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This entire build, and my interest in leather working all comes from my desire to never carry a Costanza Wallet. I can honestly say that this is my favorite leather-working tool and it has become the greatest "3rd hand" I own.

A little back story: April 18th, 2009 - I was visiting some friends in Oakland, CA and we went out for a day of walking the town. We stopped in a pop-up shop and at that moment, my life changed for the better. I found the perfect wallet. It was a bi-fold wallet with 2 simple compartments and a small piece of elastic that held the folds together. It was near impossible to fit more than 2 cards and a couple of bills in each compartment and for me, that was perfect. Fast forward a year or so and the wallet began to fail. The elastic was stretched to the point where it would no longer secure my belongings and the stitching was failing. Unfortunately, being a pop-up shop, I could not find the company who produced the wallet and therefore was forced to either move on to another style of wallet or learn to make my own wallets. (I chose the latter.)

I had been lucky enough to receive my grandfather's old leather tool kit many years before and decided the simplicity of the wallet was a perfect beginners project. After years of stitching leather together with the pieces between my knees, I upgraded to using some soft jaws on a small bench vice. This was fine except that I really had no room under the clamp jaws for excess material. After years of using the bench vice method, I began to start making my own leather pouches, bags, and tool rolls and thought, there must be something better than this inefficient bench vice. That's when I stumbled upon this Instructable by The Rambler and I decided I needed to make a dedicated leather camping device - So I did. I made a few small adjustments to The Rambler's Instructable but it was so simple and well-built that I used my prototype for years, abusing the hell out of it (notice the scorch marks) with each project.

I do not remember what I saw the other day but whatever it was, it instantly made me think of improvements I could make to my original leather stitching pony. This is not a new style as I found a few versions close to mine on Amazon after-the-fact, but I've made a few changes that bring in the best parts of my original design and these new concepts.

The original prototype version only had one adjustable arm, making for poor storage when not in use. The base was also fixed, not allowing for different angles or clamping configurations. The new version allows for adjustable positions and the ability to fold up completely for storage or transportation.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools
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Here is a list of the materials and tools I used to create and assemble my leather stitching pony.

Materials:

1 @ 1"x4"x6 foot long popular project board from a Big Box Store.

1 @ 4"x5" scrap 1/4" piece of plywood.

At least 12"x4" of leather to use as leather padding on the jaws.

1 @ Cam Clamp (I purchased a 2 pack at my local Rockler store)

1@ 5/16" T-Nut

1 @ 3" Hinge

2 @ 3/8"x5" Carriage Bolt (Trimmed to 4.5")

1 @ 3/8"x1 1/2" Hex Bolt

1 Handle Bolt (Found at Big Box Store in Lawn and Garden department. Often used for tightening handles on a push mower.)

Random Washers.

Tools: (I believe you could do most of this with non-power tools.)

Miter Saw

Drill Press

Disc Sander

5/16" and 3/8" Drill Bits

7/8" Paddle Bit

Socket Wrench with 1/2' socket

Clamps

Glue

5 Minute Epoxy

Spray Adhesive

Xacto Knife or other leather cutting tool

Painters Tape

Spray Sealer

crease14 days ago
Brilliant! Thanks.
jensnykaer1 month ago
Looks awesome.. I'll start tomorrow :-)