Leather Sheath How to. - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Leather Sheath How to.

Hi Folks,

A while back someone asked me about doing a sheath tutorial. So here we go. This is the way I do it, there are other ways and maybe even better ways. I am always willing to learn. As with all things do this at your own risk, I post for informational purposes. Knives are sharp you know smile.

So this is our start a basic piece of leather. I tend to used leather on the thicker side 6-7 ounces. An ounce is around 1/64 of an inch. You can do the math from there.

Next we look at doing the layout for our sheath. There are a few ways to do this. I have used cereal boxes(note the wife gets suspicious when the boxes disappears and a bag of cereal is left in the pantry ) I have also used manila folders. All work just fine. IN this case I am just laying it out on the leather. I start with a straight line in pencil on the raw side of the leather.

I lay the knife as shown in the picture. Then I will roll it on to one side.


Once I roll it I will draw the sheath around the knife. Notice I leave a good bit of leather around the knife. You don't want to be too close here. (Hence why the cereal box comes in handy, doesn't fit try again no waste of leather.)


So next i cut out the one side. You can use a standard utility knife will do. Once i do that I fold it over and copy it to the other side.

You can see here i copied it to the other side Also note I drew in the belt loop part. It is important to space this a little bit away from the center. Also make sure you orient your leather so it is made for either left or right hand carry.

All cut out and ready for the next steps. You will note I sized the belt loop and rounded it off. I usually make it around 2 inches on the belt look plus area to fold over and sew.

Next we make a welt. I use the sheath as a pattern and make it to size, large enough i can sew it with no issues.

Here is the cut out welt and sheath. We will glue the welt between the two sides of the leather when we fold it over.


Ok so next I pretty it up a bit. This isnt needed for function but it does dress it up some. I happen to have the stamps. I also added my makers mark to the back of the sheath.

Next I use some contact cement(coat the back of the belt loop and where it will hit on the back of the sheath. Then press together when dry.) Weldwood contact cement can be found at most hardware stores or walmart etc. Note you need to sew the belt loop at this stage. You will use a saddle stitch which I will talk about shortly.

After you sew the belt loop on. You coat both sides of the welt and then the insides of the sheath on each side. Once the contact cement is dry you press the welt on one side, then fold over the sheath on the other side.

Your side will look like this once folded over.

Ok so lets talk about stitching now. In this picture you will see some basic leather tools. One is a overstitch wheel(used to mark the spaces to punch the holes), a edge beveler(used to bevel the edges of you leather to help make it round off.) and a awl(actually a old ice pic. First you want to make sure your edge is smooth. You may have to cut it and then do some light sanding to smooth it out. try and take as little as possible off so you don't lose your welt.


Here is what the marks of and overstitch wheel look like. IF you dont have one, i once was told a fork will work too. you press the four tines in the leather then move two at a time so you have overlap. Once you have your holes you can use your awl to make holes all the way through the leather. You can also use a drill bit and drill but you have to be careful it doesn't wander and not go through straight. Next you will want to use a waxed thread with two needles one on each end. YOu will do what is called a saddle stitch. Basically you pull the thread through one hole at the end of the sheath. Start with the needles the same length out on each side. Then you take the left needle through the hole above the one you started in, then the right needle goes through the same hole. Cinch them up tight and then repeat all the way to the top. Once there you work backwards two or three holes to lock the stitch. You can do a quick net search and find lots of tutorials on saddle stitch.

Next we will do the edges with the edge beveler. This will give you a nice edge.

You edge will look like this once you bevel it. Once that is done you can wet it with some water and smooth it with a piece of old antler or just about anything hard. This helps round it and smooth it out. There are many ways to do this and lots of discussion on the best way out there.

You can see Here the finished product. You will note I did not use waxed thread. Thats cause i cheated and used my machine to sew it. I have hand stitched lots of sheaths over the years, but I have to admit having a needle and awl machine and taking a few minutes to sew it is a much faster method for me now.

Once i was done I dyed it black with a leather dye. I then finished it with pecards leather dressing. There are many other finishes, neat foots oil, snow proof weatherproofing and many more.

So that's it, a basic pouch sheath tutorial. You could do most of it with very little tools with some imagination. Hope you all enjoyed.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 03:38 PM
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Re: Leather Sheath How to.

good job Ross!!

A gun will get you thru times of no money better than money will get you thru times of no gun.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 08:25 PM
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Re: Leather Sheath How to.

Thanks, Ross Making sheaths is the one thing I do not like to do but a knife needs a sheath. Once again thanks.

camp in A.N.F.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 10:46 PM
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Re: Leather Sheath How to.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 10:47 PM
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Re: Leather Sheath How to.

Nice job & thanks for the tutorial!!

wmu 3A
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2016, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Leather Sheath How to.

Your welcome guys, hope it helps someone out there.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 07:10 PM
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Re: Leather Sheath How to.

Thanks Ross...very helpful!

stay calm and pick a spot
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2016, 11:08 AM
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Re: Leather Sheath How to.

You put your heart and soul into knife making.It shows that,great job.I was hunting turkey with a friend and found an antler from a buck.He asked if he could have it for a knife handle for his son.I said yes,sort of felt honored to be part of the deal.He made that knife and he went to a rondy with his son with that knife.Knife fell out of his son's sheath never to be found.He thinks some one picked it up and didn't turn it in.I need to go shed hunting for a new handle for him.I enjoy your posts.

Bob Seger,till it shines.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Leather Sheath How to.


Kind words, thank you.

That is a real shame he lost that knife. Did the father make the blade himself. It would be great if you find another shed and he makes a new blade. Things like that are why I make knives, just way cool

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2016, 03:42 AM
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Re: Leather Sheath How to.

Where is the metal rivets?

You need to put some metal rivets along the edge to keep the blade from cutting into the seam you sewed into the leather.
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