If you have a knife with a guard, you may want to consider making a sheath for it. These sheaths are easy to make and can be used for knives that are used on camping trips or in the kitchen for meat cutting.
First, trace the blade onto the leather. Leave about a quarter inch extra around the edge to account for the seam.
Make a pattern
Once you have a sheath pattern that is shaped to fit your knife, you can begin cutting out the leather. You can use any type of leather, but a thin one will work better for this project.
Before cutting the leather, make sure it is soft and pliable. You can achieve this by soaking it in warm water until it stops releasing bubbles.
Next, transfer the sheath pattern to a thick piece of cardstock or poster board. This will help you trace the lines more easily.
Cut the leather
If you have a knife that you don’t want to put in your pocket, a sheath is a great option. A sheath is also useful for a pocket watch, compass, or any other tool that you don’t want to keep out of your hand.
To make a sheath, first cut a piece of leather to fit the pattern and the blade of your knife. You can wet shape the leather with the plastic wrap method, but you should dry it naturally before cutting it out.
Use a leather gouge to cut a shallow groove into the top of the sheath where you’ll be stitching. Mark your stitches using a rowel tool, or just do it freehand. Try to make the holes evenly spaced. If they’re uneven, the welt won’t sit flat against the handle and the welt will come out wrong on the other side of the sheath.
Glue the welt
A welt is an additional piece of leather that is glued to the sheath, serving to protect the stitching from the knife blade. It can be made flush with the sheath, or cut so that it sticks out from the sheath’s edge.
Start by making a pattern that is based on the size of your knife. Trace it on paper and make allowances for folding.
Next, make a welt that fits the sheath side and a rectangular piece for the belt strap. Use tape to fix the pattern onto your leather.
Sew the sheath
Leather is a great material for sheaths, but it requires regular care and attention. Neglecting a leather sheath will encourage mildew and corrosion in the surrounding area, or it might crack and break.
A guard or sheath is the best way to prevent this from happening. It protects the blade and provides a safe, comfortable place to keep it.
Start by making sure your knife fits well in the sheath, especially around the welt. This is where you will need to dampen the outside of the sheath and work it slowly.
Wipe it down with neatsfoot oil
A sheath can be made of a variety of materials, including leather. To make it more durable and water-resistant, you can wipe it down with neatsfoot oil.
Neatsfoot oil is a yellow oil that is derived from the shin bones and feet of cattle (not horse hooves). It’s used as a leather conditioner.
You can find two types of neatsfoot oil on the market. The first is pure neatsfoot oil, which does not contain any additives. The other is neatsfoot compound, which contains additional oils that may cause leather to oxidize over time and become brittle.
Attach the belt loop
If you have a knife with a guard, you may want to attach a belt loop to the sheath. A belt loop can make it easier to carry the knife on your person, and it also helps keep the blade from slipping out of the sheath when you walk or sit down.
To attach the belt loop to your sheath, begin by marking where you want to place it on the leather strap. Then roughen up the area.
Next, stitch the belt loop to the sheath using a needle and thread. You can use a straight stitch line to make it easier to stitch the belt loop to the sheath.
Apply a coat of neatsfoot oil on the outside
Neatsfoot oil is an all-natural oil that comes from the shin bones and feet of cattle. It’s used to condition and soften leather and protect it from rust and moisture.
If you want to use neatsfoot oil on your sheath, apply it to a microfiber cloth and rub a small amount onto a patch of the leather first. This will help you get a good idea of how it will look and how it’ll work on the leather before applying it to the entire sheath.
If you’re using neatsfoot oil, be sure to read the label carefully. Some brands of neatsfoot oil contain petroleum, which can dry out the leather and break down the glue bond between it and the sheath.