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Bryan Stagg




Location: United States
Joined: 04 Apr 2016

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 06 Apr, 2016 11:57 am    Post subject: Making a faux leather sheath         Reply with quote

.I am looking for input on making a sheath for my Z Hunter Jungle Machete.I made 1 but was unhappy with the result,So any help is appreciated..It doesn't have to me traditional but I want it to look good
~Bryan~
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Wed 06 Apr, 2016 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Faux leather tends to be pretty soft or floppy compared to the much more ridged vegetable tanned cowhide. I know leather can be spendy but getting enough for one machete is actually not too bad. Tandy puts some on sail pretty regularly. Might be the low grade stuff with scars or brand marks on it and a less clean back, but it's a good price and performance will still be high, especially compared to fake stuff. Once you have a design saddle-stitching is your friend. Makes for a very, very strong stitch.
"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Wed 06 Apr, 2016 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would mock up the scabbard first with some cardboard... corrugated box cardboard will do fine although a bit stiff, just whack it a few times with a dowel to soften it up or walk over it a few times. This also has the plus in that you can cut it apart and use it as a pattern.
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Andrew Gill





Joined: 19 Feb 2015

Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu 07 Apr, 2016 2:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As the previous poster said, do make a cardboard or thick paper mockup; it will save much pain later.
I assume that you are making what I'd call a sheath rather than a scabbard, meaning that it lacks a rigid wooden core?

To find cheap leather, there are three possibilities I can think of:
1. find a local leather-worker or leather-working shop - they may sell offcuts, which are sometimes quite large and usually very cheap. (some near me sell it by weight)
2. Find and cannibalize an old second or third-hand leather jacket. You'll need to make a (more) rigid core in this case.
3. use several chamois leather pieces (the sort used to wash and polish cars), often sold in supermarkets. I haven't tried this but others have had success with it. I think you can colour it with several applications of coloured shoe-polish. Again, a more rigid core is a good idea.

Otherwise, it is a modern weapon, and I think many military-issue machetes and knives use heavy-duty olive-green canvas sheaths, so why not just go with canvas? You can make it of several layers for strength, and personally I think it would look better than faux leather (in any case, there are cloth-covered scabbards dating back to the middle ages)
And you could probably glue and stitch a thin layer of leather onto it if you wanted to - the glue-canvas combination would probably make the whole construction rather stiffer than textile alone.
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Thu 07 Apr, 2016 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I could be wrong but I think the canvas military machete sheaths normally had at the very least a plastic or hard leather core that the canvas was wrapped around. Quite functional, of course. Some modern machete sheaths use a thin metal insert along the sharp edge of the machete to prevent it from cutting up the sheath (or maybe I'm thinking about knives rather than machetes, but I'm fairly sure I've seen this somewhere).

Latin American machetes, at least in the tourist trade and for 'fancy dress', have fairly ornate leather scabbards, perhaps with wooden cores.

For a sheath (no core) you would want to use fairly thick leather, I agree. Think leather about the thickness of a typical belt or only slightly thinner.
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Tyler Jordan





Joined: 15 Mar 2004

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Thu 07 Apr, 2016 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you considered laying faux leather over a kydex shell? Stuff can be easy to work with.
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Bryan Stagg




Location: United States
Joined: 04 Apr 2016

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri 08 Apr, 2016 8:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am actually trying to do a hard rigid core...not sure if its even possible but its my goal.
~Bryan~
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 960

PostPosted: Fri 08 Apr, 2016 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
I could be wrong but I think the canvas military machete sheaths normally had at the very least a plastic or hard leather core that the canvas was wrapped around.

There are actually quite a few models that are just heavy duty nylon or cotton canvas, sometimes in multiple layers, sometimes treated with something (oil, wax, vinyl etc.) for durability and weatherproofing.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 960

PostPosted: Fri 08 Apr, 2016 2:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bryan Stagg wrote:
I am actually trying to do a hard rigid core...not sure if its even possible but its my goal.

For a modern machete with a blade of uniform thickness, that's really no problem at all since you don't need to worry about distal taper and all such geometric subtleties that can make sword scabbards a real pain to get right.

You could, for example, take a piece of plywood the same thickness as the blade (or as close as you can get). Trace the silhouette of the blade on it three times, and then draw a second line about 1cm outside each silhouette. Cut each of these shapes along the outside line, and cut the shape of the blade out of one of them. Glue them all together like a sandwich, with the hollowed out one in the middle. Sand the edges smooth. Bam, there's your scabbard core! Happy

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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