Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by stabnshoot » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:27 am

For a few years now I've seen quite a bit of buzz amongst the DIY community about the Speedy Stitcher, and I considered buying one but noticed that it's designed to be used with a very thick gauge of waxed thread. The thread I'd probably use most would be nylon #69 bonded thread since it's recommended for sewing MOLLE and other tac gear.

So the question is, should I stick with the conventional needle and thread, or get a sewing awl, and if so which one?; I see there's at least two different styles.

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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by GSHX2 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:49 am

No experience with the one in the bottom picture but I have used the one in the top. I wouldn't want to use it for a ton of sewing but to repair small sections that involved leather it worked pretty good. When I had to do a bunch of leather sewing I would use a standard push awl followed by a needle and thread. Thread stored in the handle wouldn't tangle or anything but it limited you to one type of stitch, that kind like on a potato sack where if you pull the right thread the entire stitch comes out.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by Regulator » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:09 am

There's at least one other stitch you can do, and it won't pull loose. The awl pictured on the bottom is faster in general because the thread will reel off easier. The awl on the top works fine too, but I find I have to pull the thread out from the storage in the handle and work with a bit of slack. Both work well though and should be part of everyones tool kit if they have any webbing or heavy gear that might need repair.

edit to add: you can get different size needles for whatever thread you use.

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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by scurvy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:29 am

Regulator wrote:The awl on the top works fine too, but I find I have to pull the thread out from the storage in the handle and work with a bit of slack.

I agree, I had to get used to it.

it's not a sewing machine, its a pretty damn good sewing tool, even if every stitch needs a tug, pull, tighten, loosen the thread for the next stitch. valuable tool. I've used mine often.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by docdredd » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:56 am

I break the shafts with amazing regularity. My advice when leather working is lots of wax and keep 5 shafts on hand.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by Dawgboy » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:26 am

I have used the bottom type a lot and they do work well. Needles and wrench store in the handle.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by stabnshoot » Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:06 am

Thanks for the replies,

In regards to leather work, I don't do any. Any and all work I do with this would be with ballistic nylon/Cordura or softer materials.

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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by TacAir » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:58 am

stabnshoot wrote:Thanks for the replies,

In regards to leather work, I don't do any. Any and all work I do with this would be with ballistic nylon/Cordura or softer materials.
In that case, a large needle and Sailor's Palm /heavy thimble may be that is needed.
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Access to a heavy duty sewing machine would make putting together your project a lot faster.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by ninja-elbow » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:09 am

I agree with all the above - I've used a Speedy for years and mine is still going strong, except the spool in the handle thing. I just keep it loose and pull out hte slack I need as opposed to letting the spool do what it wants to do (which is tangle up and get stuck). I've done a good amount of leather sewing with it, works even better when you pre punch your sewing holes with that trident/fork looking thing. Make sure you clean the wax build up out of it every now and then.

Thick nylon like on tac-gear? Get a good and heavy needle and saior's palm like Tacair said.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by Exploriment » Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:49 pm

I think it’s quite possible that I've sewn more Cordura by hand than anyone alive, and I have yet to use a thick needle and a sailmakers palm. I see this mentioned all the time and it is based more on supposition than fact. It just isn't necessary. A regular sewing needle with a large eye (an embroidery needle) and upholstery thread. That and a pair of pliers to get it through really thick areas (two layers of webbing, doubled over Cordura and the like) and some rubber office thimbles some times. Other wise, needle, thread and two fingers.

http://exploriment.blogspot.ca/2011/04/ ... -hand.html

The Speedy Stitcher I have and I have used it for one project.

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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by ninja-elbow » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:07 pm

I've sewn a few mods onto old Alice packs and used the heavy needle and sailor's palm and it made it much easier and less dramatic. I agree with you though. Just easier. If I didn't have them then I would've used my other utility needles, pliers, and gumption like you did.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by stabnshoot » Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:14 pm

Exploriment wrote:I think it’s quite possible that I've sewn more Cordura by hand than anyone alive, and I have yet to use a thick needle and a sailmakers palm. I see this mentioned all the time and it is based more on supposition than fact. It just isn't necessary. A regular sewing needle with a large eye (an embroidery needle) and upholstery thread. That and a pair of pliers to get it through really thick areas (two layers of webbing, doubled over Cordura and the like) and some rubber office thimbles some times. Other wise, needle, thread and two fingers.

http://exploriment.blogspot.ca/2011/04/ ... -hand.html

The Speedy Stitcher I have and I have used it for one project.
So in your experience would you say a sewing awl makes it easier to push a needle through material?

