Ya know folks, I made a few (or more) mistakes on my first sheath. As noted in an earlier post, there was stitching torn out and resewn…multiple times. I drank a lot of coffee, smoked numerous cigars and spent several hours reflecting on my errors and abilities. But, I persevered.
Out of Chaos Comes Order
I should have kept track of how many hours I actually spent on this. Actually, it’s probably a good thing I didn’t as I might have decided not to try it again! More importantly, I’m glad I stuck with it and am happy with my first effort.
I can’t credit Dave Taylor enough for the guidance and encouragement. Some of my questions no doubt had him snorting coffee out his nose. Gentleman that he is, all I heard were words of encouragement. In fact, he never laughed once…that I’m aware of.
For a first effort, I’m pretty pleased. There are a number of tweaks I’ll make to the next sheath. Getting the stitching lined up and the holes properly punched is critical. Making sure the template I cut is correct. Simple little things like making sure you lay the template out on the leather correctly is really important. In fact, I’m working on another sheath and laid the template upside down. As a result the belt loop is on the wrong panel meaning I now have a left handed sheath. It’s just little things like that.
I have to learn to do a better job of applying dye. Next time I’ll spend more time on the final shaping and sanding of the edges for the proper amount of space between the stitching and the edge of the sheath. New half circle punches are on the way to simplify and improve my rounded corners. A stitching pony to make sewing easier.
It’s just a matter of going through a normal learning curve like anything else. It can be frustrating but if you stick with it, it’s rewarding.
Give it a try
I’d encourage anyone to try working with leather. There a a ton of videos online to help get you started and solve problems as you go along. I was really lucky to have Dave as a mentor. Granted, it takes a few more tools then most hobbies. The challenge comes when you realize how many different projects you can try. From ultra simple to making briefcases or wallets. Take your pick. Personally, I like a challenge and the feeling I get when I’m done, holding something I made with my own two hands. This winter might go a bit faster for me then some.