First, before we begin, you need to go to this site:
It is absolutely incredible. It was my inspiration for my own leather scabbard. I appreciate how well put-together his site is.
So, following along with his instructions I began the fancy part of my scabbard.
The first cut is super scary. Just check, double check, then triple check and cut slowly and carefully. I cut 5/8″ cuts for 1/2″ wide straps. I chose to use 4.
Keep the leather pretty wet when you slide straps through.
Gently stretch the holes up with a tool. I used my sculpting tools.
Leave a radius circle where you split the straps to prevent it from splitting more. This is a great tip for lots of materials, including latex or metal. That hole or circle is way stronger than a sharp V cut.
I will end up cutting those straps thinner as I progress. The widest part of the strap is about 2.5″. I wanted to make sure I had enough. I left everything oversized and cut it down as I progressed.
Slide the top strap in the front slots, wrap it around to the back, and slide it through two slots cut on the back.
You can see the wet leather. I got the top strap through the front slots. While it is still wet, press down on the slots, and burnish your leather in place. Press it all down to make it look snug. You want these and all of the slots pretty tight. You will have to tug pretty good on the strap to get it in the slots. It is slow, patient work.
There are the two slots cut in the back. The front strap wraps around and goes through these two.
The strap goes back to the front, wraps under itself, then up and over and towards the back. Once the strap is on the back side again, a slot is cut and it passes through, like the above photo. There are lots of cuts to make, so keep referring back to the website listed above to figure out the lacing procedure. And only cut the slots when you come to them.
This is the bottom belt. This one is tough. You have to cut four slices in the scabbard, then 4 slices in the belt, and pass the straps through all of them. The other website has better photos than mine. But this part takes some focus, and some patience.
The bottom strap comes down a few inches and scabbard leather pokes through a slot cut in the bottom strap. My strap could have been thinner but I was afraid I would not have enough room to fit the top strap in.
This is the end of the strap that turns into the top and bottom thin strap. You can leave holes like this, or put a buckle here. The holes are probably historically correct, but I may still put a buckle later on mine.
In the above finished photo, you can see the short strap on the left with the two holes in the end. You can see the long belt on the right. The long belt has to be long enough to go around your waist. I think mine is 2.5″ wide.
I cut the straps thinner as they progressed. They go through another slot, then the knot.
The long belt is split into two straps that get pulled into the short strap with the holes (where the buckle could go).
There you can see the back side.
For this, you are supposed to use vegetable tanned leather because it stretches easier and you can tool it, and dye it. But this is what I had on hand.
The long belt enters the two holes on the short strap, pulled tight, then tied over.
This fancy system helps the sword to hang better, and with more support.
So, there you go, a long, drawn-out project that I have always wanted to do. It takes a lot of time, a lot of patience, and some guts. But it will level your skills up a notch or two by time you are done.
Go ahead, tackle a huge ass project, have some fun.