Introduction: Buffalo Leather Sheath for a Carving Knife

About: I am an industrial designer and a maker. I like to make prototypes, unique pieces, equipment and other stuff. In this channel I will show you what I do, and in particular the making of design pieces, with var…

This time I make a buffalo leather sheath for a carving knife that I made. The knife is made of padauk wood and buffalo horn, so I decided to go with the buffalo leather for the sheath. Buffalo leather is very soft but a lot stronger than cow leather. I used only a few very simple tools for this project. You can easily DIY too...

Step 1: Blade Wooden Cap

The first step was to create a wooden cap to protect the knife blade. The sheath is made of soft leather and therefore the blade was not sufficiently protected by the leather itself. I had already created this piece time before the sheath, so I have no photos of the realization. It is simply made of three layers of thin wood glued together.

Step 2: Cutting the Back Leather

I chose a piece of brown leather, not too thick, to make the back of the sheath so that it stays flat. Using a paper template that I had previously drawn, I accurately cut this piece of leather. Using again the shape I then made the cuts for the belt, without removing the material inside them.

Step 3: Cutting the Front Buffalo Leather

The front of the sheath is made of robust buffalo leather. I cut this leather very roughly because it will be cut precisely when the two parts are glued together, following the contour of the back.

Step 4: Insulating the Knife Handle

To protect the knife handle from the glue I used in later work, I've completely covered it with transparent film. In this way, I avoided the wood sticking or ruining.

Step 5: Cutting and Glueing the Leather Edge Protection

To protect the leather in the area where the knife is inserted, I added a small thin skin thimble. This piece also has an aesthetic function as it hides the edge that would otherwise remain visible. The piece was first cut and then glued up.

Step 6: Sewing the Leather Edge Protection

Once the glue dried I sewed this piece by using a thick and colored thread. I first pierced the skin to make it easier to sew. I then used an old stitching awl to help me doing the job.

Step 7: Glueing Pieces

It was then time to glue the pieces together. Using some strong glue I first glued the wooden cap and inserted the knife. I then laid the glue over the whole piece and adhered to the top leather. I used clamps to make the leather adhere firmly to the knife. I then waited for it to dry.

Step 8: Cutting the Excess

Once the glue was dry I cut off the buffalo leather excess with a sharp knife.

Step 9: Sewing the Sheath

It was then time to sew the sheath along its edges. This is certainly the longest part of the whole process. It is also the one that requires more precision. Seams also have an aesthetic function and they must be done with care. I first pierced the leather with the appropriate tool. Then, as I did before, I stitched all over the perimeter of the sheath using the stitching awl.

Step 10: Refining

The last step was to refine the sheath so that it looks finished. In particular, I first cut the belt passers carefully. I then finished all the edges of the leather passing over some paraffin and then burning them with a hot solder.

Step 11: Final Shots

The sheath is now complete. Here are some shots of the final product.
Thanks for checking this Instructable. There is also a video of the realization of this wall clock on my YouTube Channel . You can watch it to have a better idea of all the steps, especially the hand sewing part.

Leather Contest 2017

Second Prize in the
Leather Contest 2017

Hand Tools Only Contest 2017

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2017