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Make a Rawhide Knife Sheath – Part 1

January 6, 2012

I have a nice little handmade knife that I bought at Mansker’s Station a couple of years ago. I bought it for a neck knife, but it came without a sheath, so I decided to use some chew-bone rawhide to make a sheath for it. This is how I made the sheath, and it is the way that you can make one if you ever have the need.

First Take a couple of pieces of wet chew-bone rawhide (see the previous post for more on this) and nail them out on a board to dry. Pictured below: Dried chew-bone rawhide and knife.

When the rawhide is dry, lay your knife down on it and draw a line that is about a half inch out from the blade of the knife. If you want the handle to go part way down into the sheath, draw the lines on up about an inch and a half above where the blade begins. Pictured below: Rawhide with line drawn around blade.

Now take some heavy duty scissors and cut out what will become the back of the sheath. Pictured below: Sheath back cut out.

When you have the back cut out, lay it down on your other piece of rawhide and trace around it to outline what will become the front of the sheath. Don’t make the front come up as high as the back so that you will have a place to attach the neck cord to you finished sheath. Pictured below: Using back of sheath as a pattern to trace out sheath front.

Now cut out the front of the sheath. Pictured below: Front and back of sheath cut out.

Next you are going to make a welt to sew in between the front and back of the sheath. The welt serves to keep the knife blade from cutting through the stitches that hold the sheath together. You can make the welt flush with the outside of the sheath; or you can, as I have here, cut the welt so that it sticks out from the edge of the sheath. If you do this you can come back after the sheath is sewn together and cut the exposed part of the welt into fringe. You want your welt to be about a quarter inch inside of the sheath, so use your pencil to draw a guide line before you cut the welt. Pictured below: Lines draw for welt. The pencil is pointing to the line that will be flush with the sheath. Leather inside of the line will be the welt. Leather outside the line will be fringe.

When the welt is cut out, you can use some glue and glue the welt in between the front and the back of the sheath. Set a couple of books on top of the sheath to keep everything in good contact and let it dry over night. Pictured below: top, Welt cut out; middle, Applying glue to welt; bottom, Front of sheath, welt, and back of sheath glued together.

In the next post we will sew the sheath together, form fit it to the knife, and finish it out.

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