Rons Primitive Skills

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

No-sew sheath for the Condor Golok

I have always liked to make sheaths this way. No sewing. Just good old copper belt rivets and burrs. Why are they called belt rivets? Back before electric motors were common and even steam was still being used, machine tools were run from a central power station and all the drills, lathes, milling cutters, etc were hooked to it with long leather belts. There is no critter that has a hide big enough to make a 30 foot belt so they were craftily spliced from various lengths with these copper belt rivets. The hide was the top grade, thickest part from the center of the cows back. I remember my grandfather had a huge machine shop back in the 50's and it was all belt driven. He inherited it from his father so it must have dated from the early 1900's. A huge electric motor ran everything. He had a big roll of this belting and when needed he would cut off the appropriate length. This stuff didn't wear out very fast. Every so many months he would take a gallon can of neatsfoot oil and with a paint brush give each belt a good coating. There was an art to adjusting the speed of the main belt bar and each individual machine through different pulleys attached to the machines. I watched him cob a belt together one day and the simplicity of the process has stayed with me all these years. If you look at some of my other knives posted on this blog you'll see this style of sheath is a recurring theme.

I made this sheath to be belt carried and to have some attachment points for carrying it on my back packs. All thats left to do is give it a good coating of beeswax and its all done.

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