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Ka-Bar leather sheath care

Oct 6, 1998
Okay, I finally got my b-day present from Dad, which was the basic model Ka-Bar (plain edge, leather handle, leather sheath) and I could have danced out of joy when it arrived.

With the knife, there was a note (printed by the dealer) that advised (before inserting the knife in the sheath) soaking the knife in industry spirit (the word in Finnish is "sprii" and it's used for cleaning etc. You can't drink that stuff). It said in the note that the knife should be inserted and then I should just wait for it to dry. The explanation for this was making the sheath last longer in good condition and make it "form" around the shape of the knife. If the latter part was confusing, I'll try to explain it in another way. The little booklets and notes from the factory suggested treating the sheath with oil or wax. In the note from the dealer it also said that warm tap water will do if that spirit is not available (with this method, it suggested oiling the blade first).
Now, I'm wondering what should I do? Anybody have experiences with other leather sheaths, or the Ka-Bar sheath itself? Is there a change of ruining the sheath? I don't want THAT to happen. I like the knife very much, by the way.

Thanks in advance,
I used the same mix on my then 10 yr old ka-bar sheath that I use on the sheaths I make for my knives.
3 parts wax(paraffin)to 1 part oil(saddle,wood,ect).
Melt the wax and mix the oil in,dip the sheath and soke for 1 or 2 min.
Drain the extra and heat to 150f.
Wipe down and put the knife in and let cool.
Note the sheath will be very limp after the dip and heat.
This is George Herron's method.
The ka-bar has bin in the sheath for 5yrs with no rust,pits,or mold.

[This message has been edited by Edward R Schott (edited 01 December 1998).]
Thanks for the help, guys! Edward, will the sheath "stiff up" after it's dry? The method sounds pretty good, I might do that when I get myself into buying some parafine and oil. When the knife is in the sheath, will there be any "goo" on the blade from the wax & oil mix after it has dried?
Thank again, fellows.

Can anyone help me out? I have a dim recollection that there are two methods of tanning leather; one involving chromic acid, and the other tannic acid.

I was advised to use oil on one type, and wax or silicone on the other type.

This was in reference to hiking boots, and dates from about 20 years ago. I just wondered if anyone else had any recollection of this, and whether or not it still applies. Thanks in advance, Walt