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WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 12:08 AM
Where can one find the traditional tools used to cut holes and set liners and grommets in sails?

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 12:08 AM
Where can one find the traditional tools used to cut holes and set liners and grommets in sails?

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 12:08 AM
Where can one find the traditional tools used to cut holes and set liners and grommets in sails?

Ian McColgin
12-17-2000, 09:24 AM
Dang. When I built my sails I needed a punch cutter and the die set for a size of grommet my guru didn't use in his business, though he might some day, so we split the cost. Well worth it to me since there were two other sizes of gommets I also needed and had I just bought all three sets of cutters and dies I'd'a been about broke before I started. Pricey items. Check SailRite. If no one has better sourses, I'll find out when my sailmaking guru gets back from Christmas.

G'luck

Ian McColgin
12-17-2000, 09:24 AM
Dang. When I built my sails I needed a punch cutter and the die set for a size of grommet my guru didn't use in his business, though he might some day, so we split the cost. Well worth it to me since there were two other sizes of gommets I also needed and had I just bought all three sets of cutters and dies I'd'a been about broke before I started. Pricey items. Check SailRite. If no one has better sourses, I'll find out when my sailmaking guru gets back from Christmas.

G'luck

Ian McColgin
12-17-2000, 09:24 AM
Dang. When I built my sails I needed a punch cutter and the die set for a size of grommet my guru didn't use in his business, though he might some day, so we split the cost. Well worth it to me since there were two other sizes of gommets I also needed and had I just bought all three sets of cutters and dies I'd'a been about broke before I started. Pricey items. Check SailRite. If no one has better sourses, I'll find out when my sailmaking guru gets back from Christmas.

G'luck

Ian McColgin
12-17-2000, 09:33 AM
Oh yeah. The little grummets could be hammered home. The big ones had to be pressed in. We had a big squared off C out of 3" I beams that could accomodate a 10T hydraulic jack.

What sailmakers go through. It's better to learn how to sew the grummets, especially if you've more time that $$ and want that real charactor look.

Moder sailcloth is so tough that where I had lots of layers at clews, tacks and peaks, I had to do a lot of hand stitching anyway. Not being very good, I made a stitch template that I could lay on the cloth over a stump and use a fine awl to hammer a starter hole. Even with that, ramming the needle through was serious work and I found a nice use for my bronze pliars (so's not to scratch the needles) to pull the needle all the way.

Similarly, a template for the stitch holes for a traditional grummet would take some of the curse out.

G'luck

Ian McColgin
12-17-2000, 09:33 AM
Oh yeah. The little grummets could be hammered home. The big ones had to be pressed in. We had a big squared off C out of 3" I beams that could accomodate a 10T hydraulic jack.

What sailmakers go through. It's better to learn how to sew the grummets, especially if you've more time that $$ and want that real charactor look.

Moder sailcloth is so tough that where I had lots of layers at clews, tacks and peaks, I had to do a lot of hand stitching anyway. Not being very good, I made a stitch template that I could lay on the cloth over a stump and use a fine awl to hammer a starter hole. Even with that, ramming the needle through was serious work and I found a nice use for my bronze pliars (so's not to scratch the needles) to pull the needle all the way.

Similarly, a template for the stitch holes for a traditional grummet would take some of the curse out.

G'luck

Ian McColgin
12-17-2000, 09:33 AM
Oh yeah. The little grummets could be hammered home. The big ones had to be pressed in. We had a big squared off C out of 3" I beams that could accomodate a 10T hydraulic jack.

What sailmakers go through. It's better to learn how to sew the grummets, especially if you've more time that $$ and want that real charactor look.

Moder sailcloth is so tough that where I had lots of layers at clews, tacks and peaks, I had to do a lot of hand stitching anyway. Not being very good, I made a stitch template that I could lay on the cloth over a stump and use a fine awl to hammer a starter hole. Even with that, ramming the needle through was serious work and I found a nice use for my bronze pliars (so's not to scratch the needles) to pull the needle all the way.

Similarly, a template for the stitch holes for a traditional grummet would take some of the curse out.

