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Sheath review - Bay State Leather

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by quake, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,109
    62
    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Trailmaster in factory kydex sheath. If you like these, great; personally I can’t stand them. Even if they worked for us left-handers (which they don’t), I still don’t like it; personal opinion only and not objective assessment, I admit…
    [​IMG]

    Same trailmaster in the Bay State Leather ambidextrous sheath, which works for lefties & righties both. (Looks very plain in this pic, but this is the bare-bones view - it gets better.) Sheath can be had in brown or black – when I ordered mine, Bruce actually made up two in brown, posted pics and let me take my pick; all in just over a week – very good customer service. The little protrusion on the edge will be explained as we go:
    [​IMG]

    This particular sheath comes with a two-section accessory pouch, intended for a multitool and ferrocerium rod:
    [​IMG]

    Pouch is made to fit around sheath, with straps & snaps on the back:
    [​IMG]

    On the sheath, held in place by four snaps and the small (looped) leather protrusion on the edge:
    [​IMG]

    Continued below due to pic limit...
     
  2. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,109
    62
    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Continued...

    Back side with the pouch attached – showing snaps & securing loop (not sure what to call that loop…); it’s just a little hollow sleeve:
    [​IMG]

    In the pouch, I put a Leatherman supertool 300, and a combo magnesium/ferrocerium stick. If I were Daniel Boone with months of no re-supply in sight, I’d go with a thicker ferro rod and forgo the magnesium:
    [​IMG]

    For the finishing touch - in the looped protrusion, a small sharpening steel (taken from a retracting Gerber sharpener) fits like it was meant for it. Narrow duct tape wrapped to give a little better grip and to prevent it sliding down out of the loop:
    [​IMG]



    All said & done, grabbing this knife sheath gives me a large woods knife, a very good multitool, a sharpening steel for both, plus fire-making capability. All in a simple (admittedly not feather light) grab-n-go package:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Summary - very, very happy with the package. Only one change I may make is to regarding the belt attachement. It’s currently a quick-attach snap setup and I’ll likely replace the snap with a screw or even rivet. Nothing inherently wrong with the snap-on setup and it’d probably be fine forever as is; but being somewhat of a belt-and-suspenders fan when it comes to woods gear, I like the idea of a non-quick-attach setup better than a snap. Not a criticism at all; most people would probably prefer the snap – just not my preference.

    Overall, the quality is excellent. The leather is stout without being brittle or clunky, everything fits very well, and the stitching & edge finishing (two weak points for a lot of leather goods) are both top-notch.



    This webpage is where I originally found Bay State Leather – as fate would have it, it’s a group of pics & reviews by another satisfied customer: http://www.m4040.com/Knifemaking/Sheaths/Sheaths.htm

    That page has one done in black, for a scrapyard dogfather instead of a trailmaster. Very sharp in black with the nifty paracord wrap, but again, just not my preference.

    Bay State Leather sheath page: http://baystateleather.net/KniveSheaths.aspx

    This is the two Bruce made when I ordered one – the dark brown is the one I chose; the antique brown may still be available if a person didn’t want to wait to have one made to order: http://baystateleather.net/CustomOrders.aspx

    Final comment – based on just the one transaction, I’m happy enough with the product & service both that I’ll likely have a similar rig made up for my 8” marbles ideal as well. The fact that I’d use his product for my favorite, and most-used woods knife is about as high a recommendation as I can give.
     


  3. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

    11,018
    2
    Feb 18, 2009
    Did he already have the pattern for your knife or did you send him the knife for reference?
    I really like the looks of your sheath.
     
  4. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

    1,693
    1
    Aug 8, 2004
    Maine
    Great review, nice looking sheath... sorry about that disability of yours. Being left handed isn't that bad, or so I'm told, with proper training some people get over it...:tongueout:
     
  5. LongGun1

    LongGun1 StraightShooter

  6. ratf51

    ratf51

    1,025
    0
    Aug 6, 2010
    NW GA
    That is a really nice set-up. Thanks for the review. You've got a lot of bases covered with that!
     
