Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Stitch In Time ... Saves The Varnish

I'm sure as UNA ages her owner will favor more paint over varnish, but for now, he can't "let her go". One area of constant wear on the finish has been between the tiller extension and gunwale. Though the extension has a pronounced "hump" to clear the gunwale and smooth edges, it has regularly sawed off the rail's finish. Just over an hour's worth of work and $7 of scrap leather hopefully fixes the problem. For oar leathers, diamond hole chisels were purchased. Reused here, a long 30" strip of suede was punched to be sewn onto the tiller.

chisel and scrap demo.

The strip width is 1/8" shy of wrapping around the tiller. This allows one to draw the leather tight around the stick. Once punched, the leather was soaked in warm water for 10 minutes. Then the strip was dabbed dry and stitched with a double strand of waxed twine onto the tiller. Initially the stitches were on top of the stick. I moved them to the side before the leather dried too much. Looks better I think.

tiller extension with leather

close up

This should solve that problem. Now on to solving the slick floors with some anti-skid.


  1. Where dd you find the hole punch? I like it. Leather is wonderful to work with, isn't it?

  2. Hey Clint, These are a good assortment from Tandy Leather I think. Yeah, my daughter got me started there.

  3. also: beautiful job on the lettering of UNA.
    Is it painted by hand and how was it applied?

  4. No paint. Vinyl. Will probably paint it later though.