Friday, August 3, 2018

Composite roping palm

My leather seaming palm has served me well. I don't know how I sewed heavy stuff before I had it, but I imagine there was a bit of blood and something to do with pliers. Paired with the needle it's such a capable and portable tool. A picture is worth a thousand words: pre-sewing-machine, this was the tool behind the needle as people sewed entire suits of sails. Sailmakers still use them to reinforce parts of sails. I use them to fix my clothes and make bags-


(photo by Shannon Gallagher)
Sails have changed a lot. Sailmaker's palms ought to have a chance at modern materials and production methods too.

I'm having a go. I started a few days ago, making different designs of foil, tape, and sheet steel. A sturdy palm that fits the user well is rare. My current plan is to distill three sizes of palms, that will accommodate the majority of hands.


These prototypes are kind of homely, but I want to be certain of the shape and general design before I clean out my wallet to have the first mold machined. They need to be comfortable, tough as heck, repairable, and easy on the eyes. I'm working with a friend to make the composite base, the rest will be up to me and maybe a machine shop.