We sell hand forged tomahawks, langet-style axes, fokos, valaskas, ciupaga, shepherd's axe, walking sticks, knives, bushcraft/survival items, leather sheaths for Cold Steel hawks, custom leather sheaths/pouches, and more. We make all our items right here in Northern Michigan, USA! Check out the items below or click on a section in the left column to see more of our work.

How to Cut the Hole for a Sam Browne button

This page was designed for customers who purchase one of our custom leather sheaths. Most custom sheaths are made with a Sam Browne button closure. To properly cut the hole for the button, the axe or tomahawk must first be in the sheath to mark to spot. Since custom work is done from a pattern/template, we do not have your actual axe or tomahawk in hand when your sheath is finished. Therefore, you will need to cut the hole after you receive your sheath. Below are the steps to take to ensure a proper fit.

Your custom sheath will likely fit like a glove. It is important for you to be sure your axe/hawk head is securely placed in your sheath before measuring where to cut the hole.

Start by holding the sheath securely with the strap all the way open. Sam Browne button hole

Insert your tomahawk or axe in the sheath. Sam Browne button hole

The photo below demonstrates a hawk NOT far enough down in the sheath. Sam Browne button hole

The entire cutting edge should be below the top edge of the front panel of the sheath as shown in the photo below. It will be approximately 1/4" below that top front edge of the sheath. Sam Browne button hole

If you have a belt sheath, be sure the handle is close to the thick built-up area. If you have a standard sheath, just press the blade into the sheath until the cutting edge barely touches the leather. Sam Browne button hole

With one hand, firmly press the leather strap against the top of the head. Sam Browne button hole

Using your thumb, press down firmly on the leather strap directly on top of the Sam Browne button. Sam Browne button hole

With your other hand, gently pull the leather strap across the front of the sheath and over the Sam Browne button. Use gentle pressure on the bottom of the sheath to be sure the leather strap is pulled snug. Sam Browne button hole

Using your thumb, press down firmly on the leather strap directly on top of the Sam Browne button. Sam Browne button hole

This will leave a small indent in the underside of the leather strap so you will know where to cut the hole. Accurately marking this spot is essential to achieving a good fit for your sheath. The old idea of measure twice, cut once is good advice. Sam Browne button hole

Remove your axe/hawk from the sheath. With the indented side up, place the sheath on a hard surface that can handle a sharp blade (such as a cutting mat or kitchen cutting board). Sam Browne button hole

We use a hole punch like crafters and scrapbook enthusiasts use. The hole can also be cut with an X-Acto style tool or sharp knife point. Be sure to center the hole. The hole should be slightly larger than the thinnest area of the Sam Browne button but smaller than the large bulb-shaped head. Sam Browne button hole

From the hole, cut a slit down the center of the strap TOWARD the sheath. It is very important to cut the slit in the right direction! The slit will be 1" or slightly longer depending on the size of the hole you made. Sam Browne button hole

Try pressing the Sam Browne button through the hole you made in the strap. It should be very snug at first to allow for the leather naturally loosening over time. If it is too tight, make the slit slightly longer. Put your axe/hawk in your sheath and gently pull the leather strap over the head and across the button. It should be a very snug fit at first to allow for the natural loosening of leather over time. Sam Browne button hole


2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.