In the past month or so I have had a number of questions about where I get or got certain things from so I thought I would take the time to unpack where I got most of the things I use for my tack making.
The tools I use most for my tack making.
1, Smallish pair of sissors that are sharp. I dunno I have had them for ever.
2, Small pegs, I got these from a second hand store but I have also seen them in $2 shops.
3, Fine tipped pen, these are widely avalible from places like The Warehouse.
4, Leather work awl, I got this from my local craft store but I have seen them on trade me as well.
5, X-acto knife, I have so many of these it isn’t funny (but I can always find one when my desk is a mess…) They are pretty common in places like The Warehouse and Kmart as well as more specialised art and craft stores.
6, swivle knife, I really only use this when I am tooling leather, I can’t remember where it came from now but a google search brings up a variety of option.
7, fine tipped tweezers, these are probably my favourite ever tool, I honestly don’t think I could make half the stuff I do without them, they hold stuff while glue dries, they pick up tiny parts, they fit inside buckles to pull the straps through. I love them, I believe this particular pair came in a phone repair kit my dad brought. I haven’t really seen any other pair this fine or sharp around but I think they might be available from sights like AliExpress.
8, Mechanical pencil turned hole punch. To make a hole punch out of a mechanical pencil you first need to find a mechanical pencil that has a metal tip rather than a plastic one. Have a look around your house first otherwise I think they can be brought from a variety of places for about $5. Remove the led from the pencil and it is good to go. You can use a nail file to sharpen the tip slightly but I haven’t gotten around to doing this yet.
9, Craft knife. I typically use this for skiving (thinning leather) and use the x-acto for cutting straps etc, they are bog standard, run of the mill you can pretty much find them anywhere, just keep the blade sharp if you are using it for skiving.
10, Larger clamps/pegs. Again I use them for holding stuff while glue drying or for getting a peice of leather to dry bent. They are just useful to have around. The one I have in the picture can be brought from stores like Bunnings or Miter10 but clothes pegs work just as well.
11&12. Pliers and a pair of nippers, I use these for 95% of my hardwere making, shaping wire with the pilers and cutting the peice of the wire with the nippers. I also have a round nose pair that are useful for buckle tongues but they are MIA at the moment.
Not pictured, a cutting mat. This is important for proctecting your work surface from damage. I have a A3 one from Kmart which is good because it covers a large portion of my desk.
Right, on to hardware.
This is what I don’t make myself.
(top left for gold, top right for silver), these I buy from $2 shops when I see them and from my local craft store, I could probably get a better deal if I ordered a bulk lot online but hey supporting local.
These are used in jewlery making to hold the wire/cord ends in place. I use them to as the end of the ‘bit’ to look like the part you would see when a real bit was in the horses mouth, these are then tacky waxed in place. I get them from my local craft store same jist as the lobster clips I’m probably not getting the best deal for the amount I use (or more to the point number I drop on the floor to have disappear forever…)
Jump rings in a variety of sizes.
Now to be fair I could make these myself but I struggle to make a tonne in a uniform size and they aren’t that expensive. I also get these from the $2 shop for the more standard size and the craft store for the smaller.
Stirups, buckles, bit shanks and everything else is handmade.
I mainly buy this from the local craft store, they have a big bin fidled with peices that are typically smaller than an A4 page and are all priced very reasonably. I will also browse trademe from time to time. I find you don’t, a, need super big peices of leather (models are small) and, b, don’t need super fancy leather, scraps are great. I know spotlight sells bags of scrap leather for about $10. Other people use old handbags/leather clothing which is another path to go down. Op shops are your friend here.
Other things I use.
Wire in a variety of gauges (thicknesses), this has come from a variety of places over the years a roll goes along way when you are making tiny things. Craft store, The Warehouse, Bunnings.
Glue, I mainly use Uhu for the majority of my work. It dries quickly has a strong flexible bond and doesn’t have a awful smell. I some times use Unti Tacky glue (warehouse) and super glue. I typically get the uhu glue from either whitcouls or wearhouse stationary.
Embrodiry floss. I use this for a variety of things, rope halters, lead rope, button knots on western bridles. Most craft stores sell it. $2 shops will sometimes have mixed packs. The strands can be separated then braided.
Ribbon. I get this from the local craft store as well, 3mm wide works well for schleich.
I hope this is useful to someone and as always let me know if you have questions.