By Jerry Long, February 21, 2011
In this week’s post I show how to make a knife sheath for my favorite Victorinox-Forschner Pare knife.
In Buy Now Thank Me Later – Victorinox-Forschner Knives I told you about my favorite field dressing and butchering knife, the sub-$5 Victorinox-Forschner pare knife. I also noted that while I had one sheath I was relying upon the plastic blade covers for my back up. After processing a couple whitetails last fall and packing/unpacking my back up knife I got sick of the plastic cover so I was determined to make a sheath.
I went through my cra…, errr, treasure in the basement and came up with some suitable leather. This is the same leather I used when making the sling for DIY Wrist Sling for Your Bow. Then I went to work.
Materials and tools:
- Heavy duty leather
- Linen thread or artificial sinew
- Leather dye or wood stain
- Measuring device (a cloth sewing tape is handy)
- French curves
- Awl or leather punch
- Heavy duty needles
- Glue, like Goop
Some custom sheaths from Harvey King Custom Knives and his son Jason that were lying around were used for a general idea on the shape and construction. It was all just conjecture. A cloth tape measure, ruler and some French curves helped to draw and refine the shape on an old cereal box.
The resulting template was transferred to the leather.
Goop glued the belt loop in place. Once it was dry a four-pronged leather punch and an awl were used to punch the holes. Then two heavy duty needles and heavy duty linen thread were used to sew it with a saddle stitch (Google saddle stitch or check out this Saddle Stitch Tutorial. The knot was glued up just in case. Sometimes needle-nose pliers were needed to pull the needles through.
The welt was cut ½ inch wide, slightly angled at the end where the two halves of the sheath would meet at the tip and a small dart was cut out of it on the bottom, inside curve to help it take shape better. The edges didn’t need to line up exactly perfectly as that would be taken care of in a future step. Everything was glued up and then clamped in place.
Once the glue was dry the remaining edge was folded over, glued and clamped. The holes were punched as before and the seam sewed with the same saddle stitch. Again, needle-nose pliers were sometimes needed to pull the needles through. Note that the first stitch at the top of the sheath was doubled – that is I stitched through and over the material twice to reinforce the edge of the opening.
Wouldn’t you know it – one of the linen threads broke on the last double-stitch (same as the top) and it was too short to form a knot. So, it was very well glued in place.
The uneven edges were smoothed up on a bench top sander. That left a little fraying on the outside edges, but sandpaper took the corners off. That same technique was applied to the whole sheath.
Just as with the DIY Wrist Sling there was no leather dye around the house so wood stain was used to darken the leather a little. I’m no fan of stamped leather as it reminds me of the “crafty” 70’s so a little color would be the only decoration.
The finished sheath on top, a Harvey King Knife sheath in the middle and a Jason King sheath on the bottom. It looks like my sheath end is a little “pointy” compared to these trendy examples.
In summary the sheath turned out well and is a vast improvement from the plastic blade guard. I would have liked it to fit the knife a little tighter, but would have to adjust the total width of the sheath in the future to make it smaller and tighter.
happy hunting, dv
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Copyright © Jerry E Long, 2009-2011