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The Sheath/Holster Makers Forum This is the place to discuss all forms of sheath and holster making.

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  #1  
Old 09-13-2006, 08:33 AM
RICK LOWE RICK LOWE is offline
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Flesh side vs. hair side

With the mexican loop style sheath, the belt loop front is the flesh side of the leather which is never as smooth as the hair side. Any tips on getting it more like the other side? I'm using good quality, tight grain leather. Thanks, guys.
Rick
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2006, 11:43 AM
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sheathmaker sheathmaker is offline
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Rick; Whether it be a Mexican Loop sheath or holster, this applies. Assume you are using 7/8 oz. veg tan. Cut the pattern on the back (flesh, non hair, etc.) side of the leather. When you view this from the grain (hair) side it will appear to be a left handed sheath or holster. Now line it with 2 oz. veg tan and secure it with Barge contact cement flesh to flesh. When finished you have a 9/10 oz. piece that is grain on both sides. When assembled (make sure you assemble it as a right hand sheath) it will have the lighter wt. leather on the inside and down the back of the sheath and the loop will exactly match the front of the sheath. This can also be done with deer skin or some other light weight contrasting leather, and come out looking pretty good.

Paul

Edited to add: These instructions are for a pouch or fold over type sheath. A stacked or "blade" sheath for the larger bowie types will have the back piece with the loop cut reverse (flesh side up) and lined and the front piece should be cut in the usual grain up manner.


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Last edited by sheathmaker; 09-13-2006 at 06:30 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2006, 02:28 PM
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MtMike MtMike is offline
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Rick, Paul -- sometimes I find the cement doesn't bind as well right at the edges when I do it this way, also I have a tendency to get a little sloppy at the edges. I can solve both problems by making the double sided piece slightly larger than the pattern, and cutting the pattern after it's been cemented.

Also makes it easier to keep the "left-right" hand thing sorted out in my oxygen deprived brain

Mike


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Old 09-13-2006, 03:20 PM
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Chuck Burrows Chuck Burrows is offline
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Howdy Rick -
As noted you can line the loop on Mexican loops, but when making authentic period style sheaths, which were/are generally unlined, I use Gum Trag on the flesh side - add a heavy coat and once dry burnish with a piece of antler or bone - do it two or three times if need be. You can finish up with a good coat of carnuba cream (available from most leather supply shops) or good ole paste wax - let dry and burnish again. Sometimes it works best to burnish only in one direction....


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Last edited by Chuck Burrows; 09-13-2006 at 03:32 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2006, 04:12 PM
RICK LOWE RICK LOWE is offline
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Knew y 'all would come through! Thanks Paul, Mike and Chuck. This is going to work out well.
Rick
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2006, 06:30 PM
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Mike; you are absolutley right on blocking out the pattern, then cement and THEN cut. That's the way I do all of mine and I should have mentioned that.

Paul


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Basic Pouch Sheaths and Advanced Blade sheaths DVDs are available at www.chriscrawfordknives.com ***New third DVD available at the same web site***


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Last edited by sheathmaker; 09-13-2006 at 06:32 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2006, 07:17 PM
Mike T. Mike T. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheathmaker
Mike; you are absolutley right on blocking out the pattern, then cement and THEN cut. That's the way I do all of mine and I should have mentioned that.

Paul
That's how I do all mine - rough out the parts, cement with contact cement and then cut down to the finshed size. Works perfect! Here's a laminated belt loop. This way I can get crisp dyed/undyed edges right next to each other too.





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Last edited by Mike T.; 09-13-2006 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 09-13-2006, 09:14 PM
Rocket_Jason Rocket_Jason is offline
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Mike-

What are you doing to the edges of your sheaths? I burnish mine with a piece of antler and dampen the leather just before I do, but I never get such nice edges. Are you applying some kind of sealent or other chemical? Are you trimming the edges with a knife (I use a belt sander to even up the edges) that makes all the difference? They look great, the edges are very crisp!

Nice looking work by the way.

Thanks,
Jason
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Old 09-14-2006, 01:48 AM
Mike T. Mike T. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket_Jason
Mike-
What are you doing to the edges of your sheaths? I burnish mine with a piece of antler and dampen the leather just before I do, but I never get such nice edges. Are you applying some kind of sealent or other chemical? Are you trimming the edges with a knife (I use a belt sander to even up the edges) that makes all the difference? They look great, the edges are very crisp!
Nice looking work by the way.
Thanks,
Jason
Thanks Jason. I'm sure I've given a primer on how I do my edges before. They're hand sanded after being knife cut and ground on disk and drum sanders. Then it's all hand work with silicon carbide paper grits from 180 to 1500. The main body edge will take about an hour and that's after 25 years practise. I don't burnish with anything hard as I don't like the finish it leaves. By the way I keep the leather damp and the paper dry.

I do burnish with a rag after all the sanding - damp leather, dry rag and lots of pressure.

Sealant or other (gasp!) chemicals? Errrr no way! I go natural all the way - only Neatsfoot and lanolin cream touch my sheaths, even on the edges.


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