and they're finished.
the stitching hole mistakes really show up.
great tutorial! i've been doing leatherwork for a few months, but haven't attempted a knife sheath like this. after seeing your work, i figured i'd try it.
first off, i'm sure you've done this numerous times, and as this is my first time, it's not gonna be up you your quality.
second, i was dumb enough to use a heavier weight leather(9 to 10oz), thinking it wouldn't be a big deal.
guess what. 9 to 10oz leather is tough to wet mold around the corners!
i know my stitching holes are a little off, but all i have is a 4 prong. i bought a second 4 prong to turn into a 2 prong, but i didn't bring the original, and got a different spaced 4 prong.
anyway, enough of the rambling. some day, mine will look as good as yours, i hope. but for now, here's what i got. it's not finished, but i just wanted to show you where i'm at.
and they're finished.
the stitching hole mistakes really show up.
I decided to make my first knife which led to the obvious. A friend handed me his Igloo cooler with his leather crafting stuff, his book, and a scrap piece of leather. I dug through it all and all kind of questions were running through my head and I proceeded to make a sheath. Then I found this thread and all my questions were answered so I''ll be starting a second soon and I can't believe all the information that this thread provides, So well done. Thanks a million. I'll post my second sheath and I am expecting things to be measurably improved. Thanks again.s
I really like that stitch you showed and it was so good when you showed the closeup of the needle grooves and explained why.
I Used a 2 needle saddle stitch and it was kind of a struggle the first time. I'll use your stitch on the next one.
I'll show you some ugly stitching! Whoooo Boy look at that belt loop
Last edited by From Tennessee; 12-27-2011 at 10:08 PM. Reason: added pics
Wow... VERY nice, sir!
Randy and From T, sorry I somehow missed your posts!!! Randy, the fitup especially using such thick leather looks like you definitely understand what's needed and yep, going to 6/7 ounce for the top section will certainly make your day go much better and I'd give yourself a little more room along the edges, width wise, it helps to have more area glued down to really hold it together while you are putting your holes through, less moving around, once setup, then you trim it down narrower.
And From T, first off, COOL looking knife there, I like the lines of that, I'm betting that really would make an excellent daily carry !!!
Secondly, I've never ever even had the type of needles to do the two needle thing so while it sounds simple, for me the awl n awl just works, but as I say there are MANY a leather benders that only use the two needle thing so if you don't take to my way of doing it, you'd be in the majority! and a good crowd of folks they are too.
Thirdly, wow thirdly...really? lol sorry just sounded funny on a Sunday morn, but thirdly the sheath while it has some merits, I'd recommend making it come up a little higher onto the handle, with the lanyard hole you have, you could also braid some leather, softer leather, to help pull the knife from the sheath.
Check Braiding a leather fob Thread for info on how I do that, works pretty well.
Again guys, sorry for the late reply, just didn't get the emails or something...please keep up the good work!!!
G'day , from Australia
First post , so be gentle .
This is inspirational stuff .
I have dabbled in making sheaths years ago , but this has really got my juices flowing .
One question .
I notice from your pictures that you don't groove your stich line ?
The finished product looks amazing , what are your thoughts on grooving the stiches ?
Great work! And some great tips.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
As to grooving the thread line, I've never done that, I don't like to weaken the leather any more than I have to and on an area that you rely to keep it together, making it thinner didn't make sense to me. Plus it can be a little difficult to make that groove on my style of sheaths too.
The only place that I would cutout a groove for the threads would be inside the sheath, where you would have the knife rubbing against the threads all the time, in that case it makes perfect sense to carve a channel out to let the threads lie lower than the rest of the leather. That was back in the day when I'd make fixed blade sheaths.
The reasoning for the groove goes back to making saddles and shoes, keeping the thread below the surface allows less wear on the threads and possible breakage, on knife sheaths I don't have that problem as the form of the top of the sheath would take the brunt of any rubbing. Even on fixed blade sheaths you'd not get as much rubbing to cause harm on the thread areas.
As I sew, I'm PULLING down quite hard on the threads, so they are down slightly anyways, after I finish sewing, I'll go back over the thread area with the bone folder to flatten the top and give it a more finished look.
So short answer, nope, never had a need to do that, some fellows at work are still wearing sheaths I've made back in the early 1990's with no ill effects
And also Thanks Liamstrain, appreciate the comments, a quote from one of my favourite movies The Princess Bride says "...I've worked hard to become so..."
All the pictures are gone from this on the first page! What happened? I would love to see this whole thing.
Hmm might be your setup for Blade Forums? But the photos are showing up for me when I viewed them a bit ago...
How long do you leave the contact glue to cure , before you start working with the sheath again ?
