There are a few essential tools that you need in leather work there are some that just make life much easier. I had read about sewing clams on a number of web sites and decided that I would like one.
Good used ones were fetching around £100. I mentioned this in the leather shop and they suggested that I should go to a local barrel makers and buy some barrel staves and make my own clam.
These are the barrel staves I bought they are solid oak the inside is a red colour from the wine and had been charred.
After sanding and some measuring I got to this point.
I glued some heavy leather to the ends of the staves and wrapped a longer piece around the bottom. I added some screws to secure the leather to the bottom.
I later decided to added two piece’s of oak to give some spring to the clam and a strap around the middle point to enable the clam to grip the items in its jaws. Moving the strap up and down allows more or less tension on the items being sewn.