When people ask me about my leatherwork and the types of things I make, I describe what I do as “things you carry on your person and over time develop a bond with”. Wallets, belts, cases and sheaths for the most part are my normal wares. Now every once in awhile I’ll knock out a toilet seat, a tool bag or some other hi-style and laborious, detailed item to challenge myself.
I find that making knife sheaths is tough, and particularly tough to do well. They need to be durable, stylish, very functional and safe and very often, those objectives are at conflict in some way, shape or form. I’ve made enough knife sheaths for soldiers, to know how to make a sheath that works well, but often those aren’t the ones that are the most attractive or fun to make. They tend to be plain, and constructed from flat pieces, rather than wet formed.
Every now and then, I get someone who asks me to make a presentation sheath – now those are fun to make because they don’t need to be functional and don’t require appliances allowing them to hang on a belt. I can go to town on a presentation sheath in ways I really can’t with a carry sheath. I’ve made a few kooky presentation sheaths.
But I am getting better at taking on the sheath challenge, I am more confident – and am more determined to make functional sheaths that really look great, and this is one I think fits the bill.
I made this for my friend and loyal customer, SteveP. He brought a brand new Buck fixed blade knife over, and asked me to do what I wanted, no limitations, only it had to be functional, even though we both knew he’d rarely if ever wear it. I don’t know many people living in urban areas who carry a sheath knife. I know more folks that carry a gat, than a fixed blade.
So this was my answer, to the challenge of what to do with the big, spanking new hi-style brass handled Buck knife. The sheath is made from a single piece of 10.oz veg tan leather, lined with pigskin to lessen the chance of it reacting. It was wet formed, skived and glued. I used a brass stud for the safety closure and glued, rather than stitched, the sheath together; a first for me. Modern glues are more durable than stitching (normally I do both), and more and more so, I am relying on glue alone in applications like this. I like how clean it is, and honestly the idea of having to stitch through the edge of that thick sheath as a last step, was stressing me out.
So SteveP is a happy guy, I was happy, and i think the Buck brass handled beauty that has a nice new classy leather home is happy also.
Ain’t life grand? OK, now go buy something!!