My Little (Stitching) Pony

Since sewing leather sheaths whilst holding them between one’s knees is a huge pain in all kinds of regions, I have decided to bite the bullet and build myself a small stitching pony. It is very simple, but, as usual, it took me way more time to make than it should have. Here it is for you to admire.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

It is made from reclaimed firewood, so I have spent a lot of time sanding of splinters.  The “H” formed base is for stability, but the two planks are only fixed with one screw each and tightened only with a winged nut. That way I can loosen them, and fold them so the pony can be put out of the way and leaned against a wall when not in use, together with other useless junk I posess, like painter’s easel.

You can also see that I have bought a suitcase for my leatherworking tools. It is already full to the brim and I have barely begun :(.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Jaws are covered with leather, here it is not fully trimmed yet. You can admire the high precisisn’t with which I am usually assembling these tools.

The right jaw is fixed, the left jaw swivels on a hinge. They are tightened via one long screw with a winged nut. The screw is deliberately very loose, so it cannot be overtightened.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

A piece of wedge-shaped hardwood with slits slides on two screws and under the winged nut, allowing for a sort of easy quick-tighten and -release tool.

It works as it should. Like all tools, it gets some getting used to, but it does make the leather stitching several orders of magnitude easier. I have tested it today and I was definitively a lot quicker. And my back hurt less.

Expect some leatherwork in future too. Hopefully.


  1. lorn says

    Very nice.

    With some wider jaws you could sharpen, true, and set handsaws. With narrower jaws you might file or grind knife bolsters.

    Traditional woodworkers had a similar idea but with a seat attached. Sitting eases strain and adds mass that helps everything stay firmly fixed and much less likely to wobble or vibrate.

    If I remember right various woodworkers used a device generally described as a ‘horse’ which featured a seat and clamping device. Often the clamping is worked by the legs. As in a ‘cooper’s horse’ , a shingle-maker’s horse’, or simply a ‘shaving horse’. A mechanical, screw driven, clamp seems more practical for stitching but seating, using your weight for stability, seems like an improvement IMHO.

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