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  1. #1
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    Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Pricking irons are very different to an overstitch wheel as they are a wide "comb" of teeth that mark out individual stitches in a fixed straight line. They usually come in 1/2", 1" and 1 1/2" widths. The 1 1/2" pricking irons are actually the most versatile as you can use them to create very straight lines or to go around corners, even tight curves.

    When using a pricking iron to mark your stitches on a straight line you would position the iron in the right place then hit the top with a mallet.



    This will create a row of stitch marks for you. If you need to carry on the row to make it longer, overlap the teeth by 5 or 6 as this will immediately place the iron into the correct place to ensure the line of marks will be straight.



    Here is a picture of the line I just created with a ruler to show that its straight. I didn't create a line for the pricking irons to level up on, this was done freehand.



    As I said, the wider pricking irons can be used to go around corners. This is done by using a technique called "heeling" where the iron is slanted so just one or two teeth touch the leather.



    You hit the top of the pricking iron, create one or two more tooth marks then move the iron so the single tooth you are using sits in the last mark created.


    The angle you need to have the pricking iron set at depends on how tight a curve you are marking. One thing to be aware of though when working very tight curves is the potential for overmarking. This can cause extra unwanted marks on the leather.



    So, the same wide pricking iron can be used to create things like the straight line here as well as the curved lines.



    Just a point to remember, pricking irons are not used to go ALL the way through the leather, they are simply to mark the place you need to make your hole with your awl

    I hope this helps those of you who might have pricking irons bought in bulk loads of tools from ebay but who dont know what to do with them!

    Tiffers
    Last edited by Tiffers; 14-04-06 at 11:48 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffers
    those of you who might have pricking irons bought in bulk loads of tools from ebay but who dont know what to do with them!

    Tiffers

    I do so know what to do with them...







































    ...now
    Eric & proud!

  3. #3
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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Of course you do Colin

    Tiffers
    Do you have a leatherwork question? Try checking HERE to see if your question has already been asked.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Another great tutorial!!

    Keep up the good work tiffer's your helping us leather noobs a great deal

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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Now i wish i had a pricking iron to have a go with, i'm sure i'll get one now, they look more useful than i thought, although that's in experienced hands, who know what mess i'd make with it!!

    cheers
    Neill
    For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
    Aristotle
    Hold on tightly, let go lightly.

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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Thanks for that Tiffers, i was going to ask on the other tutorial how you made the holes, and why you used and awl when the holes were there already quite clearly. But it now makes sense

    Life is so much easy when you can see a tool being used, in most cases.

    thanks

    steve
    Last edited by Steve Nunn; 15-04-06 at 12:27 PM.

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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Thanks for that Tiffers - in the absence of a real pricking iron I made one from an old fork - it's a little slower to use than a real one with a greater number of prongs and I don't know how long it's going to last but it works quite well at about five stitches to the inch and cost nothing!

    George

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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    I've heard of old forks being used before and why not when pricking irons can be so expensive!

    Hope it goes ok

    Tiffers
    Do you have a leatherwork question? Try checking HERE to see if your question has already been asked.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    No way, I always thought you had to bang the prongs right through the leather, I got this mallet the size of a house brick....

    Great tutorial and thanks, I can now start to use the tool correctly

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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Quote Originally Posted by themac
    No way, I always thought you had to bang the prongs right through the leather, I got this mallet the size of a house brick....

    Great tutorial and thanks, I can now start to use the tool correctly

    A common misconception

    Tiffers
    Do you have a leatherwork question? Try checking HERE to see if your question has already been asked.
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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Would it not be easier to go round corners with a shorter iron?
    If you will a good edge win,
    temper thick and then grind thin.

  12. #12
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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Quote Originally Posted by imagedude
    Would it not be easier to go round corners with a shorter iron?

    You can use shorter pricking irons to go around corners but unless you buy 2 or 3 prong irons you would still need to use the same procedure.

    From my point of view when I have spent about 40 per 1 1/2" pricking iron and I have them at 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 to the inch to then fork out another large amount of cash on narrow ones, really I want them to do as much as possible

    Tiffers
    Do you have a leatherwork question? Try checking HERE to see if your question has already been asked.
    Patience is a virtue.....

  13. #13
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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffers
    You can use shorter pricking irons to go around corners but unless you buy 2 or 3 prong irons you would still need to use the same procedure.

    From my point of view when I have spent about 40 per 1 1/2" pricking iron and I have them at 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 to the inch to then fork out another large amount of cash on narrow ones, really I want them to do as much as possible

    Tiffers
    Pffff miser....

    Nice tutorial, thanks.

  14. #14
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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    so where is the best place to buy a pricking iron?

  15. #15
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    Re: Pricking Irons - How to go round corners, not cut them!

    Bowstock, leprevo and/or Tandy Leather uk, it pays to shop around!

    Just noticed your not in the UK doh! try Tandy leather - its a US site.
    Regards

    Brian

    Why is it every time you hit the 'post' button you then see all your spelling mistakes??

 

 

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