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The Sheath/Holster Makers Forum This is the place to discuss all forms of sheath and holster making.

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Old 09-05-2007, 06:47 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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Location: Southeast Texas
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All right, cut it out Dave! We're on to your "Aw, shucks, I thought I'd try this for the first time..." scam! You put in a lot of time and effort - as you always do - and turned out some terrific product! We know what an artist you are; you no longer get amateur status!

All kidding aside, great job!

God bless Texas! Now let's secede!!
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:27 PM
Dave Kelly Dave Kelly is offline
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Thanks again you guys!

Tried taking pics. of the tools Robert and it just wasn't working out, I'll post a list (tool # and brand name) of the main tools in a day or so.

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Old 09-05-2007, 09:51 PM
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MtMike MtMike is offline
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Location: Woodland Park, Colorado
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Dave, just got in from VFW and saw that I'd missed this thread earlier. Now I'll probably be staring at your pictures for the rest of the night
I don't think I'd get much argument here if I said that, combining the skills of a knifemaker and a leatherman, you have few, if any, equals. Your notebook alone is enough to make incredibly jealous ! But at the same time I'm proud to tell people "Yeah sure, I know Dave Kelly -- he's a good friend, and I have some of his stuff too "


Trying to become the kind of man my dog thinks I am}&tio=0
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:35 PM
fitzo fitzo is offline
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Dave Kelly, you wear modesty very well. It is a lesson to all. That said, I hope you allow yourself some sense of approval and satisfaction occasionally!

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Old 09-06-2007, 06:42 AM
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Robert Dark Robert Dark is offline
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Location: Oxford, Alabama
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Originally Posted by Dave Kelly
Thanks again you guys!

Tried taking pics. of the tools Robert and it just wasn't working out, I'll post a list (tool # and brand name) of the main tools in a day or so.

Thanks Dave, a list will do fine.

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Old 09-06-2007, 01:41 PM
Dave Kelly Dave Kelly is offline
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Posts: 494
Robert, I'm listing what I feel is the minimum amount of tools required to make the practice pieces that I've shown. Because of the style carving that I chose to do I needed to modify some of these tools. You could get away without modifying but at the very least you need to cleanup/refine most of these Craftools from Tandy. They're plated and most of them are kind of rough so I carefully file the grooves, polish the recesses then lightly buff. If you're too aggressive with this you'll remove parts of the very thin plating so you need to maintain with oil, wax or something to keep it from rusting. I heavily modified a number of these and I just make a habit of keeping them maintained. If I absolutely knew I was going to do this and could justify spending the money, I would buy custom made tools from Robert Beard, Barry King, Procrafter, etc. but instead of paying $4 - 6 ea. for Tandy you'll pay between $15 - 100. ea for the custom.

Everything I'm listing can be purchased from Tandy but I would recommend if you have a local Tandy, going in and hand pick out all of these. It's not uncommon to have 2 tools the same # imprint a slightly different pattern or not a well defined imprint.

66104-22, 6104

6935, 6203, 6201, 6202-01, 6202-02

66432, 6431

6934, 6941

6907, 6359

Flower center
6820, 6816

Pear shaders
6233, 6972, 6703, 6206, 6367, 6368

6932, 6631

6851, 6853, 6855, 6858, 6859

Modeling tools
88031-05, 8031-00, 8032-00, 8033-00

The main thing in choosing a swivel knife is comfort and a smooth, free spinning yoke but you can get by with an adjustable non-bearing type, I just applied plumbers grease so it turned smoother. As a knifemaker I know you already have a way to set/maintain and strop the blade, very important to keep it mirror shiny sharp. You can spend $$$ on a free spinning bearing custom made swivel knife or,
Swivel knife
8003-00 comes with a 3/8 straight blade, additional blade I use the most 8019, 1/4" hollow

Marble slab

Poundo board

I prefer using a 16 - 24oz. maul but you can use a mallet (some people prefer a mallet)
31821-00 11oz
31822-00 20oz.

