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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Reading list: 46 books

Posts: 936

PostPosted: Fri 05 Sep, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject: Migration Era Hilt         Reply with quote



larger image at http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3108/2830838739_ee2a493516_o.jpg

my wife's grandfather made this for me. what should or should i seal it with? i'm sorry to say the only sword i have to mount it on is an old practical viking sword blunt. maybe i can change it out later when i get something better.

just thought i'd show it off. whatya think?
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Reading list: 46 books

Posts: 936

PostPosted: Fri 05 Sep, 2008 2:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

guard: 4 1/2 x 1 /34 x 3/4
handle: 4 x 1 3/4 x 1 1/8
Pommel: 3 1/4 x 1 3/4 x 5x8
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Fri 05 Sep, 2008 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am a fan of "Danish Oil" (Watco brand or similar from a hardware store with a fair selection of finishes). You can use one or two coats of it with two days drying time between. Alcohol based dyes (Minwax oil dyes) can be added to it based upon trial color tests on wood scraps. Just remember to mix things well before application, and to seal in a good jar between applications. This will really deepen and enrich the finished wood tones. The rags can spontaneously ignite many hours later while drying, so toss them outside in a safe place to dry out after wiping coats on, excess off the pieces.

Your pieces look like a fairly porous "oak type" or similar wood species. Give it a week to dry from the last coat of oil finish and start sealing with low viscosity satin polyurethane (Minwax wiping polyurethane or self diluted-mineral spirits and polyurethane mix), or linseed oil if you prefer a more historic muted finish. It will take several coats and a few weeks of patience to seal up the grains. It is not so much a lot of work, as it is just a frustrating degree of elapsed time for all of the between coats to dry and be buffed with a little extra fine steel wool before the next coat goes on. I recommend vacuuming the steel wool bits off prior to next applications. The end result should look like a freshly oiled piece, with essentially no surface gum/ yellowed varnish deposit over it.

P.S. If I am right about the coarse grain, do not obsess with the initial sanding. You will be going over the surfaces (except deep grain pockets that have to gradually fill up) with many between coat sandings/ buffing sessions with steel wool. Low 200-240 grit number sandpaper types are adequate for the final end sanding prior to applying the oil finish. Start with 100's grit and work up to around 220 or so. Too fine a sanding, and the oil stain will actually tend to under-penetrate.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Richard Hare




Location: Alberta, canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2008

Posts: 135

PostPosted: Sat 06 Sep, 2008 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck,

With that fleck in the grain, the guard and pommel look like beech to me. (Good and tough to resist splitting.)

I always use linseed oil, It can be cut with turpentine to help it penetrate and dry better. Gives a lovely stanslucent "glow" in time, but don't put too much on at once, just a little and rub it in 'til it feels hot to the touch, then rub off the next day and re-do until you like the looks.

if you want it much darker, "Fiebing's" leather dye works better than most for penetrating dense woods like maple and beech. Comes in all colours too..

I wish some good makers would be willing to sell blades, so we could try hilting more often!

Look forward to seeing it finished.

Richard.
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