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Thread: Tutorial for a Scandi-sheath

  1. #1
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    Default Tutorial for a Scandi-sheath

    My first try in a sort of tutorial. If you find that some bits are missing or ill explained just let me know. I will then try to do better

    This design is a very basic scandi-styled sheath, relatively easy to work with, and very easily improved/modded or variated to any desire.

    First off: materials choice!
    I generally allways use halftanned leather, as this, with its untanned core suits my needs the best.
    You can use any material you would like to use, this "tutorial" is based upon halftanned leather though.

    Tools of the trade


    A sheath is supposed to fit 100% to the knife. This means you will have to measure and draw to begin with.
    Start of with a folded piece of paper and make a small dot where the tip begins, and where you wish the sheath to stop. (Make it a little longer than you want. 2-3 mm or so)
    Establish 5-8 places where you will make your measurements. A soft pencil will do on paper aswell as on the knife so you won't forget where to measure. (Generally everywhere where the knife has sudden changes.)


    For measuring use a simple piece of the leather you are going to use. This way you are sure that the measurements are correct.
    The measurement you have taken will need to be halfed, and transferred from the fold of the paper inwards.


    After transfering all measurements, join them up with a soft touch.
    You will need a bit extra for the stitches, so after joining the first dots up, make a new line following the first with approx 2-3 mm space on the handlepart and 5 mm on the blade part. It should look somewhat like this.

    (If you wish to make a more samistyled tip to the sheath, simply make the tip long on the drawing. It will then bow more or less correctly when finished. (will be seen on the leather, because i did do so in the end))


    Transfer the mock-up to the leather


    Cut out the leather, with more angle to your knife, then what generally would be considered "normal"

    If its too hard to cut, put it in cold water for 20-30 minutes or so. But remember: wet leather is very easily damaged!!

    There you go. Angle all way around


    By now the leather must be wet. Give it 20-30 minutes or so in cold water, and be gentle with the smooth side from now on. It won't take any damage or imprints very well from now on.
    Mark out needleholes with a markingwheel or whatever you have, but be accurate. I would keep a distance of 2-3 mm to the edge.
    Then take your awl, and start making holes in an angle. Remember this is halftanned. We want to go under the untanned part, but still stay within the angled surface.


    Shave down the blade-part of the leather. This could be done before making holes, but i am used to doing it afterwards. Habits don't die easily.
    How much to be shaved off? Dont get it paperthin, but do not think that you can fold a piece of leather more than 1½-2 mm thick so that it looks good either. Leave more material at the handle end, and make the tip of the sheath thinner than the rest ( i generally do n shave the handle part of the sheath). Just do not shave the untanned core away, as this is the "backbone" of this sheathtype.


    Now for the stitching. I always use a saddlestitch. Meaning that you sew with 2 needles, and that you "cross" the thread, thus making a singleknot, in every hole.


    This is the "cross". Make sure you get the knot tied the same way around every time. Otherwise it will be noticable afterwards.


    As soon as you have done the entire sheath, you will have to lock the stitching. Easy: Just go backwards a few holes eg. 3-4


    Its stitched and hopefully still wet. If not, give it a few minutes in water again.

    EDIT: Missing pics are now here accompanied by appropriate text.
    Now is the time to mark out how the rim should look like with a blunt edged tool or a pencil.

    Then you will wan’t to trim/shave the leather down in an angle of approx 45degrees (the surface made would then normally reach a full centimetre down inside the sheath), cutting from the inside and out. Do not make cuts into the coarse side of the leather, other than the plain smooth surface you leave from shaving it down, as this will make the leather somewhat fragile with a tendency to rip.

    Try to get the rim as thin as possible, but leave as much of the untanned core to most of the shaved area, as this will stiffen it out when dry.



    Dangler/beltloop

    You need to make a few holes for the beltloop/dangler in the sheath. 6 to be excact.
    Placed on either side of the stitching. The holes are placed next to stitch number 4, 7 and 9, and are made big enough for the legs of the beltloop go through, but not too big. A “snug” fit is recommended. (this pic is borrowed)



    The beltloop is done to fit into the holes in the sheath, and reaching deep down inside the sheath. Shave the legs of the loop down to a reasonable level, and cut the legs to form “needles” on the tips for ease of pushing them through the holes.

    (”blueprint” of the shape of a beltloop, see the drawing at the end of this tutorial)

    Fit the dangler/beltloop onto the sheath.
    A pair of flat pliers might be needed to pull the legs of the beltloop tight. It must be fed through the upper hole, out of the second hole, and into the third and last hole. If done correctly, nothing will loosen, and it will help keeping the knife in place aswell.


    It should end up look something like this.



    It is now you can start pushing the hide around on the sheath, and with a bit of endurance and muscle, you’d be surprised how far you can move it.
    Wrap the knife in vitawrap or anything that will keep the acids of the leather from the knife, and stick the knife into the sheath before you start tooling.
    Pay extra attention to the folded rim, and the part right above the bolster or the thickest part of the handle, as this will require a bit of work to get right. If its done right, the knife should "klick" into the dry sheath. this "klick" is what we use to measure good craftsmanship on. If its not there, its probably poor work.


