Foldover design with sharkskin trim questions

Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
9,574
Just finished this one... I have only done 3 foldovers, and was having a little trouble getting the fit right, but i think I was able to finally dial it in.


SharkskinEuro4sheath004b.jpg


SharkskinEuro4sheath003.jpg



My question for you guys is concerning the trim... Do you glue/stitch the trim while the piece is flat? Or do you fold it (wet mold it) first, then try to glue/stitch the trim around the folded sheath?

It seems to me if you try to glue it while flat (which is what i did), then you are having to guesstimate pretty close to the actual finished dimensions of the sheath --- this is where i ran into trouble getting the fit perfect. Also, when I soaked it to fold it over (in hot water), the sharkskin wanted to pull away from the leather, especially at the edges.

BUT, if you try to put the sharksin on after the main body is molded, it seems like stitching would be a nightmare, since the leather would already be folded (although not yet glued up with a welt.)

Not sure if that all made sense, just looking for some pointers :)

Thanks :thumbup:
 

sheathmaker

Custom Leather Sheaths
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
4,626
Overlay trims do not do as well on fold over or butterfly sheaths as do the inlays. Applying the trim in the flat state is the correct procedure, in my opinion, and the way I would have done yours is as follows.

Block cut the pattern for the body of the sheath. Block cut ,means leave at least a quarter inch margin all the way around the outline of the pattern. Place some strategic marks at places around the edge so you can use them to line up your overlays correctly. The overlays should be block cut as well, but the interior border lines of the overlay should be cut exact. Then line up the exact cut lines to the predetermined postion and glue it down with well cured Barge or other contact cement of your choice. Make sure the cement goes ALL the way to edge on both pieces, and then tap lightly with a hammer to make sure the seal is secure. Estimate from the original pattern lines where you outside seam will be and stitch the inside border lines of the overlays to that point. Now you are ready to cut out the pattern to its final shape and you will find you have smooth edges all around. ( I am not a proponent of wet forming in the traditional way so that would not be an issue with me. The wet forming comes for me as one of the very last steps.) Now you are at a point where any further tooling or embellishment is accomplished.

When the sheath is stitched and for all intents and purpose finished with regard to construction, I dampen it thorughly, outside only, insert the knife and compress the sheath around the knife with my hand pressure. This will yield a soft mold on the outside even more positive mold on the inside and yet not totally destroy the lines of the sheath as far as asthetics. In this state I also use the edger to radius the edges and finish, sand and burnish them. At this point I accelerate the drying process with a small hair dryer which not only speeds things up, but hardens the leather just the right amount to make a really safe and usable sheath. Then the oil and final liquid finishes.

It works for me

Paul
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 27, 2005
Messages
9,574
Thanks Paul.

I did think (after I diped the whole thing into hot water) that maybe just a dampened wet mold would have been a better idea.

That makes a lot of sense, thanks for taking the time to write it out...
 
Top