Other items you'll need
Desire. Pattern transfer film / vellum, Sponge, spray bottle for the water. Plastic wrap or baggies, paper bag to help case the leather. Straight edge, ruler and square. Sight (magnifier) and good lighting. Solid work bench or table. Comfortable stool or chair. Finishing dyes/stains, resist and top coat of your choice Optional: rubber cement and compressed cardboard or thin fiberglass sheet, (I use thin Masonite) to glue leather down so it won't stretch while you're tooling.

That's about the minimum you would need to do what I've shown, less if you choose a different style carving.

If you or anyone else is interested I would be very happy to share what I've learned so far.

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Old 09-06-2007, 02:04 PM
Dave Kelly Dave Kelly is offline
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Mike, thank you! please say hi to Marie for me, hope you guys are well and having a great summer.

Hi Mike (fitzo) I love doing this and I get great satisfaction from every step except maybe the last one, when I look at the finished product but everything is fine again when I start a new one. I really enjoy the learning process, the more I practice the fewer mistakes I make and the more experience I gain I'm able to fix or at least have the knowledge to mask those mistakes is very satisfying and rewarding to me.

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Old 09-06-2007, 04:26 PM
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Robert Dark Robert Dark is offline
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Location: Oxford, Alabama
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Hey Dave,

Thanks for the comprehensive list. You went to a lot of trouble and I really appreciate it.

I have some of the items you mentioned. I will go on-line and check out the others.

Thanks again,

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Old 09-06-2007, 05:49 PM
plain ol Bill plain ol Bill is offline
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Those are all beautiful and my favorite is the floral w/ the diamond pattern below it.

plain ol Bill
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:18 AM
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sdcb27 sdcb27 is offline
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Send a message via AIM to sdcb27 Send a message via Yahoo to sdcb27

Cowboy inc
Keep a light rein, a foot on each side and a faraway look
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:11 PM
Dave Kelly Dave Kelly is offline
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You're welcome Robert, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to get a hold of me.

Thanks Bill, I did another floral/quilt right after that one trying a different method of transitioning from the floral to the quilt, don't think I like it any better. In about a week I'll be out of commission for a few months so I won't be using this any time soon, if you're interested and you'd like to use it for one of your sheaths, I'd be very happy to send it to you (either one)...just let me know.

Thanks Romey!

You can see that other quilt one here Bill Leather Carving Practice

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Old 09-07-2007, 09:13 PM
Hot&CoaledForge Hot&CoaledForge is offline
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That second quilted one looks good, too, Dave, but a sheath just may not give you enough room to get the full effect. Imagine it on a notebook cover. Wow!

- Jim
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Old 11-26-2015, 03:25 PM
C4Leather C4Leather is offline
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1
Dave quick question

Dave can you share how you did the layout for the "quilted" pattern with the dots in the intersection, I really like it and haven't seen that type of pattern before

QUOTE=Dave Kelly;327915]Hi you guys
Seems like a very long time since I was here, hope everyone is well.

I"ve always admired the beautiful carved sheaths that some of you guys make and ever since I started making sheaths I've wanted to learn. I was getting ready to make a sheath for a forum friend and wanted to give him a choice of tooling or carving. He was nice and patient enough to wait for his sheath until I felt comfortable enough with my carving, almost there but hopefully just a couple more practice pieces.

I started with smaller sheath size patterns but found them to be very difficult to learn so I would recommend anyone starting out to use larger patterns to learn on. Anyway, here's a few of the sheath size practice pieces: I have to tell you it took me a long time and had to build up a lot of courage to show you guys this stuff

Another one similar to the above

A modified pattern Paul sent

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Old 09-01-2016, 04:44 AM
BrianHariot BrianHariot is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 2

what refrence material did you use to learn the carving& stamping process for the projects you have done??
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:45 AM
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C Craft C Craft is offline
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Man if you call that, "Learning to Carve Leather" I don't think I could stand to look at it when you get good! I love it!

C Craft Customs
With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down !
If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner!

C Craft
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