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Leather Moulding

Discussion in 'Materials & Technique' started by snailgixxer, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. snailgixxer

    snailgixxer Golf season is here:)!!!!

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    pretty much at the point where I'm ready to shape the leather around a knife. I've seen various people using clips and such to hold it, but I was wondering if I used a kydex press to do it, if it would work. Any thoughts?

    Also, what's the best way to dye the leather black..
     
  2. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    I don't see why a press wouldn't work. As long as it's free of anything that will mark the leather. I've seen guys using wooden blocks in the vise for the same effect. I tried using clips but found that they can leave impressions in the wet leather.

    I mould the sheath after the stitching is done. I wet the leather inside and out; squirt with a spray bottle or a quick dunk in water if you like, then push the knife inside. Pressing with my fingers around the handle and blade to get the leather to take shape. I prefer to use gloves at this stage as one misplaced fingernail can permanently mark leather. Once formed, remove the knife and let the sheath dry. The sheath should hold tight after it is dry.

    Everyone has their own take on this so it would be worth hearing some different techniques.

    For black I use Feibing's USMC black, apply, wait for it to dry, then buff with a clean rag until it doesn't come off on the rag anymore. It gets nice and black.

    Dan
     
  3. Roman

    Roman Best Leatherwork Best Build

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    Don't know about a press. Worth a try I think.

    I stitch the sheath dry, then soak it in warm water for 15-30 minutes. Leather gets really soft and pliable. Then I insert a knife tightly wrapped with cling film and form the leather around as it dries. I check on it a few times and correct what needs to be corrected while leather is still soft. After about 4-6 hours leather is good for stamping and decorating. If I want to keep leather structure I only use my fingers to form it trying not to leave marks with nails. This works good if you are planning to use antique gel to dye your sheath. Other technique is using some burnishing tool to make a leather surface really smooth and shiny. I leave a knife in the sheath for all the time it's drying which is at least 3 days.

    As to dyeing I use Eco-Flo dyes, then let it dry completely (at least overnight) and finish it with Eco-Flo satin shene. Then cover with snow-proof wax inside and outside and warm up over hot stove that the wax melts and penetrates deep into the leather. Buff it with some clean rug and usually repeat waxing at least one more time.

    This is technique for Scandinavian type of sheath...
     
  4. KCF2013

    KCF2013 New Member

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    I use my router to make up forms for the more popular shapes of folders & multitools, make a male/female block cut the leather, soak it, place it in the block forms and let it sit overnight clamped together. For larger fixed blades i make a template for the shape of the sheath and if folding the leather over the blade I run my groover down the inside of the fold, makes for easier bend also i wet the fold area to make it more pliable for folding, the spring type paper clips work great for holding the leather. After I am happy with the form I will run a bead of glue along the stitch line and clamp.
    For a formed sheath we will wrap the knife in cling wrap and same method as Roman has mentioned above.

    For coulouring (and I also use the Eco-Flo dyes) I will wet the leather again, just damp enough to change colour, we find this help eliminate the swirl and streak marks that can happen when colouring.
    For two tone and other colour effects we use an airbrush.
    as far as waterproofing the leather we have made our our leather conditioner/waterproof and apply with cloth and hair dryer to open the pours of the leather and rub it in and buff with sheeps wool.
     
  5. Roman

    Roman Best Leatherwork Best Build

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    Yes, true. I forgot to mention this. For nice even coloring leather surface needs to be sightly damp.
     

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