Sheath Makin Hatin Club

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
I'm starting a new organization if any one wants to join.

I'm making leather sheaths for the small bowies and I wish I enjoyed making leather sheaths as much as I do knives... :(

I think I figured out why. Knifemaking comes a bit more natural I guess but for some dang reason and I can not put my finger on it I struggle with sheaths. I think I really need to spend some time learning proper techniques and materials.
I bought some thread at Tandy the other day and it would break about ever 3 holes.
I need advice on thread, needle size, dye and finish. I feel like I just scrape by on the bare min and my sheaths are not up to par with my knives.

Just had to vent, was off work today and worked on them and I think I threw away half my leather stock because I kept screwing up pieces of the sheath.
 

Gene Kimmi

KNIFE MAKER
I feel like sheath making is like knife making, by the time you make 100 of them, you can make a half decent one. I always feel like the sheath is just something I need to get out of the way so I can start on more knives.
 

TimGinMN

Well-Known Member
I'm in. I tried a couple of sheaths and decided that to do it right I needed a whole new set of tools I didn't own yet and new skills and more patience... I've bought some pretty decent sheaths on Ebay for $10-15 each. And some of the knife making suppliers have decent sheaths. Also I've bought knives at rummage sales just for the sheaths.
But, if you really want a sheath worthy of your custom knives, you might have to go to an expert.
 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
I used to hate leatherwork but now I just kind of find it an necessary evil. a few things I've learned......
Nice sheaths sell knives.
Having others make them for you can be expensive, and you may not get what you want in the end.
Buying premade commercial sheaths will rarely fit your knife properly.
Ugly, ill fitting sheaths will chase a customer away in short order.

Like most folks I started with leather from Tandy, which is a good deal at first....for learning.
moving on to quality leather after you've got the fundamentals and not messing up too often is a must, in my opinion.
there's too many things that poor leather will fight you with, staining-dying, wet forming, gluing up, stamping, carving...
in the end, cheap leather doesn't save money, it cost you.

I think like anything involved in knifemaking, patience and forward thinking is a virtue.
as silly as it sounds the first thing I do when I set up to do leatherwork is make sure my finger nails are trimmed, if not...
I end up imprinting them in the leather. it's simple things like that, that after making so many and making mistakes....
eventually the mistakes start to go away, just like making a knife from start to finish.
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
I used to hate leatherwork but now I just kind of find it an necessary evil. a few things I've learned......
Nice sheaths sell knives.
Having others make them for you can be expensive, and you may not get what you want in the end.
Buying premade commercial sheaths will rarely fit your knife properly.
Ugly, ill fitting sheaths will chase a customer away in short order.

Like most folks I started with leather from Tandy, which is a good deal at first....for learning.
moving on to quality leather after you've got the fundamentals and not messing up too often is a must, in my opinion.
there's too many things that poor leather will fight you with, staining-dying, wet forming, gluing up, stamping, carving...
in the end, cheap leather doesn't save money, it cost you.

I think like anything involved in knifemaking, patience and forward thinking is a virtue.
as silly as it sounds the first thing I do when I set up to do leatherwork is make sure my finger nails are trimmed, if not...
I end up imprinting them in the leather. it's simple things like that, that after making so many and making mistakes....
eventually the mistakes start to go away, just like making a knife from start to finish.
Some good points. I think I need to invest as much time into sheaths as I do knives and learn more.............or start only making folders :)
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
I bought some thread at Tandy the other day and it would break about ever 3 holes.
I need advice on thread, needle size, dye and finish. I feel like I just scrape by on the bare min and my sheaths are not up to par with my knives.

Just had to vent, was off work today and worked on them and I think I threw away half my leather stock because I kept screwing up pieces of the sheath.
What kind of a stitch are you using. I use the two needle stitching, Chuck Borrows turned me on to that a long time ago!! Well, I will be dammed but it appears all the links I have for Chuck Borrows and the two needle stitching do not work anymore!! Chuck Borrows died in 2005 from the big C.
Here is a link to some pics of some of his works. There is also a two DVD set out that Chuck Borrows did. It is worth the money!!

Here is another link to the two needle stich and how it works!!
https://makezine.com/2017/01/23/handstitch-leather/

Justin, the ole timers use heavy linen thread.

One think that will help with breaking the thread, is a ball of beeswax! Cut what you need to do your sewing, and take the ball of beeswax and pull your thread tru/across the ball of beeswax till your tired. Anytime you are sewing and you begin to notice drag on the thread when your pulling the needle, grab your wax and re wax the thread from the needle to the leather you are sewing!!

I am headed to the shop to take a look at the needle size and the last thread I bought. I really like how it worked!! I want to say the thread was a blend but can't remember when I find the stuff I will post it for you!!

Justin I had another water pipe bust here a while back and at present my shop is in such a mess, I can't get too my leatherworking box. I will try to get to it tomorrow and I will post the info!!
 

Dennis Morland

KNIFE MAKER
Justin - I will help you however I can. I lost a bunch of my leather computer links or I would share them. My computer died. But YouTube “leather knife sheath” and you will get tons of good stuff.

BTW: What type of sheath were you trying to make??
 

Daniel Macina

Well-Known Member
Justin - I will help you however I can. I lost a bunch of my leather computer links or I would share them. My computer died. But YouTube “leather knife sheath” and you will get tons of good stuff.

BTW: What type of sheath were you trying to make??
I still have the leather links you very kindly sent me. I will see if I can find them and repost. Very helpful to me.
 

Daniel Macina

Well-Known Member
https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/sheath-wip.905582/ MY FAVORITE!!

http://awknives.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_15.html VERY GOOD!!

http://beebeknives.com/html/make_a_sheath_tutorial.html

http://www.knivesby.com/dan-sheath-tutor-1.html

https://www.mrlentz.com/2014/12/leather-knife-sheath-tutorial/

Here we go all the ones Mr Moreland sent me! All very good!

I remember when he sent me those links I thought I was about to make my first sheath. Then everything started breaking. Really was hoping to be much further along by now……

All well.
 

Sean Jones

Well-Known Member
I'm about to make a sheath for one of the knives I've been working on, so I'm tagging along here.
Many years ago I did some simple leather work. So I'll see how that experience translates into making a sheath.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Justin you must be psychotic because you read my mind...I do not like making sheaths either but recently I Have been thinking about trying to better my sheath making skills by forcing myself to make some. It will give me something to do inside in the evenings after my real job when I do not feel like going to the shop. But the real reason is because I cannot find a proper balance of a sheath maker who's work I really like and a price I like to pay. I understand why, good sheath making requires a lot of skill and its not real cheap to do either. So I figure I may as well just bite down and work on my sheaths. Plus I need to learn to finish a project completely before I look to the next project.
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys for all the replies. Maybe we can use this thread to make all of us better.

I will take a picture of what I am working on tonight when I get home.
 
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