Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

Post by Sclass »

Yeah, I really like the toughness of the milk jugs. I've wanted to stitch them into designs for awhile but I don't have too many ideas. I need to sit down and think. A few years ago I thought of stitching it into the bottom of a leather tool bag on my Harley. After years of riding, the screwdrivers drilled through the bottom of the leather bag. I solved it without sewing by making a bucket out of a half gallon milk jug and putting it in the bag.

Recently I've been wondering if I could incorporate little plates of milk jug into my clothes as scale armor. I'm not sure why :lol: it's just a solution looking for a problem. I could survive a volley of soft air BBs :lol: .

It's one of those things I toss out but I just dream of finding a use for the material. Maybe a jailhouse plastic knife? I do the mini bucket thing and the funnel trick but I haven't quite jumped over to sewing plates of jug into my elbows or knees on my clothing. I don't roll around on the ground enough.

Another idea is making a vacuum forming machine to use small chits of milk carton to form useful objects like jello molds. My knife sheath is coming apart. I put a rib of leather into the scabbard to keep the blade off the stitching but my SO figured out how to move the very sharp edge around the leather guard. The stitch got nicked and now it's coming apart.

It seems like such a great way to armor a textile...I just don't know what right now.

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

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Between breakfast and lunch I knocked this together. I needed to organize my tools on my dirt bike. They were wrapped in a rag then stuffed in a capsule under the frame. This is a much nicer way to keep things in place. Couch leather again. I used the cuttings left over from the rifle cases.

Layout was pretty easy. I just put my tools out on the table and started tracing where they should fit in a roll. Then I stitched the compartments.

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Great duct tape trick JP. Thanks for the tip. :D

George the original one
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

Post by George the original one »

Sclass wrote:
Sat May 06, 2017 10:43 pm
My knife sheath is coming apart. I put a rib of leather into the scabbard to keep the blade off the stitching but my SO figured out how to move the very sharp edge around the leather guard. The stitch got nicked and now it's coming apart.
I could see that coming. I figured you'd just reverse the knife so it wouldn't be against the stitches, let the plastic take the punishment. Maybe there's a way to encircle the knife so the inside has no exposed stitching?

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

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George the original one wrote:
Sun May 07, 2017 9:12 pm
Sclass wrote:
Sat May 06, 2017 10:43 pm
My knife sheath is coming apart. I put a rib of leather into the scabbard to keep the blade off the stitching but my SO figured out how to move the very sharp edge around the leather guard. The stitch got nicked and now it's coming apart.
I could see that coming. I figured you'd just reverse the knife so it wouldn't be against the stitches, let the plastic take the punishment. Maybe there's a way to encircle the knife so the inside has no exposed stitching?
Yeah. I tied to put that extra layer of leather along the blade's edge like you see in leather sheaths. The problem is the milk carton is ever so slightly warped and the blade sneaks past the centerline of the leather and pokes the stitching. The knife is very pointed and it is razor sharp. I would put it in backwards but my SO needs a more idiot proof system.

I like the idea of another milk carton liner perhaps folded the other way. I can probably secure it with a small pop rivet. I was thinking of just using pop rivets but I don't want them running against the blade's edge.

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jennypenny
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

Post by jennypenny »

Can you melt some wax along the threads? I've also used nail polish to strengthen threads. Not sure if either would bother the blade.

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

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Hi JP. No, that knife is really sharp. It'll go right through wax. It gets honed two times on average during a meal.

The original milk jug scabbard started to drive me nuts because it sucked. Nothing like seeing something you made everyday that happens to suck. Milk Jug Scabbard REV 2. This is hot off the bench.

I was first thinking I should drill some holes in the scabbard and loop some zip ties through along the blade's edge. Or maybe use some aluminum pop rivets. But then I thought I already have plastic strips in the milk jug. So the idea was to make some slots just along the blade and loop some milk jug material through then sew it down with the stitching far away from the blade - protected from the razor edge. I wanted some ideas with tough milk jug armoring, here it is. Conceptual model here. I noticed in my real leather knife sheaths, the center ridge in the sheath not only stops the blade tip, it distributes the load of the knife over the length of the sheath so the pressure at one support point isn't too high. Kind of like sleeping on a bed of needles. So I put these straps through at three places.

