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Tom Kinder





Joined: 27 Nov 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 9:59 am    Post subject: historical grip building question         Reply with quote

So we have all these nice reproduction swords from all sorts of different companies and it seems to me almost all of them glue their leather down to the grip core. given the perishable nature or leather and such materials I know it must be hard to find historical swords with their wrappings still intact but was glueing the leather as common back then as it is now, or was it more common to have the leather stitched?

I would suspect that the glue they had wasn't as good as what we have now but the stitching back then could have been as good or better, maes me think maybe they did a lot more stitching but I can't find a reference.
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Dan Dickinson
Industry Professional



Location: Michigan
Joined: 03 Oct 2004

Posts: 967

PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This thread has a number of original grips posted by Peter Johnsson.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ather+grip
In it appear an almost equal number of glued and stitched grip covers. Personally I find that hide glue (what our ancestors would have used) is plenty strong for grip covers, surpassing many modern glues for the purpose.
I hope this helps,
Thanks,
Dan
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Tom Kinder





Joined: 27 Nov 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 12:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thanks Dan, I didn't see that thread.
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Anders Backlund




Location: Sweden
Joined: 24 Oct 2007

Posts: 629

PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fun fact: glue has been used in tool and weapon manufacturing since the stone age. So it's absolutely nothing even remotely new.
The sword is an ode to the strife of mankind.

"This doesn't look easy... but I bet it is!"
-Homer Simpson.
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Tom Kinder





Joined: 27 Nov 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anders Backlund wrote:
Fun fact: glue has been used in tool and weapon manufacturing since the stone age. So it's absolutely nothing even remotely new.



sure it has, but how strong was it? did it need constant rework? how durable was it, historically accurate glue?

on preference between stitching and glue, was there a preference amongst different cultures and times or do we not know or was it artist preference?


thanks for all the info so far guys I really apreciate it.
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Eric Hejdström




Location: Visby, Sweden
Joined: 13 Mar 2007

Posts: 184

PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From experience I know that hide, bone and fishglue is extremely strong. Pitch/resin was used from early stoneage and though sticky to work with it's very strong. Fishglue from isinglass is considered the strongest glue in the world and is even stronger than modern epoxy but unfortunately I've misplaced my link to the site with the information.
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Boyd C-F




Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Joined: 08 Oct 2008

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Sat 12 Sep, 2009 11:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There has been a discussion on www.livinghistory.co.uk in which a glue made from English Bluebell bulbs has been provenanced to Tudor times.

So it's not always bits'o guts that get made into glue!!

Cheers

Boyd
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Bruno Giordan





Joined: 28 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2009 6:52 am    Post subject: Re: historical grip building question         Reply with quote

Tom Kinder wrote:
So we have all these nice reproduction swords from all sorts of different companies and it seems to me almost all of them glue their leather down to the grip core. given the perishable nature or leather and such materials I know it must be hard to find historical swords with their wrappings still intact but was glueing the leather as common back then as it is now, or was it more common to have the leather stitched?

I would suspect that the glue they had wasn't as good as what we have now but the stitching back then could have been as good or better, maes me think maybe they did a lot more stitching but I can't find a reference.


there is plenty of original swords with their leather wrappings in decent or good shape all over Europe.

Even some medieval swords appear to have some intact wrappings, eg at the Musee de l'Armè in Paris, at theCluny Museum, in my town at the Marzoli etc: the original for theBrescia spadona still has most of the wrapping in place, even if frail and dry, even if it dates from the late middle Age.
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M. Eversberg II




Location: California, Maryland, USA
Joined: 07 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2009 6:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was under the impression that hide glue falls apart when wet. Is this true?

M.

This space for rent or lease.
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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2009 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

IN DEFENSE OF HIDE GLUE

The discovery of hide glue isn't the equivalent of the discovery of fire or the wheel or....beer.. for that matter, but hide glue is an amazingly useful adhesive. The ancient Egyptians used hide glue and I don't think they discovered it so it has been around for a very, very long time indeed and the reason for its longevity is its utility.

Hide glue can be manufactured to provide different degrees of adhesive strength and tack and the user can vary dry time and adhesive strength by adding salt ( to increase dry time) or water ( to decrease adhesion). Hide glue IS water soluble but that is both a strength and a weakness, it enables hide glue to penetrate natural materials like wood and leather and provide an excellent bond, it makes it possible to glue something and disassemble it by either soaking or steaming it, it enables the user to use hide glue for all sorts of things other than as an adhesive. A coat of thinned hide glue can be used as a conditioner to decrease blotchiness when staining certain woods or other materials, it can be used as a primer coat for paints and clear finishes, it can be used for veneering and I believe it was used in bookbinding and leather work as well as in woodwork.

Its true hide glue will eventually deteriorate if exposed to moisture but it won't fall apart at the first sign of dampness and as a rule the material that the glue is being used on is subject to water damage as well and is frequently waterproofed to some degree itself which will also protect the adhesive.

My greatest knowledge of adhesives comes from the furniture and cabinetmaking industries and modern adhesives have been developed that can do some truly amazing things in the last twenty five years or so but there are still some applications for which hide glue is exceptionally well suited.

Leather and wood bonded properly with hide glue and treated with a coating to resist water would probably not last forever but would serve admirably for a long time.
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