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Working on my first folded sheath.  Getting ready to sew it.  I need to "moisture fit" the knife to the sheath.  Is that step done before putting a finish on the sheath, or after?

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Up to you whether to do it before or after dying the leather, but definitely before the final finish.  For pretty much all leather work with veg-tan it needs to be slightly moist during all steps.  I usually cut out the pattern, dampen, then do the rest, adding water if and where needed.  If you can't finish the job in one session, put it in a ziplock bag to stay moist.  If you're in a hurry you can wet-mold with acetone, but that tends to stiffen the leather and of course you can't glue it until the acetone is totally evaporated.

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As an option, check out Garry Keowns hot waxing technique.  He's posted a couple of videos on here somewhere.  It gives you an opportunity to fit the sheath at the same time you waterproof it.  I've done it a half dozen times or so and dont see any reason to try anything different. 

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Thanks, Alan, just what I needed to know.

 

Appreciate the heads-up, Alex.  I keep that video in a file on my desktop.  So I'm very familiar with his Paraffin soaking treatment.  Plan on using it for some of my sheaths, but this one is just a sheath to protect the blade for a knife that will only leave the display case to be shown to someone.  Don't think a waxy sheath quite fits that need.  I think it's a perfect treatment for a sheath that will be used out in the weather..............but this one won't be.

Edited by Chris Christenberry
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Okay, got the sheath stitched and the knife is form fitting right now.  (is that a verb??)  Anyway, my next question is how long to do leave the knife in the sheath as it dries?

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Indeed I did, Alan.  Thanks.  Kind of thought it best to leave the knife in the sheath until it was dry, but one video I found said to dry it without the knife in it.  Didn't make sense to me.

 

Oh, when fitting the knife, I kind of washed out some of the stamp impressions.  Kind of hard to re-stamp them now, but in the future, is there a trick to keep from doing that? 

 

Onward and upward.

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5 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

I kind of washed out some of the stamp impressions.  Kind of hard to re-stamp them now, but in the future, is there a trick to keep from doing that? 

Stamping is best done when the surface is dry, and the core is still moist. Don't be afraid to stamp deeply. You want a deep impression to hold the form when any moisture is added (dye, wax, oil, etc.). However, the stamps that go around the bend are going to fade a little no matter what.

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My stamping was deep.  Just lost a good part of it that went over the handle of the knife.  I'll be more careful next time.

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8 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

is there a trick to keep from doing that? 

What I've done is pre-form the bend and do the stamping around the bend using a dowel or something inside as a bick.

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17 hours ago, Chris Christenberry said:

My stamping was deep.  Just lost a good part of it that went over the handle of the knife.  I'll be more careful next time.

It may seem deep, but might not be. Its a common mistake to not allow the water enough time to soak in. Make sure you dampen the material well, the let it sit for about 5 to ten minutes. The surface will seem almost dry, but the core will be good and damp. Then do your stamping.

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Now that's an interesting trick, BillyO.  I'll keep it in mind.

 

Which is what I think I did...........but I've been known to screw things up before. :D

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