View Full Version : molding latigo leather around the yard yoke
09-25-2008, 11:43 PM
I purchased this beatiful latigo for the yoke, but the yoke is such a complex curve. I'm trying to figure out how to mold the leather. should stitch on the aft side of the yoke or the fore side. when the leather shrinks what will become of the inside of yoke will the leather pull tight and lift off the wood and become like a drum.
If I soak the leather then apply it to the yoke and bind it tight to yoke with duck tape so it take the shape of the yoke and once it dries fully remove the tape and the cut the wrinkles out so I can stitch up. I have never done this before so this is all I can think of without cutting it up and completely waisting a good piece of latigo.
It is hard to imagine the shape fitting smoothly it would need to be to fit snuggly without wrinkles.
09-26-2008, 05:49 AM
soak the leather in water and it becomes very pliable. I am not sure what kind of yoke you are talking about but it can be stitched when wet. Pull tight, but not too tight, because the leather will shrink when it dries.
Cut off a little piece and practice on a large dowel so you get a feel for how much it will stretch when wet.
09-26-2008, 07:26 AM
Depending on the geometry of the yoke and the suppleness of the wet leather, you may get away with just soaking and stretching the leather around the wood or you may need to cut the leather with darts.
Either way, it would be a good idea (especially if the shape is complex) to first create a thin cardboard template (a cereal box?) for the shape, wet the cardboard and do a test the fit before moving onto the leather. Mark, punch and cut the leather taking stretch into account.
Here is an example of leather sewn around cable stays without needing darts:
This boom crutch needed darts in order to fit the crutch hole shape:
Don't forget to take the thickness of the leather into account when sizing the yoke vs the piece that it will eventually fit over! In my initial attempts to make the boom crutch shown above I had forgotten about this(no, that's not the boom - it's a just a test stick;))
When fitting the wet leather (tacks or stitches), it helps to start in the middle, working your way out towards the ends, alternating from one side to the other. Pull the leather tight when fitting, just a little, as it will shrink when it dries. This way the leather ends up symmetrical around the workpiece. I finish my leather off with lanolin.
09-28-2008, 08:25 AM
What type of glue will work to fasten latigo to the varnish on the jaws?
As I look at the jaws and the shape with how the v shaped concave I think that when the soak latigo shrinks it will pull tight and lift creating a hollow area, so I think it must be glued in the concave portionsfirst and then stretched around to the outer side of the yard. I have never done this before but after annalizing it seems to the only way to deal with the shrinkage.
Has anyone done this that they could provide some picture of acomplete leathered gaff jaw?
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