I motioned that I was taking on a few new ventures to keep me from getting bored this winter. Well, this week I started in on a what I’ll call the leather sheath project.
It look pretty straightforward
After watching numerous YouTube videos, studying some of my sheaths and talking with my friend Dave Taylor I decided I CAN DO THIS!! I ordered the bare necessities to get started. A basic Tool Kit.
When they say ‘starter kit’ you can automatically assume it is indeed a ‘starter kit’. In other words, you’ve just scratched the surface of what you’re going to need, want, think you need and just plain KNOW you need to get really good. Sometime, someone should put together a “Completely Finished Kit” that includes ever possible tool any expert could want. If you’ve done any reloading you know what I’m talking about. That “Starter” press kit is a drop in the bucket of what your going to accumulate over the years. Which is another story I’ll share at a later date.
This week I finally have almost everything I need to launch the project. Tools, dye, leather, desire, everything except experience.
After numerous attempts I had a pattern for a really simple axe guard. This was the simplest project I could think of before jumping into sheath making. It’s basically a 4×6″ piece of leather with holes for lacing that can be wrapped around and axe handle. Wrapping it around the handle just below the head it protects the handle from damage if you miss your target.
Before you die laughing, understand I used a piece of undyed, rough out leather. It was ‘wetted’ to see if that would make a tighter fit on the handle. It might look a bit crude, but it worked. Success!! So on to the sheath.
The Sheath begins
I figure my first sheath had best be a really simple design. My choice was a two piece sheath to fit one of the Trestle Pine Buddy’s. Nothing complicated, just two identical pieces of leather sewn together with a belt loop.
To start off, I had the pattern, cut out the leather and proceeded to glue the two halves together prior to sewing. The glue is setting and I realize that I didn’t dye the leather and more importantly, I haven’t sewn the belt loop to the back panel. No problem, the glue isn’t completely dry so catastrophe avoided. I gently pry things apart and no damage.
Okay, the dye is dry so I start sewing the belt loop on. Ahhhh… about 5 stitches in, I realize I’m sewing the belt loop to the inside of the sheath, not the back. DAMN!!!! This looked a whole lot easier than this on YouTube. I pull the stitches and start over sewing it to the correct side.
The sewing is going great when I realize my thread is too short to finish the stitching. At this point I realize it is time to grab a cigar, cup of coffee and head to the garage for a few moments alone. I should mention that I’ve been emailing Dave from time to time and keeping him abreast of my rather flat learning curve. To his credit, he’s been incredibly supportive, encouraging me and reassuring me I’m not the only idiot trying to work with leather.
Sometimes a minor success is looked upon as a major accomplishment for some people. Like breaking both legs and taking that first step after the casts come off. Well my first major accomplishment in this project came this morning. I took all of the stitching out, started over and finally got the belt loop sewn in the right place. My stitching is improving as this belt loop has been stitched three times before it was attached! I still haven’t had the courage to see if a belt will go through.
More to come
You know folks, they say a journey begins with a single step. Right now it feels like this journey has started with about 2 missteps for every single step forward. I’m not giving up, I’ve just begun. It may take a lot of coffee and a box of cigars, but I will not quit. Stay tuned for more updates.