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Cobbler's Knife, a Sheath, and a Tutorial

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A couple months ago I posted some pictures of a cooking knife I had made. http://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?showtopic=26162&hl= (I will add some pictures to this as I realized I did not show parts of the knife like the carving on the pommel) Afterwards I sent it to a shoemaker in town who would make a sheath for it. I was planning on getting back a plain leather sheath with no frills but instead he sent back something pretty amazing. Luckily I made a cobbler's knife as a gift to thank him for working on something he wouldn't normally make.






The last one is the cobbler's knife, which he was very pleased to receive, is made from a file. The tang of the file was forged into a loop at the handle so that he can hang it. I start out by grinding a notch in the blade so that the pour will go all around the blade and lock on better.


The wood is carved down so that the pour locks onto it as well so long as it is cut fairly deep you can cut patterns and channels to make windows of wood like on my cooking knife. After that is done it really helps to take a pencil and cover the wood and blade in the carbon. This helps the tin flow very easily without sticking to the knife and preventing further flow.


I then use either clay or a thick paper (held with tape) to wrap around the handle to keep the tin from spilling out during the pour. After this I simply melt some tin down over a stove and pour it through the top while the knife is held vertically with a vice. Once it has mostly solidified I run some water over it to cool it off and then pull the paper or clay off to get this.

DSCF2238.jpeg At this point it is as simple as carving or grinding the excess tin away until it is flush with the handle.


Note: this whole process can also be done with zinc or other metal alloys like pewter that have a low melting temp. I just stick with tin because it isn't dangerous like lead or zinc and also because it will stay very shiny.

Edited by Worth Baker
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Great! I wonder what he did to get that silver look on the sheath. I'd certainly be asking him to make me some more sheaths, though; he does good work.


I tried pouring a pommel once. I used solid solder like in Alan's tutorial.... didn't come out near as good looking as yours!

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Nice, I have cast a few bolsters and I like them, I'll have to try tin next time.

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