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  #1  
Old 06-13-2017, 12:05 PM
KevBooth KevBooth is offline
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First sheath

Here's my first sheath. I needed to learn to make them for the KITH, so I dove in. It's a lot rough, but the knife fits well, and doesn't fall out. Since I've learned a few things and I'm sure that I'll get better. I didn't die it or tool it or anything because like a first knife I had a feeling it wouldn't be anything to write home about.
Any comments and tips are more than welcome.




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  #2  
Old 06-13-2017, 12:42 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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The stitching doesn't look all that bad and from the outlines of it it looks like there is a welt between the folded sides. It also looks like you did back stitch to secure the loose end of the thread so you did do a lot right with the sheath.

My next question would be what sort of leather did you use. It should be vegetable tanned to keep from corroding the blade. It also seems to appear to be of a light weight. I find that 6-8 ounce leather to be minimal. The next comment is just a matter of preference. I like to make the loop on my sheaths separate so that the flesh side is not showing. Just remember to attach the loop to the sheath before sewing the body of the sheath together.

Doug


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  #3  
Old 06-13-2017, 02:02 PM
KevBooth KevBooth is offline
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I used veg tanned leather 7-8 oz from Tandy Leather. I may try a 2 piece construction next time, along with some tooling and dye and such. I'm saving up my pennies for more tools. It seems like it's a never ending battle. But I'm getting closer daily.
Thanks
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2017, 06:08 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Not bad for a first try.

Doug you're like me, a 2 piece as I will tool the loop if it shows and I don't like the flesh side exposed much.

Kevin do you have any leather tooling stamps (you can make some simple ones yourself) or, at the least a stitching groover or divider? For the longest time I used a divider that I shortened one end and sharpened it to a knife edge to set my stitch groove. I finally bought a stitch groover and am sorry I didn't buy it much sooner. Here is an excellent video by Chuck Dorsett of Weaver Leather Supply on basics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NeNF0oWncY

Also Tandy has a video on how to use a stitching groover.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6204kIzMP80


I took a basic leather crafting class from a Tandy store in OKC back in the early 90s and I have never been sorry for it. There weren't all the excellent videos available then and if you are close enough to a Tandy store I still recommend their basics classes, but if not there are a bunch of videos on Youtube from Tandy and others. Study the videos and especially the simple border tooling which is a good place to start. Simple is less expensive, I had 5 stamps when I started and only have about 25 now.

I see you used your belt sander to get the edges even. That's fine, but be careful as it will take it off fast, use a new belt and you can go back with a worn out fine grit belt and burnish the edges that way. I use a belt to smooth my edges too, but I use an edge beveler to get the "burr" for lack of a better word off the corners of the edge. You can use sandpaper and take it off by hand if you wish as well. But with a proper technique and stitch groover you may not need to do all that.

Do you have a welt on there as I cannot really tell. If you don't the knife will eventually cut through the thread. I will use solid brass rivets sometimes like on a filet knife instead of a welt to protect the stitch (plus you can hide the ends of the thread under the rivet). Just a thought.

I have one caveat, never buy cheap leather without being able to see it. I have and I got some that was decent, but mostly some hairy flesh sided inconsistent bellies as I didn't have a lot of money and still don't. I drive 125 miles to the nearest Tandy store or I buy from whom I know are good sources. Also for knives NO chromic tanned leather, it may corrode even stainless in time.

To keep your costs down Kevin I recommend buying Tandy's items when they have their big sale in July and I believe around January. Call your local store and ask when they will have it. This hobby can get expensive real fast, but it doesn't have too if you're careful and keep it simple at first and an eye out for monthly sales. I check several suppliers, there is a http://www.zackwhite.com/ in NC too, but it's over 200 miles from me. I slowly over the years acquired more tools and knowledge and believe me I am still learning. If you had about $1200 dollars I'd sell you most of my leather tools.LOL

Oh, also when buying rivets or other fastener hardware like snaps, chicago screws and grommets make sure they are solid brass and not plated, double check, I have had an irate customer come to me with a rusting sheath before and it's rather unpleasant and you also have to take the time to make it right. I literally took a magnet and threw away a lot of hardware (so much for a good deal on rivets). When you get real good at this craft keep it secret from family and friends to as they will start wanting all kinds of stuff.

