Small Leather Projects #3

This post is mainly to clear a bad backlog of things that were supposed to go on the blog. Some of these things I made as long as 10 months ago, others a few weeks back. They’re not big projects (that’s why it’s another small leather projects post, of course), but I think they’re worth sharing with you.

Project #1: a simple porte carte

I made a porte carte before, out of non-veg-tan leather. This is an upgraded version of that one. The vegetable tanned leather can be wet formed to fit perfectly around your cards, and is far more rigid than most other leather. It also ages more nicely. I used a stud instead of a button as a more sturdy and durable closing mechanism. It’s hand stitched with waxed linen thread.

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Project #2: a sheath for an adze

Leather adze sheath Adze sheath top Adze sheath bottom

 

And here’s some pictures from the making process:

 

I got the idea for this sheath from an awkwardly shaped scrap I had lying around. It was quite big, but very narrow. It had a long strap-like appendage sticking out, which just told me that the piece of leather wanted to be a case of some sort. When I bought the Pfeil adze, I knew what it was that the piece of leather wanted to be exactly. This is a really simple sheath to make - you only need to know how to saddle stitch at a very basic level, because all you have to do is stitch straight twice. I thinned part of the strap so that it would bend around the head of the adze more easily. The strap is fastened with the simple snap button.

I got the idea for this sheath from an awkwardly shaped scrap I had lying around. It was quite big, but very narrow. It had a long strap-like appendage sticking out, which just told me that the piece of leather wanted to be a case of some sort. When I bought the Pfeil adze, I knew what it was that the piece of leather wanted to be exactly. This is a really simple sheath to make – you only need to know how to saddle stitch at a very basic level, because all you have to do is stitch straight twice. It’s double saddle stitched with waxed linen thread. I thinned part of the strap so that it would bend around the head of the adze more easily. The strap is fastened with the simple snap button.  Oh, and see that nice Blanchard head knife? I just recently bought that one second hand. I’m not yet sure how old it is, but it has an ebony handle. I’ll write a blog post on it soon.

 

Project #3: a scandinavian-style sheath for a tiny knife, with a wooden liner

I purchased this tiny blade last year, not realising how tiny it actually was. I made a simple detail knife out of it, with a rough birch handle. It was a bit of an experiment, but I ended up using the knife a lot. It's especially useful for tight curves. Because the blade is so small and razor sharp, I made a sheath with a wooden liner for it.

I purchased this tiny Bergström blade last year, not realising how tiny it actually was (25x8mm excluding the tang). I made a simple detail knife out of it, with a rough birch handle. It was a bit of an experiment, but I ended up using the knife a lot. It’s especially useful for tight curves. Because the blade is so small and razor sharp, I made a sheath with a wooden liner for it.

 

I don't have any pictures of making the liner, because I was just experimenting a bit not expecting it to work. But it did. I made the liner out of thin stock Spanish cedar (cedrela odorata) recycled from cigar boxes. I used it because I have a ton of it, and it has some good properties: easy to work, resistant to rot, doesn't make the metal rust. I left a little hole in the top of the liner so that I can blow out any dust that collects in there. Making the rest of the sheath is pretty straight-forward. It's made the same way as any other scandinavian style sheath. For a more detailed look at how to make one of those, see this post.

I don’t have any pictures of making the liner, because I was just experimenting a bit not expecting it to work. But it did. I made the liner out of thin stock Spanish cedar (cedrela odorata) recycled from cigar boxes. I used it because I have a ton of it, and it has some good properties: easy to work, resistant to rot, doesn’t make the metal rust. I left a little hole in the top of the liner so that I can blow out any dust that collects in there. The wooden liner has a very nice friction fit, and with the wet formed leather sheath it’s all nice and secure. Making the rest of the sheath is pretty straight-forward. It’s made the same way as any other scandinavian style sheath. For a more detailed look at how to make one of those, see this post.

 

Project #4: a simple sheath for a pair of scissors

I made this sheath while on vacation. My girlfriend took the scissors so that she could cut my hair, which she hadn’t come around to before we left. I thought they were a bit unsafe to carry around in her bag without a sheath, so I made one. I only had very basic leatherworking tools with me, so it didn’t turn out as neat as it would have at home. It’s very functional, though, and ridiculously easy to make.

Scissors leather sheath

A stud holds the scissors securely in the sheath

A stud holds the scissors securely in the sheath

Project #5: some more quick and easy sheaths

Making a sheath for a Pfeil chip cutting knife. I used lapp leather, which is a type of half-tan leather. It's very rigid, and can be molded to fit when wet.

Making a sheath for a Pfeil chip carving knife. I used lapp leather, which is a type of half-tan leather. It’s very rigid, and can be molded to fit when wet. This results in a nice and tight friction fit. I used the same method with regular veg-tan leather to make the small sheath for the Chinese scissors you can see in the cover picture, as well as for the sheath for the knife with the plastic handle.

 

Bonus (because this project is more textile than leather): a waxed linen and leather case for small tools, lined with felt

Leather and waxed linen case for my small tools Leather and waxed linen case Leather and waxed linen case, interior with felt lining

This is how it’s made:

The linen is home dyed and and waxed with my homemade waterproofing wax. I found a nicely matching zipper.

The linen is home dyed and and waxed with my homemade waterproofing wax. I found a nicely matching zipper.

For the bottom of the case I used a piece of leather I bought at a flea market. The guy sold me a bunch of samples like this one. Though I can't fully identify the types of leather, I'm quite sure they're all chrome tanned, aniline type stuff, full grain leather. Used for upholstery, and the samples were all approximately 1 square meter in size.

For the bottom of the case I used a piece of leather I bought at a flea market. The guy sold me a bunch of samples like this one. Though I can’t fully identify the types of leather, I’m quite sure they’re all chrome tanned, aniline type stuff, full grain leather. Used for upholstery, and the samples were all approximately 1 square meter in size.

Because I've had some difficulties due to the leather stretching while sewing on the machine, I glued it to the linen beforehand.

Because I’ve had some difficulties due to the leather stretching while sewing on the machine, I glued it to the linen beforehand.

Then I sewed everything together: first the leather to the linen, then the sides of the case together inside out.

Then I sewed everything together: first the leather to the linen, then the sides of the case together inside out.

Then I turned the case the right side out.

Then I turned the case the right side out.

I sewed the felt lining separately, and then inserted it into the outer case.

I sewed the felt lining separately, and then inserted it into the outer case.

Then the final step: I hand stitched the zipper between the felt liner and the outer case. The felt lining and the leather bottom make the case really sturdy and perfect for keeping my small sharp tools, such as awls, punches and rotary knives.

Then the final step: I hand stitched the zipper between the felt liner and the outer case. The felt lining and the leather bottom make the case really sturdy and perfect for keeping my small sharp tools, such as awls, punches and rotary knives.

 

 

 

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