Thursday, May 19, 2011

Great New Tool!!

Stitch-marking is something that hobbyists have started to expect to see on top LSQ tack. There was a phase when stitch-marks were put around just about every single piece on an english saddle, but thankfully most tack-makers have 'grown-out' of that tendency. In real life, you usually only see stitch marks around the edges of knee rolls and also perhaps along the upper edge of jockey near the seat welt. Most saddles do not have them all the way round the flaps and jockeys. That's the case for the European market anyway, you do see them more often on American hunt-seat saddles. In the past I have made stitch-marks by hand, which is painful, time-consuming and never looks that great due to natural inconsistencies. So when I discovered pouncing wheels, I was most pleased that I could save so much time using them.

But, for some time I have been dissatisfied with my normal pouncing wheels. Pouncing wheels are made for transferring designs through paper, usually nice long sweeping lines. The point spacing isn't too critical as they're used as a guide for paintwork and similar applications. The spacing on my pounce wheels is fairly wide, and not in scale even for traditional scale tack items.

So, I've always been on the hunt for something better, been it's always been tricky knowing what terms to use in search engines or ebay for example. Until that is, I cam upon a thread on a modelling forum, focussing on model aeroplanes. They mentioned a tool called a 'riveter', in particular one made by a company called Trumpeter. I did a search and immediately came up with a very reasonably priced product, at £4.95. That's a pretty good price considering my pounce wheels were over £12, so I bought one and it arrived today. Admittedly, the tool is plastic and possibly a little delicate, so we'll see how it holds up over time.

But I was immediately impressed with the wheels it came with and their point spacing. Here's a picture of the three metal pouncing wheels next to the new tool with it's 4 blades (one is in the tool). The left two pouncing wheels have a point-per-inch count of 14-15. The other wheel has a count of 23 (I use this one most on my tack projects). You may not be able to see the points on the blades very well, but they have counts of 23, 27, 33 and 44!

44 dots per inch is hard to count!

After my show at the weekend I will be trying them out on leather, and I have high hopes! I'd love to find something similar in a wooden or metal handle, but beggars can't be choosers. Maybe I can persuade Andy to make a nice handle for me.....