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Sheath review - Bay State Leather

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


  1. quake

    quake
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    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...
     

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  2. quake

    quake
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    Nice Setup! :thumbsup:


    Thanks for the review! :supergrin:
     
  6. ratf51

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    That is a really nice set-up. Thanks for the review. You've got a lot of bases covered with that!
     
  7. quake

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    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.
     
    #7 quake, Aug 12, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  8. quake

    quake
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.
     
    #12 BR549, Aug 15, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  13. quake

    quake
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    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
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    Whats up with the keyfob style belt loop?
     
  15. quake

    quake
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    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.
     
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