Leatherworking
If you have a sharp tool that needs a new set of clothes, be it a knife, axe, billhook, etc, then this is where you can learn how. Using your tool to create a pattern I’ll show you how to form, dye, sew and finish a sheath from the same thick English vegetable tanned leather that I use for my sheathes.  If you have previously been on one of my axe/knifemaking courses but were unable to take up the sheathmaking day, then you can come along for this day at a discounted price.

Take a look at the gallery below to give you an idea of how things progress...

booking and course enquiry
Examlpes of students' work

Normally run as group courses of between 3 and 8 people, or as part of a longer course (such as the third day of a 3-day knifemaking course). I offer the leatherworking courses as individual day courses that are often paired up with other subjects to make a weekend of it.  All of the tools and materials that you will need are provided and while I prefer to use traditional tools and techniques, I will show you where some modern workshop tools can make life a little easier on occasion.

Until the end of 2010 these courses were run outside under the trees or under the shelter of my Outdoor forge set up, but as of 2011 I have a purpose-built Leather Workshop! Take a look at the workshop tour page for a better look, but basically it has all of the tools laid out where we need them, special tables for cutting leather out on and my library of craft books on hand for inspiration; but more importantly it has soft chairs and a wood burner to keep us cozy while we work!

Some tools and leatherworking supplies will also be available to buy if you decide that you would like to carry on at home afterwards.

Sheath Making Courses
Pouch Making Courses
Pouches are amazingly useful and underated I think. Bushcrafters call them Possibles Pouches, larpers (LRP and Living History) keep everything from in character bits to modern items that can’t be seen by the public hidden in them, I’ve a friend who keeps his baccy and papers in his and I keep my little camera in mine. Whatever use you have for a pouch, its always nice to have a solidly made one that looks good, better still if you have made it yourself!

Starting with the same basic style, I can show you how to make a cardboard pattern that will be the basis for your pouch. Then from veg tanned leather you will wet form, sew, dye and finish the pouch of your desired shape and size. You can decide how it is fastened closed and how it is to be worn on the belt (if at all).


Take a look at the gallery below to give you an idea of how things progress  (though I've only run this once so far, so there aren't many pics!)...

Having made their card patterns, cut the leather and dyed it, these guys are now marking out the stiching holesThe longest part of the process: lots of sewing!Three completed pouchesTwo happy pouch owners. I've seen Matt (right) many times since and he still uses his pouch a great deal!
make a paper patterntransfer pattern to leather and cut it out.dye the leather a colour of your choice. I can show you some interesting dying techniques too!after wet forming the sheath is left to dry. a nive arty shot of some of the tools used, courtesy of a student (Dan)Before the sheath is put together, the belt loop has to be sewn in placeContact/Impact adhesive is used to glue the parts together. Don't sniff it, it'll give you a headache!Like I say, it's IMPACT adhesive! the tapping sets the bondTrim the edge of the sheath to a tidy finish. Mark and punch the stitching holes using overstitching wheels and diamond awls.The first dificulty in sewing is getting the thread onto the needles. Sit back and relax whislt you sew the sheath upOnce it's all sewn up, oil is applied to keep the leather in good nick and help waterproof it. Maybe time for another cup of tea too?a few examples from a coursea few examples from a course