Axes, Adzes and Drawknife’s
making a leather sheath for an axe or adze.
This is first part of a little series where I will go through the types of, making sheaths, and handles for axes, adzes and drawknife’s, it will not be a general teaching, just me telling of how I do what I learned, and the types I have.
Making a leather sheath:
First you need some good leather, I personally use a thick hard pressured front piece cowhide app. 2 mm (I believe you call it harness leather in US), this type gives a stabile sheath, and can also be used for making sheaths that are formed and pressed wet (several of my knife sheaths are made like so).
The axe, a piece of paper, pen and a knife.
Make a fold at the center of the paper, then fold the paper over the axe.
I use my fingers to press the transfer the shape of the axe to the paper, and then I draw it after.
Make an offset line app. 10-15 mm, this area will be where the stitching will be.
Time to make some design, here I end up choosing sweet curves and an open sheath type.
(Ass you can see my first attempt was not what I wanted).
Cut out the drawing so you get a template.
Now test fit on the axe.
I also looked at design ideas for the closing strap.
Find a suitable place on the leathers rough side, place the template and then draw the pattern there.
Now cut it out.
Test fit again.
Here a simple version for an English axe type, this is the fastest sheath you can make from leather.
You simply draw the axe shape on the backside of the leather, then make an offset line and cut after this one through two leather pieces front to front.
With leather glue you glue together the offset area. Since this is where the stitching will be.
Now trim the edges with an edge beveler you you can sand it later if you do not have one of these.
With a adjustable groover make the hollow for the sewing.
Alternative is to just draw a thin line and leave the stitches on top.
Mark the stitch distance with a spacer, a pounch or again you can just make marks with a pen.
Here with the spacer it’s so fast.
Now time for holes, here there are two ways, either the awl like here.
Or the easy way, with a drill press and a 1mm drill.
I always use the drill press due to my arm neck problem.
Just follow the marking and drill.
Here a handful of sheaths ready for sewing.
I will break up the blog here for those with slow internet connections, and continue on next page.
I hope this blog will be an answer to those who asked, and an inspiration to care for your tools, but most of all that some of you will make some sheaths.
-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.