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Dangler Sheaths and other carry considerations

Discussion in 'Redmeadow Knives & T.Knotts Knives' started by RayseM, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Fellow Redmeadow aficionados I venture this morning into the subject of sheaths - open for bantering ideas and/or discussions of personal preferences or wish you could haves. This inspired by the mention of dangler sheaths in the Buoy, Junior, & the Bull thread.

    John is one of the rare knife maker birds who, as well as designing and creating spectacular knives, crafts very respectable Redmeadow knife worthy sheaths.

    Got me thinking as to what kind of sheath I prefer. Started a check list for us:

    • Left handed sheaths for Mack (protourist) images.png

    • Dangle sheath for Dennis (mitch4ging) images.png

    Check list ends here because I am still in the wish I could have stage.

    Dangle sheaths, to my way of thinking, are a very practical carry concept but usually fail in the execution. Several reasons for my conclusion: 1) Usually need to add a leg tie down or the "dangling" knife now requires 2 hands to withdraw. (Maybe I've just had bad danglers.) 2) For my short legged body the dangler knives usually hang too low. 3) Not a big fan of clinking and clanking metal when I'm in the woods too noisy (same reason I don't like kydex sheaths). Usually the dangler attachments are metal clips and rings.

    Here is the near perfect dangler set up EXCEPT that it depends on that back snap. Still there is minimal metal on this one and this example allows for conventional carry OR using the dangle.

    LIKE Dangler with regular loop copy.jpg

    I do like that the knife on a dangler sheath is easily tucked away for sitting in a truck or climbing to a blind or sitting up to a tree or rock. I usually ask that my fixed knife sheaths are hung slightly tilted off vertical about 8° with the knife butt leaning forward. Makes for a more natural withdraw and adds some comfort to sitting though, admittedly, never quite enough.

    Horizontal/cross draws for me are limited to folders or short fixed blades. Don't really like to carry knives behind my back.

    My preference - my wish I could have - is what I call a belted knife sheath. (YES - John I would pay extra. :thumbsup:)

    There maybe other names for it. Have not been able to find many clear examples. My idea is for a 2 part knife sheath. Part 1 is a loop that slips over the waist belt with another horizontal loop at the lower end into which the actual sheath will slide into. Part 2 is the knife sheath.

    Here are a few example photos: (courtesy of some googling)

    This one - a bowie knife sheath that, with the exception of the overdose of rivets, is near perfect. The belt piece sleeves the sheath part and has a stud to register the sheath in its position - here leaned forward as I prefer. If you need to sit down or get into your sleeping bag with your pants on - simply slip the sheath and knife out of the belt part.


    Bowie-Sheath.jpg


    Here is another version made by BF member Ebbtide and posted in a thread about shoulder carry options from 2014.

    Here is Part 1
    Sheath-Part.jpg

    And here with its sheath inserted. Beautiful leather work. :thumbsup: Even though I'm not a big fan of embossing and other froo froo on knife sheaths I must admit that these are very nice.

    Sheath-part-2.jpg

    Finally - here is one more example - a bit more what I had in mind in that the belt attachment is actually a more conventional loop so that the knife hangs a bit lower BUT not as low as with a dangler. In the case of a knife with a guard or 1/2 guard the sheath part could have a loop (as with John's last sheath) that can come over and snap into the stud on the belt part. That stud (not shown in the example below) would now serve 2 purposes - hold the sheath in position and hold the knife securely. (I think that could work. :rolleyes:)

    Another-sheath-example.jpg

    OK - 'nuff said. Looking forward to y'all joining the conversation. Am I onto something here or is this a tried and failed system? :confused:

    Cheers,
    Ray
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  2. lessismore

    lessismore Enjoy Every Sandwich Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Great thread idea Ray. My leathrcraft skills and knowledge fall pretty short. I try really hard to keep my knife and sheath skills even, but it's a struggle for me. Thanks for the compliment there.

    I've always liked the idea of the "frog" sheaths and the way that bottom example is similar to a "Mexican Loop" holster. Your retention idea there is interesting.