    Now all done, you only need to treat the leather with some high quality leatherwax, leathersoap or even varnish (although the halftanned leather does go very stiff, varnish will make it even stiffer)
    Perhaps you have a favourite leathertreatment, if so, go for it, try it out.


    Finished result of my resheathing, wich took me all in all about 2½ hours of little intensive work





    All I need now is for the leatherwax with colour in it to soak through, so I can polish it up to a medium glanze.

    Blueprint for the leatherwork for a standard knife and a standard sheath of this type. Just for showing beltloop, do not think this is the knife in this tutorial


    That’s it. I hope I have not forgotten anything important, feel free to use this tutorial as you see fit, and if I have forgotten anything, please do fill the odds and ends out for me, or tell me about them so I can do it myself.

    Happy working
    Last edited by DKW; 09-02-2009 at 20:39.

  2. #2

  3. #3

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    Just a small tip for anyone going to try this and don't have a space wheel, use a small fork (Just don't tell the wife, put it back when you have finnished) it will give you even spaced marks to make the holes for stitching, excellent tutorial too.

    D
    "Force has no place where there is need of skill" (Herodotus)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damascus View Post
    Just a small tip for anyone going to try this and don't have a space wheel, use a small fork (Just don't tell the wife, put it back when you have finnished) it will give you even spaced marks to make the holes for stitching, excellent tutorial too.

    D
    Indeed a good idea. goes for forkidea as for the warning about the old lady.


    Glad you like the tutorial. I do not take in any complaints about bad english though.

  5. #5

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    VERY GOOD
    Topknot.
    He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
    He who works with his hands ,head and his heart is an artist.

  6. #6
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    DKW,

    this is how I will be making my sheath!

    Thankyou.
    AH..... The Great Outdoors......Its for everyone you know, even those who want to stay indoors and look at it through the window.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney View Post
    DKW,

    this is how I will be making my sheath!

    Thankyou.
    You're very welcome Barney. It was fun making this, and very educational for me.

    So i take it you like the overall appearance of the design?
    And that the tutorial generally is simple and easy to use? (as this was what i intended)

    I can't wait to see the results, i bet it is going to suit the knife very well, and be a masterpiece coming from your hands. Get working

  8. #8
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    The design is very nice, a lot of attention to the detail which was new to me, the angle of the cutting, the skiving of the leather and then the rolled top edge!! Beautiful.

    I like the knife as well, very good shape to it. A PERFECT MATCH.
    AH..... The Great Outdoors......Its for everyone you know, even those who want to stay indoors and look at it through the window.

  9. #9
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    Good Tutorial

    I use haltanned leather as it works best for thsi kind of sheath

    Very similiar way to one I have used in the past

    I now shave the top of the sheath to help it blend into the handle

    I rub the sheath all over with a wooden and aplastic tool to get it to shine

    I dye the leather with a leather and apply a waterproof finish the sheath already shines

    I place the stitching at the side and use a broad belt loop d ring dangler

    I also mould the front of the sheath using modelling clay on the blade to get it raised.
    Last edited by brancho; 30-10-2008 at 23:34.
    Alf

    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

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  10. #10
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    Many ways to do things.

    I dont stick things in the sheath to raise the sheath though.
    I prefer to move the upperleather when wet. Gives the same results, but won't leave any gaps between the knife and sheath.

    The top of the sheath is shaved in order to make the rolled over top to be flat. On this one i have pushed the upperleather up to make the bulge you see. (It was moved all the way from the bladepart and to the top, and thats a good 5 centimeters worth)

    All this "modelling" of the sheath will automatically make the leather shine, on this particular sheath i have chosen to treat the leather afterwards with a silkmatte leathersoap straight after dyeing, applied with a brush, to make the colouring go "wavey" as seen on the handle of the knife. Somewhat succesfull. Might need an appliance more though.
    Afterwards i will polish it up to make the colouring more contrastfull.

    Just to explain on some of the thoughts you mentioned Brancho.

    Thank you for your input, they absolutely do fill the gaps of this tutorial a bit further.


    Glad you all like the tutorial sofar. Then it wasn't a total disaster afterall.
    Last edited by DKW; 30-10-2008 at 23:50.

  11. #11
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    Wonderful tutorial! Thanks for taking the time to post it!
    Hoodoo

    . . . deliverance will not come from the rushing, noisy centres of civilization. It will come from the lonely places. - Fridtjof Nansen

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DKW View Post
    Glad you all like the tutorial sofar. Then it wasn't a total disaster afterall.
    Far from a disater its great.

    I like the rolled top to the sheath especially and I will try it sometime.
    Last edited by brancho; 02-11-2008 at 12:39.
    Alf

    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

    Scoutmaster on BB Knives by me
    Scout out www.escouts.org.uk

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by brancho View Post
    I like the rolled top to the sheath especially and I will try it sometime.
    Does take some fiddling and trial 'n' error to get that one right. Depending on the leather and how deep you want it rolled in, you might wan't to avoid shaving the inside too thin and too far down.

