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Thread: Gary Graley sheaths: BAAAD ...!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    1,093

    Gary Graley sheaths: BAAAD ...!


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    Without being too harsh, I’ll say that Gary’s work is only *slightly* better than OUTSTANDING, and his service and communication is *just barely* PERFECT.

    So I mean "BAAAD" as in, y’know, "good"

    A couple weeks ago, I ordered three leather sheaths from Gary: a belt pouch and pocket pouch for my recently-acquired Tom Mayo Gent’s folder (thanks for great deal, Farmer!), and a sleeve for a Grohmann kitchen cleaver. Conscientious guy that he is, Gary recommended another BF member, Tangus, for the pocket pouch, saying that Tangus may be able to make one much nicer than he could, and at a better price, too. I decided to stick with Gary because I trusted that he could do a good job, and also for convenience (since I was having the other work done).

    The knives were returned to me, with all three sheaths, this past week. Gary’s work was on-schedule, and he constantly kept in-touch with me about my needs and wants. No pulling teeth here: you get the sense that Gary replies promptly and enthusiastically because he really enjoys the chance to do some fine work for you, and wants you to be in on every stage of its progress. Plus, he likes talking about knives.

    I learned about Gary’s work here on the forums, where his work has received a chorus of praise. He has earned all of that, and deserves more: the sheaths he made for me show impeccable craftsmanship, thoughtful design, and a special creativity: his work is simply gorgeous and, honestly, even better than I’d expected. The cleaver sleeve and horizontal belt pouch are made of firm, tightly-contoured thick leather (3mm?), while the pocket pouch is made of supple deerskin. All three have precise, attractive, heavy-duty stitching.

    The pocket pouch is the simplest, but elegant in its own way. It is a folded-over piece 6" long by 1-3/8" wide, sewn at the bottom and 3.5" up the side, in a deep, bright, almost orange-ish tan. It snugly holds the Mayo folder, yet has a big opening for easy insertion and removal. The generous length leaves about a 1.75" flap that can be folded over, to keep out lint and such.

    The horizontal belt pouch is designed for rear hip carry, above the right rear pocket. Its rich, dark chocolate brown color matches the Ironwood scales on the Mayo Gent (good call, Gary!). Its white stitching subtly accents the sheath’s shape. The sturdy, molded, contoured leather holds the folder very snugly -- NO chance of having it slip out -- and leaves about an inch of the handle exposed for easy withdrawl and re-sheathing. "Classy" is too inadequate a description: folder carrying does not get more refined than this.

    Last but certainly not least is the cleaver sleeve. Its design and construction is pretty simple: a folded-over piece of leather sewn along its "tip" and edge sides, with a hole near the top of the spine side that aligns with the hanging hole in the cleaver’s blade. It is stained a rich caramel brown that complements the cleaver’s Rosewood handle scales. But here’s the kicker: in response to Gary’s query about possible tooling, I vaguely requested a "simple flower-type design," as the cleaver and sheath are a gift for my aunt. I was expecting some tooled trimming to accent a corner or two, but Gary REALLY outdid himself! The top (tip end) has a fairly intricate weave pattern that he calls "dragon scales," while the "body" of the sheath is adorned with a beautifully-tooled orchid with stem and leaves, set amidst a black-dyed background! I cannot describe it any better than that, unfortunately; maybe Gary can post a pic, so you can see just how stunning it is!

    What else? The guy even touched up the edge on my 420V folder! And to top it off, his packaging was itself far more thoughtful and careful than your average newspaper-and-box.

    So I say, without exaggeration, that Gary went WAY above and beyond my requests to create one-of-a-kind pieces that perfectly and uniquely complement my knives. For anyone who appreciates the sturdy, dignified style of handcrafted leather, I give my highest recommendation for Gary Graley’s work. Leather gives a kind of warmth and character that you just don’t get with kydex or concealex, and Gary can bring those qualities out better than anyone I know. An all-round real gentleman.

    Kydex, shmydex. Drop Gary a line, and go leather -- your best knives deserve it!

    Glen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Kodiak , Alaska , USA
    Posts
    2,431
    Who is this Gary Graley I keep hearing so much about? Master leathersmith or something....

    Gary does great work....last count I had 7 or 8 sheaths from him and 2 in the works now.

    ------------------
    ~Greg Mete~
    Kodiak Alaska

    JKM-Chai

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    Location
    Northeastern PA
    Posts
    12,521
    Thanks Glen, got me with that title! didn't know your forum name and wondered just who this guy was and what did I do wrong now?

    Hi Greg....

    Here is that cleaver sleeve, special for Glen's `Fiesty Aunt's' Birthday present, had to make it a little special for her.



    G2

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Kodiak , Alaska , USA
    Posts
    2,431
    Looks great G2. Your work is like a Heather Locklear picture....I never seen a bad one.


    ------------------
    ~Greg Mete~
    Kodiak Alaska

    JKM-Chai

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    1,093
    There it is! Even the pic doesn't do it justice -- just can't see the subtler details and textures. A little darker in "real life," too.

    Thank YOU again, Gary --

    Glen

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