Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A couple of knife jobs....

Having made this knife some weeks, maybe even months ago, it has lived precariously and dangerously, simply dropped into my bag of tools, waiting for me to reach in and blindly rummage and give me the cut of a lifetime.

I thought it was time I made a sheath of some kind before I regretted it.
The problem with these little Frosts knives is that they are so lethally pointed and sharp that a regular stitched leather job is probably not sufficient to ensure against injury - certainly unless you use sheath liners the blade is going to find itself poking through at some point. I know that for this reason lots of people opt for boxes in which to keep their knives. I had contemplated this but thought I would try something more along the lines of a traditional Nordic type sheath. I really love the Sami knives that have a bottom section (the bit where the pointy bit of the knife is going to be) made from wood, antler or bone. This has obvious benefits in protecting yourself from accidental cuts.

So, I used another piece of the same wood I had made the handle from, drilled it, cut it to size, filed, made the horizontal ridges where the leather would be shrink fitted to the wood, cut and stitched the leather, wrapped the knife in cling film, inserted the knife and left it over night to dry.

I was very pleased with the results this morning and thought I could finish it off with a little decorative chip carving on the wooden section. However, I cut the first chip to find the side wall was thinner than I had thought and I had broken through the wall to the cavity inside. I couldn't believe it - I had ruined the sheath!

Then I had an idea. I made a few more shallower chips, filled them all with wood filler; rubbed them down, waxed and low and behold - an inlaid sheath.

It's not perfect, but it will certainly keep my knife safer in my bag.

The second job was to make a sheath for a little knife I made two years ago. A friend of my son's had asked if I could make him something from a small section of an apple tree that had grown during his childhood in his back garden. His father had cut it down and was using it for firewood and he wanted something to remember it by. I think he had hoped I could turn something from it, but there wasn't enough and it was pretty dry and cracked. So, I made a small blade from an old steel file. Handled it with the apple wood and filled the cracks with apoxy before finishing.

The young man who I made it for has since been away and I haven't seen him for two years in order to give it to him. No doubt he has forgotten all about it but I am expecting to see him at the weekend, so I thought it would be good to make a sheath for it.

It's actually quite a sweet little knife - razor sharp and handy enough to slip into a pocket if needed. The sheath is made from a sample of leather that a shoe designer friend of mine gave me. It is actually football leather, hence the texture. It is cut and stitched then cased and water-formed to hold it's shape. Should do the trick nicely. I hope he likes it.