Years ago, I learned from a leather crafter that you can form leather with common rubbing alcohol. I recalled this when I was fixing up my last tool belt. I like to use the old-style fixed-blade utility knife because of its positive, wiggle-free action. But for safety’s sake, it needs its own sheath.
My local supplier had a tool sheath that was a little tight for the utility knife, so I soaked the sheath in rubbing alcohol and jammed in the knife. By working the leather with my fingers, I was able to shape the sheath to fit the knife and to roll down the top edge a little to make it easier to return the knife to its slot. Then I set it aside to dry with the knife inside, as shown in the drawing. Once the alcohol dried, the leather maintained its shape.
Now I’ve got a sheath that fits my knife perfectly, allowing me to withdraw it easily, while at the same time holding it securely enough to keep it from falling out accidentally.
Bruce Crooks, Ottsville, PA
Edited by Charles Miller
From Fine Homebuilding #51