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Nick Bourne




Location: London, United Kingdom
Joined: 09 Nov 2008

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Fri 06 Nov, 2009 10:10 am    Post subject: Viking scabbard suspension         Reply with quote

Good day everyone,
I am currently trying to work out how to attach my scabbard to my belt for my viking kit but can't find any firm references other than an older thread which only suggested concepts of designs. I was wondering if any viking age re-enactors could post some pictures of their methods of doing this including any advantages and limitations.
Thanks in advance,
Nick
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Nathan Beal





Joined: 02 Apr 2006

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Mon 09 Nov, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From "3 Viking Age Graves in the Isle of Man" G Bersu, D Wilson.

HTH
N.



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Bruce Tordoff
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Joined: 13 Aug 2007

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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 3:39 pm    Post subject: Viking scabbard suspension         Reply with quote

Hi Nick,
I have attached a photo from my Viking re-enactment kit of my scabbard suspension and one of my colleagues.
Also is a diagram detailing the points that are not readily apparent on the photo.
On the photo, mine is the one at left, with a bronze 'slider' (see fig 1) which is a loop that accomodates the baldric (shoulder strap, see fig 3) through it, looped around the scabbard once then out and up to a 3 way strap divider, easily made or purchased, also from bronze (or brass), this divider has a section that continues the strap up and around the back over the shoulder and down to the front and into the slider , the third section goes to a point further down the scabbard. (see fig 2) Where , the strap is looped around the scabbard and stitched or riveted to itself.

The right hand persons sword scabbard, has the same slider and baldric, but without the strap divider, it should be fairly obvious what happens to the position of the scabbard when using this method.
It hangs vertically and even sometimes ends up in front of the left leg, trust me this is a real pain when trying to walk, but a nighmare when trying to run or fight.

The first method, (with the divider) works much more logically and efficiently. Much like in the illustration from Nathan.
For further detail see my illustration which should make it clear (I hope), The 'Slider' is usually rivetted into the front half of the scabbard when it is 1st made, ie, before it is put together.
Anyway, I hope this helps.
Bruce



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Philip C. Ryan




Location: Omaha, NE
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 5:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My suspension is similar to the Ballateare example. I did change up the way it is designed a bit. After wearing the first design for an event, I quickly concluded that the sword was not "secure" enough on my hip (moved side to side alot as I walked).So, by simply reversing the connections of the straps, I now have a very stable suspension. I also added adjustment abilities to 3 different areas of the straps to be able to get that custom fit everyone desires...@ adjustmnts on the straps directly next to the scabbard, and a third buckle up by my right shoulder.

[/img]

Skjaldborg Viking Age Living History and Martial Combat
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Fri 20 Nov, 2009 2:32 am    Post subject: Viking sword suspension         Reply with quote

Hi,

Bruce's description of his methed does hold the sword well, but I also wear my sword suspended on a baldric belt and secured by the waist belt/girdle in the same manner as the guy on the right in the photo. The problem that Bruce describes is mainly due to tthe guy having the scabbard to far forward, move it back to fit snugly against the back of the pelvis, resting aginst the glutus (bum cheek) and simply shorten the baldric by adjusting the buckle, this raises the sword scabbard, and keeps it in place. but do ensure the waist belt/girdle is behind the scabbard but in front of the baldric.

I have used this method for many years and it has never let me down, but do experiment and see which method suits yourself best.

cheers
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Andrew Pribor





Joined: 29 Dec 2007

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Sat 21 Nov, 2009 1:53 pm    Post subject: Viking scabbard suspension         Reply with quote

Greetings all,

I have done a fair amount of experimentation also with scabbard suspension. Both with the Ballateare design and the simple 'slider' design. I am fortunate to live in an area where I can do a fair amount of walking/hiking with a sword over various terrain (often heavily wooded). In my experience, I have found the simple slider & baldric with the sword hung vertically the most comfortable & easy to control in most situations. & when worn high, the scabbard does not interfere with the legs.


vertical 'slider' with a single strap baldric


Baldric based on the Ballateare style

"The Bow brings grief and sorrow to the foeman; armed with Bow may we sudue all regions."
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Nov, 2009 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent work, Andrew. And a great looking kit on the model, too. Did you do the chape on the slider?
"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur
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Andrew Pribor





Joined: 29 Dec 2007

Posts: 51

PostPosted: Sat 21 Nov, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject: Viking scabbard suspension         Reply with quote

R D Moore wrote:
Excellent work, Andrew. And a great looking kit on the model, too. Did you do the chape on the slider?