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Now to harvest some material. I just finished off a jug this morning making lattes. I cut the center and then use an iron to flatten things out a bit. It is alot like working leather.

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Cut the pieces from my pattern. I used a rotary cutter. Amazingly it went right through. The plastic is slippery unlike leather or fabric so you have to hold it down while not cutting off your finger tips. I'm still on my first cutter blade. I'm still blown away by the thing. It's like cutting pizza.

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Now I tape everything down to my cutting pad. My new favorite cheap punch is a T pin. I made some registration holes to locate the straps. They have to be precisely placed so the blade comes to rest on all of them simultaneously. I don't want one strap getting the first stab as I sheath the knife. Once I know where everything goes, I can make little slits with a craft knife.

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Setup the machine tension. This one will be a little tricky because it has to handle two layers of milk jug then instantly transition to four layers without skipping a stitch. Looking good.

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And here it is. I wavered a little on the stitch. That milk jug is slippery. But it will work! Now I just need to trim it up.

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Hey, now this is an item I don't mind seeing and using everyday. Satisfactory.

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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

Post by George the original one »

Nice!

That's weird (and cool) to see the knife inside the sheaf.

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

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Another broken Keen sandal. Too expensive to toss. Wow, how does this stuff happen?

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Bring out the tools. Sewing awl. Nylon upholstery thread. I like Nylon's flexibility for applications like this. Polyester is great for strength and sun resistance. Nylon has some give to it. My feeling is it won't garrote the leather stitching holes. Thimble. Lighter for melting thread. Scissors.

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One dozen well placed stitches and voila.

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Done deal. Saved another pair of sandals. The first one in this thread got left at a hotel pool. Go figure. Buying long lasting stuff doesn't solve theft or loss from negligence. :roll: :roll: :roll:

Ahhhhh. Spending money averted.

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

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Horizontal carry swiss army knife sheath.

I recently acquired this Victorinox Champion. It's pretty big and I don't like the feeling of it in my pocket. I feel it makes my pocket sag given its weight. I thought of a belt case but they are vertical mounting. Looked uncomfortable while sitting. Also looked like Batman.

This is a fat "pocket knife". Not easy to carry in my pocket.

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So I made this out of recycled couch leather. Things you cannot buy are good candidates for making. It's a little thin so I lined the case with milk carton plastic to stiffen it up. I sewed it a little loose so I soaked it in water overnight then dried it. I'd say it shrunk 5% which was all it needed for a snug fit. It rides on my belt nicely and doesn't bother me while I'm sitting or driving. I'm not a big fan of big swiss army knives but I'll try this awhile.

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Learned how to press in a snap. It was easy and cheap. They cost pennies each. I was thinking of all these alternative hooks, clutches and buttons to hold the thing closed but I couldn't come up with anything more convenient and foolproof than a good old fashioned snap. It really is a great invention. The internal spring clip on a snap will last a lot longer than a button hole that wears.

suck in my gut for a nice photo.

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enigmaT120
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

Post by enigmaT120 »

That's cool. I used to have a Swiss Army knife called The Scientist, it even had a little magnifying glass. And wasn't huge. But I lost it somewhere. Now I just have Gerber and Leatherman multi-plier tools.

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

Post by Sclass »

enigmaT120 wrote:
Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:05 pm
That's cool. I used to have a Swiss Army knife called The Scientist, it even had a little magnifying glass. And wasn't huge. But I lost it somewhere. Now I just have Gerber and Leatherman multi-plier tools.
Wow. That is one you don't see anymore. Very collectible knife. Rare.

http://www.sakwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page=Scientist

I love my leatherman wave but it is soooo heavy. Probably a good candidate for a horizontal carry belt case.

Riggerjack
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

Post by Riggerjack »

OK, I just caught up with this thread, and have a suggestion.

Boiled leather is an ancient way to make armor. Boil leather in wax, then form it around the wearer. It is how we made things before we had plastic.

This works very well for scabbards. Cut leather to shape, soak in melted wax, form around blade, sew up the back after it cools. This gets you a form fitting scabbard, that you SO won't be able to reverse.

If you don't like the stiff plastic feel of the waxed leather, you can soak leather in acetone, form and allow to dry. Similar but faster than soaking in water, and you don't have to worry about rusting your blade.

