Knife Templates and Patterns + How to Make Sheath

Templates are very handy in getting a design from a piece of paper onto a bar of steel. Knife patterns are also great for making knife designs repeatable. If you have a template made of a durable material, you can make many copies of that knife and with very tight tolerances.

There are several types of patterns and you can make them with lots of different materials. First, you need to do is make a rough idea of knife design . When making templates you definitely don't have to settle on anything super specific, before it goes on the steel you can always modify the profile of the template after you cut it and get kind of a more visual and textural feel.

In this guide for the beginners, you're going to learn how to use knife patterns and knife sheath templates to achieve wanted result.

Knife Templates

If you’re making knives and want to make a bunch of the same model, you're going to keep a copy of it. The best way is to make knife templates to preserve your piece of art. Trace the next few tips on how to create knife templates with different materials. If you want free printable knife patterns, templates or any knife profiles in PDF or other suitable format visit Dcknives.Blogspot.

Tip #1 Paper Pattern

Start with a piece of paper and a pencil, ruler or some French curves and draw that design out on paper. Then scale that up or down by the copy machine till you get the size just right. At that point, it's time to make a pattern.

Stick paper to a piece of wood or plastic and then cut and drilled that out until you get a temporary pattern. This one would work for making a few knives, but it is not good solution for production type work, since the paper is flexible and less durable than steel.

Tip #2 Steel Template

You can repeat all this paper pattern making process with streel, and you can make Bowie knife patterns, Case knife patterns or Paracord knife handle patterns. Just, clamp and scribe that on a piece of steel and create a more permanent model.

Now, take some Dyke and just paint onto the steel. You could also use a marker to do the same sort of thing to darken it up. Then clamp it down, take a carbide scribe and scribe around the outside of the pattern, and that will make the outline. Take it over to the drill and drill into the steel. Drill in a tiny bit just to leave kind of an indentation where you’re going to drill the actual sized holes.

You can use 30 drill which is excellent for 8-inch thin material because it’s unlikely to use anything smaller than that.
You can even transfer the knife design template to the blade steel itself whether it's mild steel or high stainless carbon. It doesn't really matter.

Another way, take the actual cut out of the knife, whether it's just cut or design on CAD program or other drafting software. You can print that rough shape cut and use some spray adhesive to glue it directly onto the steel. The only consideration is if you plan to drip blade, as the steel will get pretty hot while profiling. You may want to put waterproofer over the top. And other products can be used like hairspray that might work, instead of Duke.

It’s a definitely good idea to make patterns especially if you want to repeat design. Mild steel stays pretty consistency as far as moisture is concerned. You could use wood, but if it gets some wet you can get into the trouble. Mild steel is very cheap, stable, sturdy and lasts a long time. And you can easily scribe around its dozens if not hundreds of times, without compromising and the material itself. Unlike plastic or wood.

Tip #3 Plexiglass Pattern

If you have already made designs, you can keep them and go to the local hardware store and buy a piece of Plexiglass. Take the knife and clamp it to the Plexiglas and then take a scribe and scratch a line around it and cut it on either a wood cutting band or metal cutting band soil. Now drill the exact same holes in the templates. You can do with a Dremel rotary tool.

Knife Sheath Pattern

The sheath can make or break how the knife is carried and also the look of it. You don't want to just cut out of a piece the leather, fold it over and stitch it. You want to make a knife sheath template functional and esthetical at the same way. Follow these steps below and learn how to make a knife template and use that process to make the sheets however you want.

Step #1 Draw Template

Place the knife out on cardboard piece and trace around the blade as much of the handle as you want to cover with sheath.

The template isn’t symmetrical, as the back of the sheath has an extension that will be folded down and stitched in place to create a loop through which belt will be threaded. This doesn’t have to be ideal.

Step #2 Cut and Compose Leather Knife Sheath Pattern

With a pair of scissors, do a rough cut to see how pattern looks when the knife is laid out. Then fold the template in half along the line that will create the blade's back part of the sheath and trim the overlap, therefore the model is symmetrical. Press the paper against the blade to see where it lies within the model.

Next, apply a little bit of adhesive tape to make the template the same 3D shape as your leather will be. It allows you to adjust now while it’s easier.

Then, trim back the template to even it out and give the handle a little more exposure. A little more trimming and you’ll be ready to cut out the actual sheath leather. Cut the tape holding template together and flatten it out.

Step #3 Trace and Cut Leather

Place pattern onto the opposite side of leather and trace it. Since it's easier and sets up the belt loop, so the right side is facing forward. Ignore the belt loop section of the template and use it just as a guide to follow a long piece with a ruler to ensure it’s long enough and straight.

Cut leather using a rotary cutter but avoid cutting inside corners where the blade part of the sheath meets the belt loop, because you'll over-cut.

Step #4 Leather Forming

Wrap the knife with plenty of plastic wraps. Then use dishtowel, knife to be sheathed, a pan of hot tap water, and binder clips. Place the sheath part of leather in hot water for a few minutes. It’ll change color and bubble a little as the water seeps into the leather.

Then, put leather on the dishtowel and fold the towel over the leather and push down to dry and squeeze out the excess water. Lay the knife on leather and fold it over, forming it over the handle as you go. Using binder clips, clamp the leather in place and work the leather, so it forms naturally around the handle and blade. You can shape the leather with fingers, so it covers the handle. Set it aside to dry but check it every 5 minutes for the first half hour to be sure the leather is molding the way you want. When the leather becomes dry, remove the binder clips. A leather knife sheath pattern is ready for using.

Step #5 Sheath Trimming and Seam Stitching

Use the rotary cutter to cut the sheath to size by taking off the rough edges and trace the contour of the handle and blade. Then cut through 2 layers of leather that have been water-hardened so it'll need a little more pressure. Cut slowly and be careful.

After that, use a leather chisel, cut a low groove into the leather following the edge of the sheath stitch. Do this freehand or with a built-in guide chisel. Mark stitches in the groove using a tracing wheel. 6 holes by the inch are enough. If you don’t have a tracing wheel, run it freehand.

Then, put the sheath on a plastic cutting board and using stitching needle, create holes in the indentations that are made with tracing wheel. Use a small wooden hammer and tap stitching needle lightly. Once you have poked all holes, lift the top layer of the sheath, and do the same thing on the bottom, as stitching needle will create holes on the bottom layer too. If you don’t have a stitching needle, you can use an ice pick. Stitching needles work better since they make a small slot, not a hole.

Step #6 Final Touch

When you reach the top of the sheath, flip it and run from the bottom. The goal is to make a stitch that won't mess up, and with the groove in the leather, the sew is protected and sits even or below the leather surface. Tie knots, then sew needle in and out the end holes a few times, finishing by sewing the needle through one layer of leather and then pull tight. Cut the lacing level with the stitch, and it will be hidden.

Now you have your own made leather knife sheath.

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