Well, I did not stomp out of the room in rage nor did I die of exasperation, but I must say the leather stamping did not go as well as I would wish. Despite making three mock-up sheaths from crappy leather upfront and practicing on several more leather off-cuts, I have messed-up the basket-weave stamping bigly. I do not know why. Maybe the stamp is crap, maybe it is the slight deformations of the leather that happen during work due to the stamps, but the end result is a bit chewed-up in places because I did not position the stamp correctly and I had to redo that spot several times. I have resigned that I cannot do better and decided to not give it another go.
So unless I mess up at some following step and have to start all over again, this is the final design.
The wooden mallet did help a lot, allowing me much better control of the strength with which I hit, so that at least worked out well. The burnisher worked like a charm on edges too.
Carving the badger paw-print was a bit of a challenge, but I think I got it acceptably on this final piece. Working with a swivel knife is interesting and it takes some getting-used-to, especially on tight curves, but it did seem fairly intuitive to me (mind you, I only did these simple designs). The home-made beveler for the fingerprints worked well too, I have no complaints there.
I have colored the mock-ups with three different color schemes and what you see here on the final piece is what my mother has assessed as the best combination. In case it went south, I had a secret backup plan, called “Operation: Full Black”. But the dyeing did not go south so far, I made no blotches in the light patches, there are no streaks or shadows when it is all dry and no bleeding over the borderlines either. The claw prints are not ideal, but I can live with that.
Tomorrow is gluing, stitching and wet-forming time. This is only a second sheath of this construction that I make – and first with a belt-clip – so there are no guarantees as to the result.
Edit: Publishing this did not go well. Butterfingers.