Anyone have a tool or favorite method to make installing split welting (hidem) easier? It's a bear to hold open the welting while tacking in place with only two hands. I'm working on a tool for this but thought maybe someone had already come up with something. I tried inserting the small washer idea but didn't care for it.
I use a small air stapler/ brad tacker that I have for cabinet work and small trim. I set the air pressure on a scrap piece first so I don't blow the brad thru the welting. It works good because you spread it open with two fingers while holding it place with the one hand and the gun nose fits neatly inside the welting and just pull the trigger and it's attached.
Pneumatic stapler, it can be positioned and triggered with one hand while you hold the welting in position with the other hand.
I'm somewhat of a purist when it comes to using tacks on early cars, since that's what they came with...but for hidem welting a stapler is definitely much easier and quicker.
If you do use tacks, what I do is not bother separating the two sides, wiggle the tack between the two sides and hammer in until it's just touching...then come back, open up welting around tack, and use a punch to drive home...tricky...
I do mine like David. I install two or three tacks with the welt closed, and drive the tack till it just touches like he does. Then if you want too, take a couple (or more) close pins, and install them backwards in the welt to hold the welt open and then use the punch to set the tacks. I do not like to use staples as most are too narrow and do not hold well. They tend to tear through the welt.
The other good thing about using tacks, if you get it in place and it looks a little crooked, easy to fix with tacks. If it's stapled, it can be a mess to fix....
I'm a non-purist on this; I use a staple gun. I have found that if I position the gun where I want it to shoot, pull the trigger first, then push the gun forward to actuate the safety part of it, it will set the staple flush instead of driving it through the webbing. YMMV.
I used the head of a large wood screw to hold it open while I tacked.
I've been using an air stapler but not thrilled with results. Guess I need more practice and will use a couple ideas gained here. Thanks for all the help.