Belt Knife Sheath

Posted in Projects on November 16th, 2008 by The Cyberwolfe

My friend Illyana found a nice little belt knife at the last event we went to, but the sheath was just atrocious – looks like it was one they had just lying around and it fit well enough, so they packaged it. I couldn’t stand to see the knife in that ugly thing, and Illyana had a birthday coming up, so for the second time now she gets a new scabbard.

Now most of you should be familiar with the sheaths sold today – they only encase the blade of the knife, and then have a snap-strap to secure it in place. While this is a useful configuration, the more period method is the pouch sheath, which leaves only the last inch or so of the handle exposed. This is actually a more secure arrangement than the snap method, since you won’t ever accidentally unsnap it and risk the knife falling out on your foot, and with proper design the sheath will hold the knife securely through much bumping and jumping around.

To give full credit, I stole the design from Bruce Evans and the tutorial you will find at that link. I left the points sharper on mine than he did, but I followed his tutorial with the exception of using a drill bit instead of a nail to punch the holes for sewing, and I used a heavy thread instead of sinew. The sinew would have been more period, but I didn’t have any on hand.

I skipped the wax bath, mainly because I don’t really like the texture of wax-treated leather. Illyana is mildly into leatherwork herself, so she knows how to care for it properly. I also decided to forego any carving on this one, since I was going to dye it black, and the decoration gets lost in a black dye unless you paint it afterward. Knife sheaths get bumped around a lot so that paint would get abused pretty badly.

Here it is basically complete and waiting for the oil to dry before I dye it (with the original sheath for comparison.)

Scalloped Sheath

And with the knife sheathed:

Knife sheathed

Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a pic after I dyed it, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.