Belt Sheaths for Knives (with Thigh Strap)




About: In Absolute Swagger, my partner and I make adornments for body and life. Meaning we make a lot of stuff ranging from jewelry, leather gear, hats to installations.

I was given the assignment to make belt sheaths with thigh straps for custom knives. The client asked that the items stay in their given spots while remaining assessable for climbing and hiking. The items were formed from found objects (rail ties) that were sent to a blacksmith to shape.

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Step 1: Step 1: Draw It Out.

I prefer to draw things out even though I'm not the most skilled at it... Even a bad drawing can help. It assists me to know what I want to do. I look at the notes from the client and build designs based on what was said.

For the knife sheaths I decided that I wanted a woven fold over for the belt loop so that there could be height/length variation as well as for the width of different belts. I based the "honey spot" on a 1 3/4" belt (standard) with room to handle up to a 4" width belt. I designed a buckled thigh strap as well.

Step 2: Step 2: Trace Some Stuff

I traced each of the blades for an exact fit on card stock for a template. Measured a side section to make one side wider than the other for the flat edge (back of the blade). There is a snap attached loop around the hilt to keep the blade in place.

Step 3: Step 3: Prepping for Awesomesauce

I used a seal on the interior of the sheath where the blade rests. I roughed the edges were I used a leather weld before I riveted everything. I also utilized different thickness of rivets while using the same heads for consistency in the look.

I used the grommets for front and back panels (20 in all for each one)

Step 4: Step 4: the Finish... With Details

I edge coat the sheath and hammer everything last. I use the rivets to hold place while I’m putting everything together. Helps with any last minute design changes.

I added a “peace bond” to the sheaths for two reasons. One, the client wanted the blades to stay in place in a potentially upside-down climbing position… and two, we were going for a “steam-punk-esk” look. So, I met that with old school “city rules” for binding your weapons to prove that you are not here for the quick draw towards violence, as it were.

The Problem that the binding solves is that the blade of the knife is the same as the circumference of the hilt. Which means that the blade can slip through the hilt strap. This design answers that issue. The ties are knotted on the back side of the sheath for an emergency draw.

I utilized info from the forum below.

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    17 Discussions

    The Blacksmith is Michael Kaiser who works at Ironsmith Design. He makes excellent things and it was a pleasure to work with his efforts.


    Reply 3 years ago

    It was a pleasure for me as well, thanks for the shoutout Knox!

    Thank you for your answer. My compiments to you and to Michael! Btw since many people are interested in the making process of that knife, i found a video explaining it. enjoy everyone!


    5 years ago

    Hey man, incredible project here. Any chance on getting the resources on making these gorgeous blades as well? Im swooning.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    No worries. They are as great as they look. Michael Kaiser at Ironsmith Designs is the blacksmith that made them.

    Wow, these look gorgeous. Using the different thicknesses of rivets with the same head and the thigh straps are the little details that raise this project to the next level!

    1 reply