A Wisconsin-Made Sheath for a Texas-Made Knife

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No, the author isn’t three feet tall, that knife is really just that freakin’ big! IMG Maj. Van Harl

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Daniel Jonhson’s leatherworking began when his grandfather took an old ice house and converted it into a harness and saddle repair shop.  This is where Mr. Johnson learned to re-sew horse saddles.  Mr. Johnson learned the stitching needed to restore a well-worn saddle back to practical use.

When Mr. Johnson’s father learned leatherwork while receiving occupational therapy for a medical issue, Mr. Johnson would help his father complete a task and learn the leatherworking skills himself.

Later in life, he found the leather holsters he bought for personal handguns did not hold up to continuous use and seemed to always be in need of repair.  After re-sewing his factor made holsters he started to design and manufactured his own holsters.  This of course leads to the birth of the Ace in the Hole Holster Company ([email protected] /414-704-8767).

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Legend has it that the original Bowie knives were based on cave-drawings showing early Neolithic humans picking the teeth of domesticated Tyrannosaurus Rex. IMG Maj Van Harl

I first met Mr. Johnson at a gun show in Milwaukee where he had his holsters on display. I did not need any holsters but I have a color case finished one-of-a-kind Bowie knife and a “hawk” made by Tyler Guns Works out of Friona, Texas and what I really wanted were beautiful sheaths for both tools. I shared pictures of them with Mr. Johnson and set up an appointment to bring the Bowie knife and “hawk” to his shop and start the process.

Visiting his leather works shop was educational.  The skilled eye that it takes to design a sheath for a knife he had never seen before was an interesting process.  The knife is over eighteen inches long and at its widest, the blade is 3 1/2 inches.  Not any standard size knife blade.

Mr. Johnson drew up plans for the design of both sheaths, I gave him my approval, came back in a few weeks, and was most pleasantly surprised.  The design, the sewing, and the overall quality were above and beyond what I had expected.

The word quality was the thing that came to mind when I first saw the two sheaths.  The leather quality, the precise stitching, and overall finish were more than I had anticipated and I was an extremely pleased customer.

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All joking aside, these sheaths are beautiful and do a fantastic job of protecting these awesome knives. IMG Maj. Van Harl

Now I did not want any pattern work or designs on the sheaths but Mr. Johnson showed me a number of his other projects and he can really class up the act with that type of handwork if you so desired it on a holster or sheath he might produce for you.

Expertly made tools in the form of Tyler Gun Work’s knives and “hawks”, covered and protected by quality made sheaths by Ace in the Hole–Holster Company have made me a believer in both lines of these consumer products.

If you want to pamper yourself with extremely well-made tools for the field these two above outfits are the place to shop.

Major Van Harl USAF RetAbout Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:

Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force, was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School.  A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI.  His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”  [email protected]

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Ryben Flynn

Nice sheath, but show us that monster knife!


Maj. Van Harl, thanks I enjoy learning about individuals such as Mr. Johnson.

While you focused on knife sheath I also notes cover on hatch handle in first picture thought immediately of another craftsman’s site I recently came across. Perhaps you can make him the subject of one of your next articles. And, connect him with Mr. Johnson.


P.S. I really want one of the “Bear Claw Walking Canes” …


Try SOS Step One Survival he makes some quality projects also, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6xzkek6Wpc&t=605s