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A Bit of a Hide

Now for something totally different !!.

I have a pair of dogs. Recently, while he was out running loose, the elder one managed to lose his collar.

Since the pup was also outgrowing her puppy collar I decided it was time she moved on to her adult collar and to make up a pair of matching collars for them.

So I went to the local suppliers, LePrevo Leather <http://www.leprevo.co.uk/>, and bought one 2 inch and two ¾ inch straps of a good leather along with four ¾ inch brass “D” rings, two 1 inch brass “O” rings, some copper rivets and two brass trigger hooks.

Once I had the materials next thing was to measure up. What I intended to make was a pair of martingale collars and for these I needed an accurate measure of the dogs neck size, his lordship measured up as being 16½ inches and her ladyship was 14 inches.

Allowing for the size of the “D” rings this meant that his collar leather needed to be a 14 incher while hers was to be 12 inches to allow her room to “grow into it”.

The  dogs  are a pair of standard poodles, poodles are a long-necked dog and as such I prefer them to wear a broad “fishtail” type collar so next step was to mark out the 2 inch strap for this and cut it to the required shape.

Template

Cutting Template

 

A cutting template was made from some stiff card and transferred to the leather, which was then cut to shape using a Stanley knife fitted with a new blade.

Cut leather

Leather Main Body

Next a “D” ring was slipped over one of the “tails” and the “tail” doubled over it. This now needed to be fixed in place and there are two options here, you can stitch it in place or you can rivet it place, as these collars are for a larger dog and have ¾ inch wide “tails” stitching is a better option, for a small dog, and so a narrower collar, using ½ inch “D” rings then in preference I’d rivet it.

Leather is not as easy to sew as fabric is and it needs to have the needle holes pre-punched, you can’t just push a needle through two thicknesses of leather. What is needed here is a “pricking iron”, this looks a bit like a fork and is used to mark out and pre-punch the leather.

Once the thread holes have been pre-punched then it’s just a case of using an awl to open and line up the holes’ and then running the needle through.

When sewing leather it is normally done using two needles, one on each end of the thread, so you then run the other needle back through the other way and pull the thread tight and that’s the first stitch made.

Then you just run the awl through the next holes, follow it with the needles and so on till that stitch row is completed.

For security a second row of stitches was run across the “tail”, a bit nearer to the “D” ring.

"D" Ring

“D” Ring Stitched in Place

That meant the first “D” ring was now in place and all I had to do was stitch up the other three and I had the collar main bodies finished.

The bigger collar was 14 inches long and the smaller was 12 inches and the strap was 46 inches long so I had 20 inches of the strap “spare”

This “spare length” was cut down so as to give two straps, each ¾ inch wide by 20 inches long and one of these was slipped through both “D” rings on one collar.

As this loop was to be riveted closed,  a small hole was punched through the strap length, about a ½ inch from either end and another hole a bit over 1¼ inches from one end.

The strap was now slipped through one of the 1 inch “O” rings, the strap end doubled over the ring. A rivet was then put through all three holes and “set up” to secure it in place.

All that was now left to do was to make up a slider to go over the strap loop and secure it.

Completed Martingale

Completed Martingale

For this a short length of the “spare” leather was doubled over the loop  and the ends riveted in place so that it would slide stiffly over the loop and that was that collar completed,

Slider Fitted to Martingale

Slider Fitted to Martingale

all that was now left to do was to finish her ladyships collar as well.

 Martingale

Completed Pair of Martingales

To complete the “sets” I needed leaders to go with the collars.

For these I had the two strap lengths of ¾ inch wide leather.

I just slipped one end through the loop on one of the trigger hooks, doubled it back on itself and stitched the loop closed. As with the “D” rings I used two rows of stitching to secure it.

Trigger Hook

Trigger Hook stitched onto Leader

To form the handle I doubled the opposite 9 inches of the strap back on itself and secured it in place with another two rows of stitching and that was the leader complete.

