This standard reinforcement is one of BBCK’s more distinguishing features. Usually seen on taco style sheaths, this plate is located at the tip of the sheath and traces the shape of the blade. While the plate doesn’t normally extend more than half the length of the sheath, it augments the rigidity of the sheath dramatically, increasing its strength and resistance to flexing. Almost invariably, I fit both sides of the sheath with identical plates, both to further increase their effect, as well as to maintain symmetry and therefore a fully ambidextrous look and function.
With a full second layer, the options are virtually endless. I can do this in multiple pieces (and therefore multiple colors), or in a single piece over the full length of the “base” sheath. Much like the reinforcement plate, a double layer will dramatically increase the strength of your sheath. The full layer will naturally be much stronger still than the standard reinforcement. In most cases, I use extra long eyelets to attach the two layers permanently. This will work, even with up to 4 layers of .093″ kydex. In the event you wish you add a 3rd layer (whether it is a full 3rd layer or simply a reinforcement plate at the tip of the sheath), I will have to use Chicago screws to join them since there are no eyelets on the market long enough to do this.
This is a feature you can add to most sheaths, which allows you to lock the sheath. There are a variety of common sheath locks, but I typically only use 2; the slide-lock and the fold-over lock. The slide-lock is well represented on ESEE’s factory sheath for the Junglas. In short, it is a milled slot that replaces the first two eyelet holes nearest the mouth of the sheath. With a Chicago screw in the slot, you will be able to slide to one side or the other — toward the mouth to lock, or toward the tip to unlock. The mechanism is simple. The nearer you slide the screw to the mouth of the sheath, the less the mouth can flex to allow the knife to pass in and out. A fold-over lock functions in a very similar way, preventing the mouth of the sheath from being able to spread or flex. The best representation of this concept can be found on all TIE Tactical sheaths. TIE’s owner, Kevin Robinson, is the creator of the fold-over lock, and had graciously given me permission to use it in my own work. One additional option to consider is a knurled finger screw. The head of the screw is wide and textured, making it easy to adjust with your fingers. Tighten down to increase retention, loosen to make an easier draw. If there is another locking concept you are interested in, I would be happy to discuss it with you.
If you choose a slide lock, this will automatically be selected. Milled slots are long holes along the edge of your sheath which exist for the purpose of being able to thread nylon webbing through. It is especially useful for divers or others who may wish to attach their sheath to the calf or forearm. It also serves to create a convenient thigh strap accommodation for a drop-leg setup. Currently, I outsource this service to a local machine shop, as I do not own a milling machine. While it is possible to cut slots with a drill press or even a hot knife, the cleanest and most professional look will be achieved with a milling machine, such as the venerable Bridgeport.