I put my BK62 Kephart to a bit of work this weekend

Discussion in 'KA-BAR Knives' started by NapalmCheese, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    No, I didn't baton a bunch of wood or drill a bunch of holes. But I did wear it all weekend long as I went out to do some shooting on some BLM land. It rode behind my pistol all weekend and suffered the wear that goes with it, getting a few dings in the sheath and wearing through the threads. It prepped a bunch of food, cut some cord here and there, and all in all was a nice useful knife.

    Turns out the thread used in the sheath may not be the most abrasion resistant known to man. No matter, the holes in for the stitching are big enough that (with the help of an awl and a couple of saddlers needles) I was able to saddle stitch it (double actually) all back together. I'm glad there are rivets!

    At the end of the day the knife is useful, works well, the sheath holds the knife just fine, and I think this new thread will be a bit tougher. It's a nice knife, though I think I'd love to have one with a ~4 inch blade.

    Sheath all fixed up. Apparently I went over when I should have gone under on one of those stitches, ah well, at least it's functional!
    Bkg, Aikiguy, GeofS and 5 others like this.
  2. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Mines been missing for a while now. It finally turned up this past week. So I’ve been carrying it. It’s such a great knife. I’ll keep an eye on the stitches.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  3. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Yeah, I'm interested to see how the belt loop stitching fairs on the inside of the sheath in the long term.
  4. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    I’ve always appreciated smart use of rivets on a sheath. So the sheath is still functional if the stitching fails. If they used 1or 2 more rivets they could have skipped the stitches all together.

    1 thing I’ve noticed is the factory usually stitches first then rivets, so if the rivet is in the stitch line the thread gets cut. When I restitch them I stop and start at each rivet. So the whole thing doesn’t come apart if the thread breaks.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
    GeofS and 1066vik like this.
  5. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    I guess the sheath is also modeled after the sheath that accompanies the Coclesser knife though IIRC there’s some debate about whether that’s the original sheath or not. Personally, when stitching leather for things like sheaths and holsters I appreciate it when they create a little trough in which to stitch so the stitches don’t sit proud of the leather.

    This one is also riveted after the fact, and the whole thing seems to be glued together (I.e. it didn’t separate after the stitches pulled), but that may be an artifact of stiff/thick leather. As such, I just stitched between the rivets. The leather itself seems plenty nice, and the belt loop as softened up quite a bit from my sitting/standing during the day. It’s still stiff enough to not swing like a dangler sheath, but soft enough to move out of the way when I sit down in a chair.
    eveled likes this.
  6. daizee

    daizee KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 30, 2009
    Leather is often assembled in several stages (tho of course factory practices will vary widely):
    1) glue parts together so they stay put
    2) stitch
    3) punch & rivet
    4) finish edges

    It's possible to mix up steps 2-4 for various production reasons. Some people will pre-finish the surface, then stitch, others do it the reverse.

    Stitches provide continuous attachment between the layers to prevent peeling, along with the glue (contact cement usually). Rivets/grommets alone aren't great, IMO, because they will tend to cause layers to splay apart between themselves.
    NapalmCheese likes this.
  7. sac troop

    sac troop

    Mar 4, 2009
    One of the advantages of making your own leather accruements is control over the manufacturing process. I also like creating a shallow trough along the seem line to keep the stitching a little more protected. Also when I'm punching the holes for rivets I can assure mine are clear of the stitches.
    A friend was showing me his most recent project just before the present shut down around here. For the pouch he made he choose some 1.18mm Atwood micro cord for the thread. Now that's some stout stuff.
  8. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    I took the Kephart out for even more work this weekend, this time fishing in the mountains catching and cleaning brook trout and making guacamole.

    Man I forgot how handy it is to have a sheath knife in a pouch sheath out in the woods.

    At any rate, I managed to open things, make an impromptu wood stringer (since I lost mine) out of a willow branch, and clean a few trout. I even rinsed the knife off in the creek, wiped it off on my pants before sticking it back in the sheath. I imagine there are people on this forum who would cringe at hearing I did this with carbon steel, but I somehow made it out of the woods without the thing rusting away to nothing, and without the walnut scales turning to dust. I must have gotten lucky. The sheath held up well, no more stitching issues (though I didn't have a sidearm with me this time) and my previous fix seems to be working just fine.

    Then I discovered the (so far) absolutely best use for this knife. Cutting open avocados and scooping out the flesh. The spearpoint and radiused spine were practically tailor made for this job; and much guacamole was made (and eaten).

    I'm digging this knife more and more every time I carry it.
    Crag the Brewer, Aikiguy and 1066vik like this.
  9. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Guacamole maker extraordinaire!

    Don W, Aikiguy and Bkg like this.

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