Many of the knife steels don't take well to sitting
a damp leather sheath while it dries, so I heavily oil the blade before
starting to sew. To allow room for the knife to slide in and out
sheath after it dries, wrap the knife with one layer of saran wrap and
insert it in the liner.
I use clamps to hold the leather around the liner and knife while
sewing. I remove them as I work my way up the sheath. You
start sewing at the sheath tip. I usually double stitch the tip
if I have thread left over once I reach the top, I will double or
triple stitch the top and start working my way back down the sheath
until I run out of thread.
This is the time to decorate your sheath if you desire. I'm not
very good at it, so I generally go with a very simple design or leave
it plain. I use the side of the awl to put lines around the top
of the sheath. Once you have your design completed, you can
attach the hanger.
Trim the excess leather from the seam you have just sewn. I use a
knife to trim most of the excess off and then use a skiving tool to
trim close (1/8") to the sewn seam. The entire sheath is
then rubbed with a leather rubbing tool (I use a smooth piece of wood)
to smooth out and impart a shine to the leather. I let the sheath
dry so I can remove the knife before I attach the hanger and stain the
To attach the hanger, you punch three sets of holes down the back of
The hanger strap you cut earlier has two holes punched at one end.
The other end is cut in a "V" shape 4" up the hanger strap.
I skive the legs so they are thinnest at the tips. This
just makes threading them through the holes easier. Case the
hanger strap and
thread the legs of the V through the two holes you punched in the
The legs are then threaded through the three holes in the sheath
they finish on the inside. I then rub the hanger with the
rubbing tool, re-insert the knife, and let things dry.
The next step is to stain the sheath. I use Fiebing's leather
stain. It is readily available and comes in a wide variety of
The last step is waterproofing the sheath. I liberally apply
a commercially available leather waterproofing and heat the sheath with
a hair blower to help the waterproofing penetrate. Another method
is to soak the sheath in melted paraffin.