English Saws

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Tools and Woods with Bob Smalser

  Linder Rigging Knife 1 of 3  

I use a knife several times a day on the job that involves a lot of tree work, excavation and heavy construction.


As much as I love the automatic Buck, it’s just not tough enough for the job, and I decide to replace it with a fixed blade.

So I start looking for rigging knives…short, thick, and tough enough to hit the blade back with a hammer. Put off by the 100-dollar-plus price of the better ones, I looked around for older, used knives to grind down, but couldn’t find one with a thick enough blade. Dave Fleming was nice enough to go around to marine stores and handle a bunch of them… and recommended the Linder in the 60-dollar range. So I ordered one.

Great knife and perfect for my needs…. but the sheath at top left that came with it wasn’t made for that knife…. way too tight and the knife rides backwards for a right-hander. My usual trick of building up the knife handle with foam and tape, soaking the sheath and letting them dry out while mated didn’t work. The chrome-tanned shoe leather didn’t stretch and mold itself around the knife. Oh well… the sheaths for my Buck and multi-tool have seen better days, and I recently lost my Maglite sheath… so I’ll simply have to make a new one that accommodates all my usual side arms.

I make a pattern out of graph paper, puzzling out all the tool pockets and seam allowances by trial fitting, snipping and cutting….

…and when I’m satisfied I won’t ruin any expensive leather, cut the pattern out from vegetable tanned tooling leather, which will stretch and shrink very forgivingly to accommodate my guesses on sizes and seams.

As I’ll carry this all day, every day, I want the tools mounted relatively high on my belt so they don’t gore me sitting in the truck, and I want the sheath to tip forward a bit…so I position the belt slide on the back of the sheath accordingly. I use a pounce wheel to mark the seams for even stitches.

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