Thursday, February 26, 2015

First Knife Sheath and Tooling

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This is my first knife sheath and my first piece of tooled leather that I ever made!  I made it about four years ago, and I've learned a lot since then.


The design was made to mimic the wolf and trees pattern from the knife itself.


The tooling was done with the super-quick cheating method of wetting the leather (simply spritzing the surface with a little water to dampen it), which is why the tooling is so shallow. My notes from my SCA Leather Tooling Basics class go over more details on how to tool leather, if you're curious.


Here's an example of how much deeper the tooling can get when the leather is properly soaked beforehand.  This is an in-progress photo of the leather coronets I made for the Barony of Cynnabar.



Another way that I have improved since making this knife sheath is in how I fit the leather to the knife.  This first sheath was made to just have stitching that followed the edge of the knife, and then the knife was held in place with the tie around the handle.  Since then, I have learned how to wet-form leather so that it molds exactly to the item it's encasing, such as with the custom knife sheath below.


Wet-forming fits the leather exactly to the shape of the knife.  Both of these other sheaths I made fit so tightly to the knife that they don't need a tie to hold them in - a sharp tug is needed to pull them out, so the knives won't fall out even when the sheaths are held upside down.  I love how much easier it is to remove the knife without a tie in place.



It's fun to see how my skills continue to improve with time and learning!  What skills have you noticed yourself improving in lately? ~Kell

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