Article and Video by Bruce Cheaney
A leather Sewing Machine that sews both thick and thin leather is very convenient and cost saving. The leather sewing machine I am talking about is a Cowboy Model CB-4500 Heavy Duty Harness Stitcher from Toledo Industrial Sewing Machines LTD. Not long ago I was in the market for a machine that would work for my saddle making and that also could handle smaller task like sewing belts and double and stitched bridles as well as guitar straps and dog collars so I purchased a Cowboy machine and I can tell you it is very dependable and I like that a lot.
A few of the features of the CB-4500 are it has a 16 1/2″ length arm and the pressure foot will lift 1 1/16″ and will sew 3/4″ with ease and I have sewn even thicker than that. The stitch length can be adjusted from 3 to 22 stitches per inch with the help of the compound feed mechanism which is triple feed. The leather sewing machine features a reverse that stitches perfectly in matched holes in forward and reverse.
Materials this machine can sew include leather, webbing, bioplastics, rubber and canvas. The stand that came with my machine is fully adjustable. The servo motor takes a little getting used to if you have used a clutch motor but won’t take long to get the speed setting adjusted once you figure out the instructions, I had to speed mine up a little for sewing belts and now I am very happy with the speed it sews.
This video shows you how I sew a double and stitched dog collar without a guide I suggest that you use the drop down guide and you will be able to sew straight as an arrow.
This video shows you how I sew saddle skirts and the mind set I have when sewing a custom piece like this it is very important that I stay in the stitch groove and the stitches must be nearly perfect for this type of project because this is a highly visible piece on the custom made saddle.
I use white polyester thread that is bonded and most of the time I get my thread at Weaver Leather, Mt. Hope Ohio. The needles I use most of the time are number 200 for regular thickness or 230 for thick stiff leather.