View Full Version : And now for something completely different!

Chuck Burrows
01-01-2003, 04:30 PM
Remember the old Monty Python flic?

Well I've shown you some of my high end fancy stuff, so her is something on the other end, but just as important.

This is my EDC fixed blade - 4 1/2". We're lucky here to be able to carry them. I also have a 30 year old Buck 110 that I carry into more civilized areas, but I'm at heart a fixed blade man. When venturing out into the wild wooly world I usually pack iron on my right hip and this sits midback with the hilt to the right. If not packing iron I carry it over my right rear hip. As you can see the belt goes over the sheath under the loop. The upper third is molded around the hilt to help hold everything in place. It sits as solid as a rock and doesn't move.

The first view shows how it would look when viewed while being worn except that the belt would cover up the center portion under the loop.

Plain well finished leather has it's own beauty!

After making all the fancy stuff something like this can be a real breath of fresh air. The whole concept follows my primary tenet of "form follows function". All the geegaws are but icing on the cake, and if the sheath isn't functional it's useless in IMHO.

Well I better get back to work. On any of my sheaths posts feel free to comment or ask questions - there are no ancient secrets, just know how.


01-01-2003, 04:58 PM
Nice sheath Chuck!

How do you get the Leather to form so tightly around the knife?


Bob Sigmon
01-01-2003, 05:13 PM

That is a great sheath! Form and Function are perfect.

Thanks for the view.

Bob Sigmon

Chuck Burrows
01-01-2003, 05:22 PM
It's using the age old process of wet molding.
First off I used a little thinner leather than I use on bigger knives -a 6/7oz vegtan if I remember correctly. When wet molding the key is to getting the leather to the right consistency - not too wet and not too dry. If it's too wet than it is mushy and won't hold the lines. The same thing happens if it is too dry only in reverse.
How to get the right consistency. On a pouch sheath like this I finish the inside first and then sew it all together. I then dampen the outside thoroughly with a sponge and water. Once it is wet I stuff it in a plastic bag and let it "case" (say about an hour or so-you can also put it in the refrigerator and leave it over night). Casing is the process of allowing the water to soak in until all fibers are whetted consistently. If you didn't over wet it than it should come from the bag at about the right temper. The best way of telling when it is ready to mold is when the color returns to almost normal (place piece of the same leather next to it and compare) yet it will feel cool and damp. If it is still too wet then take it out of the bag and let it air dry. Keep a close eye on it though so it doesn't over dry.

Step one: Wrap the blade with electricians tape and rub a thin coat of olive oil on it. Put it in the sheath. To flatten the leather down to the blade I first clamp it in a vice. Protect the sheath with a couple of pieces of scrap.
Step two: Take some modeling tools and various sized pieces of antler and go to work.

It is really only a matter of practice. Take some scrap and practice on various shapes until you get the feel. Tha feel is hard to describe but you will know it when you find it.

Hope this helps-

01-01-2003, 06:25 PM
Aha !! just answered my own question !! I was about to say I know how you did the wet form, but how in the h### do you get the knife out of the pouch?? Then I looked again and realized you terminated the stitching at the guard, so that the throat of the sheath is free to release the knife when pulled, but still stiff enough to hold it securely Very nice trick, and very nice indeed, and beautifully done as usual.
I've got a Gerome Weinand on order, about the same size, that would look good in something like that.
BTW, I know this is the Sheath place here, but what's the knife?MtMike

Chuck Burrows
01-01-2003, 06:54 PM
Hey Mike you got sharp eyes. Wondered if anybody would catch that bit. To add to my earlier little speech on molding the whole thing was "hardened" after molding so it would better retain it's shape and sunbsequent tension on the hilt. Here is a link to my earlier mini-tutorial on "How to Harden Leather"

The blade is Solingen steel orphan, the grip is a Chuck original. I like to scrounge decent quality old blades that are in dire need of a grip or need to be re-gripped. This was one.
The grip is one that I made to cover the stick tang. Filed out the brass bolster and finished it off with Elk antler and a moose antler cap with leather spacers.
Because of the file marks on the blade I think somebody reshaped it - probably snapped the point off or something. Never bothered to polish it up or anything because it's nothing fancy. Nothing to be ashamed of - Just a pretty decent blade that does the menial everyday tasks I ask of it and on top of that it fits my hand. Here's a quick pic via the scanner.


01-01-2003, 08:38 PM
Thanks Chuck

I'm just finishing a sheath (my 2nd) and will give it a try.


Colin KC
01-02-2003, 04:27 AM
Excellent Chuck, this sheath display forum's gonna run:D

Sandy Morrissey
01-02-2003, 09:59 PM
Rarely will you see a better example of a molded sheath. The boning is tight and the burnishing is free of scoring. The open throat to the guard allows this and still gives adequate retention. Attention to detail has made this "working" sheath a visual and functional work of art. The hardening process that Chuck describes also hastens the acquiring of a rich patina on the leather which is quite desirable.

Colin KC
01-03-2003, 03:37 PM
Yah Chuck, I see it now, more subtle than Mikes & no less faberoony (you'd have to be British & a parent to understand:eek: ) Now I've really gotta try some:D

Chuck Burrows
01-03-2003, 04:51 PM
Subtlety is my middle name!

And I watch enough Britcoms (what a smeghead:rolleyes: ) to have a good idea about faberoony.

To repeat myself - give it a try, you'll like it!

01-12-2003, 03:25 PM
"Wrap the blade with electricians tape and rub a thin coat of olive oil on it."

Just out of curiosity Chuck, why electrician tape and olive oil?


Chuck Burrows
01-12-2003, 04:53 PM
Electrician's tape is the easiest I've found to remove after use and it's quite thin as well. I use olive oil because it won't damage the leather like petroleum by products. I don't like wax on the inside because it tends to act as a dirt and grime magnet.

Bottomline is whatever works best. I also like to cut food with my EDC at times so I don't like using non-food grade oils if possible.