Nazgul Holdout Stiletto – Part 4

Now it’s time to make a sheath for this dagger.  I’m (loosely) basing the sheath on the Bell Dirks.  Bell Dirks are contemporaries of of the famous Bowie knives, and were highly decorated, long slim daggers typically carried by gamblers and other “gentlemen.”  The sheaths had a “frog” (button) that was intended to be worn by slipping the dagger inside the waistband of the trousers, and the “frog” buttoned into a vest buttonhole, thus keeping the handle of the dagger easily at hand.

Today I’m making a leather liner to cushion the blade inside a rawhide outer cover.

Above, I’ve wrapped some thin tooling leather (wet with alcohol) around the dagger.  I covered the dagger with duct tape to prevent rust, and wound thread around the leather to keep it in place until it dries.

Above, I’m starting to work on the “frog”  (the copper plate).  I cut out a piece of 16 gauge copper sheet and drilled a 1/8 inch diameter hole in it, as well as using the file in the image to “break” or smooth the edges and corners.  Then, I annealed and pickled the copper sheet.

I need to curve the plate a bit to fit onto the leather liner, and beneath the rawhide outer cover.  To start the curving, I chose a drill bit of appropriate diameter to use as a mandrel.  Then, I used one of the corner notches(?) on the anvil to begin curving the sheet by sandwiching the copper between the anvil and the drill bit, and striking (gently) the drill bit.

I continued curving by opening the vise jaws just wide enough and further tapping the drill bit.  Incidentally, this is a blacksmith’s floor vise without any teeth on the jaws which might mar the copper.

And, above, is the copper frog plate in it’s approximate position to test the fit.

Here, I’ve turned a brass button with a 1/8 inch diameter rivet stub on the bottom, installed it into the the copper frog plate, peened the rivet over, and soldered them both together.  Have I mentioned before I’m a belt and suspenders kind of guy?

Above, the fabricated frog from the side.

And a view of the rivet from the underside.

Above, the completed frog in place, ready to be patinated.

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