In this instructable I am going to show you how to make a hedgehog leatherworks style sheathe. If you are unfamiliar with that style, basically it is a sheathe that sits along the flat of your back on your belt. I have had hundreds of knives and worn countless knife sheathes and I am convinced that this is the most practical design for anyone who does any serious outdoor activities such as mountain climbing , hunting , tracking , survivalism, or camping. You can run with the knife on you and it doesn't flap around. When you bend over it doesn't poke you in the side. And it is quiet if you are tracking a deer or hunting in any way. I just want to add that I have no problem with hedgehog leatherworks. They are a great company and have a wide selection of knives and sheathes and also lots of very informative videos on survivalism so I highly recommend checking them out.
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Step 1: Materials Needed
Sewing awl or sewing needles
Vegetable tanned tooling leather
Durable cutting surface
A pear shader stamp
A beveler stamp
A background stamp
A swivel knife , and or exacto knife
Snaps and snap punch
Step 2: Draw Out You're Design
You can design your leather sheathe however you want. Mine is one that sits along your back so it will have two strap that wrap around the entire sheathe for belt loops. You will cut out three different shapes. The front of the sheathe. The middle layer that the knife will lock into . And the back of the sheathe. The middle layer is important because you cut the exact knife shape out of the inside of it. This creates a Chanel that your knife slides into . Also the blade will slide along a leather slip rather than cut your threads when you Insert it.
Step 3: Trace Your Design and Cut Out
Trace your design onto the leather and cut out your shapes you need.
Step 4: Punch Your Holes for Rivets
You are going to punch your holes for the rivets on all the layers in the same spot. You use a leather hole punch with a rotating wheel for sizes. Also I used a Chanel gouge to make a Chanel all the way around the sheathe to mark my spacing and when I sew the sheathe , recess my threads. To line up your holes to punch just lay one layer over the other and mark your holes with a pin or a pencil through the holes already punched
Step 5: Work on Some Decorative Touches.
You are going to wet the leather with a sponge now which will make it pliable. When it dries it will harden In the shape that you want it to stay. With my design I folded the flap on the right side over my knife handle to form it and attached a retaining strap with rivets. And added a snap. To add a snap you just get a snap kit from either a leather retailer like Tandys. Or you can get one from Home Depot or a franchise like that.
To do the design all you need to do is either draw out one , or trace one onto a piece of paper , then lay the piece of paper over the wet leather , you can tape it on to keep it from moving , I recommend that. Then to over all your lines with a pencil. When you remove the paper the design will be pressed into the leather. You don't have to press too hard. Then take your swivel knife , if you have one. Or an exacto knife and cut out your lines. You use the beveler punch to give the project a three dimensional look around the outside , the backgrounder to make all the space in between darker , and the pear shader to shade spots you want to shade. I am not going to go into great detail about it but there are tons of very informative videos on leather tooling on YouTube which is where I learned.
Step 6: Punch Your Holes for Sewing
To punch your holes you can either use the same rotating belt punch you used for the rivets or you can use what I used here which is a four prong punch for leather . You just like up all your three layers and hammer the punch through.
Step 7: Make Your Handle Straps
Now you want to wet your handles and wrap them around your knife. Cut them to size and add snaps
Step 8: Stain Your Sheathe and Stitch It
You can either stain your sheathe and the thread or do just the sheathe and then add your thread . That is what I did because I wanted a contrast between the sheathe and the light thread. To stitch it you use the seeing awl or two needles and go back and forth. There are lots of YouTube videos on stitching as well. I went back and forth on what color to dye my sheathe but decided on a natural brown because I didn't want it to stand out too much in the bush because this will be my primary bush knife.
Step 9: Add a Clear Coat to Protect It
Either add a clear coat or a saddle soap of some sort to protect your knife sheathe from the elements. It also prevents any dye from running onto your clothes when it originally gets wet which I learned the hard way from previous sheathes. Lol
Also check out my other instructable if you want to see how You can make a knife like that one I made.
Step 10: What the Finished Product Does
This is how the knife sits and is very easy to draw , and doesn't get in the way.
Step 11: Other Projects , Same Principal
These are a few other sheathes I have done. Same principals behind making them. Just slightly different materials , and different designs.
I'm sorry that I didn't have more detailed picture of a few different steps in making a sheathe. I decided to make an instructable after I had already made it and so just gathered what pictures I had from the process.
Hope you enjoyed this instructable and feel free to comment :)