  7. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,109
    62
    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    His pattern; same one he uses for the slightly-longer dogfather. (This is from the M4040 link above):
    [​IMG]

    I asked him about making one for my marbles which he doesn't have a pattern for, and he said to just trace it onto graph paper, scan it & email him the scanned image so he can reproduce the dimensions. I like that approach, as I'd be leery sending a relatively expensive (and now-discontinued & so irreplaceable) knife off, even to a reputable dealer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  8. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,109
    62
    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    I hear ya... It's the closest thing to 'minority' status I've got going for me. :whistling:

    Of course, it's offset by the fact that I'm a conservative heterosexual angry white male who's preoccupied with clinging to my guns & religion; so no valid "minority status" or any of the inevitable associated gubmint handouts for me. Certainly does suck to be a productive member of society nowadays... :sad:
     
  9. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

    11,018
    2
    Feb 18, 2009
    Thanks for the info. My son and I have been making knives out of leaf springs and I have been looking for someone to make some sheaths to fit them.
     
  10. BR549

    BR549 Thread Killer

    441
    0
    Jan 18, 2008
    I'm not knocking your opinion on leather vs. Kydex...

    ...but can't you use a screwdriver to turn that particular Kydex sheath around for Left-Handed-Use ? :whistling:

    FWIW I don't like the use of nylon to "drop" the sheath to the preferred position unless the bottom of the sheath is "tied" to the leg...

    A kydex drop loop can be fabricated very easily to provide the stiffness necessary to release the knife from the kydex when wanted.

    BTW - that's some pretty leather. :cool:
     
  11. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,109
    62
    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    You can. I didn't even bother checking when I first got the knife, as I was so illified by the sheath itself. Like the nylon drop-loop as you mention; what's up with that...? Using a floppy piece of fabric like that on a sheath like this makes no sense to me (even if a person liked kydex sheaths) and is nearly unforgivable on cold steel's part imo. A very capable ~$200 knife, and they go and put it in a silly, half-rigid, half-floppy contraption like that. :puking:

    So to be fair, yes you could. It would just still suck... :supergrin:


    I'm actually considering replacing the rubber handle on the knife as well, as it's kind of small and tapered wrong imo. It's a variation on a coffin handle (which admittedly is common on bowies), but I prefer a palm-swell shape instead, like a kabar or marbles uses; something that gets larger in the center of the hand rather than skinnier. Frankly even if it were tapered correctly, the factory grip is also just a little too small for a knife this size; imo anyway.
     
  12. BR549

    BR549 Thread Killer

    441
    0
    Jan 18, 2008
    They expect you to tie it down to your leg like a gunslinger from the Ole South...ahh.. hmmm... I mean Old West. LOL Not always my choice.


    You must have bought that thing a long time ago. There are many, many knives out there with handles/grips like you prefer, and that is an expensive knife for a Cold Steel. That's not a complaint against Cold Steel knives, but I have never seriously considered purchasing that knife just because of its price.

    IMO this is a sweet knife made by BRKT for Blackjack:

    http://www.knivesshipfree.com/product_info.php?cPath=653&products_id=6350

    The grip has a decent palm swell and is a little slick, but it handles extremely well.




    Back to the leather sheath this thread is really about...that's a good price if it's made to be durable. I might consider buying one for a Dogfather. Or I might consider selling my Dogfathers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  13. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,109
    62
    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    Only time will tell, but it certainly seems to be - I've done leatherwork small scale for a number of years so am somewhat familiar with what to watch for, and it's very well done as far as I can tell on the surface.

    As for the grips (now that I can actually bring myself to use the knife), I'm leaning toward something similar to that blackjack. Only been thinking about it a little while, but what I'm initially picturing is something with the material and pommel shape of this bark river:
    [​IMG]

    with a less-square profile, more like the marbles or kabar:
    [​IMG]

    Main complication is that the trailmaster has a reduced full tang (like the marbles), and so the grip(s) would have to be fit around the tang metal rather than just attached to the tang slab-form the way a true full-tang knife could be. Gonna take some thinking & work if I decide to do it. Like I don't have enough projects... :treadmill:
     
  14. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

    4,289
    126
    Dec 25, 1999
    Rebel South
  15. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    4,109
    62
    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    It lets it dangle free, which is handy when you sit, squat, etc. When sitting down, that long a knife gets awkward, especially when 'forced' to some degree to go into a position that's at odds with the normal 90-degree angle to the belt that it typically holds & wants to stay at. The swivel helps keep it from binding. I haven't had the sheath long enough to say with much authority, but the little I've used it in the last week or so, it does behave better than a normal sheath does when I'm in a position other than standing or walking. (Driving, riding a 4-wheeler, taking a break, etc.)

    For that matter, if you look at some old pics of cops, you'll see that a lot of duty holsters for revolvers has a similar snap-released swivel to keep the holster from binding when driving, etc.

    [​IMG]

    This is the first sheath I've had with this kind of setup, but so far I like it. May be a downside to it that I'll only encounter with more use; can't say yet.