poor-man's wet-forming leather press


The Knife Poet
So I got this idea from the presses used for forming kydex.
If you get the recesses lined up just right,this is one slick unit.
Make sure your foam is the same length and width,it'll help keep the recesses lined up just right.
Slightly round off any sharp edge:wet leather picks up any little irregularity,and a sharp edge of even this foam will create a crease.








Super Moderator and KD Blade Show Boss
I've never worked with leather, but that looks like a dang nice little set up. Thank you for sharing your method with us.


The Knife Poet
Thanks folks.
I have another idea for this set-up,and as soon as I figure it out,I'll post it.
Because I noticed that damp leather picks up any little irregularity
from the surface that's pressing on it,I'm gonna make some molds for imprinting designs and patterns on the outside when I clamp the sheath.
The one I want to do 1st is a 'Gator Hide pattern!
Then,one that embellishes the outside with bamboo borders and or designs,
then maybe one that looks like diamond plate (like aluminum job-boxes)...

...(I outta start keepin' these ideas quiet and marketing them...oops,too late!huh1)


The Knife Poet
I've tried a couple different kinds but find this works great:
Roofmate brand insulating foam 1" thick.
The recess on each side are the same depth as the scales,and about 1/8" wider than the handle to allow for the thickness of the leather.
This is what I've found works best to create a real snug fit.


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The Knife Poet
the way I do it is this:
I dampen the leather with a sponge,both sides (just the area you want formed).
Place in the press for an hour or so.
The leather will take it's shape.
Take the sheath out and let dry until you can see the surface color return to normal,
the core will still be damp,so let dry for another couple of hours.
Now,your epoxy/glue will grab,so you're ready to go.

Keith Willis

Well-Known Member

I only wet the top half,but I did more than just dampen it.
I let it dry in front of the fan last night,and it seams to be dry.
I will be out of town today,so I think I will take it with me
and leave it in the car,should be dry by the time I get home.
This is the first I have ever done like this,but it won't be the last.2thumbs

Thanks Wolf

God bless,Keith

Steven Kelly

Forum Owner & Moderator
Great tutorial ..

I have been doing my sheaths very similar to this for several years. I actually use the same high density foam that I use for forming kydex. Then I have one of those elcheapo H.F. benchtop A-frame presses that I have modified with a couple flat plates.
Just be sure to put the knife and sheath in a large ziplock bag so that it doesn't pick up any dust while forming...

Works great every time!!!


The Knife Poet
oh yeah,I forgot to add;
I wrap the knife in a couple layers of cling-wrap to keep moisture out...
I'm so focussed on being a Student and Learning that my Teaching skills (?)
are a little lacking...huh1
As for how often you can re-use the foam forms,I don't know (yet),but I'd guess it's good for at least 3-4 uses.
I have 4 more Mavericks to do,and the handles will all be pretty much the same so I'll be able to get back to you on that one in a bit.
I'm really glad I had an idea that's worth sharing,finally!:D


The Knife Poet
Great tutorial ..

... I actually use the same high density foam that I use for forming kydex...

I'm going to be picking up kydex and that foam soon,because I want to start making kydex sheaths as well.
I've thought about trying this roofing foam for kydex,but figured the heat from the kydex might melt the foam...(gonna try anyway:ya never know until ya try,right?)