G'luck

Charlie J
12-17-2000, 10:23 AM
Sailrite sells three different styles- Plain, Spur and one other- they will also rent one to you. - Sailrite.com

Charlie J
12-17-2000, 10:23 AM
Sailrite sells three different styles- Plain, Spur and one other- they will also rent one to you. - Sailrite.com

Charlie J
12-17-2000, 10:23 AM
Sailrite sells three different styles- Plain, Spur and one other- they will also rent one to you. - Sailrite.com

Todd Bradshaw
12-17-2000, 12:57 PM
Bill,
I imagine that you know that you are talking about two different items when you mention grommets and liners. One is easy to find, the other is getting very rare. At the moment, Sailrite is the only place that I have found in the U.S. that has both - wholesale or retail.

The big sailcloth manufacturers (Bainbridge and Challenge) sell spur grommets and setters wholesale and there is no problem getting them. Sailmakers and companies like Sailrite buy from these guys. For things like lacing grommets and corner rings on small dinghy sails, spur grommets are what you want. They have teeth that puncture the fabric and lock the metal parts together. Washer grommets, like you find in hardware stores, don't work the same way and aren't as strong (that's why they pull-out leaving a frayed hole), so avoid them. Spur grommets are reasonably cheap, but the setters are pretty pricey. At least they are (and should pretty much always be) available.

Liners (or eyelets, as they are often called) are set inside of a brass ring which has been hand-sewn to the sail. Fifteen years ago, I could get them, and the required setters, easily from the sailcloth companies, but not any more. The guys that made them are gone and companies are working off left-over stock, which is getting quite spotty. You might be able to find a setter (average about $100), but then you find out that they only have 20 liners left that you could set with it.
Sailrite has started to produce their own versions to fill-in for sizes that are no longer available. For people like me, making fancy small sails with a lot of hand work on them, Sailrite is really saving my bacon. Otherwise, I'd have to try making my own liners.
If you haven't already done it, get a look at a copy of "The Sailmaker's Apprentice" by Marino. It will give you information on ring sewing, sizing, tools, etc. and has great illustrations.

Todd Bradshaw
12-17-2000, 12:57 PM
Bill,
I imagine that you know that you are talking about two different items when you mention grommets and liners. One is easy to find, the other is getting very rare. At the moment, Sailrite is the only place that I have found in the U.S. that has both - wholesale or retail.

The big sailcloth manufacturers (Bainbridge and Challenge) sell spur grommets and setters wholesale and there is no problem getting them. Sailmakers and companies like Sailrite buy from these guys. For things like lacing grommets and corner rings on small dinghy sails, spur grommets are what you want. They have teeth that puncture the fabric and lock the metal parts together. Washer grommets, like you find in hardware stores, don't work the same way and aren't as strong (that's why they pull-out leaving a frayed hole), so avoid them. Spur grommets are reasonably cheap, but the setters are pretty pricey. At least they are (and should pretty much always be) available.

Liners (or eyelets, as they are often called) are set inside of a brass ring which has been hand-sewn to the sail. Fifteen years ago, I could get them, and the required setters, easily from the sailcloth companies, but not any more. The guys that made them are gone and companies are working off left-over stock, which is getting quite spotty. You might be able to find a setter (average about $100), but then you find out that they only have 20 liners left that you could set with it.
Sailrite has started to produce their own versions to fill-in for sizes that are no longer available. For people like me, making fancy small sails with a lot of hand work on them, Sailrite is really saving my bacon. Otherwise, I'd have to try making my own liners.
If you haven't already done it, get a look at a copy of "The Sailmaker's Apprentice" by Marino. It will give you information on ring sewing, sizing, tools, etc. and has great illustrations.

Todd Bradshaw
12-17-2000, 12:57 PM
Bill,
I imagine that you know that you are talking about two different items when you mention grommets and liners. One is easy to find, the other is getting very rare. At the moment, Sailrite is the only place that I have found in the U.S. that has both - wholesale or retail.

The big sailcloth manufacturers (Bainbridge and Challenge) sell spur grommets and setters wholesale and there is no problem getting them. Sailmakers and companies like Sailrite buy from these guys. For things like lacing grommets and corner rings on small dinghy sails, spur grommets are what you want. They have teeth that puncture the fabric and lock the metal parts together. Washer grommets, like you find in hardware stores, don't work the same way and aren't as strong (that's why they pull-out leaving a frayed hole), so avoid them. Spur grommets are reasonably cheap, but the setters are pretty pricey. At least they are (and should pretty much always be) available.