    On this specific sheath i have the rim folded somewhat a centimeter down into the sheath. The bulge is almost a full centimeter or so.

    I'll try and see if i can find a pic showing how to trim the rim prior to rolling it into the sheath. (As i forgot to take pics of it myself )

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DKW View Post
    I'll try and see if i can find a pic showing how to trim the rim prior to rolling it into the sheath. (As i forgot to take pics of it myself )
    DKW
    That would be great I am interested in doing different styles
    Alf

    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

    Scoutmaster on BB Knives by me
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    whats the plane called? where can i get one?
    Sent from my imperial66 typewriter using carrier pigeon.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishfish View Post
    whats the plane called? where can i get one?
    I am not sure i understand what you mean

    Edit: Oh. Just had the lights go on here. Its a simple leatherplane. Don't know any UK based suppliers, but you can get it from here: http://hanghoi.dk/product.asp?product=4051

    *Tutorial has been edited folks. The missing pic is now integrated thus giving a better explanation
    Last edited by DKW; 02-11-2008 at 12:20.

  17. #17

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    Thanks DKW, I am making a Scandi at the moment so the tutroial is very much timely

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishfish View Post
    whats the plane called? where can i get one?
    Fis
    I use a block plane bought from wilkinsons for 3 touch the blade up and its great although one like DKW's will be better
    Last edited by brancho; 02-11-2008 at 15:44.
    Alf

    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

    Scoutmaster on BB Knives by me
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  19. #19

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    Hey DKW

    Great tutorial, am a complete novice with regards to leather working. Maybe after a few attempts I might get it right.

    Any advice on leather? I know you mention Half-Tanned. Having looking on le Prevo's website it seemed to have a slightly confusing array of choices and not a mention of Half-tanned. Also any thoughts on thickness?

    thanks

    (First Post... Joyous.)

  20. #20
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    Halftanned leather is not available in the UK as far as I know.

    I use it for my Scandi style sheaths as it moulds well and stiffens up nicely. The leather is only tanned part way through on each side.
    You can get Halftanned leather from Dennis at Brisa.fi and Kniv Per at the Goodstuffshop.dk

    welcome to BCUK Saves on fuel
    Last edited by brancho; 05-02-2009 at 07:26.
    Alf

    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

    Scoutmaster on BB Knives by me
    Scout out www.escouts.org.uk

  21. #21

    Thumbs up

    You inspire me to get up and do something!
    Thank you so very much for sharing.

    http://www.my-rainforest-adventures.com/

  22. #22
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    I see Brancho allready answered Saves on Fuel's question.

    Still a bit puzzled why half-tanned leather is so hard to get at in the UK tho.

    As for thickness...I would suggest using 2 mm or 2,5 mm. The one in the tutorial was 2 mm.
    It is a bit harder to work with, but does give a nice and rocksolid sheath when dry.

  23. #23
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    DKW I too like to use 2 to 2.5 mm
    Here is one my latest sheaths



    and the back




    Hope you dont mind me posting it here
    Alf

    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

    Scoutmaster on BB Knives by me
    Scout out www.escouts.org.uk

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by brancho View Post
    Hope you dont mind me posting it here
    Not at all
    Any entry that adds to this tutorial is, and should be, more than welcome

    Like that the stitch is "tilted" to give room for a fullwidth beltloop/dangler.
    Something i haven't done before, might try it out on the next one just to see what i think about it.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DKW View Post
    Like that the stitch is "tilted" to give room for a fullwidth beltloop/dangler.
    Something i haven't done before, might try it out on the next one just to see what i think about it.
    I wil put some pictures up soon on how its done as I will be making a shreath in a week or so.
    Alf

    He who laughs last, thinks slowest

    Scoutmaster on BB Knives by me
    Scout out www.escouts.org.uk

  26. #26

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    Good info Will help a lot of people
    Deep in the hart of Texas. Where Men are Men
    and the Women are glad of it

  27. #27

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    Hey thanks to DKW and Brancho for answering my question quicker then I could check.

    Time to source some materials and tools

    Thanks

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saves On Fuel View Post
    Hey thanks to DKW and Brancho for answering my question quicker then I could check.

    Time to source some materials and tools

    Thanks
    You wont need to source many tools.
    The plane is easily replaced by the knife you are making the sheath for in the first place. Just sharpen it enough, and learn to use it as such.
    To shape the leather, all you need is a smoothedged teespoon, and then just play around with the different parts of the spoon to find out how its best used. Or a piece of antler, a ballpen (empty of course) etc etc.

    As said earlier, a spacerwheel is easily replaced with a fork or the like.

    The holemakinggadget, dunno the english word, is replaced by a drillbit. Simply drill the holes by hand.

    All you really need to source, if you haven't allready, is some good leather-needles, with a cutting edge (triangular shape to the tip). The rest should be available in home allready.

    Materials are the key issue here. Halfanned leather, and waxed thread. hen you are good to go

    Have fun

  29. #29
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    That's a great tutorial.

  30. #30

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    Great tutorial, thanks

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