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Ed S.




Location: San Diego
Joined: 08 Apr 2009

Posts: 86

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 2:14 pm    Post subject: Poplar scabbard core causing blade damage         Reply with quote

So, I have made two scabbard cores now. They both turned out nicely, but when I leave my sword in them for more than a day or so I have noticed that the blade becomes (not sure what the right word is here) damaged. The 'damage' looks like wavy lines of discoloration, not rust, but waves of 'tarnish' for lack of a better term. The cores are made out of poplar planks that I picked up at the local Home Depot. I glue them together using Elmer's wood glue and then scrap the inside seems with a hanger to remove the excess. Is this caused by some treatment on the wood? I have tried oiling the sword, and the removed the oil and tried again, same result. Has anyone else experienced this?
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 2:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't remember off hand what the properties of poplar are so I can't put forth an answer in that regard.

But, I'm curious: is it possible that moisture is trapped in the scabbard? Was it stored in a humid environment at any point? Was the wood totally cured/dried? (I assume so, since you bought it at Home Depot).

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Ed S.




Location: San Diego
Joined: 08 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Nathan. The wood was very dry, and I live in southern CA (i.e., not very humid at all). I don't think that is the cause, and I have not seen the same problem in any of my other scabbards (professionally made), only the cores that I have made myself. It's very disheartening, I was going to buy the leather and finish it up this weekend.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What kind of oil did you use for the blade? Some oils, like vegetable oil, will age and turn dark. If this is trapped in the scabbard it could color your blade.

Grabbing at straws here...

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Ed S.




Location: San Diego
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I use Break-Free CLP, but it has never caused any problems before, and I see it recommended all over the place. It definitely only happens when I store the blade inside of either core. I knew this would be tricky as I see poplar recommended for scabbard cores specifically because it does not damage the blade.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




Location: Italy
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that the glue used is water-based.
The wood was dry, but no glue. It makes parts of the wet wood.
There are 2 types of professional protective oil. A little humid environments, one for outdoor environments. This last is much more. Use for some time that oil. The wood will stop soon to absorb moisture.
Maurizio
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Ed S.




Location: San Diego
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I see the reasoning there, but it has been some time (months) since I glued the first core and I still have this problem.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 3:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I forgot something important.
Wood is a natural material. The skin is a natural material. All natural materials tend to absorb moisture from the outside. Have you to protect the wood and leather?
You have to use an insulation product for wood. You have to use protective wax to the skin.
Maurizio
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Ed S.




Location: San Diego
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmm...now I haven't done that on the second scabbard, but I did coat the first with boiled linseed oil. I wonder what the pro's out there do. Do you guys always coat the inside and outside of the scabbard with some protective varnish or oil?

Thanks Maurizio.
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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 4:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do not know how to translate into English but the word in Italian is:
protective insulation, it is not a paint.
ciao Happy
Maurizio
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Brian K.
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have always used poplar for my wood cores and never had any problems. I lacquer the outside only with 3 coats. I leave the inside completely natural, sanded to a glass smooth finish. In my selection process I'm very particular about the wood I choose as well, along with the grain.

It is possible the interior has become corrupted with some sort of agent. Perhaps the wood you chose from the store already had it in it. It may have been presoaked with something before it even became available in the store. Poplar is a very nice non-corrosive wood to use, so there has to be something that has corrupted your wooden core(s).

Is it possible some overspray saturated your wooden slats before assembly? Did you leave them untreated? At any rate, my point is poplar in it's natural 'dry' state is an ideal wood to use for scabbards.

Edit: The only way the adhesive would affect the blade is if the adhesive was put on in a sloppy manner, therefore coming in contact with the blade every time the sword is sheathed. FYI I use a 'wood' glue that is non-toxic.

There is also no need to treat the inside of the core with any type of oil, stain, or water proofing agent like lacquer. It should remain in it's natural state. A little oil coming off the blade shouldn't hurt, unless your blade is saturated with oil, then your wood will absorb the oil and that will become a problem.

