Sunday, July 3, 2016

A sheath-knife needs a sheath.

Making a typical Finnish style back sewn sheath starts with making a wooden liner. Blade profile is drawn on a birch strip and lines are cut with a knife.

Carved out with a chisel. A rhombic cross section blade, that's why a slightly v-shaped slot.

Sawn off.

Shaped on a belt sander.

Back side is made of birch plywood. Pieces are glued together, then sanded to final shape.

Edge is taped and the whole knife wrapped in plastic foil.

Vegetable tanned hide is cut. Mouth section is thinned to be folded before starting to sew. Leather is soaked in warm water, just a while is enough.

I start stitching from the mouth end. Few holes with an awl, stitch, and so on. To make a locking sheath for a barrel shaped handle the mouth has to go a bit over the widest part of the handle.

Sewing done. Now the sheath can dry a bit, then being wet formed. Wet forming is most effective when the sheath feels a bit dry already. Seam is glued and trimmed. 

To complete the work there's several stages to go still. Making the belt loop and brass d-ring, dyeing, rubbing leather cream on, and polishing the blade and brass bolster plates. 

From this set there will be 7 bark handle knives for sale. Should get them posted here late Tuesday evening Finnish time. If you're interested in getting one, stay tuned!


  1. Of all the DIY projects I have accomplished, I have to admit that the one presented in your post is amazing. The steps are easy to follow, and exceptionally simple to implement. I will make a simple sheath for my tactical blade. I also checked out some useful knife making tips here:

    1. Good if it helped you. This was more like a random build-along, so many tips and things missing. So if you have any questions about sheath making, I'm happy to answer.