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K. Franklin




Location: New England
Joined: 23 Aug 2007

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 11:03 am    Post subject: Albion's Count         Reply with quote

Hello, I just wanted to use my first post to share a picture of my new Albion Count I received the other day. Happy It's a beauty, and I really had a good experience communicating with Mike - he's an outstanding guy. The Albion staff did an amazing job, as usual, and I was pleasantly surprised by a very quick delivery despite what I was prepared for. A++++

http://www.subvariance.com/items/med/Dwight_86080.jpg


Now since I'm not sure whether or not I'm in the right section of the forums to begin with, I'll ask here. I was reading through some other threads about scabbard making and tutorials on how to do so. My main question so far (as first thing is first) is what type of wood to use. I may just end up having one made for me by a professional, but I thought I'd try to learn myself as it would come in handy with various other "unclothed" blades around my room. Anyway, I've been hearing Poplar a lot - is this ideal? I obviously don't want to spill my guts for the wood, but I don't want something unworthy of such a nice blade either. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I also plan to make a glass display case for it eventually. My main problem with that is limited wall space, but I'll worry about that after I build it.

Thanks!


- Keith
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Chad Arnow
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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 12:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Keith,
Welcome to myArmoury.com. Happy Congrats on your sword. I dig the Count a lot.

As for scabbards, poplar seems to be a popular choice. Some woods contain oils that are bad for steel. Poplar doesn't. If you sue the forum's search function, you'll find a ton of threads about scabbards. Happy hunting!

Happy

ChadA

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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A viable alternative for a scabbard core is balsa wood. It's ridiculously easy to work, and while not as tough as other woods, it is strong enough. Just don't sit on it when the sword is not in it.

Here is a scabbard and suspension I made using a balsa core:


New York Historical Fencing Association
www.newyorklongsword.com

Byakkokan Dojo
http://newyorkbattodo.com/
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Allen Andrews




Location: Maine USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Reading list: 5 books

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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Congratulations! I really like the Count, if I had more money I might even get one Happy You know Mike, I hadn't thought of using balsa wood, that seems like a good way to get started in the whole scabbard gig. But then my uncle just gave me a nice plank of 1/4 sawn birds eye maple that I am dying to use some how....
" I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood. "

Faramir son of Denethor

Words to live by. (Yes, I know he's not a real person)
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Bryce Felperin




Location: San Jose, CA
Joined: 16 Feb 2006

Posts: 552

PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 6:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
If you sue the forum's search function, you'll find a ton of threads about scabbards.


You mean "use" right? Wonder if a search function can be sued in court? Big Grin
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Albion's Count         Reply with quote

K. Franklin wrote:
My main question so far (as first thing is first) is what type of wood to use.


My suggestion is to seek a locally available wood that is not overly expensive, and that is low in acidity. Ideally it will be a specie considered easy to machine (is not too prone to chipping and splitting.)

Throughout much of the SouthEast section of the U.S., Poplar wood tends to be a good and inexpensive choice that you can find in thin (1/2 inch thick by widths of 3 inch to 4 inch in varying lengths) pieces at many major hardware stores. Birch and Ash species would be good as well if those happen to be more readily available in solid pieces of thin proportions. In Europe one might consider typical woods used for tools with steel blades that contact the wood / hand planes; "Hornbeam wood", etc.. If you can borrow a jig saw and electric rotary sander, a few carving gouges/ Dremmel tool, sand paper, etc... you can make a good wood scabbard core in around 10 to 20 hours (first time, depending on skill) without investing much money.

Wood species I would recommend avoiding due to acidity; fruit woods, oak woods, cedar, pine, and anything local woodworkers tell you are acidic or resinous species! Woods that resist rot if buried in soil (good for fence posts) have a way of being "bad" in terms of acidity and resins. All of these will tend to corrode the blade to some degree. If you have a great assembly technique, the interior could be so well sealed that the wood pH might not seem to contribute in fast or obvious ways. All the wood requires to "inhale and exhale" potentially acidic moisture is a change in temperature (even if stored indoor at constant humidity...just temperature change will cause this as a process that is extremely slow to stabilize.) Bear in mind, typical yellow wood glues used to join "split half constructed cores" actually does breath moisture to a small degree. I have been testing this for over two years now. Some minor cutting edge corrosion does occur in just about all scabbards I joined with yellow wood glue (even though I epoxy sealed interior surfaces prior to gluing the halves together) in my SouthEast U.S. environment. The only exception I have found is a scabbard I made that was sealed AND glued together with epoxy. For that particular scabbard, the exposed furniture (guard, pommel) tarnish and experience minor corrosion (despite oiling when I put away often for periods of 3 months) faster than the blade section that is encased in the scabbard core.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 7:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bryce Felperin wrote:
Chad Arnow wrote:
If you sue the forum's search function, you'll find a ton of threads about scabbards.


