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Old 05-18-2007, 06:56 AM   #1
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G'day folkes just checking to see if anyone has used this tool.

Would appreciate any views.

Triton

http://www.stitchitawl.com/
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Old 05-18-2007, 07:49 AM   #2
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Hi,

Used a similar tool many years ago - it was a very useful , especially when repairing a genoa where the clew's grommet/cringle had pulled out - this one looks similar. Seems expensive but I guess if it is strongly built it and because it might have an easy life, it should last the life of your boat.

Overtime, it could turn out to save a lot of journeys to the sailmaker.
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:07 AM   #3
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Hi Triton, I bought one from Airlie beach about two years ago. It is well made, ideal for the saltwater environment and, as a useful tool, it is simply brilliant. In a blow, my heavy vinyl awning was torn badly and should have been beyond repair.

I used the stitchitawl to make good, permanent repairs which have now been through a full wet season. I have even used it to hem a pair of jeans. With minimal practice it can be used to produce very neat work. It takes a little time but it is well worth the effort.

Rarely will I recommend a product so thoroughly and sincerely. It is my honest opinion this tool should be a part of every cruising boat's kit.

David
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Old 05-18-2007, 01:07 PM   #4
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I have a similar awl and have used it sucessfully many times.

If this one is like mine it has a hardened steel needle of a special design. I suggest that you (1) purchase extra needles now because broken ones cannot be replaced except by the manufacturer ... you can't just pick one up in a boating supply store, and (2) carefully oil the needle after each use because even a little bit of surface rust will increase friction to a point where it is difficult to use.
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Old 05-19-2007, 01:05 AM   #5
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I, too, heartily endorse this. Now, may I tell a story?

Tropical cruising is very hard on fabrics and thread. The constant humidity and worse, the UV, rots thread very quickly. And 15 to 20 years ago, thread wasn't as UV resistant as it is today.

The thread on my backpack had given way. My perfectly good backpack except that the shoulder straps were no longer attached to the pack. Although the shoulder straps are quite thick, a sail palm and sail needle was much too thick for sewing, and I didn't have a sewing machine. I sat in the cockpit with my trusty household button needle and thread, sewing slowly as I pushed the needle through all those thicknesses of material and padding. I had a thimble, but I wasn't very good at using it, so I would push the needle in as far as I could before putting the thimble on to push it all the way through. One time I pushed just a bit too vigorously and the needle went clear through my thumb, out through the nail! Oops!

Next time I was in a ship chandlery I found and bought one of the awls, and never had such a ridiculous accident again.

Lots of repairs have been made with that awl and no more bloody thumbs.
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Old 05-19-2007, 07:33 PM   #6
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Same basic tool, only with a wooden handle, is available from both SailRite and Defender Industries.

SailRite's is 13 bucks while Defender has it for 15.

Defender url-http://www.defender.com/productsearchresult.jsp

SailRite url- http://www.sailrite.com/Categories/Awl-Kit...34Pa38Ta38Mahz0

I have two of the things and have used them heavily through the years. Would not go anywhere without one aboard.
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Old 05-19-2007, 11:10 PM   #7
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Charlie, thanks for additional sources . Question :- looking at the images , the needles appear to be sewing machine needles (size #4 & #8 - which is big?) ?? Or is that just imagination ?
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Old 05-20-2007, 12:43 AM   #8
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It is a like a sewing machine needle, and I've used sewing machine needles in the awl when using finer thread. But the awl's needle is longer and heavier, and there is a deep groove in it where the thread lays, which reduces the chafing of the thread when sewing heavy leather or fabric.
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In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 05-20-2007, 03:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
Charlie, thanks for additional sources . Question :- looking at the images , the needles appear to be sewing machine needles (size #4 & #8 - which is big?) ?? Or is that just imagination ?
I found this very good URL for needles - but I am still trying to find a site that will give needle sizes in an understandable measurement - with conversions to their systems.

I found a German needle that appeared to fit the bill for using in an awl - its number : 135-17

what size is it ?

http://www.organ-needles.com/english/product/index.html
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Old 05-20-2007, 01:32 PM   #10
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For needles, the size is described as two numbers. The awl uses such sizes as: 200/25, 160/23, 130/21. the largest home sewing machine needle I use is 100/16, and a fine one is about 80/11

This is the page with the awl's needles for sale:

http://www.stitchitawl.com/index.php?optio...5&Itemid=32
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