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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by Exploriment » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:19 pm

No. I just use a needle and thread. People have this erroneous notion that sewing Cordura is really hard. It's fabric. It's not leather. A sewing awl is merely another step, that adds time and complexity, and just is not necessary. If you have a double or triple layer of cordura with a folded over layer of webbing in between there, that gets tough, maybe you want to try using an awl. I just use the pliers on my WAVE.

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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by Blackdog » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:12 am

Not that you can find one, but I like the small packable version included in the Black Diamond or Chouinard Expedition Sewing Kit for sewing tougher material. Equipment that I can toss in a kit and have around trumps the stuff sitting in a drawer some where in my lost in the wood world.

Here is a link showing the kit, this does a nice job documenting it.

http://www.tamiasoutside.com/2012/04/03/collet_chuck/


And here is one of my two Expedition Sewing Kits. Two?? Just lucky and old.


Image


Lower left.

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Well worth keeping an eye out for. Just having the chuck would be a win.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by ninja-elbow » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:14 pm

I've already got the needles and cotter pins. That is a nice piece though.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by stabnshoot » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:09 am

Blackdog wrote:Not that you can find one, but I like the small packable version included in the Black Diamond or Chouinard Expedition Sewing Kit for sewing tougher material. Equipment that I can toss in a kit and have around trumps the stuff sitting in a drawer some where in my lost in the wood world.

Here is a link showing the kit, this does a nice job documenting it.

http://www.tamiasoutside.com/2012/04/03/collet_chuck/


And here is one of my two Expedition Sewing Kits. Two?? Just lucky and old.


Image


Lower left.

Image

Well worth keeping an eye out for. Just having the chuck would be a win.
Those kits sure seem to be pretty sought after. I found an old ebay auction where one went for 43 bucks. You'd think some company would have picked up the license to make these.

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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by Squirrley » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:41 pm

TacAir wrote: In that case, a large needle and Sailor's Palm /heavy thimble may be that is needed.
(One source - http://www.knotandrope.com/Store/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

Access to a heavy duty sewing machine would make putting together your project a lot faster.

I have a sewz-all like in OPs top picture, and a palm. I pretty much exclusively use the palm. The awl gives you a stitch like a sewing machine, with a top and a bottom thread, but rarely do I find a use for that.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by stabnshoot » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:42 am

Blackdog wrote:Not that you can find one, but I like the small packable version included in the Black Diamond or Chouinard Expedition Sewing Kit for sewing tougher material. Equipment that I can toss in a kit and have around trumps the stuff sitting in a drawer some where in my lost in the wood world.

Well worth keeping an eye out for. Just having the chuck would be a win.
I don't know how I managed to find this but someone has a replacement for the chuck. All that's needed is the rest of the items and you could potentially make a clone kit.

http://salestime.com/EmergencyPrepardne ... ement.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Blackdog, would it be possible for you to scan the sewing instructions and post it here? The size of the cotter pin would also be nice.

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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by Blackdog » Sat Dec 15, 2012 2:51 pm

stabnshoot wrote:
Blackdog wrote:Not that you can find one, but I like the small packable version included in the Black Diamond or Chouinard Expedition Sewing Kit for sewing tougher material. Equipment that I can toss in a kit and have around trumps the stuff sitting in a drawer some where in my lost in the wood world.

Well worth keeping an eye out for. Just having the chuck would be a win.
I don't know how I managed to find this but someone has a replacement for the chuck. All that's needed is the rest of the items and you could potentially make a clone kit.

http://salestime.com/EmergencyPrepardne ... ement.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Blackdog, would it be possible for you to scan the sewing instructions and post it here? The size of the cotter pin would also be nice.

You bet I will. I am going to try to find a scanner on Monday.

Nice find on the chuck.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by Blackdog » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:52 pm

stabnshoot wrote:
Blackdog wrote:Not that you can find one, but I like the small packable version included in the Black Diamond or Chouinard Expedition Sewing Kit for sewing tougher material. Equipment that I can toss in a kit and have around trumps the stuff sitting in a drawer some where in my lost in the wood world.

Well worth keeping an eye out for. Just having the chuck would be a win.
I don't know how I managed to find this but someone has a replacement for the chuck. All that's needed is the rest of the items and you could potentially make a clone kit.

http://salestime.com/EmergencyPrepardne ... ement.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Blackdog, would it be possible for you to scan the sewing instructions and post it here? The size of the cotter pin would also be nice.
Here you go. The Cotter pin is about 3 inches long and about a 1/4 inch thick. I would guess you would have to make sure your cotter pin will go thru your chuck and will fit in your kit.