You mean "use" right? Wonder if a search function can be sued in court? Big Grin


You know what I meant. Happy The spell checker wouldn't catch that one. I guess Nathan needs to code a dork checker. Cool

Happy

ChadA

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Michael Edelson




Location: New York
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Forgot to mention....

Balsa wood and Elmer's carpenter's glue are 100% non corrosive.

New York Historical Fencing Association
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K. Franklin




Location: New England
Joined: 23 Aug 2007

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 8:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome and information, everyone.

Michael, that certainly sounds like a good option, I'll keep it in mind. Your scabbard looks great, by the way... which makes me want to ask more about the leather wrap process, but I'll save that for when I get to it. (I've been reading more on this than the actual construction/material of the core, so I'm glad I'm able to ask people who know)

Very informative post, Jared. I'll sure be using it for reference in the days to come.

Thanks again

- Keith
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J. Pav




Location: NJ
Joined: 05 Oct 2006

Posts: 75

PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Edelson wrote:
Forgot to mention....

Balsa wood and Elmer's carpenter's glue are 100% non corrosive.


Here here, for the Elmer's. I made the mistake of using Titebond III when I started. Causes instant rusting, even on an oiled blade. I didn't even realize it until someone told me what was causing it(the great, John Lundemo of all people).

But yeah, Poplar is great to work with. I've made a few knife cores, and a longsword core from poplar. It's fantastic to chisel, and rhasps well. Helps if you have a belt sander.

Myself, I trace, cut, chisel, glue down a felt liner, glue together, and then shape using a conbination of farrier's rhasp and a flap-drum sander on a drill in a vise. Once I get the shape right and the thickness down, I finish with sandpaper and apply a light coat of tung-oil to seal the wood. After that comes glueing on suede detail-pieces(like ridges, to show through the overwrap). And make sure to get a nice, supple, thin leather for the covering. I've been told that even upholstery grade is a tad thick for this application. I've been unable to get thin enough leather, except for a shortsword scabbard I did using a Chamois from an auto-supply store. Came out nice, and takes to any dye very well.

And if you happen to crack the core along the grain while chiseling(sometihng I've done...), just work Elmer's into the crack and let it set. It oughte be fine, no need to scrap.
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K. Franklin




Location: New England
Joined: 23 Aug 2007

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good advice. Fortunately I do have a belt sander, which I became very good with during a college sculpture class at the beginning of the year (I pretty much made an entire wooden sculpture with the belt sander alone). The chisel work might be tough for me, as I haven't done too much of that though. I'm sure I have plenty of other tools that will do the same job, but how is the chisel done so well? Do you just go very slowly until the whole trench is uniform? I'm picturing it now... mine will end up looking like a staircase. Razz Thanks for the heads up on the Titebond, I had read that it was good elsewhere but definitely will avoid it now. Elmer's sounds like the way to go.

And felt liner, eh? I was wondering about this. It must help keep some oil in the scabbard and keep from splitting the wood inside when it's moist with oil and the blade is making contact with it, but it must also help compensate for possible over carving of the trenches... that's an idea.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2007 9:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you go for the felt liner, consider test fitting the snugness of the sword draw inside the core before gluing anything. The felt can be epoxyed in place as separate parts of the two halves before assembling, and oiled throughout before finally gluing scabbard halves together.

It is pretty hard to get oil throughout if you rely upon oiling the sword and inserting it into a finished scabbard with a felt liner that extends all of the way through. In such a case, most of the oil on the sword will get absorbed by felt at the mouth of the scabbard. I like to just oil the sword and lay it on one half of the hollowed out felt lined core of an unassembled scabbard slat., wiggling it a little bit . Felt that has a significant percentage of natural wool is a good thing as well. Wool is a hollow fiber that retains oil, naturally displacing humid air. Fabric.com sells heavy felt with at least 50% real wool for liners in winter coats and such.

"Original Titebond" is not the same as "Titebond III" (an especially high-aliphatic content resin based outdoor and marine grade glue) and is not greatly different from Elmer's in my opinion. If you are willing to laminate cloth or fiberglass over the outside of the core, I would avoid all aliphatic wood glues, including white Elmer's, which act as a moisture wick for any acidic pH that might be within the wood, as part of gluing the scabbard halves together. I have to agree with Balsa + Elmer's as being very neutral and non-corrosive. This is a result of the wood, not of the glue. If you are going for a harder wood, you may have some risk with long term storage and an aliphatic glue joint that provides a moisture path from the wood to the sword.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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K. Franklin




Location: New England
Joined: 23 Aug 2007

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri 24 Aug, 2007 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I see... although I obviously want the healthiest scabbard possible, I do want to build a display case also, just for that very reason. Ideally I'd like to keep the blade oiled and stored behind glass, and have the scabbard for when I remove it and take it somewhere. I'd be too afraid to store it regularly in a scabbard, especially one I made. (so I should really get to work on that case first Worried )
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