Liners (or eyelets, as they are often called) are set inside of a brass ring which has been hand-sewn to the sail. Fifteen years ago, I could get them, and the required setters, easily from the sailcloth companies, but not any more. The guys that made them are gone and companies are working off left-over stock, which is getting quite spotty. You might be able to find a setter (average about $100), but then you find out that they only have 20 liners left that you could set with it.
Sailrite has started to produce their own versions to fill-in for sizes that are no longer available. For people like me, making fancy small sails with a lot of hand work on them, Sailrite is really saving my bacon. Otherwise, I'd have to try making my own liners.
If you haven't already done it, get a look at a copy of "The Sailmaker's Apprentice" by Marino. It will give you information on ring sewing, sizing, tools, etc. and has great illustrations.

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 05:50 PM
Thanks, Ian, CE, and Todd, for the tips. Now I have another problem. I'll have to find some bronze pliers, cause I'm planning on the handwork of sewing in rings and installing liners. Ian, the template idea is nice to know. I'll contact Sailrite and see what they have. This all began when someone gave me Sailmakers Apprentice to read. It's good, but like so many of the things I enjoy, the tools are from another age and difficult to find.

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 05:50 PM
Thanks, Ian, CE, and Todd, for the tips. Now I have another problem. I'll have to find some bronze pliers, cause I'm planning on the handwork of sewing in rings and installing liners. Ian, the template idea is nice to know. I'll contact Sailrite and see what they have. This all began when someone gave me Sailmakers Apprentice to read. It's good, but like so many of the things I enjoy, the tools are from another age and difficult to find.

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 05:50 PM
Thanks, Ian, CE, and Todd, for the tips. Now I have another problem. I'll have to find some bronze pliers, cause I'm planning on the handwork of sewing in rings and installing liners. Ian, the template idea is nice to know. I'll contact Sailrite and see what they have. This all began when someone gave me Sailmakers Apprentice to read. It's good, but like so many of the things I enjoy, the tools are from another age and difficult to find.

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 05:55 PM
Thanks, Ian, CE, and Todd, for the tips. Now I have another problem. I'll have to find some bronze pliers, cause I'm planning on the handwork of sewing in rings and installing liners. Ian, the template idea is nice to know. I'll contact Sailrite and see what they have. This all began when someone gave me Sailmakers Apprentice to read. It's good, but like so many of the things I enjoy, the tools are from another age and difficult to find.

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 05:55 PM
Thanks, Ian, CE, and Todd, for the tips. Now I have another problem. I'll have to find some bronze pliers, cause I'm planning on the handwork of sewing in rings and installing liners. Ian, the template idea is nice to know. I'll contact Sailrite and see what they have. This all began when someone gave me Sailmakers Apprentice to read. It's good, but like so many of the things I enjoy, the tools are from another age and difficult to find.

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 05:55 PM
Thanks, Ian, CE, and Todd, for the tips. Now I have another problem. I'll have to find some bronze pliers, cause I'm planning on the handwork of sewing in rings and installing liners. Ian, the template idea is nice to know. I'll contact Sailrite and see what they have. This all began when someone gave me Sailmakers Apprentice to read. It's good, but like so many of the things I enjoy, the tools are from another age and difficult to find.

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 05:57 PM
Thanks, Ian, CE, and Todd, for the tips. Now I have another problem. I'll have to find some bronze pliers, cause I'm planning on the handwork of sewing in rings and installing liners. Ian, the template idea is nice to know. I'll contact Sailrite and see what they have. This all began when someone gave me Sailmakers Apprentice to read. It's good, but like so many of the things I enjoy, the tools are from another age and difficult to find.

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 05:57 PM
Thanks, Ian, CE, and Todd, for the tips. Now I have another problem. I'll have to find some bronze pliers, cause I'm planning on the handwork of sewing in rings and installing liners. Ian, the template idea is nice to know. I'll contact Sailrite and see what they have. This all began when someone gave me Sailmakers Apprentice to read. It's good, but like so many of the things I enjoy, the tools are from another age and difficult to find.