You can sew waxed leather, but it is easier to sew first, then soak.

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

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Boiled leather huh? Sounds interesting and easy to do in the garage. Thanks RJ. I'll read up on it.

Maybe I can have that leather scale armor I've been dreaming of.

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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

Post by Riggerjack »

There are enough SCAdians and LARPers to attract commercial solutions. Check out:
https://theringlord.com/cart/shopdispla ... and+Medium

If you want scales, go for the shiny ones!

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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

Post by Riggerjack »

But I was thinking of this

https://www.etsy.com/listing/500272286/ ... ref=market

Hard, water resistant, moldable, and sewn. In keeping with the theme on your thread.

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

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I may need some thicker leather. The upholstery leather is a little thin. Hey, maybe it's worth boiling a scrap in wax. I was wondering how people make those nice form fitting holsters for handguns. I assumed it was water...but now I think of it, my old "Hunter" brand leather holsters had a waxy feel to them like they'd been soaked in beeswax.

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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

Post by Riggerjack »

You are in Northern Cali, so you should have ren faires down there. There are always examples of handmade boiled leather in the merchant section of those places.

And yes, beeswax is what I have seen used for treating the leather.

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Sclass
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patch rat hole

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Just thought I'd post this up. Not exactly sewing, but it reminded me of upcycling sheets of discarded materials.

Rats have made a hole into my home. I sat around watching them go straight up the wall into this gaping hole they carved out. I stuffed in some bubble wrap last night and it was gone this morning. Doh! I got to hear the parade all across my attic. These guys won't take my traps baited with peanut butter, chocolate Nuttella, corn chips, cheetos etc. I watched them and realized why. They live in my house but they make a B line to my neighbor's fruit tree for food. Smart rats.

I needed some screen to cover the hole but I didn't want to spend money on diesel to drive up and down the mountain or on high priced wire cloth at the corner hardware store.

So here is the material I scavanged.

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Yep. Just use flashing shears and open up an old can into a big rectangle. Cut out patches and screw them to the eaves.

Yay!

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Now I have the bastards trapped in my attic. Yay? :? Hopefully they'll get less picky about the bait on my traps. We will see.

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

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Groan...I discovered another hole. A rat actually poked his face out. I'm going to need more than soup cans.

Edit - one rat in the trap today. Wow, hot weather and dead rats don't mix. Yuk.
Last edited by Sclass on Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sclass
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Re: Inexpensive way to sew thick stuff

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Put a new panel into my car seat. I got tired of this hole. My car looked like this but this isn't my exact car...just an example. I forgot to take a before photo. I was afraid I'd regret trying this so I didn't want a before photo to weep over after I ruined my seat. I've never tried auto trimming before. This was a first doing a complex shape like this. My intent for buying the walking foot machine was to do repairs like this. So I finally did one.

I had a bad hole in my bolster. Kind of like this one, but this is not an image of my car. I forgot to take a before photo.

An example of what my seat kind of looked like. Not my car. Bad bolster.

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I stripped the cover off the driver's seat.

Once I got the stuff off I cut the panels apart with a razor blade. I learned from a Youtube vid I saw about converting an interior from cloth to leather. I took the panel and cut another piece of vinyl out. Mercedes OE vinyl is $75 a yard including shipping. Too much. Crazy stuff costs as much as leather. I got some camel tan naugahide on ebay for $6 a yard. BTW, you don't need an industrial sewing machine if you want to do cloth seats. A home sewing machine works great on cloth.

For now I just wanted a patch or a replacement panel. So I sewed in a single bolster on my driver's side. You can see the slight difference in color. It isn't a perfect match and there is a pebble grain on the faux leather.

So here are the photos. This is my actual car and my work. You can recognize the panel I replaced by its lighter color. It wasn't a perfect match but heck for $6 it beat a glue patch or one of those "miracle vinyl repair goo kits" that used car salesmen use to make a car pretty before selling it. Also I'm not too fond of those add on covers people put on rotten seats.

Here it is after my panel is installed.

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A little wrinkly. Hope this sorts itself out in the sun. Ahhh...now I know what scrim foam backing is for. A few mm's of foam on the back of the vinyl keeps it from wrinkling up.

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