Leader set

Set of Martingale and Leader

The idea of these “martingale” collars is that if the dog pulls hard when walking on lead then the collar is pulled a bit tighter round his neck, but, because from the way it is made it can only “pinch down” by about 1 inch on a 16 inch collar so it is uncomfortable to the dog rather than choking it.

It is not meant to be worn continually, it should be kept along with its leader as a set, the pair being put on when the dog is taken out and then removed, as a pair, when you get back home.

As long as the slider is run up to near the “D” rings the dog can be allowed to run loose “off lead” while wearing it since the slider holding the loop closed means the dog cannot get his foot caught in the open loop.

FEMA

There are a number of motorcycling organisations who “Stand Up For Our Rights”.

These are normally national groups and as many of the threats they oppose are international they have joined together to form  an international group.

This “cover group” is FEMA, the Federation of European Motorcyclists Association.

This group has an open website that anyone can access at :-

<http://www.fema-online.eu/website/>

Have a look, check it out every couple of months and keep yourself up to date on what’s happening on the political side of biking.

First Offering

It’s been quite a while since I’ve added anything to this blog, main reasons have been idleness on my part and having been out riding around on the Panther and her stablemates.

I’ve now begun another stage of the project and am prompted to make report.

It’s always been my intention to put a sidecar onto the Panther since doing so will allow me to take my dogs with me on the events that I take her on, as it is, when I go to an event  I have to either use the more modern BMW outfit or leave them behind which is not always convenient.

The sidecar I intend to fit is this Steib

Sidecar 2

As you can see it’s in nice condition

but when I offered it up to the Panther it was immediately obvious that they were not compatible.

Problem was that the Steib was on a chassis dedicated for use with a BMW, the major fittings were in fixed position with no adjustment possible and not only that but they presumed the presence of a front down-tube on the frame.

A problem here straight away because the Panther does not have such a tube!, it uses the engine as a stress bearing member in its place.

Anyway, what it meant was that with the rear fitting coupled in place the front one wanted to be through the timing chest on the engine and undoing the rear fitting and moving the chassis forward showed there was no-where for the front fitting to pick up to when it was moved far enough forwards to allow it to clear the timing chest.

So a change of plans, if the Steib chassis wouldn’t fit then I needed one that would fit, but that would also take the sidecar body.

I began a hunt for a suitable chassis and determined on a Watsonian VG21, a chassis of the same period as the Panther that would also take the Steib body.

Last time I wanted a chassis, everywhere I went I was tripping over VG21’s, but now I wanted one they had become like hens teeth!

I eventually tracked one down and work began.

First thing to do was to convert it to fit on the right hand side of the bike.

Reason for this is that both my other outfits (both BMW) have right-hand sidecars so having another one with a left-hand sidecar is asking for problems.

While doing this I found that the Silentbloc bush that the suspension arm runs on had been replaced with a solid steel bushing and the suspension locked up solid!

After removing this steel bush, and it did not want to be removed!!, I next had to source a replacement Silentbloc but I had a bit of luck here because I found someone who had the correct bush in stock.

So, conversion done and wheel fitted (I’ve not even looked at sorting out the sidecar brake yet!) it was time for the first attempt at offering up the chassis to the bike

At the moment I only have the rear main fitting sorted out so with this loosely fixed onto the sidecar it was connected to the bike and some wood blocks strategically placed.

A bit of shuffling it round and use of a tape measure and there it was in approximate position against the bike.

 

Sidecar chasssis

First offering up

I was now able to get some other measurements I needed then it was all again dis-assembled.

Main purpose was to check the feasibility of a right hand chair on the old lady, I was fairly sure it would be ok as there is a proper rear mount point for a sidecar at the offside rear , and to get the dimensions for having a swan-neck made up for the job.

This will be a simple piece of pipe-bending, a length of 1¼ inch OD heavy-wall steel tube with a 90 degree bend in the middle, simple to make if you have the facilities, but I don’t so it has to be farmed out.