You will need "sewing machine" needles, maybe a couple different sizes. The Black Diamond kit comes with two of these along with some regular needles..


Image

Here is a link to a youtube vid covering the basic awl stitch. More than likely many more videos but his was the first one I ran into that wasn't 10 minutes long. Easy cheesy once you see how it works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doSNwF86YvQ

I look forward to seeing your finished product, good luck and hope this helps.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by stabnshoot » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:52 am

Blackdog wrote:
stabnshoot wrote:
Blackdog wrote:Not that you can find one, but I like the small packable version included in the Black Diamond or Chouinard Expedition Sewing Kit for sewing tougher material. Equipment that I can toss in a kit and have around trumps the stuff sitting in a drawer some where in my lost in the wood world.

Well worth keeping an eye out for. Just having the chuck would be a win.
I don't know how I managed to find this but someone has a replacement for the chuck. All that's needed is the rest of the items and you could potentially make a clone kit.

http://salestime.com/EmergencyPrepardne ... ement.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Blackdog, would it be possible for you to scan the sewing instructions and post it here? The size of the cotter pin would also be nice.
Here you go. The Cotter pin is about 3 inches long and about a 1/4 inch thick. I would guess you would have to make sure your cotter pin will go thru your chuck and will fit in your kit.

You will need "sewing machine" needles, maybe a couple different sizes. The Black Diamond kit comes with two of these along with some regular needles..


Image

Here is a link to a youtube vid covering the basic awl stitch. More than likely many more videos but his was the first one I ran into that wasn't 10 minutes long. Easy cheesy once you see how it works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doSNwF86YvQ

I look forward to seeing your finished product, good luck and hope this helps.
Blackdog, thanks so much for the scan! I just worked some restoration magic with Openoffice, GIMP, and Irfanview, and have a PDF that looks like a brand new copy of the sewing instructions.

I would not suggest printing out the jpg copy as I had to resize it smaller to fit the image size requirement on the forum.

Image

PDF available here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/117476086/Cho ... structions" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by Blackdog » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:13 am

stabnshoot wrote:
Blackdog wrote:
stabnshoot wrote:
Blackdog wrote:Not that you can find one, but I like the small packable version included in the Black Diamond or Chouinard Expedition Sewing Kit for sewing tougher material. Equipment that I can toss in a kit and have around trumps the stuff sitting in a drawer some where in my lost in the wood world.

Well worth keeping an eye out for. Just having the chuck would be a win.
I don't know how I managed to find this but someone has a replacement for the chuck. All that's needed is the rest of the items and you could potentially make a clone kit.

http://salestime.com/EmergencyPrepardne ... ement.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Blackdog, would it be possible for you to scan the sewing instructions and post it here? The size of the cotter pin would also be nice.
Here you go. The Cotter pin is about 3 inches long and about a 1/4 inch thick. I would guess you would have to make sure your cotter pin will go thru your chuck and will fit in your kit.

You will need "sewing machine" needles, maybe a couple different sizes. The Black Diamond kit comes with two of these along with some regular needles..


Image

Here is a link to a youtube vid covering the basic awl stitch. More than likely many more videos but his was the first one I ran into that wasn't 10 minutes long. Easy cheesy once you see how it works.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doSNwF86YvQ

I look forward to seeing your finished product, good luck and hope this helps.
Blackdog, thanks so much for the scan! I just worked some restoration magic with Openoffice, GIMP, and Irfanview, and have a PDF that looks like a brand new copy of the sewing instructions.

I would not suggest printing out the jpg copy as I had to resize it smaller to fit the image size requirement on the forum.

Image

PDF available here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/117476086/Cho ... structions" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Very nice work cleaning up the scan and thank you for making me feel like a tech mutton head this morning.

Have fun.
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Re: Speedy Stitcher or sewing awl, right for my needs?

Post by Mikeyboy » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:45 pm

stabnshoot wrote:For a few years now I've seen quite a bit of buzz amongst the DIY community about the Speedy Stitcher, and I considered buying one but noticed that it's designed to be used with a very thick gauge of waxed thread. The thread I'd probably use most would be nylon #69 bonded thread since it's recommended for sewing MOLLE and other tac gear.

So the question is, should I stick with the conventional needle and thread, or get a sewing awl, and if so which one?; I see there's at least two different styles.

Image

Image
I have the sewing awl you have in the 2nd picture and it also comes with wax thread, and all the refill spools I seen are wax thread,too. Its geared toward leather work. I guess you can unspool the wax thread and re-spool whatever you want, but it will be a PITA.

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