The glue I'm using says it takes a full 24 hours to totally cure . Do you worry about this or once you have the two surfaces bonded together are you happy to work with the sheath and put it on the sanding disk etc ?
I'm really trying to take my time and be patient as you have mentioned . I wonder if I've been rushing it a bit in this area .
Also how much glue ?
Do you really lay it on , or is less better ?
Hope you don't mind questions .
Merry Christmas .
Questions are always welcome !
Ken, the Weldwood I'm using works very well, quite strong, apply to both sides, let set for about 15 minutes or so, until you don't see it glistening wet any longer, tacky by this point, then I press them together and rub against them with the bone folder to press as best I can, and then I let sit for an hour or more before I do more with it, this lets it set in better.
One thing to do is to give yourself some area for the bonding to take place, do not trim to final width at this point, more is better, it'll help stabilize the area while you go to set your holes in for the stitching. I've seem some very narrow area's that tend to wobble/slide from side to side because the area was too narrow.
As for 24 hours, that's probably to cover themselves but longer is better, I don't use any clamps as they tend to leave tell tale marks, so it's just tacky and press down.
Hope that helps? And a very Merry Christmas to you as well !
forgot to answer the volumne question, I tend to apply a lot to the rough side of the leather as that soaks it up pretty good, the finish side not as much, while I rough that surface up, it still doesn't absorb as much as the other side. So I apply a liberal amount and try to keep it even in thickness, and DON'T sandwich the pieces together if they are not dry yet, not a good idea...
Thanks for that , it does answer a few nagging questions I've had .
Man its hard to make myself slow down
Once I get at the table I just want to keep going , I've made a hand written sign to hang on the wall .
" Good things take time "
My wife thinks I'm nuts
Hah, I think all women often feel that way about their husbands, must have been taught in health class...
Here's a few good things to dwell on too;
The value of Time;
The pleasure of Working;
The obligation of Duty;
The power of Kindness;
The wisdom of Economy;
The virtue of Patience.
To achieve a finished burnish on the edges , do you use sand paper at all ?
I'm really struggling to get a good finish .
With out giving away trade secrets do you have any tips or suggestions .
Hi Ken, basically this is all of my trade secrets but there were others provided in different tutorials I've made up, See this thread
but to answer your question here, yep, I trim the final width of the sheath once sewn up, using a knife and then on to a make shift sander I have to even the edges up.
I take it back to my table to dye the edge and then burnish it with the bone folder
THEN I will lightly sand it again by hand with sand paper, usually a higher grit so to help make it smoother,
after sanding I'll apply some Gum tragacanth on that edge, it will soak in and add some rigidity to the leather to help bond any loose fibers and burnish again.
And again with some higher grit, like 2000 grit sand paper, once the Gum Trag has dried, burnish and put a dab more of the Gum on there.
Hope that helps sir! of course GOOD leather is key, some leather has fibers too loose to get a good burnishing on...
I always used a vertical sheath for my folders called a pocket.
Interesting, I'm sure a lot of folks do the very same thing. Nothing at all wrong with that, I have a few knives in my pockets this very minute
The need to have a sheath means different things for different people, while this thread is a Tutorial of sorts, I guess it's open to opinions as well.
Some like to have a sheath that is custom made, adds some value to the knife and to the person's personal carry, some almost like the sheath more than the knife, there's a thread over in the Custom area that has some incredible, I mean INCREDIBLE examples of knife sheaths seen here in this thread
Myself, I like the vertical sheath, takes up less space on the belt, you can access your knife while sitting down easier than if it were in your pocket, plus if it was in my pocket, it could gather the things that float around inside a pocket, dust bunnies, coins and stuff like that. Also if the knife is large, it can make access to things in your pocket a bit harder to get to.
I do have a slip sheath on my small SAK folder, that keeps the gunk from getting in there plus helps stop it from sliding out and down into a couch cushion too.
The Buck 110 has about the greatest contour for a sheath, it's retention truly works well, but they do such a great job making the knife, their price is kept so low that it doesn't make sense to buy a sheath for almost twice the knife's purchase cost. So I try to talk people out of a custom sheath for it, I'm pretty frugal and don't like others to spend when it doesn't have to be so, but, it goes back to having a nicer carry method and something custom made and most times they will still want to order one.
So there are those that will use a sheath, some use a clip, others like yourself will rely on your pocket to carry the knife around, the important thing is, that you do carry one around, always good to have a nice sharp knife close at hand!
Last edited by Gary W. Graley; 01-02-2014 at 06:24 PM.
I know this is an old thread, so sorry for the resurrection.
I just have to say: Gary, thank you for this post. This is exactly the starting point I was looking for.
Most welcome and not to worry on posting in this thread, the Moderator had made it a Sticky so it's at the top of this sub forum all the time.
Glad to help and welcome to the forums!
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