In conclusion, I think it is safe to say you have a corrupted wood supply, and you'll need to start over. Purchase a new supply of poplar from a different locale.

Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com


Last edited by Brian K. on Fri 10 Jul, 2009 5:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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G. Ghazarian
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Location: Florida USA
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Ed.

The culprit here is the Elmer's wood glue that you used. Any PVA wood glue will do this, even after it's completely dried. In fact this will go on indefinitely. All steel in close proximity with PVA glues, tarnish to a dark, blackish grey color.

You can test this for yourself. Cover a small piece of scrap wood with PVA glue (like painting it with glue) and leave it to dry for a day or two. After that, put that scrap piece of wood on your sword, glue side touching the steel. Leave that there, undisturbed, for a day or two. You will notice the same discoloration that your are having now.

Don't worry, a little rubbing with a piece of fine stripping pad will make the discoloration go away.

Epoxy glue is best for this project, you can never go wrong wit it. As for the treatment of the inside of your scabbards, you don't really have to use anything. I personally wax the inside of both sides of my scabbards before epoxying them and so far never had any problem.

Good luck.

Gabriel

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Maurizio D'Angelo




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 5:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ed,
I do not know if I explained well.
Treat the wood inside, has no effect, to remove the blade abrasion, all protection.
Sense to do it outside.
Maurizio
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Ed S.




Location: San Diego
Joined: 08 Apr 2009

Posts: 86

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I think I agree with Brian here about the wood being the problem. It is true that the glue is no good when it comes into contact with the blade, but I use a very small amount and the blade is uniformly discolored, i.e., mostly in areas that could not come into contact with the blade.

Well, *sigh*, that's too bad. Many wasted hours, though I did learn things along the way, so perhaps "wasted" is not appropriate. Thanks to everyone who helped here.
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Justin King
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I concur with G.Ghazarian, any PVA type glue can do this, I have run into this problem myself and seen several folks come onto the forums with the same issue. In the case of the scabbard I had trouble with, I poured tung oil into it so that the inside was fully coated and hung it upside down to allow the excess to drip out and the rest to dry. The problem has not occured since. This may ruin a very tightly-fitted scabbard though, making it too tight.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Justin King wrote:
I concur with G.Ghazarian, any PVA type glue can do this.
I also experienced the exact same thing on my first poplar cores joined with yellow carpenter's glue. (I live in a humid environment.) The tarnishing and eventual corrosion was noticeable at the blade edges where wool lining (oiled with gun oil) did not fully encase the blade, and edges of blades were located close to the carpenters' glue. I switched to epoxy joining and lamination over the cores. I have had no more problems after that. Some historical glues (rice/milk glue) etc have reasonable stability against humidity once they set up. I have not tried regular hide glue, but think it might make sense if applied over cloth laminate and sealed with a wax or lacquer treatment.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Ed S.




Location: San Diego
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I am also going to take Mr. Ghazarian's advice and use a different glue on the next one.
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: glue is your problem         Reply with quote

sorry to chime in late but to emphasize what the other guys have said - it is definitely the glue. you need to start over with another glue - Titebond Original I have found to be safe although you still should be careful not to use so much that you will leave a ribbon inside the scabbard where the steel can come in direct contact. and make sure you use Titebond original - some of the other varieties of titebond are not safe either. tr
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Robert Subiaga Jr.





Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

PVA has the capability under certain conditions to slowly break down, one of the components being acetic acid. Ergo, the cause of discoloration.

Nevertheless, some distinction needs to be made about whether your concerns about corrosion are primarily aesthetic or functional. There is a world of difference between ferric oxide and ferrous oxide. Only "red rust" eats away iron/steel to become a danger to functionality.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 10 Jul, 2009 9:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What do you guys think of hide glue? That's what I've used on grips and other things that I've built for "period" use.
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