WILLIAM E. HARRIS
12-17-2000, 05:57 PM
Thanks, Ian, CE, and Todd, for the tips. Now I have another problem. I'll have to find some bronze pliers, cause I'm planning on the handwork of sewing in rings and installing liners. Ian, the template idea is nice to know. I'll contact Sailrite and see what they have. This all began when someone gave me Sailmakers Apprentice to read. It's good, but like so many of the things I enjoy, the tools are from another age and difficult to find.

Todd Bradshaw
12-17-2000, 07:00 PM
If you think you are really going to get into sewing your own rings which, at least in my experience, actually becomes something fun that one takes pride in after a while, you might want to find a good roping palm before they all vanish as well.

The roping palm has a shield around the back of the thumb hole that allows you to wrap the thread around it and pull the stitches tight. Part of the strength of a sewn ring is that it is nestled right down into the fabric and that takes power to do. The palm also does most of the work when pushing the needle through the cloth. I still use pliers (regular, not bronze - works fine) to pull the needle through really heavy build-ups if I'm having trouble pushing the needle through and think it might break. Most of the time the palm will be enough.

You can see the raised thumb shield on this roping palm.

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1302883&a=9668247&p=35663594

Neatness is the hardest thing to learn. If you want, you can grind a sharp point on an 8-penny nail and pre-punch small marker holes where you want stitch holes until you get the hang of stitch spacing.

I've seen a couple of old sails where the stitch spacing for the rings was just too perfect to be done by feel and eye, so I think there were some lofts that used templates. I tried to make one because it takes me 1/2 hour to sew in a ring, but my metal-working skills and equipment just weren't up to the task. If I could just lay the template over the punched hole, hit it with a mallet and have all the stitch holes marked and started, I'd be a happy camper.

Mallet....better get one as well if you don't already own one. Wood or rawhide both work and it doesn't need to be too fancy or huge. Metal hammers will shatter grommet and ring setters.

If you can't find something you need, feel free to e-mail me or post a message and I'll see if I can help or point you in the right direction.



[This message has been edited by Todd Bradshaw (edited 12-17-2000).]

Todd Bradshaw
12-17-2000, 07:00 PM
If you think you are really going to get into sewing your own rings which, at least in my experience, actually becomes something fun that one takes pride in after a while, you might want to find a good roping palm before they all vanish as well.

The roping palm has a shield around the back of the thumb hole that allows you to wrap the thread around it and pull the stitches tight. Part of the strength of a sewn ring is that it is nestled right down into the fabric and that takes power to do. The palm also does most of the work when pushing the needle through the cloth. I still use pliers (regular, not bronze - works fine) to pull the needle through really heavy build-ups if I'm having trouble pushing the needle through and think it might break. Most of the time the palm will be enough.

You can see the raised thumb shield on this roping palm.

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1302883&a=9668247&p=35663594

Neatness is the hardest thing to learn. If you want, you can grind a sharp point on an 8-penny nail and pre-punch small marker holes where you want stitch holes until you get the hang of stitch spacing.

I've seen a couple of old sails where the stitch spacing for the rings was just too perfect to be done by feel and eye, so I think there were some lofts that used templates. I tried to make one because it takes me 1/2 hour to sew in a ring, but my metal-working skills and equipment just weren't up to the task. If I could just lay the template over the punched hole, hit it with a mallet and have all the stitch holes marked and started, I'd be a happy camper.

Mallet....better get one as well if you don't already own one. Wood or rawhide both work and it doesn't need to be too fancy or huge. Metal hammers will shatter grommet and ring setters.

If you can't find something you need, feel free to e-mail me or post a message and I'll see if I can help or point you in the right direction.



[This message has been edited by Todd Bradshaw (edited 12-17-2000).]

Todd Bradshaw
12-17-2000, 07:00 PM
If you think you are really going to get into sewing your own rings which, at least in my experience, actually becomes something fun that one takes pride in after a while, you might want to find a good roping palm before they all vanish as well.

The roping palm has a shield around the back of the thumb hole that allows you to wrap the thread around it and pull the stitches tight. Part of the strength of a sewn ring is that it is nestled right down into the fabric and that takes power to do. The palm also does most of the work when pushing the needle through the cloth. I still use pliers (regular, not bronze - works fine) to pull the needle through really heavy build-ups if I'm having trouble pushing the needle through and think it might break. Most of the time the palm will be enough.

