NS guards and scratches from leather sheath...

Nov 1, 2005
Hi folks!

I've noticed for some time now that the knives with NS guards scratch easily just from pulling/pushing them out of the sheaths I've made. I use heavy 9-10oz tooling leather (from Wickett and Craig - super nice quality stufff!) for my sheaths.

I finish my sheaths up with Tandy's Neatlac or Fiebings Tan Kote. Should I be using something else to soften up the backside of the leather instead of these products?

The more I work with NS the less I like it. I'm thinking of just sticking with 416SS.

Many thanks,
Dana Hackney
Monument, CO
Hi Dana, I fully agree but still like the looks of NS. Some higher end sheaths have a baby butt soft leather inside the sheath for just such problems. Kid goat and young pig skin just to name a couple, they come in 2 oz and laminate nicely.

Here is an example of the pig skin. The guard is hot blued but shares the same trouble with scatches and wear from a rough sheath

Hi Bruce!

Thanks for fielding my questions. I was afraid that was going to be the workaround. I guess I could glue in some of that soft leather in the throat of the sheath before I sew it up?

I'm also glad you mentioned that blued pieces have the same problems. I'm getting close to finishing a bowie that will have an engraved s-guard and butt cap that will be blued. I'll definitely spend the extra money and time to preserve the blue.

On a side note, Bruce, do you think some one of my abilities should try for a table that the Blade Show West?

Thanks again Bruce,
Dana, Yes you have more than enough abilities. I just wish the tables werent so expensive but at least it gets good Blade Magazine coverage. BW is bound to grow too. I expect a good one for 2007 Call Mary Lutz soon
NS scratches very, very easy. I can rub my thumb or finger across a NS bolster and it will show scratches. SS, wrought iron or damascus are the way to go.
Thank you, Bruce, for the advise and encouragment! I'll give Mary Lutz a jingle and see if there are any tables left. I also plan on doing the MKA show this year too. I'd also love to be able to attend a hammer-in but we'll have to see when/where they'll be held to see if we can fit one in while we're in the great NW :).

Thanks, also, Sunfish, for your input. I would also like to try my hadn wit some WI but I'm not sure where to pick the stuff up at a reasonable price. I don't have a press or a power hammer so it would need to be already in flat form.

Best regards,
Using wax on the inside of the sheath where the bolsters rub will help reduce the wear marks quite a bit but won't eliminate them. It also wont' soften the leather too much. I wax all of mine with Briwax but Ren, Butchers, Johnsons or bee's wax should do the same thing.
for the tip. I'll give one of those products a try. Even eliminating some of the
potential for scratching is helpful.

Thanks again!