Making a Wooden Knife Sheath




This is a step by step instructions of how I make wooden sheaths for the knives I make.

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Step 1:

Step 1: Gather the material needed.  Here I have three pieces of wood, two reddish pieces for the sides and the lighter piece for the center.  I planned the three pieces just a hair thicker than the knife blade on my thickness planner.


I do not know the types of wood as it is pieces I salvaged from wooden pallets we received at work.

Step 2:

Step 2: Lay the knife blade on the center piece and trace around the blade to get the shape. Make the appropriate changes to the lines to ensure that your knife can slide in and out of the sheath.

Note: I cut a slight angle on the board to accommodate the slope on my handle.

Step 3:

Step 3: Mark a second line about 1/4" larger than the shape/size of the blade ( this will be the outside diameter of your sheath).

Step 4:

Step 4: Cut out on the inside lines you drew on the center piece. I use my "dremel" and cleaned it up with a utility knife and some sand paper.

Step 5:

Step 5:  Using a good wood glue and lots of clamps (no you cannot use to many clamps), line up and glue the center piece to one of your out side pieces.

Step 6:

Step 6: Once your glue has set, it is a good time to test to see if your knife is going to slide in and out of your sheath.  If you do not make any adjustments now, it will be too late, later on.

 You can see my secret for keeping the knife in the sheath.  I use a forstner bit, and epoxy to set one or two small thin earth magnets in one side of my sheaths.

Step 7:

Step 7: Trim the two glued piece to the second set of lines you drew on the centre piece.  I use my scroll saw and 1X32 inch belt sander for this step.

Step 8:

Step 8: Again using good wood glue and lots of clamps, line up the second side of the sheath and glue it to the other two pieces.

Step 9:

Step 9: Once glue has set trim the second side to match the other two and finish shaping and sanding your sheath to the desired shape and smoothness.

 I sand to a 400 grit, but a 220 grit would be sufficient.


Step 10:

Step 10:  Seal your sheath with at least three coats of varnish, sanding between each coat.

I applied one coat of vanish, and then painted my design* on the sheath followed with three more coats of varnish

*My son commissioned this knife and wanted one that represented an arrow.  The design on the sheath suppose to represent a feather in the totem style of painting. The knife is made from 3/16" welding stock all steel including the handle.  The blade length is 8", with an overall length of 15".  Needless to say the knife is fairly hefty.


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17 Discussions


10 months ago

Very nice, i like the lookof the contrasting center piece. I plan to make one for a bolo machete, i was NOT planning on useing a third piece centered but you may have convinced me of its necessity. I also plan to use neodymium magnets, but ima buy a matched pair of countersunk rings woth something like 24 lbs of magnetic pull and screw mount them either side of the tip of the blade to wnsure retention.


4 years ago on Introduction

Really cool idea. I'm making one right now to accompany a knife I made for a (late) Christmas present. The only part I'm unclear on is how you managed to keep the wood glue from squeezing out into the sheath in step 8.

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I use a good quality wood glue, it has a working time of about 25 minutes. Once I place the pieces together I have time to separate them a clean off any squeeze out on the inside of the sheath.


6 years ago on Introduction

I made a sheath once myself, by ripping a piece of poplar in half along its edge, hollowing out the center some, gluing it together, and whittling the rest down to size.

2 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

I have never tried hollowing out for a sheath, as I always was shy of not geating the thickness on both sides of the blade equal


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

For me that wasn't much of a problem, actually, because mostly I adjusted the wall thicknesses by using a plane on the outer surface. The advantage to hollowing out two halves though is mostly that you can get a tighter fit, because the interior can be contoured to better match the blade's cross section. You could also try using an overhead router or shaper to do most of the hollowing, and then just use a chisel or rasp to smooth out the interior block corners.


6 years ago on Introduction

Next Christmas I get you more quick grip clamps, I still see wood. Amazing work as always.

Awesome!! i never would have thought of using magnets to hold the blade in. next time i find some thin wood like that I'm gonna try this.

1 reply