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The Scabbard Tutorial: Part 1 by chioky The Scabbard Tutorial: Part 1 by chioky
:star: Trench Carving

Many of you have asked for a "how to make a scabbard" tutorial, so I have decided to draw it up with my doodle like tutorials. There are in total 3 different ways to make a scabbard successfully.

Trench Carving is by far the strongest type of scabbard that you can make for your katana. It is how you tradationally you make scabbard's for actual katana's. However the downside is, it is the most time consuming, and requires the most skill. So by far this is the hardest way to make a scabbard.

Step 1: Get a sheet of strip pine wood thats atleast 7.5mm in thickness its lengh can be anything longer then the lengh of the blade for now. Get the blade of the sword and lay it down on the pinewood. Then draw an outline of the blade atleast 5mm away from the actual blade. The end of the scabbard should be squared.

Step 2: Grab a coping saw and then cut out both of the scabbard parts from the pine wood. Make sure to use sandpaper to make sand off the rough edges. Now put one on top of the other and make sure they align correctly and the total thickness is 15mm. If it is not aligned correctly sand it until it is in shape.

Step 3: With a craft or x-acto knife make a deep score or cut across the outline of the scabbard on both parts of the pinewood. This will act as your guide line. Then with a hammer and chisel slowly and carefully start chiselling away the excess wood in the center of the scabbard. Be very carefull as to not destroy the pinewood.

Step 4: Now the habaki must fit snuggly onto the entrance of the scabbard. So chisel out some room for the habaki to slide and lock into place. Then put the scabbard pieces together and check if they are aligned correctly. Then you must test and see if the blade from the katana can slide through easily and the habaki.

Step 5: Alternatively you could just be very rough with the chiselling. Instead of being accurate you can just roughly with chisels just carve out the inner wood until the blade slides into the sheath when combined. This saves alot more time but the chances you destroy the pinewood is alot more when your not carefull.

Step 6: Sand the inside of both of the scabbard parts so that it won’t scratch the paint work of the blade. An alternative is to line the inside of both of the scabbard parts with a fabric like suede to protect the blade as it slides in. Cut the fabric to appropriate length and glue it into position. Then slide the blade in to test.

Step 7: Once you have made sure the scabbard parts align perfectly, glue both pieces of the parts together with wood glue. Now make sure to compress hard when the glue has been applied of the. Wait for the glue dry before moving on. If you rush it and the scabbard is not aligned correctly, start again.

Step 8: Now with hand files round all the sides of the scabbard until it is oval shaped. Then use grades of sandpaper from the most course to the most fine to smooth the sheath. The scabbard should be as smooth and round as possible. The sides of the scabbard can be covered with wood filler.

Step 9: Finnaly, Apply white primer spray paint. Apply several coats until grain is not visible, the inside is not needed. Next apply the appropriate coat of coloured spray paint. Then finally apply a hard protective clear gloss on the sheath. Once everything is finnaly dried you can test if the blade slides into the scabbard parfectly
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:iconbaneuzakey:
BaneUzakey Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
quick question! I have a katana that does NOT have a... Habaki I belive you called it? anyways, to get to my point how would you get the Katana to stay in firmly, but not to tight to pull out easily?
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
that would depend entirely on the habaki, that is it's function after all, its a latch
Reply
:iconbaneuzakey:
BaneUzakey Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
ahh alright. Ill have to try and figure something else out then :/
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:iconskellybro:
SkellyBro Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'm using this method but with foam, and this is really useful! Thanks a ton. :3
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
go have fun now
Reply
:icontheunknownlegend129:
Theunknownlegend129 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
As I had said on my post in the Katana part, I'm doing this for a project. I've got about a month to do this and if I finish one i was thinking about making a UNC style katana for my teacher to keep ( for more credit ;D) and the other for me so I was wondering if I could make 2 katanas and 2 scabbards in about a month?
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:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
its actually quite easy to make 2 swords if they are almost identical so yes
Reply
:icontheunknownlegend129:
Theunknownlegend129 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Sweet ill make sure to add a picture and the grade when its done!
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:iconjayden133:
Jayden133 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011
I finished the scabbard for the larger sword in time and it turned out awesome (totally snug fit and all)!! Thank you so much for making the tutorial!!
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:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
you should upload it
Reply
:iconjayden133:
Jayden133 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2011
Ima going to attempt to make 2 sheaths starting today ....chiseling marathon lol. I have about 4 full days. I just hope my katana will slide in properly (the curve isn't completely even). If I can even finish 1 I'll be pretty happy already.
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:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
chiseling should be a very relaxed process, setting yourself a deadline won't do any good
Reply
:iconjayden133:
Jayden133 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2011
It's for an upcoming convention, but I'll keep that in mind, thanks~. On another note, I came up with an possible alternate method for trying to make the two halves identical. First draw and chisel out the first side, then when it's finished lay it upside down (so the the chiseled side is down). Hold it down tightly or lightly clamp the half, and trace the outside with a pencil. This will be your outside boundary. Then get a black spraypaint bottle and point and spray the nozzle through the hole. That will give you a mirrored black region, which is the are you will chisel out. The black paint will be in the inside of your sheath half, which shouldn't affect the final appearance.
Reply
:iconlgkt:
LGKT Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2011
It seem to require very much time and carefullness to make a scabbard, especially that Chiseling segment...

