sheath 4

Here I am marking the stitch wheel dimples with an extra fine sharpie marker. I don’t want to mess up and make the holes in the wrong place which I used to do often until I started doing this.

In my drill press I have mounted an awl point. It is nothing more than a very sharp pointed 1/8” rod. I use a little bee’s wax as a lubricant if it is sticking. You can do this by hand using a hand awl, but why when it is this easy? Chuck up the awl, turn on the drill, line the marks up and ‘drill’. This method leaves a nice burnished hole for stitching which we will close up later. On my drill press, the table swivels left or right. I have the table swiveled over and small 1/8” hole drilled through the table 1/4” from the edge. I line the table up with the awl so that it goes right through the hole. I lay the sheath on the edge of the dill press table and poke it through. It is important that you keep the sheath level when you do this so the holes on the back side don’t wander all over the place. Remember, keep it level!

Here is the back side after all the holes have been ‘drilled’. See how they are evenly spaced between themselves and evenly spaced from the edge. This will take a little practice. I think I have made twice as many sheaths as I have made knives because they are so easy to mess up. If you make a mistake on a knife, you usually end up with a smaller knife. If you make a mistake on a sheath, you end up with scrap.

Now is when we stitch groove the back side. We go right over the holes from the last step. You may have to wiggle around a bit to match the groove with the holes.

I use unwaxed, multi strand linen cord, natural color for stitching. I dye a bunch up in advance and when I run out, I dye up more. I also wax the cord after dying with bee’s wax. Wax helps hold the thread a little tighter in the hole, makes it easier to stitch with and keeps fraying down when stitching. I wind a large amount onto a popsicle stick using my hand drill. I soak it in dye until it is the color I want and let it dry. Then I pull it through a block of bee’s wax by hand and re-spool it onto the popsicle stick again using the hand drill. .

Most pro leather workers use a stitching pony to saddle stitch using two needles. I don’t do enough leather work to bother with one so I do a simple over and under stitch starting at one end, going to the other end and then come back to the start. On the second pass, I will often have to use a pliars to help pull the needle through. When I reach the end, I back stitch a few holes and then on the back side of sheath, pull tight on the thread, drop in a very small drop of super glue into the stitch hole and nip off the thread at the surface after the super glue has set. No knots, it’s bad form. Also don’t forget to double stitch at any pressure points.

When the stitching is done, run the stitch wheel back over the stitches a few times to push them into the stitch groove and make things look a little neater and cleaner. Don’t forget the back side. When ever I look at some one else’s sheath, I always look at the back to see how much of a craftsman they are.

Here it is all stitched up. Still plenty to do but we are getting closer.

It looks a little plain at this point so we want to add a little visual interest. We are going to form the leather a around the bolster. First we spray it with some more Pro-Carve and let it sit a minute or two. Of course, you can use plain water too.

<Back a page    Forward a page>

[] [Gallery] [Gallery 2] [Gallery 3] [Gallery 4] [Gallery 5] [Links] [About] [Contact] [Available] [In Progress] [Tutorials] [sheath 1] [sheath 2] [sheath 3] [sheath 4] [sheath 5] [Etching Tutorial] [old news] [Publications we are in]