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China Leather Shoe Patcher Sewing Machine

CLSP Inspiration:

[updated 4/14/2021] While surfing on YouTube, I ran into a video about the CLSP and it was love at first sight. I happen to really love old machinery that although crude, they can perform a valuable function. While the CLSP is not "old", it is based on an old design and that was good enough for me.

"Video of this Motor in Action"

sewing machine?

I bought the machine from this vendor:"ColouredPeas Shoe Repair Hand Sewing Machine, Shoe Cobbler Machine with Nylon Line, Manual Mending for Shoes/Bags/Clothes/Quilts/Coats/Trousers (4-Bearings)"for $126.00. It was delivered in 5 days.

Inspiration for powering the unit:

I watched this YouTube video about putting a motor on the CLSP. "Motorizing The Leather Sewing Machine, For Under $50"

While the motor he used was simply under powered for the task, this person's suggestion on how to simply mount a V-pulley onto the flywheel was a great and simple idea that worked for me. The pulley was bought "here"The offset light bracket was bought "here."

The next point of power inspiration was this young man's video "18v Chinese Cobbler Machine" While I admired his amazing ingenuity in the install of his motor, it seemed a bit too complex for me. But... I really liked his idea of using a portable drill. I liked the idea of multi-tasking the DeWalt portable drill and if necessary, I could probably charge the batteries via solar if needed. Caution: If you view his video, careful with the speaker volume, his background music is abruptly loud.



An Easier way

In the last method (shown below),I used to power the CLSP, "see below" the project was not one that many people could do because the the need to weld up a adjustable holder for the pillow-block bearing holders.

ForestBelow is a larger version of the above photo

This method is simpler in that with the exception of the "one-way bearing" and the"quick-release toggle clamp",and the two "flanged bearings"and the two"shaft collars", all the other parts were purchased at my local hardware store. The total spent on all the ordered parts was $30.00.

For the drive wheel, I used a 2" rubber wheel from a caster, drilled out the center to accommodate the one way bearing.I roughed and cleaned the outside of the bearing and used epoxy to glue the bearing into the wheel. In gluing, be sure to protect the inside of the bearing so that no epoxy gets into it.

When I drilled out the center of the rubber wheel, I did not get it perfectly centered. To solve this I used a flat file against it while turning with the Dewalt until it was smooth and centered.

Perhaps the most difficult part was making the holes for the flanged bearings in the "L" shaped brackets.


Forest Most recent project, .45 ACP Mag Holster




I use the same foot control with the newer motor configuration. But one thing I changed was to add an adjustable limiter chain to limit the amount of drill motor power. Without this chain, it is really easy for the motor to really take off. You can clearly see it two photos up from here.


The foot control is reminiscent of of a Rube Goldberg cartoon machine but it works well and somehow seems to fit the theme of the sewing contraption. The hardware for the foot pedal (with the exception of the heavy steel plate) all came from our local hardware store. Not visible is a small pulley mounted under the workbench directly above where the foot pedal rests. Instead of two 90 degree 1/2 conduit bends, I could have used a lever instead.


"Dirt simple."


This shows the small block of wood used to support the far end of the drill motor. The drill motor's torque keeps it anchored to the wood. This is great because it is easy to both remove the drill or, to add a fresh battery. One thing I haven't done has been to see how long the drill's battery will last. The one I am using is probably five years old and still seems to hold up fine. My projects probably wont be of lengthly duration but time will tell.


I am (still) pleased with how the drill-motor setup handles two layers of fairly thick 7 oz leather. I used Organ 15X1LL (leather) #21 needles and #138-bonded nylon thread.


For illumination, I found a LED battery powered book light that has a very flexible stem. It is bright enough to see your work.

One other thing I like about this installation is that the CLSP is easily stored between projects. But because of the way I made the foot control, it is not particularly portable. I would have to come up with a control similar to a bicycle's brake control cable system for true portability. For now, simple works.

I want to publicly thank the YouTube Channel "Mainely Acres" for his helpful CLSP Videos, they were/are a big help.

Also a big shout out to the Facebook "China Leather Shoe Patcher" Group, their contributers are also very helpful.

If you like old working things, there are some neat ones I have visited here "Road-trip Attraction Ideas"

Thanks for visiting!

If anyone has questions, feel free to email me to the address at the bottom of my home page. I would also be interested to see photos of variations of solutions used for a similar power arrangement.

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This is now the OLD METHOD

"Video of this Motor in Action"

sewing machine?

- This is now the OLD METHOD -


What I came up with

Since portable drills (or really most drills) are not made for side loads, I decided to use two "pillow block" bearing holders. I bought these here: "Jeremywell 4 Piece UCP201-8, 1/2 inch Pillow Block Bearing Solid Base,Self-Alignment"

I made a sort of fancy mount for the pillow blocks, but, the same kind of thing probably could be done with wood or some other bolt on materials. I just used what I had on hand.

The V-belt is a 1/2" X 34" I bought at the local auto parts store. The more flexible design with the little notches works better than a less expensive, straight V-belt like the ones used on a evaporative coolers.


The 1/2" shaft, 1/2" collet (a spacer) and the 2" pulley were all bought at my local hardware store.

[IMPORTANT] The 2" pulley's inside diameter is 3/4". This is necessary because of a special bearing that is installed in the pulley. It is a "one way needle bearing." Before this project, I didn't even know they existed. The bearing has an OD of 3/4" and an ID of 1/2" and I bought it here:"uxcell RC081208 Needle Roller Bearings, One Way Bearing, 1/2" Bore 3/4" OD 1/2" Width 2pcs "

Why this is important - It is routinely necessary to use the hand crank on the sewing machine. Because of the gearing on the drill motor, it does NOT freewheel, even a little bit. But, the one way bearing will allow the 2" pulley to freewheel in the direction we need therefore solving the problem.