I like leather working as much as I do making knives, I sold a purse last month for over $100 so it can be profitable too. Sorry for the long answer, I have a teacher's disposition.
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2017, 09:05 PM
KevBooth KevBooth is offline
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It does have a welt. I figured the knife would cut through the thread pretty quickly if I didn't put one in there.
I'm fortunate that I have a Tandy only about 40 miles away and I'm down that way quite a bit.
A groover, beveler, stitching wheel, dye, edge sealant, and a few stamps are all on my list. I went ahead and got the elite membership. On my very first purchase it saved me $25, on $50 worth of stuff.
I only bought a small 8x10 piece of veg tanned leather for this project. I'm planning on a larger piece next time, like a belly or a shoulder or something.
Thank you for all the advice.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2017, 11:41 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Not a belly, that's usually soft and has too much loose material on the flesh side (you don't want leather from the areas on a cow where there is a lot of fat). The shoulder will be much better leather for sheaths ...


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  #7  
Old 06-13-2017, 11:46 PM
KevBooth KevBooth is offline
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Good advice, thank you. Shoulders it is. Both are available in a variety of thicknesses, so I'm sure I can find what I need.
Thank you
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2017, 05:57 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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Good advice up there Kev. Most of the really used tools are so simple that once you have one and work with it, you will wonder why you didn't just make it yourself.
Belly leather is better suited for things other than sheaths and holsters where rigidity or stiffness is important. As Ray stated "Not Belly".
If you like the integral belt loop, simply learn to fold it over into the inside. Skive the tag end so it will lay flush, glue it down. Cut it so it will be secured in the welt stitching as well as a simple line of stitches across. Make sure you finish off the cut edges of the loop before gluing and stitching down. Be careful with the glue as it is stain resistant and will show in the end.
I also finish off/burnish my edges with worn out belts on my grinder. Usually start with a slap worn out 220 and then a 400. Little trick is to wet the edge just before doing this with a damp sponge. Helps greatly with the slickin' up process. Also make sure you use a dust collector and mask as organics like leather are just as bad for your lungs as any other dust and often carry mold spore (yeah most leather is exposed to and carries mold spore of some kind). Be safe.

ps - as you have noticed by now fresh wet leather will pick up and hold any and every speck of dirt in your shop and on your hands. Got to keep things clean.


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  #9  
Old 06-14-2017, 09:14 AM
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fuzzy fuzzy is offline
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One question are you left handed?
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  #10  
Old 06-14-2017, 10:54 AM
KevBooth KevBooth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzy View Post
One question are you left handed?
Yeah, I wish! No that was a mistake. I unfortunately picked up on once the sewing was done. Live and learn.
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  #11  
Old 06-14-2017, 11:03 AM
KevBooth KevBooth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crex View Post
ps - as you have noticed by now fresh wet leather will pick up and hold any and every speck of dirt in your shop and on your hands. Got to keep things clean.
Yeah I caught on to that pretty quick. I've already got a new table that I've designated for leatherwork. Thanks again for the advice.
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  #12  
Old 06-14-2017, 01:50 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crex View Post
Good advice up there Kev. Most of the really used tools are so simple that once you have one and work with it, you will wonder why you didn't just make it yourself.
Belly leather is better suited for things other than sheaths and holsters where rigidity or stiffness is important. As Ray stated "Not Belly".
If you like the integral belt loop, simply learn to fold it over into the inside. Skive the tag end so it will lay flush, glue it down. Cut it so it will be secured in the welt stitching as well as a simple line of stitches across. Make sure you finish off the cut edges of the loop before gluing and stitching down. Be careful with the glue as it is stain resistant and will show in the end.
I also finish off/burnish my edges with worn out belts on my grinder. Usually start with a slap worn out 220 and then a 400. Little trick is to wet the edge just before doing this with a damp sponge. Helps greatly with the slickin' up process. Also make sure you use a dust collector and mask as organics like leather are just as bad for your lungs as any other dust and often carry mold spore (yeah most leather is exposed to and carries mold spore of some kind). Be safe.

ps - as you have noticed by now fresh wet leather will pick up and hold any and every speck of dirt in your shop and on your hands. Got to keep things clean.

