ago

    I'm 6' even. My base is pretty solid. Yeah. Good ole liquid nail. I think 1/2 of my house is held together with it


    5 years ago

    Thank you for posting your stitching pony and your making it, along with the problems you found and how to correct them. I too am a wood butcher but with your Instructable, I should be able to make 1 that suits my height. The 1 I got years ago from Tandy's has served well but is just a bit short for me. Some years ago the base was lose and the mounting screws were working out from worm threads, so being a wood butcher I use liquid nail with a caulking gun. Putting liquid nail between the base and uprights, I then put liquid nail in the thread holes with larger wood screws. Then ran a bead along the joint of base and uprights, the stitching pony is stronger today than 30 years ago. Thanks for your Instructable.