You can see the raised thumb shield on this roping palm.

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1302883&a=9668247&p=35663594

Neatness is the hardest thing to learn. If you want, you can grind a sharp point on an 8-penny nail and pre-punch small marker holes where you want stitch holes until you get the hang of stitch spacing.

I've seen a couple of old sails where the stitch spacing for the rings was just too perfect to be done by feel and eye, so I think there were some lofts that used templates. I tried to make one because it takes me 1/2 hour to sew in a ring, but my metal-working skills and equipment just weren't up to the task. If I could just lay the template over the punched hole, hit it with a mallet and have all the stitch holes marked and started, I'd be a happy camper.

Mallet....better get one as well if you don't already own one. Wood or rawhide both work and it doesn't need to be too fancy or huge. Metal hammers will shatter grommet and ring setters.

If you can't find something you need, feel free to e-mail me or post a message and I'll see if I can help or point you in the right direction.



[This message has been edited by Todd Bradshaw (edited 12-17-2000).]

Ian McColgin
12-18-2000, 09:41 AM
Ah. The old three point sermon I learned back in Theology School: First your tell 'em what you're gonna say. Then you say it. Then you tell 'em what you said.

Anyway. If no bronze pliars, tape the jaws. Given how a sail needle flares to its triangular shape, you don't need any bite into the metal to pull.

I've made templates out of lots of stuff. If it's just a one off set of holes, paper will do. Coffee can lids, both metal and plastic, are also good.

My favorite scratch-awl for making the holes is the snap-on tool. Great steel and the metal goes right up through the handle to the striking surface.

Ian McColgin
12-18-2000, 09:41 AM
Ah. The old three point sermon I learned back in Theology School: First your tell 'em what you're gonna say. Then you say it. Then you tell 'em what you said.

Anyway. If no bronze pliars, tape the jaws. Given how a sail needle flares to its triangular shape, you don't need any bite into the metal to pull.

I've made templates out of lots of stuff. If it's just a one off set of holes, paper will do. Coffee can lids, both metal and plastic, are also good.

My favorite scratch-awl for making the holes is the snap-on tool. Great steel and the metal goes right up through the handle to the striking surface.

Ian McColgin
12-18-2000, 09:41 AM
Ah. The old three point sermon I learned back in Theology School: First your tell 'em what you're gonna say. Then you say it. Then you tell 'em what you said.

Anyway. If no bronze pliars, tape the jaws. Given how a sail needle flares to its triangular shape, you don't need any bite into the metal to pull.

I've made templates out of lots of stuff. If it's just a one off set of holes, paper will do. Coffee can lids, both metal and plastic, are also good.

My favorite scratch-awl for making the holes is the snap-on tool. Great steel and the metal goes right up through the handle to the striking surface.

Steve L.
12-18-2000, 05:12 PM
Every now and then.
Just last week at the Used Tool Store here
in town, I found punches, dies and cutters for 3/8" and 1/2" grommets. Brand new to boot. I think there`s a couple left of each size. Should work for smaller sails or tarps. If anyone wants them, let me know.
Steve L.

Steve L.
12-18-2000, 05:12 PM
Every now and then.
Just last week at the Used Tool Store here
in town, I found punches, dies and cutters for 3/8" and 1/2" grommets. Brand new to boot. I think there`s a couple left of each size. Should work for smaller sails or tarps. If anyone wants them, let me know.
Steve L.

Steve L.
12-18-2000, 05:12 PM
Every now and then.
Just last week at the Used Tool Store here
in town, I found punches, dies and cutters for 3/8" and 1/2" grommets. Brand new to boot. I think there`s a couple left of each size. Should work for smaller sails or tarps. If anyone wants them, let me know.
Steve L.

Ian McColgin
12-18-2000, 07:40 PM
Steve,

One of each. I'll pay ya back.

Ian McColgin
12-18-2000, 07:40 PM
Steve,

One of each. I'll pay ya back.

Ian McColgin
12-18-2000, 07:40 PM
Steve,

One of each. I'll pay ya back.