Considering a sewing machine for sheaths

it really needs to be dialed in to just the right tensions and settings. I cursed and regretted ever buying it for the first year or so, and then one day I quit being the typical guy and just read the dang directions. Once I had the top and bottom tensions adjusted correctly and the stitch length and foot pressure worked out, all my problems vanished and I was tickled to death with the Boss
Lol!! I am embarrassed to say this is where I am...(I'll begin reading...)

Ed...congrats! Hope this is a real boon to your work. As discussed above...I think a nice tight lock-stitch is better than a sloppy saddle-stitch...Enjoy!


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The Tippman/Boss arrived on New Year's Eve. Since I've just about run out of room in my leatherworking area of the finish shop, I had to get creative about how to mount/store it. I decided to build a hinged mount, that would fold away under a bench when it's not in use..... worked out pretty good, although it did gobble up room under that particular bench...where other things used to be stored.

I used a couple chunks of 2x6, hinged each in a different manner to provide the movement/support needed, and went for it. Seems to work pretty good. I do have to admit that it with feeling the way I do, it was a difficult project....seemed like everything I did magnified my pain it took me the better part of a day between working and resting.
When I feel up to it, I'm gona call on Brian Brown to visit and educate me on all it's proper setup and usage. After reading Kevin's post, I'm feeling better about it being a valuable part of the shop.

This is the machine mounted on the hinged board.....and setup for use...

Here's an image from the back side, showing the extra support I had to mount to another bench in order to get a solid setup, and the ability to fold the machine out of the way when not in use.....

Next pic shows the machine free hanging, and ready to fold up/store under the bench...... The chain on the end snaps to an eye bolt mounted on the underside of the bench....

Finally, the machine in it's stored position, under the bench, and out of the way. Only down side is I lost all that space under the bench that used to store other items..... oh well....gotta do whatcha gotta do. :)

I played with the machine a little yesterday, and can see that it's gona take a lot of finer adjusting to get it sewing as I'd like..... so I'm gona tap into Brian's expertise. :)
(I did have to put a small machine screw through the base of the thread spool, and into the thread holder plate to keep the thread spool from falling off when folded under the bench.


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No motor..... every time you want a stitch, you have to pull the large lever on the right end. Just the little bit of playing I've done with it, it's obvious that once everything is set correctly, I can't image it taking more then 5-10 mins to sew any size sheath. Considering that doing it by hand/saddle stitching was an 1-2 hours per sheath, depending on the sheath.....this will be like magic to me! :)
The Tippman Boss is a very handy simplistic machine. I have 2 Cobra class 4 machines now and there are times I wish I hadn't sold my Tippman. My Cobra machines backtack perfect slow or fast. I had one issue when I had my Boss. Customer service was great and the replacement rack gear was only $8 I think.


Forum Owner - Moderator
I have 2 Cobra class 4 machines
My decision was between the Cobra and the Tippman... and it finally came down to me realizing that the Cobra was way more than I needed, and would likely be way over my head.
Have you had any problems getting support/talking to anyone at Cobra? I ask, because a large part of my decision was because I could never get a real person to answer the phone at Corbra..... and when I'd leave a message, I'd never get a call back. To be fair, I tried for two weeks, and never did get to speak with a person.....who could answer my pre-purchase questions. That was actually a large portion of my decision to buy the Tippmann.
@EdCaffreyMS , I haven't needed to get ahold of customer service for probably 2yrs so I couldn't say what it's like currently. I've probably called em 5 times since owning my first machine and never had any problem making contact. When I bought my 2nd Cobra used at a farm sale it was missing some tension springs and other small parts. Cobra sent me those parts free of charge. I think I've talked to three different folks at Cobra. Steve is the owner and very nice and knowledgeable. We've been seriously considering buying one of their strap cutting machines. As far as the Cobra being over your head, nah, I doubt it. They are really simple machines once you get comfortable with it. Motor selection is key in my opinion. I like these digital servo motors. Super smooth starts and stops with full torque at crawling speed. The older clutch style can be a booger learning.
That is cool, so no more pre-drilling holes either?
No pre-drilling holes. I bought a machine when I realized that due to neuropathy in my hands I was having to drill larger and larger holes to pull my needle the point that I could tell my stitching was was time to make the jump and quit kidding myself that MY saddle-stitch was better than a machine lock-stitch.

When you think of the stresses of a 180lb man working cattle from the back of a 1000lb horse...that's pretty good leverage against the critical stitched areas on the saddle...A knife sheath is a relatively static device in comparison. A good tight lock-stitch is more than adequate imo. Sheath's never gonna see the stress
a nice pair of leather shoes gets...also lock-stitch....

If I had it to do over...I'd do exactly what Ed did and get a Boss...all I really needed was the leverage.

When you see how tight those stitches are you'll start to question some of your past