Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mora Clipper Sheath, done. (day 5)

I never have liked the plastic sheath that came with my Mora Clipper knife.  I mean it works pretty good, but it always felt cheap.  Of course the entire knife was probably in the $20 range, so having a sheath of any type is a good thing I think.  I've been wanting to try my hand at sheath making for quite some time, and finally got up the courage to give it a try.  Let me say though, that this is the first sheath that I have ever made.  I had no idea what I was getting into.

It is far from perfect.  The stitching was much harder than I expected, I broke a few needles, and it isn't very neat.  I found that punching the holes for your stitching runs is by far the hardest part of the entire process.  Everything else is fine as long as you take your time.  I used 8/9 ounce vegetable tanned leather.  It felt thick to me when working with it, but in the finished product I am happy for the extra thickness.  I designed the sheath using the knife as a template, first making a paper pattern then one from card stock.  It pays to place the pattern on the actual knife, folding it around and visualizing what it would be like cut out of leather.  I made my first template too small and only really figured it out after I had cut it out of leather. 

The sheath has a welt to protect the stitching from the knife blade and all stitching runs are grooved to prevent wear and tear.  I sanded and burnished the edge of the sheath to give it a nice looking edge as well as to protect it.

I read somewhere that there is only so much that you can learn by watching videos and by reading.  To truly understand how things work you have to roll up your sleeves and give it a try.  I have learned so much from making this simple sheath.  I made the welt too thick.  The top of the sheath is too wide, I could have made it narrower and still left plenty of room for the welt.  Stitching holes are a pain to get straight and I need to figure out a better way to do it for the next sheath I make.

I've already got plans swirling around in my head for my next sheath.  I hope that I can use the things I have learned in making this one to speed up the process, improve my quality, and become much more efficient.  I think I probably have 10-15 hours of work in this sheath, probably that much or more of thinking and worrying about it.

Two days left.  It has been a good run so far.  I'm on the home stretch, but I still have more to do.  See you tomorrow for the next update.  Until then spend some time thinking about things that you want to try.  What keeps you from doing it?  Happy carving everyone.

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