In a recent YouTube video that I posted at http://youtu.be/KD08S_RQwvM , one of the items that I discussed was a camp axe that was sold with a clear plastic sheath. This sheath was stuck to the hatchet’s head because the protective grease had apparently formed a adhesive bond with the plastic cover. This cover was apparently designed to be used to hang on a pegboard for display, and was nearly worthless for any other use. Because camping hatchets must somehow be transported to the campsite, their blades need to be protected to keep them from accidently cutting holes in tents or other gear and/or cutting someone or something, like a horse, while being taken to camp.In looking through my accumulated items that I had mostly salvaged from my local Dempsey Dumpster, I recovered some canvas that had once been part of an inexpensive Chinese screen. The clear, white wooden supports were cut for tent stakes, and I thought the canvas, although somewhat thin, would do for an exterior cover. By happenstance, I also had a piece of packing foam that was about 1/4-inch thick and tear resistant that could be formed to fit the hatchet’s head and protect the sheath’s cloth exterior.
My first step was to cut a hole in the foam for the handle and then form the foam around the hatchet’s head. As a temporary measure, I used masking tape to hold the foam into shape while I sewed it with blue polymer thread from a spool that belonged to my late wife. I also found a fairly thick needle from a package of assorted needles that I had bought decades ago. After I formed the basic shape with the sheet foam, I roughly cut the cloth to allow a sufficient amount to wrap around the foam form to make a flap that would extend to the bottom of the sheath and cover the hatchet’s head. I used the handle of a small Buck folding knife to push the needle through as many as six layers of cloth, foam and nylon.
Part of the sewing was done while I was in my deer stand waiting for deer (none came). Because the cover was completely white, I used the camo cloth from an old Mossy Oak badge holder to mostly cover the sheath’s exterior, and I salvaged two strips of Velcro from the badge holder to provide a positive closure over the hump caused by the protruding hatchet’s handle. I thought about adding reinforcing grommets, but decided that the many lines of tough polymer thread were sufficient to hold the weight of the hatchet, considering that this weight was distributed over the bottom of the sheath by the foam lining.
The last step was to sew on two nylon straps to form belt loops so that I could carry the Camp Hatchet on my belt to clear trail or take to the camp. Now this hatchet is permanently part of my camp gear, and it is stored with other camping gear in a pre-packed box that I keep ready for my next camping trip.
There is a video about making this sheath at: http://youtu.be/npcvQErZVDQ and also a group of annotated photos on Pinterest.
One thought on “Making a Sheath for a Camp Hatchet or Axe”
The day after I finished this sheath I made another using the same components for the Shingler’s hatchet. Because I had the design down and all of the components in hand, this sheath took only about 5 hours to complete. Most of the sewing was done while I was in my deer stand. (No deer) This hatchet will go into my boat box to be used for cleaning gar fish where the tough scales must be chopped through to extract the two strips of meat (backstraps) from either side of the backbone. This meat provides some of the best eating of all freshwater fish.