knife sheath glue?


Well-Known Member
I'm new at making sheaths and need to know what glue is used for sheaths? Also, when adding snake skin to leather what glue is used on the skin? Rey
I use Barge Cement or some kind of Loctite glue that I don't remember what they call it, but it's in a white tube and seems to be even stronger than Barge, surprisingly. I have also heard good things about Tanner's Bond Leather Cement. As far as snake skin, I don't have any experience there, but I would imagine you could use any of the glues I've mentioned.
Generally, leather guys use contact cement and there are dozens of brands out there. The basic process is to paint the contact cement on both pieces to be joined together and wait until it is dry. It should have a shine to the dried finish or you need to apply another coat as the leather has soaked up the first coat. A quick second coat will give you a dry "shine" finish. Put the two pieces together carefully. It will stick right off. A few light hammer taps (don't dent the leather) to bond the surfaces together will finish it. The bond will strengthen over the next 24 hours to be stronger than the leather. I use Tanners Bond from Tandy myself but a lot of guys use Barge and it is also good stuff.
Use Weldwood Contact Cement, you can get it at Lowes or Home Depot. They always have it in stock. Sandy was the one who told me about it and I know Paul uses it too. It is alot easier to get and cheaper than Barge by a lot.
I have used Weldwood, but I started using Titebond II and like it.Dave:)
Another vote for Weldwood...just yesterday I had to take apart a welt I decided I could improve on, after only 10 minutes of gluing it to the front panel of a sheath. It was not easy.
I can't imagine a better bond....or why I would want 1
Weldwood turns hard and brittle after time. The contact cements designed for leather stay flexible - longer.
I have a poly-head hammer I use to pound the joints. I put a piece of scrap leather over the sheath leather to minimize dents.
Weldwood turns hard and brittle after time. The contact cements designed for leather stay flexible - longer.
Like Sandy I've been using Weldwood for a long time - 35 years or longer - and never had that problem on leather?? and I've used it frequently on flexible items such as clothing or lined bags over that time and have never experienced brittleness - other's mileage will vary of course......I'd be real curious on how long it's taken for you to experience that brittleness???
On the other hand most sheaths really shouldn't flex all that much anyway, over flexing contributes to the blade existing through the side of the sheath where it shouldn't.............

My second favorite is Tanner's Bond from Tandy..........

Barge is (was) good (and expensive), but it was never developed for leather work per se as is commonly thought - it was specifically developed for gluing on shoe soles which needed to retain flex - IMO the new version is no where near as good as the old - Tanner's Bond or Weldwood on the other hand are still as good as ever
Chuck, if you have Sandy are using it - I stand corrected. You guys forgot more than I will ever know about leather working. My experience with Weldwood was from construction and specifically laminating counter tops. I would have thought that would be the same in leather but with your experience proving that to be different I wouldn't hesitate to use it for that application. Thanks for your input.
I still use the yellow Barge, I started with it since I was a kid since it's about all I knew to use. The local cobbler used it and it has always done whatever I needed on leather so I have never switched. I've read about recent changes in the Barge and that many people can't get the yellow or something. Even the yellow Barge doesn't seem to be as thick and gooey as it once was. Maybe I'll try the Weldwood next time.

I've built houses and been around construction much of my life and my only experience with Weldwood was what the counter top and laminate applications. My experience is same as Tracy, it gets kinda hard, much more than a glob of Barge. I would have never even thought to try it on a leather bag that I expected to flex. I wonder what keeps it flexible with leather?
I used to do cabinets laminating and lots of veneers too way back when with Weldwood and since I always had it around I decided to try it on leather (the can says it can be used on leather so....) anyway it worked fine and been using it most of the time since....
Now that's on veg/bark tan - for "porous" leathers like brain tan or buckskin, where the regular contact cements off gas too much/too fast to work well, I use either the latex based Weldwood or Tear Mender which is a great "white" glue with a fast set time - on porous materials in really works great - I get it at the local Ace Hardware......
Chuck - I think you just answered my question of what to use to glue down suede or buckskin linings to the welt and outer leathers. I've been using plain ole' hardware store variety contact cement and found the liner gets to stiff and misshapen before I have time to stretch it over and in place. I feel I want more working time before it tacks up.

Is a latex-based product like Weldwood better for this specific use?

I should mention that I often make wood sheaths that are fully lined.

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