Broken-back Saex sheath, made in 3mm veg-tanned leather for a Viking reenactor. There aren’t many surviving UK saex sheaths, but there are enough to inform us on how the designs changed over the years that they were used. Saex’s varied from short knives to longer blades, and are carried blade up, suspended from a belt by suspension loops.

Through discussion with the owner, a combination of traditional and modern design was used, which was done front and back as seen on all Saex sheaths which have been found.

Once the design was settled, the leather was soaked, clamped, and the Saex was hammered in, ensuring an exceptionally good fit. Once dried, the main design was hand-tooled using modern techniques, and the handle design was tooled in the style of the sheaths which have been found. It was stained with mahogany and finished with waterproof / sealant, since it is likely to experience adverse conditions in the hands of a reenactor.

The handle was also treated to sanding to 600 grit, and coated in linseed oil, and the blade was done to 1200 grit and then polished. The inside of the sheath, where the blade sits, was coated with polishing paste to help keep the finish of the blade and prevent damage from moisture. It was then glued together.

Saex sheaths have metalwork along the top, and this is being undertaken by the owner.