Hand Stitching for Your Next Campaign

We were supposed to have finished this three-legged campaign stool more than a week ago. Then our kids got sick, and “To Make as Perfectly as Possible” raised its perfectly ferocious head.

So today, Ty Black and I started tying up the loose ends. He started hand-stitching the seat for the stool – instead of doing it by machine. Because that is a cool thing, I shot a short video of the process that should convince you that it’s pretty darn easy to do.

stool_legs_IMG_4902Me? I chucked the legs back in the lathe and turned a dome shape on their ends so that the legs wouldn’t rip the “sex machine” leather. Plus I added a couple more coats of wax while the legs were on the lathe. I then stripped the zinc off the steel hardware (see a video on this process here) and aged the brass bits that tie the whole stool together and allow the legs to rotate and splay without giving you an amateur enema.

Anyway, we should have photos up tomorrow of the finished stool. The prototype sits quite nicely.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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15 Responses to Hand Stitching for Your Next Campaign

  1. Ben says:

    We used to have one of these around the house when I was a kid—my step-mom’s dad had run a tannery, so we had a bunch of weird cow-hide items. I remember that the seat of the stool was emblazoned with a steer’s head, and I would ride it around the living room. Oh, and it was incredibly comfortable to sit on. I can still recall how it perfectly molded to my nether regions, even as I got older and bigger. Nice work, Ty.

  2. randy says:

    Great job ty.

  3. mike homer says:

    this has nothing to do with the post although, I have always wanted to build a nice version of the crappy 3 legged fold out stools at the flea market which is pretty much what you’ve done, stealing my ideas again I see, but any ways I noticed your reading World War Z, is that any good ? I think they’re making it into a movie that’s coming out soon but I could be wrong, anyway glad to know your a zombie fan I have a 64th of an inch more respect for you now and I barley even go up to 32nds, nah I’m just pullin’ your chain

    • Graham Burbank says:

      “the walking dead” seems loosely based on it. I find that when reading a book of fiction, my imagination spins a tale that movies can never compare.(stephan jackson comes awfully close, though)

      • jasongc says:

        TWD is actually based off a comic book named….TWD. The comic is still being written, and I think they’re up around 100 issues or so.

  4. sawdustmaker says:

    Very informative video. Thanks tons

  5. Robert says:

    This sounds almost exactly like the basic process described in a book called The Art Of Hand Sewing Leather by Al Stolhman. I really liked the video. It was nice to see steps being demonstrated so I have some reference to what I had previously read, but not yet attempted myself.

  6. bawrytr says:

    I have done a little sailmaking and leather work and have found these tools, especially the palm, a big help for heavy fabrics and leather.

  7. Patrick says:

    Hey Ty,
    Nice work. But I gotta ask, do you ever get in heated arguments with people about sewing with hand tools vs. sewing with a machine? (Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk)

    Also, unrelated, how did the desk you were building for your wife turn out?

  8. John Switzer says:

    Nice little video. looks like I need to make a stitching clam. How thick of a stack of leather can you do with the awl? I frequently use the drill press when sewing knife sheaths with a heavy welt.

  9. Bob Davidson says:

    Great video! The tips and techniques for hand-stitching leather will help me when I stitch the leather on the masts and spars for my boat. The plan calls for leather on the masts where they meet the mast-partners, and the spars call for leather where they rub against the masts. I already have leather sewn around my oars where they meet the oarlocks. These have a special technical name when applied to oars, interestingly enough they are called “leathers”.

  10. Michael Doughty says:

    Did you use a size 5 or 8 needle?

  11. Chris Hahndorf says:

    What is the name of that song/band in the video? Thanks!

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