Axes, adzes and drawknifes #2: Making a leather sheath for a axe or adze.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 04-08-2011 08:44 PM 18408 reads 9 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Making a leather sheath for a axe or adze. Part 2 of Axes, adzes and drawknifes series Part 3: Drawknifes restore and MaFe's sheath types »

Axes, Adzes and Drawknife’s part II
making a leather sheath for an axe or adze.

This is second 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 II sewing:

For the sewing you will need needles and waxed thread or at least thread and a block of wax.

So now it’s time to ride the pony!
A pony is a clamp to hold the leather so you have both hands free. You sit on the pony to add stability, if you don’t have a pony, you can just sew without or look in my blog and make one before you continue, I highly recommend this if you plan on making more than a few works in leather.
The pony:

Here is the method I use for stitching.
You make cross stitches, in this way they lock each other so if one brake it will still hold, when you reach the end sew two stitches back and cut the thread of.
It’s that easy!

I use a pillar to pull out the thread since it can be quite hard, and gloves for my hands.

Here a done sewing.
Use a punch to make a hole for the strap, or drill this also, a punched hole is by far the strongest.

Here a gun button (button Stud), and a book screw (Chicago Screw), these I will use for the strap mount, but a less advanced version will follow.

Make a strap.
Make a hole in the end of the strap
Mount the book screw through them both.

And the gun button at the other side of the sheath.

Here we go, and no pipe… I’m getting healthy now.

Make a hole in the strap where it just fits over the gun button, and make a 10 mm cut backwards so the strap can slide over the button.

I also added a ring through two holes in the top.

And this is where we end.

And the other side.

The ring.

And a belt hanger that can be opened.

VERSION II this one uses no hardware.
As you see on the photo make four holes in a square a little wider than the strap you want.
Cut between the holes in pairs as seen.

Make a strap.
Thin the leather at the ends.
Here I use a super skiver.

Put the strap through the slots.
Glue or sew the one end in place so it cannot get out.
The other end will be loose.

And this is how it will look.

Fixed side.

Some links about knife sheath making:

This is the end of the leather sheath making.

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.

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

16 comments so far

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3060 days

#1 posted 04-08-2011 08:58 PM

Hi Mafe.

Here’s a nice modification you can do on the pony to speed things up.

In place of the bolt and wing nut, put a dowel on an axle in one side as a roller and fix the end of a length of nylon webbing to the other. Run the strap over the dowel. Make the nylon strap long enough to reach the floor with a loop in the bottom so that the loop is just clear of the floor when you have your foot in it and the jaws are closed tight. When you want to clamp something, you just step down in the loop. When you want to release it, lift your foot. A small spring near the bottom can help by opening the jaws when there is no tension on the strap.

Another advantage is it leaves both hands free to position the leather while you clamp it.

Hope you find this hint helpful buddy.


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 3106 days

#2 posted 04-08-2011 09:00 PM

I had the feeling something like pouches for the tools you have been making was in hte coming.

It looks great Mafe.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View swirt's profile


3299 posts in 3143 days

#3 posted 04-08-2011 09:01 PM

Thanks for this series Mafe, I need to do this before too long.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Bertha's profile


13550 posts in 2865 days

#4 posted 04-08-2011 09:53 PM

Excellent and very informative. I may give my hand a try at this one. Your stitchwork looks fantastic.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View dakremer's profile


2730 posts in 3263 days

#5 posted 04-08-2011 10:01 PM

this looks like so much fun! any good links on where you can buy the tools to do this, etc?

Very great tutorial. You make it look so easy! Living in an apartment, this could be just the ticket to keep me busy until I can move out and get my own workshop!! :) Thanks Mafe

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View stefang's profile


16058 posts in 3506 days

#6 posted 04-08-2011 10:53 PM

Wonderful blog Mads. Your sheaths look artistic like all your work. As soon as the cow gets old enough I will make one of these. I made some simple leather knife sheaths while in the Navy. They were sewn as you’ve shown here. It was very enjoyable handwork. Thanks for showing us the whole process.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3939 days

#7 posted 04-08-2011 11:38 PM

Very helpful, thanks

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View Brit's profile


7520 posts in 3014 days

#8 posted 04-09-2011 01:34 AM

Great blog Mads. Now you’ve shown us how it is done, we can apply these techniques to making sheaths for other tools too. Definitely one for the favourites. Thank you.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View ksSlim's profile (online now)


1286 posts in 3061 days

#9 posted 04-09-2011 03:21 AM

Mafe, if you’re going to do much more hand stiching, you should investigate stitching palms.
Have used mine for 30 years, so the investment pays for itself.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4249 days

#10 posted 04-09-2011 05:50 AM

This is coming from the son of a saddle maker————nicely done!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3287 days

#11 posted 04-09-2011 08:58 AM

thank´s for sharing this with us Mads
you make it looks so easy to do leatherwork …. :-)
I like the II VERSION on the strap

take care

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 2981 days

#12 posted 04-09-2011 11:46 AM

Looks real nice Mafe,but were is the “gold axe from France” ?

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3261 days

#13 posted 04-09-2011 06:23 PM

Hi guys,
Napoleon, I have promised to make a blog after with all my axes, so my French axes will come here also. ;-)
Dennis, it is quite easy really.
And the more practice the better the result, most of what we do is like this, a strong belive and some practice.
Dez, a big smile here, this I take as a large scale compliment.
Ksslim, I will buy one of these and try it, I hear now from so many that I should.
Andy, yes the toolbox and your imagination is the limit (see you soon).
Ron, ;-)
Mike, you make me laugh big time, if you take the cow young your wife can get gloves.
Dakremer, it is even more easy. You have a breatiful bride, so you should be busy, but in the meanwhile Yes I have little space also so it sets limits.
Bertha, go for it. Perhaps the reason why I get pain in the fingers is the efford I put in the stitching…
Swirt, yes I can imagine it would be interesting to you.
Ian, yes I was running around the pot for a while.
Bigtiny, can you post a picture of this? I understand the princip, but not how it can be strong enough. Thank you for the idea, I just used this way of holding on my workbench when I worked on some fresh wood.
Thank you all for the commets,
best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Sodabowski's profile


2375 posts in 3004 days

#14 posted 04-12-2011 05:12 PM

That’s really looking good :) Thanks for the technical tips ;)

@ Dennis: your idea of sending your blue hat to Steve was awesome =p

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3287 days

#15 posted 04-12-2011 05:28 PM

yah now I have to get my daughter to take another picture
has been promoted to wear a black one now
and they have talked about that maybee in a year from now
I shuold have a red or pink ….. LOL


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