Christophe Mineau

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Diamond Shaped Awl

Diamond Shaped Awl

2-Minute Read

Diamond Shaped Awl

Diamond shaped saddle stitching awls


The awl is an important tool in the art of leather craft, it allows to punch a hole in order to pass the needles for saddle stitching.
There are two types of awls:
- the round awl, with a round and conical section blade. They are used to open or enlarge an existing hole.
- Diamond awls, which cut the leather rather than pierce it. The hole obtained is actually a slit, which allows to obtain angled stitches in saddle stitching.
In this article, I show you how to create diamond awls, and in particular the most delicate part, which is the blade.


- 1 -


I use as a base hardened blue steel concrete nails (3.5 mm in diameter)


- 2 -


Using a clamp vise, I draft the four faces on the high speed grinder.

It is necessary to dip frequently the blade into water to avoid loosing the steel’s temper.

- 3 -


Then I refined the faces to the water grinding wheel.

- 4 -


The blades are then sharpened onto the diamond stone using progressive grit, up to 2000 grit.

Lubrication with water.

It is important not to leave a pointed blade, but on the contrary the tip should be flat, rounded and sharp.

- 5 -


The edge is finally honed on a leather strop.

Here is a first ebony handle and brass ferrule. It is important to adjust the volume and the length of the handle to the size of your hand.

- 6 -


A second curly ash handle.

The flat handle avoids the tool from rolling down the table.

The biggest awl at the top of the picture is an old harness awl that I restored. (Big model, for harnesses and horse tackles).


Example of use on the sewing of a belt loop using the clamp.

Do not hesitate to react to this article in case of any question. You can contact me
also on my Facebook page.
Good work !


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