Thank you, I'm still working on the kit. Both scabbards/baldrics were made by me except for the metal work.

"The Bow brings grief and sorrow to the foeman; armed with Bow may we sudue all regions."
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Nov, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Viking scabbard suspension         Reply with quote

Andrew Pribor wrote:
R D Moore wrote:
Excellent work, Andrew. And a great looking kit on the model, too. Did you do the chape on the slider?


Thank you, I'm still working on the kit. Both scabbards/baldrics were made by me except for the metal work.


Great looking work very very nice scabbards. ( Good taste in choosing the metal work: Who made them ? ).

The rest of the kit is also very impressive and your observations about scabbard wearing angles are interesting and if you have more to tell us it would be appreciated: I wonder about wearing a long sword an being able to ignore it and not have it get in the way when very active like in using a polearm as the primary weapon or a sword and shield or a sword and axe/mace. One does want the sword as a backup weapon but not very good if the scabbard trips you up or even slows you down !

Shorter swords around the 20" blade length are probably the least likely to be a problem but when one does need the sword a longer one becomes a better choice except in very close or crowded combat I assume. Wink Question Big Grin

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




Location: amelia island, florida
Joined: 04 Sep 2008

Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov, 2009 9:49 am    Post subject: viking harness         Reply with quote

Kaor! May I suggest the harness/suspension made for Eowyn in Jacson's Lord of the Rings movies? It apears similar to the others shown on this thread.
'...you know best the promptings of yor own heart. that i shall need your sword i have little doubt, but accept from john carter upon his sacred honor the assurance that he will never call upon you to draw this sword other than in the cause of truth, justice and righteousness.'
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Bruce Tordoff
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PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov, 2009 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Much as my colleague Dave Huggins mentions as to the suitability of the simple baldric in slider w/ scabbard slung vertical against the hip (area), as opposed to my favourite, of the diagonally slung with the strap divider assembly.
I think that Andrew Pribor's excellently pictured examples quiet clearly illustrate that it is much easier to draw the sword one handed/ in a hurry/ from behind a shield etc. Using the latter method. Due to the obvious placement of the hilt, and its relative ease of access.
But one thing I will say in defence of Dave's preferred method, is, it's essentially down to several things, the height of the 'slider' to the top of the scabbard, (this does obviously effect centre of balance), the body shape of the wearer to some degree and the personal tastes of the wearer.
One thing though, as Dave H mentioned, on the 'Vertically slung' method it is pretty important to have the two upwards heading parts of the baldric, at the point just after they leave the slider, Under the waist belt, if not done (as shown in Andrews pic), (BTW, Not a criticism Andrew), The sword will bounce off the hip/pelvis. Not too bad when walking but a b**ch when running, so 'trapping it' against the body is a must in my opinion, using either method of suspension!

BTW, nice leatherwork Andrew, on the scabbards and Baldrics.
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Nick Bourne




Location: London, United Kingdom
Joined: 09 Nov 2008

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Mon 23 Nov, 2009 1:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your tips and suggestions.
Here is my attempt, it works very well as long as I wear a belt over some of the straps to keep it from swinging all over the place, I have yet to try it in combat but it doesn't move much more than my previous rig so I think I can safely assume that it will be ok.



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Andrew Pribor





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PostPosted: Mon 23 Nov, 2009 10:09 pm    Post subject: Viking scabbard suspension         Reply with quote

Greetings again,

Jean: the scabbard chapes were purchased via USA based Viking Shield though I believe they are made by UK based Mercia Sveiter
http://www.re-enactment.biz/bronzeindex.html

The other metal work & buckles are from Raymond's Quiet Press
http://www.quietpress.com/

Bruce & David: I agree completely on both of your views & that basically it does come down to personal preference & what ever works best for you and your body type. And yes, on an open battlefield placing the waist belt over the baldric straps works well. ( Also, I am always learning and appreciate any criticism , thank you , no worries ) For me, I have found that when one is out 'a viking' & may have to traverse through valleys & non-flat surfaces where it may be necessary to climb over or under trees quietly etc, the free hanging baldric is easy to move & control and keeps the scabbard from getting caught up on obstacles. Also, I am an archer & for obvious reasons the vertical hanging sword makes shooting a bow far less restricting than a diagonally slung sword.

