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 Post subject: Leather Saya Gyuto –Tutorial Note: picture heavy
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:38 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:32 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Cape Town , SA
Leather Saya 210 Gyuto – Knife retention Friction


Step One – Preparation

Tools
• The tools that you need can vary, essentially a sharp blade for cutting like a Stanley / Utility Blade
• A piece of Leather 7/8oz or 3mm think, size must accommodate 3 x the width of the knife and a little longer than the knife blade.
• Ruler and red Crayon , red marks will disappear if you plan on using a brown dye later
• You can also use a very sharp needle or awl to make the markings
• Sandpaper smooth and rough
• Round piece of wood like a handle , used for burnishing ( round off edges)

Image


Marking and cutting out the inner and welt

• The welt is what holds the knife in place, the inner is for the friction retention (More on that Later)
• Place the knife 10-12 mm along the straightest side , using the red pencil or awl mark out the outline.

as in the picture below

Image

• Now you have the outline , starting half way take the sharp utility knife and slice slowly towards the end, just a thin cut to mark where you are cutting , it should penetrate about one mm

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• Then do the same from the apex joining up with the other cuts, the reason for this is if you start with the apex it can overshoot, I find this more accurate and easily controlled
• Now do the same but cut all the way through, with a sharp blade it normally takes two cuts to get through the leather.

Image

• Put aside the inner for now

Marking the outer area of the welt and cutting out.

• Take a ruler and measure the right side of the welt as in the picture, then use the same measurement make dots or holes around the cut out as in the picture.
• Make freehand lines by Joining the holes until you have an outline

Image

• Now cut out as described before by starting half way take the sharp utility knife and slice slowly towards the end, just a thin cut to mark where you are cutting , it should penetrate about one mm
• Continue until completely cut out, take care as a mistake here means starting over, a sharp blade is essential.

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• Ok hopefully you have a nice neat welt, measure by placing the knife blade inside the welt, it should be a snug fit.

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Marking out the bottom of the Saya and cutting out

• Find a piece on your leather like in the picture and flip the knife.


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• Notice the welt is also flipped, at this stage it makes no difference as the welt will be hidden when glued together
• Place the welt around the knife and holding it down as a template , mark out using the pencil /awl

Image

• Cut out the bottom of the saya using the same cutting technique as before , by now it should be easier.

Image

• So now we have a Bottom piece , a welt and the inner (not shown in the picture)

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Marking out the Top of the Saya and cutting out

• At this stage you need to lay out the pieces on top of a fresh piece of leather big enough to cut a top section for the Saya, Smooth leather on top as in the picture

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• Mark out as before using the bottom piece flipped as a template

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• Double check before marking out and cutting , the old adage “Measure twice before cutting”
• Ok cut out the top piece.

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Checking the pieces

• Place the bottom with welt and knife inside to check the fit
• And then place the top piece over, hopefully all looks good

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Preparing for Gluing

• Take the welt with skin side up and either scrape or sand down until the smooth piece is rough

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• At this point for gluing , you will need an applicator , contact adhesive that dries fairly quickly IE: gets tacky to the touch in less than 5 minutes
• The applicator can be a scrap of leather or if you use a tube of glue no need

The Inner
• The idea of the inner is to insert underneath the blade to make a friction retention to stop the knife from sliding out, this can be a little tricky as we need to strip/thin the inner down to form fit the blade
• You could forgo this and use another way of holding the blade inside like the conventional Saya with a pin and strap
• Possibly if the knife is close to 3mm thick then it will hold anyway
• The choice is yours

Image

To Be continued.......


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saya Gyuto –Tutorial Note: picture heavy
PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:40 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:32 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Cape Town , SA
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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saya Gyuto –Tutorial Note: picture heavy
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:32 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Cape Town , SA
Part Two continued....

The Inner Piece optional

I never needed the inner as mine is a tight fit, this helps by choosing a piece of leather at around 2.5 to 3 mm, if the blade is 4mm get thicker leather as the welt thickness decides if its a firm fit or not (Friction fit)

Image


Gluing, Trimming and sanding

• Place the welt on the bottom piece and draw a mark on the inside so you can accurately place glue without messing onto the middle blade section.

• Try not get glue on the face of the leather, so work on a sheet of paper or two , might sound like common sense but it catches me from time to time in my haste to see the end result.

Image

• Flip over and mark the top section
• In my case I did one side of the welt first , then allowed to get tacky, depending on glue this can take 2-10 minutes, sometimes it’s best to do this before it gets too tacky so you can move the two pieces if you accidental mess up then you can lift and reinsert
• Once tacky carefully place the welt on the bottom piece , be very careful not to make an error here.

Image

• Tape with a light mallet to set the glue
• Insert the knife before doing the next side to make sure everything is lining up.

Image

• Apply glue to the next piece and wait till tacky
• Join the last piece of the welt and tap with a mallet again
• Test the knife and hopefully all snug

Optional Stamping with Patterns

• At this point I opted to try some leather stamps on my top piece, Stamping takes place before Gluing and is done with a mallet on a hard surface like a marble/granite top.
you can borrow from friends if you know of anyone who has and try this, before stamping you need to scribe a line with a sharp needle or awl, using the inner piece it makes it easier as I did in my case, this helps with stamping along a line.
• Before stamping wet the leather with a sponge, no need to use a lot of water, just enough to dampen, then go to town and be creative.