Really helpful!
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2011  Student Artisan Crafter
well heres hoping all the best for you
Reply
:iconfallendrifter:
FallenDrifter Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2010
Chioky Ive looked at your scabard making tutorials and I was wondering if this would work well with making a knife sheath Im trying to make Hawk-eye mihawks cross dagger, so If I could get your advise that would be awesome
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
for a knife making a sheath out of hard leather would be better
Reply
:iconfallendrifter:
FallenDrifter Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2010
I see, I have no way of working with leather nor know how to do so, so i cant really use it >< or know where to get it XD. I was thinking of useing some carving wood I found at a craft store for the body and the sheath and figure out a way to make it work lol, while using a wooden blade from a broken hyuga cosplay sword I have for the blade.
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:iconthe-nerd:
the-nerd Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010
Possibly a stupid question, but where do you find the appropriate thickness pine for this? I've tried Homebase, B&Q and Wickes and none of them have anything between a 6mm strip (that I've been using for the swords) and 18mm thick boards (aside from a 10mm rod, but those are nowhere near wide enough to fit the curve of the katana). Thanks!
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
I can only tell you the one place I buy it from, and that is wickes, and it really, really should be there, unless you have a tiny wickes
Reply
:iconthe-nerd:
the-nerd Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010
Well, we have a pretty big Wickes, but I guess it is sufficiently big that I haven't been able to fully search everywhere in it! What overall size is the piece that you buy? What area of the store is it found? Thanks! :)
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
you need to find the timber asle, and it should be near wooden skirting
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:iconthe-nerd:
the-nerd Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2010
Thanks you! <3
Reply
:icon601zobi:
601zobi Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009
oh & whats your nationality i'm wondering cause my brother was reading your tutorials & HE(emphiasis on HE) said your spellings were really bad...(HE said it! NOT ME!)
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009  Student Artisan Crafter
I am british
Reply
:icon601zobi:
601zobi Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009
You the man chioky! just what i needed, demo what about the hook thingy for the sageo?
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:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2009  Student Artisan Crafter
look somewhere else for that
Reply
:iconx0xmichix0x:
x0xMichix0x Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2009
yes seariously man your a savior this is the only scabbard tutorial i could find that was actually helpful.....
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:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2009  Student Artisan Crafter
you know I have 3 different scabbard tutorials
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:iconx0xmichix0x:
x0xMichix0x Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2009
yes i thnk i like the second one the best...
Reply
:iconfoxkeh88:
foxkeh88 Featured By Owner May 26, 2009
thanks for this tutorial ^^

however, when created this one i used a cardboard for this and your concept was a big help for me to build a scabbard for my katana... thanks X>
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner May 26, 2009  Student Artisan Crafter
Im not suprised you used cardboard, to make a wood one could take up to 10 hours alone
Reply
:iconfoxkeh88:
foxkeh88 Featured By Owner May 27, 2009
ow, that's a hard days work :) but its worth it, and i also used paper mache for it to be hard solid ^^
Reply
:iconairashii-enjuku:
Airashii-Enjuku Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2008  Hobbyist Artist
And I have to make 4 of theses Dx I had better go to home depot.. x3
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
thats alot of money for 4, these a real wooden ones, you could always use paper mache XD
Reply
:iconairashii-enjuku:
Airashii-Enjuku Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2008  Hobbyist Artist
I plan on getting a job REAL soon. Plus I don't plan on doing that cosplay until June or something but I won't enter it in any contest unless it's a big con. The bigger the con the bigger the prize. ;D

Also I hate paper mache! ever since I did that in art class. It's so messy and the project looks all lumpy and nasty when you paint it. xP
Reply
:iconizuko:
Izuko Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2008
Aaaah...
Can i use this with a wooden boken sword? it dosent have a habaki but i can carve one into it...
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
People use wooden boken swords too much as a substitute for real looking swords lol, a boken is FAR too large a blade to make a decent size scabbard XD
Reply
:icontatsuhi:
tatsuhi Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2008  Student Traditional Artist
thank you! I was actually gonna ask how you do this but it looks like ya beat mwe to it.
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
well I am glad I saved some trouble
Reply
:iconfoxkid1302:
FoxKid1302 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
TT_TT We're running out of fund to make any more of these, and our festival is only days aways, WHAT SHOULD WE DO, HELP!!!
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
use paper mache lol?
Reply
:iconkarumaru:
Karumaru Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2008
great guide as always...

keep it up master chioky...
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
why of course it is a great guy as you are right I am a master 8D jk
Reply
:iconnighthawk81:
nighthawk81 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2008
Well executed, sir.

Enlarged to 24" x 36" (err ... excuse me, metric fans; 60 cm x 90 cm), it would be quite a poster to hang on the wall of your workspace.

Nice.
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
LOL these doodles of mine being hung up as a poster they are mere scribbles for me XD
Reply
:iconnighthawk81:
nighthawk81 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2008
Of course they are "scribbles" to you; you already know this information. For those of us who do not, this is a reference work (that is why they call them "tutorials"). I think we've all been in enough classrooms with charts on the walls to understand where I'm coming from in this.

Those of us who long to take the time to make our first sword salute you!
Reply
:iconeugenidesofattolia:
eugenidesofattolia Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2008
:boogie: yay another great tutorial

*sigh* and it sounds so simple when you explain it ^^;
Reply
:iconchioky:
chioky Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2008  Student Artisan Crafter
now you can wait for the other 2 parts lol
Reply
:iconeugenidesofattolia:
eugenidesofattolia Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2008
^^ give me something to look forward to when i'm bored :)
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