How to Make a Leather Stitching Pony

Things You'll Need

  • 1"x4" boards
  • Saw
  • Wood glue
  • Electric drill
  • Screws
  • Wing screw
  • Washer
  • T-nut
  • Hammer
  • Hinge
  • Tooling leather
  • Craft knife

Every experienced leather worker knows that stitching leather is a time-consuming and tedious process, often seeming to require more than two hands. Some companies make products called leather stitching ponies to aid the process; they are essentially specialized clamps with a base wide enough for the leather worker to sit on, keeping the piece stable. Although the commercial ponies work, a stitching pony is also an easy item to make at home.

Cut a 2-foot-long section of board. This will be the base of the pony. Lay it flat in front of you with the 2-foot-long dimension pointed left to right.

Cut a half-inch-long section of board and glue it down on the center of the base board with the half-inch-long side on top. This will be the center support.

Cut two 1-foot-long sections of board, cutting one end of each at a 45-degree angle so that when you place them flat against each other, they form an upside-down V-shape. These will be the posts of the pony, and the ends cut at an angle will be the top. The longer side of the posts will be the inside, and the shorter side the outside.

Lay one post flat on the other with the edges all lined up, and drill a hole through both of them about 4 inches from the top. This hole should be just big enough to allow the center post of your T-nut to slide in.

Slide the center post of your T-nut as far as you can into one of the holes on the outside of a post; then hammer it the rest of the way in so that the barbs on the nut dig into the wood and hold the nut in place.

Cut out two 1-inch by 4-inch strips of tooling leather and glue them to the very top of the inside of the two posts, smooth sides facing each other. This will be the padding on your pony, keeping it from marring your leather.

Glue the post without the T-nut onto the base board and one side of the center support. The post should be perpendicular to the base board, with the leather strip directly over the center support.

Place the other post onto the base board on the opposite side of the center support, mirroring the first, but do not glue it.

Screw your hinge onto the outside bottom of the post you just placed and the base board. You should be able to pivot the post away from the other post.

Screw the center support to the base board and the glued post to the center support and the base board.

Place a washer on the screw section of your wing screw and thread it through the holes in both posts, starting from the outside of the post without the T-nut. By tightening the wing screw, you should be able to flex the posts and bring the leather pads together, clamping anything in-between them in place.