Making Leather Knife Sheaths, Volume 1  	
David Hölter & Peter Fronteddu

Protect that beautiful hand-forged knife you've just completed or keep your favorite piece of cutlery close for daily use with a leather sheath. From basic leather working techniques to a completed sheath, this how-to book will walk you through the steps to produce your own fixed-blade knife sheath. Choose from four different designs, each presented in detail, including a sheath with folded belt loop, a scabbard with leather lining and riveted belt loop, a sheath with safety strap and attached belt loop, and a scabbard with belt clip. Complete with illustrated tips on sketching the sheath design and treating the leather, as well as four complete sheath patterns and a supply list, this guide will provide you with the know-how and tools to make sheaths of your own design.

Reviewed by Knife World Staff

This series of knifemaking books has followed up its initial three releases, Basic Knife Making, The Lockback Folding Knife, and Pocketknife Making for Beginners, with three new titles created in the same spirit. Each of these were originally written for a workshop series published by Germany’s Messer Magazin and have subsequently been put in book form and translated into English. They are all filled with LOTS of superb full color photos and diagrams, and are published in a ring bound format so that they lie flat and can handle some abuse in the workshop. The translation is generally good, though you will occasionally have to lean on the photos to keep up with what’s going on.

Sheathmaking is a topic addressed by many knife books, including Making Hidden Tang Knives above. But Making Leather Knife Sheaths, Volume 1 is devoted entirely to the subject, and with photography equal to the rest of the series. It includes four project sheaths, all of them pouch-type (here termed “quiver-like”) and ranging from a basic sheath to those with flaps, straps, snaps, belt clips, and belt loops.

This book begins with a good explanation of leather as used for knife sheaths, the most suitable materials like thread, adhesive, and leather dyes, and the tools needed for each task. It then moves on to the four projects. Each starts with a list of needed tools and materials and progresses step-by-detailed-step, from designing a template and cutting the leather to saddle-stitching and shaping the sheath, to sealing, finishing, and polishing. The book even includes instructions on making sheaths lined with kid leather, or tooled with a ‘basketweave’ pattern. It concludes with tips for leather cleaning and care, reduced-scale templates of the book’s projects, and a list of suppliers.

While we might request some other styles – something left for future volumes, we hope – Making Leather Knife Sheaths Vol. 1 is well thought out, easy to understand, and may be the best book in the entire series, thus far. Highly recommended.

Making Leather Knife Sheaths, Volume 1
David Hölter & Peter Fronteddu
Spiral Bound, full color, 144 pp.

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