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Robert D.

Second Sheath, not as bad as the first.

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So I jumped in again feet first and spent some time working on leather again. I would say that this one turned out a LOT better then my first. This time I used actual leather dye, and not some colored polishing compound. 

On the outer facing side, I think I did pretty good, only issue is that there is a faint imprinting from the plastic cutting board I used as a clean work area. On the back side however I had a very hard time getting smooth curves on my belt loop area, and grooving the back side for the stitching was a royal pain in the neck.  For my next one, I think I am going to only cut one side to proper dimensions along with the welt. Glue the welt to the finished side, and then soak and fold it and then glue it up totally before doing any grooving or punching so I can make sure I get everything lined up just right.  Might mean a waste of some leather, but I want to do some stacked leather handles in the future anyways, so having cut offs will be a benefit. 

Any suggestions on getting smooth curve cuts in leather? 
 

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Well done!

I use a sander on the edges. It helps smooth everything out. https://leatherworker.net/edging.htm

Check out that link, it's about finishing your edges on leather. Written by one of the best in the industry, Bob Park. 

As far as getting smooth curves... A VERY sharp, thin, knife. If you are struggling to cut the leather, then you won't be able to cut smoothly. The knife has got to be insane sharp.

 

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I took it to a 120g belt to even it up after stitching it up as I cut one side a little wider then the other. I still have to dye the welt and do some minor burnishing to it. 

I think my next project is going to be a kiradashi for leatherworking, my exacto blade crapped out on me and the only thing I had handy to finish the cuts was my Kershaw folder. 

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My precedure it to cut out the overall shape first  then make two grooving cuts down the inside for the fold, glue in the welt and dye all that is needed. Sew on the belt loop and glue the sheath together. You can be reasonably accurate with this leaving very little to sand smooth. I use a worn 60 grit belt. run the edger round then the stitch groover followed by the stitch spacer. Drill the holes and do the sewing. finish dyeing any sanded or missed areas then slick the edges and it is ready for hot waxing 

Edited by Garry Keown

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I use the pattern for the welt to lay out the gluing line for the welt.  Even though it's on what will be the inside of the sheath I  use a red ball point pen just to make it a habit because any dye will cover red ink.  I lay  out the welt using the pattern with have a little excess leather that will extend past the edge of the sheath.  I get the belt loop done and glue the welt down to the line on the one side of the sheath.  When that sets I glue  up the second side of the sheath using the line marked from the welt pattern.  After that dries I use my box cutter to trip the leather of the welt even then sand the edges on the wheel of my grinder using an old course grit belt.  Then I lay out the stitching groove on both sides of the edge, lay out the spacing of the holes with a stitching wheel, then punch my holes with a drapery needle chucked  up in my drill press.  After that it's upstairs to the living room, find something mindless on the TV,  chuck the sheath in my stitching pony, and start stitching.

Doug

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I didnt think of using my drill press to punch the holes, part of my issue I think is that because I was using a hand punch not all of them went straight, as i did the belt loop first, then the outside after fold groove, then glued the welt and wet folded it together then glued and punched the rest of the welt and leg side of the sheath.

 

Doing it in the drill press would ensure straighter punches.

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If you use the drill press to punch the stitches you should also make a jig with a scrap of board with a hole drill just at the edge so that the glued up sheath will lay flat.  Otherwise the sheath will lay at an angle and the holes will punch crooked.  You can also use the same board with a small hole, 1/2" or less, that you can lay your sheath blank on for things like punching the holes for the belt strap.

I do not recommend using a drill bit to drill holes through the leather because if you get a hole off you're stuck with it.  If you use a heavy needle and you get off then you can smooth the hole over with a carving spoon and correct with a punch awl.  Note that I do not drill the hole with the heavy needle rather I  use the drill to push the needle through.

Doug

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Couple of ideas to help you out....on your curved leather edge where you glue the welt strip in...leave it slightly wider so that it sticks out past the sheath about 1/32-1/16 inch.

once the stitching is completed sand the welt strip down flush with the sheath then wet that entire curved edge and use a wood dowel to burnish the edge....in my shop I actually have a chunk of wood dowel attached to a dremel tool for burnishing...The attached picture isn't a knife sheath but the concept is the same and you can see the finished edgeHolster-003.jpg

Edited by JeffM

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