All good advice above. I've started folding the belt loop into the sheath as mentioned above. Skive it down thin & after you punch your holes, use a groover to cut a recess for the thread. That gets the thread down below the surface so inserting the knife the blade won't catch the thread. I made a separate loop for a while and stitched it on the back, but switched to this process.
One thing I'll add about loops. I've found if the loop extends above the sheath at least as high or higher then the butt of the knife, it is much more comfortable. The belt loop will cushion the knife. With the butt of the knife extending by itself above the sheath, it tends to poke into the side when sitting. (I guess I need to get rid of the love handles there!)

A piece of deer antler will very nicely burnish down a dampened edge.
Haven't tried Crex's worn 400 grit belts for burnishing but will. Also, Fiebings medium brown leather dye is actually pretty dark and it covers over a multitude of sins...like dirty fingers.

Here is a photo of what I've described.



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  #13  
Old 06-14-2017, 11:29 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Goater makes some nice knives and nice looking sheaths as well. I have had some good ideas for sheaths by looking through the photo albums here, just click on the toolbar where it says all photos or just click on the picture albums at the top of the home page. I've made sheaths to show off the handles and sheaths to protect them. It is fun to experiment with new types and I know from experience that a really nice sheath can sell the knife for more.

Things like a basket weave is best to practice on the cheap bellies first. There is a use for those scraps you can't use and that's practicing with new stamps and I use the Tandy Eco-Flo dyes which don't soak into the leather like the oil dyes do. I use some of the oil Fiebings too. Brown and black are favorites for sheaths. What I like about the eco-flo dyes is if it goes on a little too dark it's easy to thin out. Eco Shene from Tandy's will leave a really shiny finish on a sheath and it's a resist too. They have videos about using it for that. When you go onto their web site you can see them when you click on the Eco dyes. They'll have a little square with the video if you don't already know about it, but I presume you probably do.

Then there is my shoe wax technique, it will waterproof the outside of the sheath after you've dyed it. Makes it shiny too. I have used just black or brown shoe wax by itself to finish a sheath, I rub it in, then melt it in with a lighter carefully and buff off, it is actually pretty nice. The sheath on the bottom I dyed with a brown eco-flo dye I thinned out and mixed with some green and then I waxed it with my method. They were both waxed to make them shine. The belt loops are angled so the handle points forward. As you can see I made these sheaths to show off the handles. One is a pouch sheath and the other is a two piece sheath. The knives are by Dtec a poster on here. If these were carbon steel steel knives the inside would get a waterproofing too. Note this is just one method I use. Some makers use melted beeswax for the inside and some will use paraffin or the silicone stuff you waterproof your boots with. I won't say any particular one is better than another, but if you use an oil like linseed oil it will soak into the sheath and make it darker so be forewarned. I put bees wax inside the snaps to to keep them lubed.

Those are solid brass snaps I got from Zack White Leather. When you go to buy hardware from Tandy, take a small magnet. Oh, try to make it as perfect as you can, but keep in mind that that hardly happens, there may be some little thing that bothers you that nobody will notice or care about, so don't be too hard on yourself. Those sheaths are not perfect, but Dave loved them. The knives are more important.

[IMG]http://www.kn

Last edited by jimmontg; 06-15-2017 at 12:34 AM. Reason: add pics
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  #14  
Old 06-15-2017, 09:22 AM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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^^Nice sheaths Jim^^^


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Old 06-15-2017, 11:08 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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I Agree and pics don't do them justice....Jim sent me pics of them before sending them back to me and in person they are much much nicer.....Originally the plan was one will go to my uncle of his choosing. And the other will be sold...I don't do leather sheaths that is why I wanted to give one to my uncle.....lets just say he wouldn't be caught dead with a kydex sheath on his hip.... He is getting his choice but I am getting fond of these 2 knives/ sheaths and depending on wich he pics I may end up keeping the other for my self....I would like to have a nice custom sheath since everything I do is with kydex
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