My first attempt at saddle stitching on a project made the value of a stitching pony immediately clear to me for that. They also seem to be pretty useful for softly clamping other small things on which one is working. Commercially-made stitching ponies are not particularly expensive or hard to find. I was thinking about the springiness of plywood and, how easy it might be to make something with a simple cam clamp. I gave it a try and, this worked out even better than I expected. I was actually a bit sloppy building this because I assumed it was going to be a prototype I threw away. It works great and, seems to be everything I need for now, though.
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You could cut this with a scroll saw, jig saw or hack saw pretty easily. Of course, if you don’t have one and, really want your own laser, feel free to use my Glowforge referral code to purchase your own. Glowforge will give you a discount off their posted price and, I will get a credit kickback to help defray the cost of materials for future projects. Your support is always appreciated.
You are almost certainly better off buying your Baltic birch plywood from a local supplier. You can get little boxes of it online but, it is generally twice the price.
Here is the cam clamp I used. Anything similar should work. This uses a standard quarter-twenty bolt. So, it should be possible to replace with a longer one, if desired.
I used this leather because it was handy but, any soft vegetable-tanned medium-weight leather should work.
Medium Natural Leather (Glowforge)
Table Vise (Amazon) if you don’t already have one.
Of course, you can also just buy a stitching pony for a similar amount:
Note that I am not recommending that particular stitching pony. I haven’t tried it. I am just pointing out that you can buy one ready-made.
Amazon referral links for some parts and incidentals defray IT and hosting costs for a local arts organization (Arizona Aikido).