    I've made a couple of dangler sheaths, they were more like 'rotators' though. The leather was stitched fairly snug to the ring and allowed movement but not a lot of flop. I wore the first one around for a day and was surprised how nice it was on and off a 4-wheeler, in and out of a truck, sitting in a chair and things like that. It rode somewhat high for a dangler.

    Found some pictures
    DSC_0055.JPG DSC_0048.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  3. mitch4ging

    mitch4ging Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2015
    Great thread!
    Wonderful examples of "I Wants"!!
     
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  4. lessismore

    lessismore Enjoy Every Sandwich Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Below might be compleyely wrong and I need to do more research, but....

    My understanding is that the belt portion is called a 'Frog' which is what the sheath then slips into and hooks into by means of a Sam Browne Stud.

    ^That may be incorrect, I'll look more into it.

    Anywho, I love this style of sheath, not sure how it would work with a shorter blade. I don't think we'll have to re-invent the wheel, but we may have to pull out the spare;)
     
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  5. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Maybe all we need is a stiff dangler :rolleyes: - er - as seen in John's post # 2 above. I could be persuaded :(

    The other examples are elegant in that the "frog" (fun to learn new terms - a frog and a Sam Browne Stud - who knew?) can remain on the belt and the sheath can be in or out as needed. I'm not one to lose stuff so I could handle the responsibility of having the knife and sheath separated from their "frog".

    In the case of the historical bowie example. I think the strap to wrap around the 1/2 guard could easily do just that without being integrated with the "frog".

    Will be very happy to be in the vanguard of pulling out the spare. :) I have no doubt that you are up to the challenge John - no doubt at all :thumbsup:

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  6. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    I thank you for your enthusiasm!

    Ray
     
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  7. lessismore

    lessismore Enjoy Every Sandwich Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 29, 2010
    Did some checking on my use of the word 'Frog' and found the thread below. If the great Paul Long calls it a Frog, that's all I need to know.

    Specifically Posts #2 and #3
    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/what-are-these-types-of-sheaths-called.1536808/#post-17650479

    Ok, so a leather belt slide that a 'Sash' style sheath would fit in is called a Frog.

    The metal post that fits into the 'Frog' is technically a Sam Browne Stud, and can be called a Post, or Button, let's call it a Post.

    So, a Sash style sheath, can be worn in a Sash, a belt, or in a Frog. The Post keeps it from slipping through those things.
     
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  8. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    OR - a thicker welt at the top of the "sash style sheath" could be fashioned to keep the sheath from slipping through the FROG and the post (aka, "frog tongue") can just be a stop to keep the sheath from getting away.

    This ^ a loose interpretation by a woodworker.
    ;)

    I am learning so much from this thread :D. John the examples you found in that link are excellent and so much more clearly show my intent. The top one without all the embellishment is precisely what I envision. OK, I'm not an original thinker and it seems that the spare doesn't need to be deployed. Thanks very much for taking the time to research my idea.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  9. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    Did someone mention frog? What do frogs have to do with sheaths? Unknown.jpeg
     
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  10. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    Just kidding around, I never made a dangler sheath but I've though about quite a few times, and I think Johns take on it by making it a bit stiffer with less slop is a good idea. I think I like the frog idea on larger knives though.
     
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  11. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Scott - you are the 2nd to mention that the frog system might be best on a longer knife. I can certainly see that on a 3" or 4" knife - wondering if a 5" blade is long enough.

    Seems it might be a factor of how the frog is proportioned. My first thought was that the frog would need to be only about 1-1/2" tall (no more than 2") to look right with the 5" sheath - based on the relative proportions of the sheath:frog in the example photos. Now, I wonder if in the case of a 5" or 6" knife the frog should actually be at least 3/4 the length of the sheath - a sheath within a sheath. That would provide plenty of support compared to the rickety set up of a narrow frog and I think could look very nice too with just a bit of sheath showing at the top and bottom.

    Perhaps the frog in this 3/4 version could be refined by making some vertical cutouts so that the inner sheath could be seen between the slots OR the frog could consist of 2 horizontal bands fitted to the sheath, near the top and off the bottom an inch or 2 - these attached to a taller back loop - yeah, I think this latter concept would be very nice.