Image

Gluing the top piece, and the inner

In my case the inner wasn't needed because the height of the leather is the same as the thickest part of my blade, creating a natural retention system aided by applying olive oil to the inside

• Before gluing the top to the bottom, use a sponge and apply olive oil to the inner piece where the blade will sit, this creates a spongy suction which stops the knife sliding out.

Image


Glueing the top piece to the Welt

• Hopefully you drew an outline on the top section , if so carry on with gluing the top as before
• Tap down with a mallet to set the piece and admire your work, don’t worry if the edges are not exact as yet.

Trimming the edges

• Choose a new blade in your Box Cutter /Utility knife, if you don’t you will struggle to trim and might make a cut where you do not want it (then you start again or patch up, which is not nice!)
• Trim any excess overlays so the sides are fairly smooth and flat ,when you are happy that everything is neat and tidy it’s time to sand the edges,
• Most leather workers will have a tool to trim the edges called an edge beveller; as seen in the pic below

Image

Sanding the Edges

• When sanding a piece of dry sandpaper for wood will do the trick, medium grit to start off then finer, again test on a scrap piece
• You might notice the leather can have a grain similar to wood when sanding, IE sanding in one direction prevents fluffing of the leather fibres
• Don’t panic if it gets fluffy, the next stage sorts this out, Once you are happy with the result we move onto burnishing which removes the fluffiness

Image


Burnishing the edge around the Saya

• Burnishing basically refines the edges from rough to smooth
• Tools:- a small arty paint brush or a piece of sponge will do the job to dampen the leather edges first.
• Now find a tool in the garage that has a varnished wooden handle like in the picture.

Image

• Dab the wet sponge across the sides evenly from tip to end, not a lot! just enough to dampen the leather
• Using the improvised handle/tool , start rubbing the edges until you get a smooth look which changes to a hard polished edge as it heats up the leather gets crisp and hardens.

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Getting better

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• Elbow grease is your friend so rub feverishly till it changes, use the curved part of the handle
• This takes some practise so you can test this out on some spare leather if you don’t want to mess up your masterpiece.

This is what it looks like below , when finished depending on the effort you put in.

Image

Finishing, Oiling or dyeing

• Once the edges are nicely polished /burnished it’s time to put some thought on finishing the Saya
• The leather needs some treatment to keep it nice looking.
• Any product from a saddle shop, boot/shoe shop will do, or if you have a decent leather craft shop there is much you can use if you just ask them.


Choices for Finishing
• Olive oil and a bit of sunshine will give it a nice brown tanned look
• Neat’s-foot oil found in most Horse saddlers
• Leather dyes, just be careful and choose a light brown to start off with
• You can use just a leather sealer if the leather quality is superb
• If you are in the USA, check out http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/department/leather-dye/leather-dye.aspx, they have huge choices.

In my Case I applied a Satin gloss finish and allowed to dry
Then I applied an Antique dye to the center pattern area and finished off with more satin gloss finish
My Last touch up in a week will be to use a product we have locally , its a mixture of Beeswax , Oils and a secret recipe , it keeps the leather supple and stops cracking.

The final product

This my first Saya in leather and im fairly new to leather work , started this 5 months ago.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial , feel free to comment, suggest , or ask questions.

Image


Thanks
Allen


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saya Gyuto –Tutorial Note: picture heavy
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:13 pm
Posts: 2860
Location: CT
Very nice! With the olive oil inside the sheath, will it go rancid over time?


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saya Gyuto –Tutorial Note: picture heavy
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:32 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Cape Town , SA
taz575 wrote:Very nice! With the olive oil inside the sheath, will it go rancid over time?


its an old trick used by guys making sheaths for hunting knives, it helps to stop the rust on high carbon blades.
Iv'e used it before on a simple Sheath/Sayas for my butcher knife we take camping, its actually quite dry now (all absorbed)

You can use Neatsfoot oil too, its very scarce in our country unless you have a saddler shop in the area.
probably endless choices if one thinks about, i wouldn't use sunflower oils though


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saya Gyuto –Tutorial Note: picture heavy
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:13 pm 
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It's a neat trick, that's for sure! I wasn't sure if it would go bad or not, but it seems like it is OK!


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saya Gyuto –Tutorial Note: picture heavy
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:30 pm 

Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 9:21 pm
Posts: 470
Awesome, thanks. I have been wanting to try a leather sheath for a while. This may be the turning point :)


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saya Gyuto –Tutorial Note: picture heavy
PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 4241
Guarantee I'll be trying this! Thanks!



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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saya Gyuto –Tutorial Note: picture heavy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:00 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:44 am
Posts: 113
Eldergeek wrote:Part Two continued....

This my first Saya in leather and im fairly new to leather work , started this 5 months ago.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial , feel free to comment, suggest , or ask questions.

Allen



Wow, very nice. Thanks for the update!


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 Post subject: Re: Leather Saya Gyuto –Tutorial Note: picture heavy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:08 am 
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ELDER <> Very nice work for 5 months experience, but I don't see how olive oil won't go rancid... it's perishable organic matter. I'd stick with mineral oil. As far as I know, Neatsfoot is organic, as well.



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