My sister was asking me if I’d ever used a sewing palm - and I had not, so I looked it up and thought how useful that would be for some of the …hardier… sewing projects I have. They are used mostly by sailmakers and the like, but in case it’s something that would come in handy here’s my take on one.
I made it ambidextrous since I alternate left-handed and right-handed depending on the project
Made with a Tandy leather 3-4oz vintage side (Apollo, but they don’t seem to have that anymore) cut on the Thick PG Leather setting.
As you can see it’s adjustable for the width of your hand - and has quite a bit of room for the thumb. The only thing that might have to be truly adjusted was what you used for the hard part inside. Mine is a cheap metal ring thimble that I flattened and cut in half.
NOOOOOOO!!! I have punched through multiple layers of sole leather before trying to use them pushing a needle - it hurt like hell! Layers of polyethylene too, even more ouch.
Definitely use a metal layer.
Yes to both of these - I’d totally give Delrin a try if I had any, but multiple layers of leather is not enough
My first attempt at this had the holes for the oval bit going all the way through and I managed to jam the back end of the needle through those holes - and the two layers of leather! Moar protection needed!
I could totally see making the palm piece full sized so it fills the entire pocket - with the smaller hole through to the hard part…as long as the holes don’t go all the way through!
It’s a saddle stitch except for sewing the oval bit to the base where it was going to be fully protected so I just did a running stitch.
I’m guessing what’s messing with you is that I don’t do slanted holes to get the woven look - I’m just going for strength
Nothing wrong with that! I don’t always do slanted holes either. When you do your saddle stitch though are you making sure to keep the thread in the same order? I.e. left side might go first on “top” and then the right side gets fed underneath?
As someone who has bought a professionally made one of these, it looks good. The only thing I’d suggest improving would be the metal insert.
On the one I have, the insert is a thick steel disk with half spherical indents, like a golf ball. Honestly, I only ever used the same one or two spots on it. So I’d say go to the hardware store and buy 1/4” thick by 3/4” bar stock steel, cut off a 3/4” length or so. Grind the edges and corners smooth, then use a Dremel with a spherical burr to put a few divots in the middle, probably about 3/16” to 1/8” deep.
This will make the indentations much deeper than a normal thimble and the needle much less likely to slip out when pushing hard.
Here is the link to the “roping palm, Superior quality” I used for years when I was splicing rope for an arborist supply company. WM Smith and Sons is the best brand name in sailors palms if you want to research them. Their needles, with the distinctive triangular shape are great for canvas and rope work.
Roping and sailmakers palms are typically made of rawhide instead of tanned leather and can take many hours to properly break in. So the recommendation is to soak in warm water for a hour and then wear it so it confirms to your hand, and chop off the hand of anyone else who dares use it once you’ve gotten it broken in.
Other pro tip, once the needle is far enough through, parallel jaw pliers are your friend. Probably less needed for leather work than for rope work, but the parallel jaw pliers will grab the needle and be less likely to raise a burr on the edges.
I need something similar to that, but but to protect my palm when I use a vet syringe & blunt tips to faux frost miniature polymer clay food. You push on the plunger of the syringe enough (especially when using the small gauge tips) with the fatty part of your palm at the base of your thumb and you will get a nasty bruise. I was taught to use a folded up piece of tissue, but that’s cumbersome.