Sheath Makin Hatin Club

Merle

Well-Known Member
Can anyone recommend a good place online to order smaller (e.g. 12" x 12" or so) pieces of tooling leather for making knife sheaths? I'm thinking I want 7-9 oz? I went online looking and was surprised that I wasn't finding much.

thanks, andy
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
I have been doing the same and the best selection I have seen has been on Ebay. Pay close attention to the shipping charges though. Maybe check Springfield Leather Company too.
 

Von Gruff

KNIFE MAKER
Can anyone recommend a good place online to order smaller (e.g. 12" x 12" or so) pieces of tooling leather for making knife sheaths? I'm thinking I want 7-9 oz? I went online looking and was surprised that I wasn't finding much.

thanks, andy
It is not economical to buy leather in such small pieces. I a buy double shoulder and it allows for much more efficient laying out of my patterns
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
Here is what I have been working on that prompted this thread. The top one is getting there I feel a little better about it now after walking away from it for a day. The bottome one is the next one I have started.
How do you get rid of the rough texture on the back of the leather? Also why does it feel so stiff after I dye it?
Last picture is some stuff I picked up and was thinking about using it has anyone tried it for sheaths as a protectant? Thought it might soften it up a bit I always feel like my sheaths are so stiff!


 

Dennis Morland

KNIFE MAKER
Justin - I like it, personally. Good crisp borders. Even stitching. Good color. Nice stamping. That is an excellent sheath. You still need to finish your stitching. But, overall, in the real world, your sheath is way better than average. You have leather skills.

IMHO Stiff is a good thing. I hate a wimpy sheath.

One question. Have you ever tried sealing with satin sheen? Just an idea. Other than that- You did very well.
 

C Craft

Well-Known Member
How do you get rid of the rough texture on the back of the leather? Also why does it feel so stiff after I dye it?
Last picture is some stuff I picked up and was thinking about using it has anyone tried it for sheaths as a protectant? Thought it might soften it up a bit I always feel like my sheaths are so stiff!
In answer to the first question. You can't get rid of the rough texture on the back of the leather. Use a skived piece of leather,
and sew it to the loop good side out so there is no bad side to the leather!! Mink oil is recommended for waterproofing and may also soften the leather.

Still haven't made it to my leather stuff in the garage but when I do I will post some more stuff to this thread!! I bought the two CD leather how to by the late Chuck Borrows. https://www.amazon.com/Custom-Knife-Sheaths-Chuck-Burrows/dp/B001HWBVJY
I have to say it was well worth the money. In is Chuck gives up all sorts of little secrets of how to. They are the details that make the difference between a sheath and a finished sheath!

The advice from Dennis is spot on as well. It is the small details that make that same difference in how to and WOW that one looks good!! Like I said earlier that is something I picked up from the 2 DVD set by Chuck Burrows. He sits and talks while he is showing you how to. The little things that I never got quite right are covered and either I didn't know to do that or how to do that!!

In the second question the reason your sheath feels stiff after you dye it is, it has been exposed to the liquid of the dye which closes up the pores of the leather. I still like the older oil based dyes, they are getting harder and harder to find. The new acrylic dyes are like paints. They have brighter colors but they basically lay on the surface of the leather. They also tend to make the leather more stiff because you they use a water base!! It is kind of like wetting your leather for tooling. When it finally dries it is much stiffer! The old dyes have an oil base and tend to leave the leather softer than the acrylic based dyes. Also the oil dyes go down into the leather instead of laying on the surface.

As far as stiff I wouldn't sweat that too much. The purpose of the sheath is too protect the knife. The difference between leather and the stiffness of say kydex is without a lining kydex will scratch a knife and leather won't!! Besides if it is a knife that is used carrying, moving stretching of the leather sheath will soften it!

Back to the mink oil it is good for waterproofing. The one thing you want to remember is use a natural oil, here is something I saw on the net a while back and it very true!

Oil to treat leather
Try avocado oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, or almond oil. Use any natural oil that you would put onto yourself as a skin-softener. Leather is the dried and treated skin of a cow – so it essentially made from the same stuff as your own skin.

Here is a site I bookmarked a while back and it talks about the different kinds of oils to use on boots! Works the same way with the leather for sheaths! https://www.findyourboots.com/boots/best-oil-for-leather-boots

Neatsfoot oil works well too but be sure you are using the one with the natural ingredients, as there are two different formulations. The other kind can actually dry out the leather!! Here is a link to a horse forum where they talk about the difference! http://forums.horsecity.com/topic/30037804-prime-neatsfoot-compound-vs-pure-neatsfoot/
 
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Randy Lucius

KNIFE MAKER
That's looking very nice Justin! I think you're like me, your own worst critic. We all see flaws in our work that nobody else notices. It can drive you crazy at times if you let it. The knife is outstanding and I have no doubts the sheath will be as well.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
It is not economical to buy leather in such small pieces. I a buy double shoulder and it allows for much more efficient laying out of my patterns
We do not all have Gruff money. I cannot afford at most times to buy a double shoulder. It would be better if I would though...Lol
 
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Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
I think your sheath is beautiful...so hate the process...love the results!!!

I agree with DeMo....no wimpy sheaths. Stiff is best unless you're actually fighting it...
 

MikeL

KNIFE MAKER
Very nice sheath Justin.

I for one do not like to make sheaths but would if I had to. My brother makes mine and I don’t think I can do better than him. If he calls it quits I’ll step up.

I love the smell of leather. I love the small of coffee. At first I much preferred the smell of coffee over the taste. Now I love coffee. As long as leather smells good, I just might learn to love working with it as my coffee experience has taught me.
;)
 

coachk

Member
I started making my own sheaths using a video by Paul Long out of necessity... I had ZERO experience before I watched his video and it helped get me started! Still have a lot to learn, but I actually enjoy making them as much as the knife. Just something different...
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
Thank you all you are very encouraging.

I still need to pick up some new thread that does not snap when I tension it and proper needles so if anyone has any recommendations. The top thread on this was either from Michael's or hobby lobby so I might just go back there.
 

Gene Kimmi

KNIFE MAKER
Here is the thread I use.


These are the needles I use after drilling holes with 1/16" drill bit. I sharpen the shank and use it to drill with.

 

bladegrinder

Well-Known Member
Don't buy stitching from them yet Justin, let me look at what I use tonight and I'll post it here, I was on the road all day and last night so I didn't make it to my shop yesterday. I'm at work now but I'll get it tonight.
stitching shouldn't break, the stuff I use will cut thru the leather before it breaks.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
I bailed on the stitching. I was not getting good enough quick enough to sell a sheath with a knife...so I fell back on my skill set which is machining. This is a clip sheath I finished today for a knife I'm doing for a friend. He loves red and black...me... not so much...lol.pretty "loud"... but it turned out okay. Inside is lined with pigskin. Clips to belt or pocket...s2.jpgs4.jpg

I still hate making sheaths...and with all the powdercoating, deburring, machining, assembly it takes me way longer this way...but no stitching for neuropathy plagued fingers....(still haven't got my sewing machine dialed in yet....)
 
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