Every now and then you wish you had a better tool for the job and the following awl is a case in point.
For many years I stitched the bevelled waist from the welt side to the the sole side with a welting awl, the way we were taught.
But on a narrow waist, this left indentations in the leather from the awl which was not satisfactory. So I experimented with doing the stitch from the sole side to the welt side which turned out to be much better, except that the welting awl was not curved enough to come out soon enough to avoid damaging the upper unless you stitched slightly sideways which was not ideal.
So, after speaking with our tool maker, we have come up with a much more curved welting awl called the inseaming awl. It's a wonderful thing.
The smaller 3 inch (7.8cm) size can be used for bevelled waists, as can the middle sized one (3.5 inch, 8.9cm).
I also tried it out for general welting and it worked really well once I had got used to the angle of the curve.
They are super strong tool steel made in Sheffield, so the quality is great.
We have a larger (4.5 inch, 11.5cm) one too which is perfect for German seats. This is used on the construction of riding boots and any boot with no fastening which are pulled on and off, usually using a boot jack or, for those that can afford them, a valet.
The German seat is a rand or split lift which is effectively stitched on around the heel for extra strength using a monster thick thread.
Again, the trouble with a regular welting awl is that it is, one, not long enough and, two, not curved enough to get the stitches in around the heel.
So this big inseaming awl is perfect for this job.
Also, it has a 4mm shaft and is made from prime Sheffield steel, so it is extremely durable and difficult to break.
All three sizes are available on our Tool Shed website, so take a look and buy one. They cost £16.80, £17.20 and £18.25
We sell awl handles (£4.20) too, so you can get welting straight away.
Last of all, we are trying out some new nails. The jury is out at the moment, but they are very pretty.
And that is it for this week. We hope the week ahead is full of great things for all of you and until next time, happy shoemaking!