By Brock | Created August 17th, 2019 | Published August 17th, 2019 | Updated August 17th, 2019
An improved base/stand for a Chinese leather patcher manual sewing machine. This replaces the base that the leather patcher ships with and makes it a much more usable machine for anyone not willing to sit cross legged on the concrete while they sew.
Files included (4)
PATCHER STAND BASE.svg
PATCHER STAND SPINE.svg
12mm (1/2") Baltic Birch plywood
1/4" cutting bit
Cut one of each piece. All pockets are .32" deep. There is no need to add any dogbones to the corners of the pockets or to the inside corners of any of the exterior profiles if you use a 1/4" or smaller bit for the cuts. These are all accounted for in the lengths of the pockets. Assembly should be straightforward. I just used some wood glue in the pockets and along the edges where the pieces meet and it is holding up fine. The design works best for 12mm - 12.2mm thick material but it should be easy to just add some offset to the pockets to account for different thicknesses.
You will need 2x screws approximately 1/2" longer than those supplied with your patcher for mounting the new base.
Some tips about using the leather patcher:
Pretty much any needle that has a flat on the shank should work. The ones I bought are all HAX1 compatible and seem to be working fine.
Bigger thread requires bigger needles. I like using size 138 (a.k.a. T135) thread with #21 or #22 size needles. Use bonded nylon or bonded poly thread. I also have some #92 (T90) thread that I use with as small as a #18 needle, but I like the look of the larger thread better.
You can only get a little thread on the bobbin, so it is best to find a better way to wind it than the stock bobbin winder.
Make yourself something to pull the thread through the center of the head when threading the machine. A piece of thin bailing wire with a hook works nicely.
The only control you have for tension are the spring loaded tension rods for the top string. If your loops are pulling through to the bottom side, add tension to the top string and visa versa.
There are several videos on YouTube that will show you how to thread the top string.
When threading the bobbin, install the bobbin in the carrier (shuttle?) so that the string pulls out anti-clockwise when looking down on it. Before placing the bobbin in the carrier you have to first thread the string through one of the 2 small holes in the carrier from inside to out. I use the 2nd hole, closest to the end of the small leaf spring on the outside of the carrier. Then slip the thread under the end of the leaf spring and thread it out one of the top 2 holes above the spring. (This will make more sense if you are looking at the carrier.)
When changing directions with your stitch, only change directions after the needle has begun the upstroke on the stitch. This is to make sure the stitch has had a chance to lock, otherwise that stitch will come undone and you will be left with an empty needle hole and a loose stitch. You can leave the tip of the needle in the material as a pivot point when raising the presser foot and turning the material.
It's tempting to take off too much texture from the bottom of the presser foot to minimize how much it marks up your leather when it sews, but if you take off too much the foot will not grip the material enough and you will be left with inconsistent stitch lengths.