NOTICE OF RETIREMENT: As of 2021, I am no longer taking orders for new custom knives or custom knife repair and conversions. For those of you who would still like one of my custom knives, I do have a few "On Hand", that can be shipped out ASAP. You should find the info and photos of them under the "Knives For Sale" section.  These remaining knives will be discounted by 30%, until they are all gone.
Thank you for your support over the years.  - Jay Maines

Introduction – Leather Sheaths

SheathsEach knife I make comes with a sheath, either in leather or in matching wood. If you have a knife that needs a new or replacement sheath, I also offer custom work for many knife owners. For a reasonable cost, your favorite knife can have the quality sheath it deserves.

All leather sheaths are handsewn and custom fitted, by me, from water buffalo hide. Strong, dense and very stiff – describe the qualities found in these vegetable tanned hides. Imported from South America, they are primarily used to make tough, leather mallets. Although a little pricey, they exceed all the requirements I need to produce a well-made sheath.

I stock these double shoulder hides (up to 14 square feet) in two weights (thickness). 7-8 ounces, for small to medium sized sheaths, and 9-10 ounces for large bowie and fighter size knives. The style of the knife also determines the type of sheath I make for it. A knife with a bolster or small finger guard, fits best in a pouch style, while one with a cross guard or large finger cut-out gets a keeper-strap style. Either style may be ordered in a “standard” model or a fancy “deluxe” style. A deluxe model has an exotic snake skin inlaid, or overlaid, over the water buffalo hide sheath.

Once a sheath is finished it needs to be protected from the harsher elements. Absorbing moisture from a damp environment, then passing it onto the steel blade, causing rust to form, is the main concern. To keep out the moisture, I developed my own “hot oil and beeswax” formula finish. Totally submerging a warm sheath in this very hot mixture, forces it into every fiber of the leather. Once completely sealed, the sheath takes on a mellow tan color.

I build my sheath’s belt loops to accommodate at least a 2 inch wide belt, and design the sheath to ride high on the hip. This method, with the knife handle above the belt line, is called a “high carry.” I also build belt loops that allow the total knife’s sheath to hang below the belt line, called a “low carry” method.

Your choice of a right or left handed carry method is up to you on all vertical models. However, some styles work well with, and accept, a cross-drawn, horizontal carry system. This method is available as an extra option, at a reasonable cost.

If you want me to build a sheath for your own knife, you will need to ship your knife to my shop.