TLE: Using a Chisel On Multiple Plies Of Leather

We’ve had quite a few questions on how to punch through multiple layers of heavier leather with a stitching chisel and, if you punch the pieces separately, how do you make sure the holes line up. In this video, Chuck shows how to do this using a holster as an example. The leather is an 8/9 oz. and there are three layers, with both sides of the holster and the welt. We hope this is good information for you and helps answer some of those questions!

6 Replies to “TLE: Using a Chisel On Multiple Plies Of Leather”

  1. I have a small leather business and work mostly in holsters and knife sheaths. The overwhelming majority of everything I know is self taught through trial and error. I currently stitch by using a spacing wheel and punching all of my holes individually using an awl handle with a needle. What, if any, is the benefit of using a stitching chisel over my current method?

    1. With a stitching punch you can carefully line up both side’s starting point, punch one hole through both and then unfold and punch both sides from the outside. Then the holes will line up perfectly every time. As for the welt water form and leave a little excess to be sanded/cut off later. Copy the line like Chuck does, but instead of punching through every hole, DRILL out every hole about 5/64, but no greater than 3/32. I’ve learned over the years to make my welt hole a little larger, makes sewing thru 3 pieces of 8 0z leather a lot easier.

      1. I typically line everything up and punch my holes through all the layers all together. Is there any reason why doing them separately is better?

    2. U N I F O R M I T Y !!! Please view The Leather Element: Thread, Needles & Chisels video on You Tube! Thanks. TER

  2. Speed first and foremost but also uniformity. The latter because you punch multiple holes at once and the chisel ensures even spacing AND uniformly sized holes. I don’t even use the wheel and awl anymore and I have several of each. Use a little beeswax and a block to pull it out. Also I’ve bent and broken a few awls in thick leather before. Not so with a stitching iron. Hope this helps.

  3. Thank you! Being larger holes with less intact leather in between, has anyone had a problem the stitches ripping out using this method?

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