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I found Mike T

Discussion in 'Sheaths & Such' started by sheathmaker, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. sheathmaker

    sheathmaker Custom Leather Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 18, 2005
    Mike T (2).jpg Mike T (1).jpg Mike T.jpg I was over on Face Book and ran into an old internet friend some of you may remember, "Mike T". Mike made some of the nicest folder sheaths I've ever seen (and a few fixed blades as well). To me, one of the most outstanding things about Mike's sheaths was the edge finish. Nearly all of Mike's sheaths are suede lined. I've copied and will paste a short "recipe" from Mike on how those fine edges come to be.

    Mike TierneyMike and 43 others joined Knife Sheath Making within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! Robert Radcliffe asked "any tips?" for doing my edges. I wrote this (buried somewhere above) -
    Robert, you asked "any tips?" about my edges. Wow, I could write a whole book on this. Quickie point form -
    Rough edge grind on coarse disc in mandrel "lathe" for outside curves and small drum sander (in drill press) for inside curves and radii.
    Then with waterproof sandpaper (wet & dry), ranging in all the grits from 180 down to 600 and then "worn out" 240-320-400-600, wet sand by hand using saliva as the wetting agent (apply by tongue!) using the sandpaper ONE WAY so as not to raise hairs in the leather.
    Then oil the edge (neatsfoot or lanolin cream), applying any stain before the oil. Un-stained edges get smoother than stained ones that's why you see most of my edges as natural leather.
    Re-sand the edges from 320 to 600 again.
    Repeat wetting or oiling with sanding for as long as it takes to get the edge you want. Wet again and burnish with a coarse rag (get the edge really hot by doing this).
    Repeat any of the above as many times as needed taking many backward steps if necessary until you're happy or just can't get it any better.
    As said before - a 4" edge will take about an hour and I've done hundreds. It's not a process for those with no patience or in a hurry.

    I will post a couple of Mike's photos so you can gat a visual reference.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    harronek, steff27, popedandy and 3 others like this.
  2. ANovinc

    ANovinc Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 21, 2016
    Great, informative post. (still working on my technique!) Thanks Paul !
  3. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Thnx for sharing.
    Beautiful sheath!
  4. darkmatter35


    Aug 21, 2011
    Thanks for posting Paul, there are no short cuts for perfection.
  5. harronek


    Nov 29, 2013
    Such a shame I'm not on Facebook and never will be .
    Is Mike making sheaths again ?

  6. sheathmaker

    sheathmaker Custom Leather Sheaths Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 18, 2005
    No, he is not making sheaths at this time. He said he was retired.

  7. MikeT.


    Jul 7, 2018
    Hi Ken. Yes Paul's correct - I retired from sheathmaking (and my real job - firefighting) in 2006 and have no plans to re-start even though all my stuff is just as I left it. I found the sheathmaking page on facebook and decided to post a few photos of the latest sheaths that I had done at the time I retired. In the end I was specializing in folder pouches for Chris Reeve knives as it was chancy business getting customers' knives across the border from the USA to Canada and back and I didn't want to risk a confiscation. That would have made me feel so bad. I used my CR knives as patterns.

    The quotation you have within your post of "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add , but when there is nothing left to take away" has been used by me many times and I thought it fitted my philosophy perfectly - strip everything away but do what's left to the absolute best of your ability. The first of my sheaths that Paul posted (it's a separate loop sheath, not one of the integrals in the 2nd and 3rd photos), was the absolute best one I've ever done and it took me ages to do with no concern about time spent. It's the last sheath I ever did and it's still here with me in this room.
    just-a-hunter and buckfynn like this.
  8. harronek


    Nov 29, 2013
    :)Wow .

    I'm so happy you have returned from the darkness :)
    I blatently used your signature line in respect for your work ( you were my sheath making hero ).
    You were the reason I first ever tried making folder sheaths and your tuturials were studied from one end to the other .
    Even if you aren't making still it would be great if you hung around and shared some knowledge from time to time .

    I have just dug up some pics of my old sheaths edges that were inspired by your work .



    Truly great to see you here .

    felizalde55 likes this.
  9. MikeT.


    Jul 7, 2018
    Wow Ken, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then you have done that in spades. You've done an excellent job!!! I'm honored that I was of some inspiration. Yes I'll stay around but I might not be as active as I'd like to be. I'd post a photo for you but this site won't let me upload from my computer it seems. Maybe I'll send it to Paul via facebook and he could post it.
    felizalde55 and harronek like this.

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