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How to Make Tidy, Slick Holes for Sheath Stitching?

Discussion in 'Sheaths & Such' started by The Mighty Ginsu, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Ebbtide

    Ebbtide

    Aug 20, 1999
    For those using fat needles and awl blades in the drill press....
    Doesn't the sheath (let's say 3 layers of 8 oz leather) want to stay on the awl blade?
    I feel like I spend more time wrestling the sheath off the drill press than I do punching the holes.

    1/16" bit, drill running on slowest setting, going right down the center of the chisel marks seems to work for me.
    If I miss the center of the chisel hole the bit can wander and be off line on the back.
    I also cut the stitch groove on the back after the holes are in. It becomes a matter of connect the dots and seems to hide the little wanders better than having them proud of the groove.
    YMMV and all that stuff :D
     
  2. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I use a stitch wheel to mark the spacing for the stitches.
     
  3. Macan

    Macan

    294
    Apr 7, 2014
    I use stitching prongs, and if its thick finish with awl
    [​IMG]
     
  4. fergy

    fergy Gold Member Gold Member

    15
    Jun 17, 2019
    I like this style. Can you show more of it including the knife of course? Very nice lines!
     
  5. ty_higg

    ty_higg KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 16, 2011
    I’ve never had an issue of the needle not wanting to come out. But I do have my press on while I punch the holes and the needle gets run through some beeswax every couple of holes. For the diamond awl I can see it being an issue since you couldn’t turn the press on but for the needle I think having the press on helps it not stick while being removed.
     
    Ebbtide likes this.
  6. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011
    Gorgeous! Dude where ya been?
     
  7. The Mighty Ginsu

    The Mighty Ginsu

    196
    Aug 11, 2016
    A stitching wheel is an interesting solution. I could do the same thing with a punch. I could mark the leather without going through it, and then I could finish with the drill press.

    One of my problems is finding something to punch holes on. If I punch into a cutting board, it leaves marks on the board, and before long, they start marking the leather. I have to punch leather ON TOP OF SCRAP LEATHER on the board. This is a pain. If I didn't punch all the way through, I could make the actual holes with the drill press and forget about damaging the cutting board.

    I think I may be using leather which is unnecessarily thick. I saw people saying they used 8-ounce, so I chose that, but it's hard to work, and I notice my Benchmade 162 came with a sheath made from softer and thinner leather.

    It's surprising how many problems pop up when you start working leather. You do everything people say to do, and then you learn what they don't tell you. For example, I learned that "keen" beveling tools are not really keen unless you sharpen them. I guess I'll get up to speed eventually.

    Thanks for all the help. It will save me aggravation.
     
  8. Horsewright

    Horsewright KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 4, 2011

    7/8 0z is pretty standard sheath making leather. Course it would depend on the knife you are wanting to sheath. I use heavier 8/10 oz on bigger knives or if the sheath is gonna be carved. Most good bevellers are gonna come sharp although I've seen some that wern't. I've never had an Osborne that wasn't sharp and they are easy to re sharpen or touch up. I like their Western Edgers. While I don't handsew, I do fight the same problem of a used cutting board marking up the leather when I punch slots for pancake sheaths or holsters. I have tried all kinds of things and keep coming back to scrap leather, it just works. Why is it a pain? Course I do realize that I do have a lot of scrap leather to choose from that others may not.
     
  9. Hengelo_77

    Hengelo_77 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    I use left over plywood to cut holes on.
    I got a pile of that for almost nothing at the DIW store
     
  10. Macan

    Macan

    294
    Apr 7, 2014
    @Dave , thanx for asking, I was busy moving last year from old to new apartment which is about 20 miles far,and since I had lot of tanks with tropical fish it was agony, not to mention redecorating old apartment so I could sell it. I had to that on my own so it was really hard to do. I hope now that I could make some sheats which is therapy I needed:)
    @fergy here some more pics ,Knife is Ganzo 720B,and I hope that you can see now how its made
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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  11. Macan

    Macan

    294
    Apr 7, 2014
    oops something wrong with pics
     
  12. fergy

    fergy Gold Member Gold Member

    15
    Jun 17, 2019
    Excellent! I'm still trying to understand what layer the leather flap that crosses over the top of the knife is and where it starts? Is the back of the thumb button against the belt or is there a flap under it and over the belt face? Cool design, by the way!
     
  13. ANovinc

    ANovinc Gold Member Gold Member

    407
    Sep 21, 2016
    I like that design--nice !
     
  14. felizalde55

    felizalde55 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    276
    Dec 17, 2008
    I made leather sheaths from 10 years to now. I use Diamond Lacing stitching chisel and a diamond awl. With the chisel I marked the holes till the welt, trying to not completely trespassing with it the whole leather sheath. I finished the holes with the diamond awl searching to put the hole in the groover way.
    Chisel and awl cut the leather but didn't take out leather as you do with drill. This allow leather to catch again the thread. The stitch remains firm. When you use a drill and made a hole, thread is almost free. If the thread is cut, the stitch is free to go.
    Just learned from Chuck Borrows old videos.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/mqxlu06xo8wgefj/20190804_123138.jpg?dl=0
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  15. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    You guys using the drill press with a nail or awl. Great idea! It makes me wonder if you could use it like a manual sewing machine?
     
  16. smorris150

    smorris150

    1
    Nov 10, 2013
    I use a Dremmel drill press at a high speed. Drill press is 49.95 on Amazon and the bits are at Home Depot. It does remove leather but I have not had any issues. I use a paint stick under the sheath to make sure sheath is level and square to the bit. This is absolutely the fastest way to drill holes and end up with straight lines and holes.
     

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