Nick: Looks like that should work, let us know how it performs.

This is a great subject, I hope others will continue this thread & show us pictures of their sword suspension rigs & ideas.

Andrew

"The Bow brings grief and sorrow to the foeman; armed with Bow may we sudue all regions."
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Philip C. Ryan




Location: Omaha, NE
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PostPosted: Mon 23 Nov, 2009 11:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

nick, nice job on the rigging! The design is basically the same mechanics as the one I posted earlier, so you should be happy with it. Like has been mentioned, I usually run my waist belt over the back strap when going into combat. This adds stability, and keeps everything pretty much where it is supposed to be.

I have to say I find the blending of the two types of typical suspensions intriguing! I had never thought about using a "slider" as a way of securing the the strap next to the chape. I am curious about the existence of any evidence of this, or if it is "experimental archaeology" (which I am definitely no stranger to! heh). I would assume that as long as the strap wrapping around the top (and through the "slider") stays put, it would provide a nice place to adjust the angle that the scabbard hangs at.

Again, very nice work!!

Skjaldborg Viking Age Living History and Martial Combat
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Tue 24 Nov, 2009 1:04 am    Post subject: Suspension         Reply with quote

Hi Phil,

My first ever suspension rig was more or less like Nick's,and the angle of the scabbard can be altered by moving the strapping at the lower end of the scabbard. What I found though was that while the leather of the strapping was 'new' it worked well, but as time passed the bottom strapping would slide back up the scabbard as the sword/scabbard dragged down by its own weight and gravity into a vertical posistion a real pain when running or doing combat as it became entangled between by loooong legs :-). as for Bruce's assertion that it is easier/quicker to withdraw the blade in the slung
posistion to my own favoured vertical high held posistion..next time he's down at my house we'll have to a 'quick on the draw' stand off..and I'll whip his a** ;-P

cheers
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Bruce Tordoff
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Nov, 2009 11:43 am    Post subject: Viking scabbard suspension         Reply with quote

" I would assume that as long as the strap wrapping around the top (and through the "slider") stays put, it would provide a nice place to adjust the angle that the scabbard hangs at. "
Philip, I would agree definately with this, it is this method with its adjustability, that makes it a winner in my book.

Nick,as I see by your pic, yours is exactly the same method as mine, almost indentical to my drawing. So no criticism from me!
...and finally Dave,
"as for Bruce's assertion that it is easier/quicker to withdraw the blade in the slung
posistion to my own favoured vertical high held posistion..next time he's down at my house we'll have to a 'quick on the draw' stand off..and I'll whip his a** ;-P "

Funny, you forgot to mention that when I came round to yours today????

But seriously, Daves comment about the bottom strap (mounted further down the scabbard) eventually slipping is valid, I suppose its down to how well its fitted to begin with. Perhaps if it was fitted at the stage when the scabbard outer leather is fitted, perhaps placed under the outer leather, thus preventing slippage.
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Tue 24 Nov, 2009 12:57 pm    Post subject: Suspension         Reply with quote

Bruce...I was quietly amusing myself with it Laughing Out Loud Nah, we where to busy talking other stuff and I'd forgotten!

Again seriously, looking at A-S manuscripts and other 'Viking' iconography both methods appear to be attested, although on the 'Viking' iconography the slung position appears to be so not because of any detail of the harness/rig but the angle the sword is depicted,

cheers
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Nick Bourne




Location: London, United Kingdom
Joined: 09 Nov 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 29 Nov, 2009 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So having tried out the rig in combat, both one on one and shield wall stuff, I can happily report the success of the design. I had to wear a belt over several straps as suggested previously which severely minimises swinging-aboutness making it very stabile even in a skipping berserk charge (don't ask).

Once again thank you to all those that shared their thoughts and designs, its great to have such a brilliant resource when it comes to these small but vital issues Big Grin
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Keith L. Rogers




Location: Oregon
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Dec, 2009 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nick Bourne wrote:
...making it very stabile even in a skipping berserk charge (don't ask).


Berserkers skipped during their assaults? (surely you didn't think you could get out of being asked Razz )
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