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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2007 2:58 pm    Post subject: MRL grip re-wrap: a frst attempt         Reply with quote

I have been collecting swords for half my life; 14 years. The vast majority of my collection is comprised of antiques from the 18th and 19th centuries. However, this site is rubbing off on me and I am venturing into the replica market in addition to antiques. My first exposure to replica swords was Christmas 2001 when my mother-in-law bought be a sword from the MRL closeout catalog. I can't remember the name of the model, only that the original is supposed to be Spanish and from the late 15th century or early 16th century. It came with a nasty black leather covered grip under which was some very uncomfortable metal wire. This sword sat in the closet for quite a while. Last year I trued to antique it with mixed results. The guard and pommel are plated or lacquered and are impervious to the water/vinegar/salt spray I used on the blade. I have been meaning to re-grip the sword for quite a while and was recently pushed into action when I found myself needing to kill some time waiting for the local copy store to finish some copies for me. I wandered into a Michael's and found myself searching for hemp cord. Soon thereafter I went to the store to pick up some chamois and carpenter's glue.

I used the wood core that came with the sword, to which I glued a hemp cord wrap, then the chamois, then another cord wrap to help force the chamois into the under-wrap. I am pretty pleased with the result. I will re-do this at some point, but I am happy with it for now.

What you see below is my first try at re-wrapping the grip. The grip is the natural chamois color. I have brown shoe polish, but I have not decided whether or not to use it on the grip. Will it help achieve a browner color or just make the grip look dirty? I also have yet to apply wax to the grip. I'll do that after I decide on the shoe polish. What do you all recommend?

Finally, the usual acknowledgement of Sean Flynt's excellent articles and PM correspondence for inspiration and direction in this small project.



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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2007 8:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here it is with brown shoe polish and a wax coating:


The hilt is still its chrome-like shiny self, but the poor lighting makes it appear darkened.

Jonathan
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J. Pav




Location: NJ
Joined: 05 Oct 2006

Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2007 8:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking good! Big improvement.

For the fittings, you could try rubbing them down with a very fine scotch-brite pad to dull them down a bit, then dunk them in a Birchwood-Casey cold-blueing solution(followed by more rubbing and more dunking, to get them nice and uniform).

I think it would look really good.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2007 8:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Pav wrote:
Looking good! Big improvement.

For the fittings, you could try rubbing them down with a very fine scotch-brite pad to dull them down a bit, then dunk them in a Birchwood-Casey cold-blueing solution(followed by more rubbing and more dunking, to get them nice and uniform).

I think it would look really good.


And I think I will do just that--thanks!

Jonathan
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Nathan Keysor




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think some of the MRL hilt components are stainless steel so they won't take gun blue. If you can still remove them from the blade you can get an antique look by heating them with a propane torch until they darken. I have also set components on a stove burner to do the same thing.


Nathan

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 7:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Keysor wrote:
I think some of the MRL hilt components are stainless steel so they won't take gun blue. If you can still remove them from the blade you can get an antique look by heating them with a propane torch until they darken. I have also set components on a stove burner to do the same thing.


Nathan


I will give this method a try first. I will try o take some pics this afternoon some that one can see how the brown grip looks with the shiny hilt in proper lighting.

Jonathan
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William Goodwin




Location: Roanoke,Va
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan,

Well done and yes...more pics......

Bill

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"I was born for this" - Joan of Arc
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks great! Much better than my first attempt.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 12:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Bill and Sean! Sean, your excellent articles and inspirational projects were quite helpful.

Here are some pics of the final result (now with improved lighting!):



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Mike Harris




Location: Texas, USA
Joined: 18 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great job Jonathan. I can hardly wait to see it with the antique look on the hilt furniture. Keep up the good work.
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Ben Sweet




Location: 831
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice job Jonathan! I actually like the natural color in the 1st pic you posted, kinda regal...again very nice job Exclamation
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Michal Plezia
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nicely done.I really like those cord grips with wavy surfaces.IMHO brown finish is much better than natural colour.
www.elchon.com

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The sword is a weapon for killing, the art of the sword is the art of killing. No matter what fancy words you use or what titles you put to
it that is the only truth.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 21 Aug, 2007 7:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike, Ben, and Michal,
Thank you for your comments. It was a fun project and I am looking forward to antiquing (or at least darkening or dulling) the guard and pommel, as well as antiquing the blade more noticeably. I don't know if I am going to tackle a scabbard or not. The sword is not worth me paying someone else to make one, though, so... Big Grin

Jonathan
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Aug, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice work and it improves the look of the sword enormously.

For the guard just giving it a more satin finish would help a lot even if it's stainless steel.

Chemical blueing and them fading it out with a light abrasive would look nice if the guard isn't stainless or chrome plated.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 21 Aug, 2007 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Very nice work and it improves the look of the sword enormously.

For the guard just giving it a more satin finish would help a lot even if it's stainless steel.

Chemical blueing and them fading it out with a light abrasive would look nice if the guard isn't stainless or chrome plated.


Thanks, Jean. This sword has been begging to be antiqued ever since I opened its box 6 years ago. I will do a little experimenting and see what can be done with the hilt.

Does anyone with an MRL catalog collection have any idea what this sword was originally called and have a product description? I received this sword in 2001, and I know it was pictured in catalogs prior to and around the 2001 holiday season.

Thank you,
Jonathan
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J. Pav




Location: NJ
Joined: 05 Oct 2006

Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue 21 Aug, 2007 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:


Does anyone with an MRL catalog collection have any idea what this sword was originally called and have a product description? I received this sword in 2001, and I know it was pictured in catalogs prior to and around the 2001 holiday season.


Bah, I JUST threw out a stack of MRL catalogues dating back to 2000...
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