    Just proposing ideas that could very well prove to be totally impractical in the real world of sheath making and
    knife carry - not to mention the fun of driving John nuts :confused: (but you see, I did mention it :D).

    OK - I like the stiff dangler version too - functional and looks good, but damn - I'll never be carrying an 8" blade with a frog/sheath - I'm too short :(. My wife would just laugh at me trying to look all MACHO with my long knife. I guess I could call it a machete. ;) She sees me using those often and would not think twice about it. I carry those with a shoulder strap. Knife dreams...

    Anyone care to jump in with their sheath preferences?

    Ray




     
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  12. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    Ray, my understanding is that a frog is meant to be used with a stud sheath that can be removed from the frog and used for sash carry. My thought is a knife with a blade shorter than 7 inches is going to be handle heavy which means the balance point is some where behind the guard. With a heavy handle and a short light blade the knife is going want to wiggle its way up and out of the sash every time you move around. A longer heavier blade will act as a pendulum and pull the knife downward into the sash or belt. You can make any knife a sash carry sheath with a frog but I don't think it will work well on a short blade IMHO. For a short blade without a crown stag I like a simple cam lock loveless style pouch on blades up to 5 or maybe 6 inches after that I like a sheath with a retention strap. All knives I make that have a crown stag handle automatically get a sheath with a retention strap. I've carried a fixed blade of mine daily during hunting season every year for many years and the flared crown portion on an antler was constantly catching on brush and forked twigs and getting pulled out of the pouch sheath I had for it. Again, from then on all crown handles get a sheath with a retention strap. I hope this helps.
     
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  13. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Hi Scott - Yes, the idea of a handle heavy knife in a frog being inclined to tip out came to me after a while of
    reflection. o_O The 3/4:1 version I proposed might alleviate the problem with shorter knives - no question that there is a limit. I really like being able to "unsheath" the sheath while the knife is still inserted - though this is still an untried concept for me.

    Cam lock sheaths usually wear over time in my experience and the knife doesn't feel so secure without some adjustment.
    For that reason I favor a retention strap. Can leave more knife handle to grab without concerns for losing the knife - though not all retention strap holders are created equal. A simple device can be a thing of genius or worthy of a dunce cap.

    My 1st Redmeadow and next fixed blade might be relegated to a stiff dangler. Oh well ...

    Ray
     
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  14. protourist

    protourist “Where's that confounded bridge?" Platinum Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    I may be crazy but I think a good sheathmaker could find a way to use rare earth magnets in a way that secures the blade without the need for a strap...
     
  15. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    Actually Mack, I think I seen magnet sheaths made for neck knives.
     
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  16. protourist

    protourist “Where's that confounded bridge?" Platinum Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    If they would work for kneck knives they sure would work for belt knives. I bet you could even incorporate them into the fancy styling.
     
  17. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    The thing about magnets though is that sliding along them releases. It is not a positive catch except to oppose a direct pull. I can't see the magnet working without the addition of a strap. Of course a very flat blade with a direct and certain attachment to a strong magnet could be effective for most carry situations but most blades geometries are more complicated. Worth some experimenting though. I am not a naysayer. ;)

    Raysayer
     
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  18. protourist

    protourist “Where's that confounded bridge?" Platinum Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    If you had a row of magnets along the length of the sheath with a thin layer of pigskin between the blade and the magnets would it create enough "friction" to hold a knife in the sheath?
     
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  19. Scott Hanson

    Scott Hanson KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 6, 2014
    I found this on a knife sheath forum on FB a frog/sash style sheath for a short bladed knife. I never thought about it but it looks like a short blade knife can work in a sheath like this if it's a pouch sheath, this is the first one like this that I have seen. 36088259_2155164091164651_789368259760619520_o (1).jpg 36176352_2155163997831327_4000067333853806592_o-1 (1).jpg
     
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  20. RayseM

    RayseM Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    That is a beauty!! Be inspired all you leather crafters :thumbsup:
    Thanks for the photos Scott.

    Ray
     

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