Handmade knifes #2: Knife sheath – Go ahead… for a skinner knife.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 01-03-2021 11:32 PM 739 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Japfin, knife no 59 - Japan meets Finland Part 2 of Handmade knifes series no next part

Knife sheath – Go ahead…
for a skinner knife.

Here another knife sheath, this time a different type, that can be carried on the back or traditionally on the hip.

The blade was bought from Texas Knife, back in 2009, where I also made the Micarta handle for it. Since then, it was laying in a drawer and each time I looked at it, I could not figure out what kind of sheath would suit it, so I just threw it back in.

Then a friend of mine, gave me an old German Bowie type knife (1944) and when I decided to give that a Puma Bowie type sheath, I suddenly had an idea for this Go ahead design, from there it was just to make it..

This is what we will be making.
The Go ahead in my belt, leg strap tied and ready to go into nature.

But we have to start here in 2009, with a blade I bought and got shipped from US, to Denmark.
The blade is called Modern Skinner and yes it has a modern touch to it, probably why I could not really figure out what leather sheath it should have…

When I got the blade, I realized it needed a handle of something that would fit this modern look, but I wanted a way to make it look more warm and friendly, so Micarta was the choice, as this has both the warmth of the fabric, yet the mirror blank precission.
Skales mounted with epoxy and screws, then rough cut.

One side roughly shaped.

This should give a firm grip and some curves to soften the cold metal.

Getting there.

Finally sanding 80-1200 grid and polish.

This was the last photo I took back in 2009, before putting it aside.

Back to the future.
Now few weeks back in my workshop, rolling out some nice leather.

I also worked on a sheath for an old 1944 knife and used a big Bowie knife I made years back, for inspiration, as I wanted a masculine feel and look to it.

I always make templates in paper, trying ways, ideas and if the ideas work in practice.

On top a Puma Bowie type sheath, with a touch of MaFe.
Under my Go ahead design, inspired by a mix of Puma, traditional Bowie and made as straight and simple as possible.

Time for something else…
Life is sweet.

Took a decision, that the sheath will get straps, so it can be worn horizontally in the belt, like this you can wear it under a sweater or even your formal jacket, if you need to bring a knife, but don’t want to scare people off.
Good use of strap cutter.

All the templates are roughly cut out from the leather.

Final cuts, rounding sharp corners for strength.

One at the time and also inside spacers are cut from scraps.

Testing closure idea on scrap, to see how much I need to thin the leather strap.

Holes made with a punch.

Bought a whole set of potential holes, this is quite handy, but most of all you avoid sharp edges, where the leather could break or tear.

Contact cement, to glue it all up.

While working leather I made a couple of extra sheaths, for chisels or carving tools.

Testing with the knifes in.

Clearing the table before leaving the shop that night, like this you become happy, when you get back.
The long straps are some key rings I worked on also.

Back in the shop.

Marking the stitching curve onto the leather.

Like so.

Rabbet for stitching cut.

Drilling holes for the stitching.
Put on some good music, light the pipe and get going.

Working the backside also.

Straps for horizontal belt carry and closure.
Thinned and holes made.
This is one of the things a leather splitter is good for.

All parts made.

To match the modern look, I choose to dye it black, so you get the cold color, but the warm material.

Cut a leg strap and dyed it also.

What a mess…

Let’s call it a day.

Back in my apartment that evening…

Stitching and riding a pony.

Next day the gun buttons for the closures could go in and the parts put together.

Finally the knifes could move into their new homes.
For me, they look right at home both of them, so I am pleased.

Right where you want it.

Same, same, but really different.

Go ahead, make my day.

Tutorial on how to make a traditional wet shaped Scandinavian sheath:

Hope it can be to some inspiration, as long as it’s peaceful.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

7 comments so far

View lew's profile


13317 posts in 4772 days

#1 posted 01-03-2021 11:51 PM

Beautiful leather work! I had to look up what Micarta was. Seems to be an excellent material for knife scales.

Happy New Year, my Friend!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

4591 posts in 2294 days

#2 posted 01-04-2021 12:26 AM

Nice. I read that they wet form knife sheaths, but I see you did not do this. I am not keen on wet forming for it would mean getting moisture in where i would not want it. I guess you need to thoroughly dry out the sheath afterwards.

I do have a question. What diameter drill bit do you use? I think I am using one too small. I spend a lot of time cleaning off the flutes from leather fibers. Maybe a straight flute bit would be better.

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6908 posts in 1599 days

#3 posted 01-04-2021 01:30 AM

Looks like handy sheaths, Mads. Now you need a Crocodile Dundee “That’s not a knife!” sheath. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View mafe's profile


12951 posts in 4106 days

#4 posted 01-04-2021 12:03 PM

Lew, thank you with one one of big smiles on my lips, you are always so kind. Micarta is quite cool, I like the paper version also. Happy new year my dear friend.

Combo, I do all kinds of knife sheaths, a lot of them are wet formed, you can read a tutorial here: don’t worry about the knifes getting wet, you will protect them while working wet. Yes you dry it out completely after.

Like this. The big advantage is that you can make the shape follow your handle and so you can make it fit so tight, that the sheth holds the knife in place and you don’t need a closing mechanism, when doing a good job, the knife should make a click like sound, when it snaps in, I love that.
I will check the drill diameter, when back in the shop if you need it, it is so tight as possible, first thread goes through easy, next one needs some force, that’s what I’m going for. I don’t have any problems with the leather staying in the drill bit… perhaps try different type / brand…

You can also make decorative elements on the sheath, when wet forming, here I tried to give it a wave that matched the blade.

Dave, big laugh dear David, yes I might have to see if there are any crocodile in the neighbour hood… the zoo is quite close… Thank you.

Best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View doubleDD's profile


10170 posts in 3060 days

#5 posted 01-04-2021 02:23 PM

While my leather skills are very primitive , learning and watching are very interesting. Nice job Mads. I have two knives that could use a sheath. I’m gonna look into that Micarta too for my next handle.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25947 posts in 4122 days

#6 posted 01-04-2021 04:19 PM

Nice work, Mads…you are the universal craftsman!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Brit's profile


8305 posts in 3859 days

#7 posted 01-07-2021 06:06 PM

Beautiful job Mads as always.

BTW, I really like this photo.

If anyone ever asks me what you do, I’ll just show them that and say, ”Here you can see just a few of his talents.” LOL.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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