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Joshua R




Location: Montana
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Likes: 11 pages

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Sat 27 Mar, 2010 11:36 pm    Post subject: The Scabbard Quest         Reply with quote

After a long hiatus from sword collecting, I've decided to jump back into the game. My selection has boiled down to, basically, either the Albion Gallowglass or the Albion Knud (what can I say? My tastes and interests are various. And expensive). However, I've noticed something: I cannot seem to find much in the way of scabbards.

Now, I've looked around via Google and contacted some of the websites that came up and the general wait period is, well, rather long. Now, I don't mind waiting for a beautiful work of art, like those scabbard-makers will inevitably turn out. But I'd rather like to have something to carry and protect the sword while I wait in the queue... and I've developed a strong dislike for the flimsy leather sheaths so many lower-tier manufacturers pass off as scabbards. While searching around on these forums this past week, I have found a number of people who have chosen to make their own scabbards and, if I had the workshop or the space for one, I would likely take a swing at it, myself, so that's not really an option, either.

Are there any options? Or am I doomed to be patient?

Thank you for your time!

EDIT: My apologies if I have put this in the wrong forum. It may fit better into the Off-Topic forum. This topic seems to not fit cleanly into either forum, however.

EDIT2: My thanks to the moderators for moving this to the proper forum and my apologies, again!
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar, 2010 12:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I began learning to make scabbards a couple years ago; it's not that difficult. If anything, it's somewhat easier than it looks. There are a number of resources here and on other sites that would guide you. You don't need a workshop or a large number of tools. A small folding table, a chisel, sandpaper, and glue are all you need to construct the core. On average, it costs me about $50 to do a complete scabbard with a steel chape now. I can do just the core for around $12.00 in materials, so you can see how much money you can save.

Otherwise, get one one of the custom makers lists: I have been on the Tritonworks list for about 18 months now; Russ seems to offer the best prices for decent scabbards; but the wait is pretty long. The higher-end manufacturers are Brian at DBK and Christian Fletcher, which have shorter lists, but their prices are more.

Good luck in your search for the right path!

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar, 2010 12:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indeed, the fastest way is tro make a scabbard yourself - depending on how fancy do you want to go the costs will varry - for simple wodden core and leathr cover it is not that much, if you want to ss metal chape and locket it will depend if yuo can do them yourself or have to buy. There are some excelent guides online on how to do this http://www.yeoldegaffers.com/project_scabbard.asp for one, and it is an excelent learning experience.
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Zac Evans




Location: London
Joined: 26 Dec 2006

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar, 2010 12:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm making scabbards for my swords this year. will probably do leather core and outer, with no chape. The cost for such scabbards is very low, as I've got a lot of leather lying around already, and then its just linen thread, water and time.
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Joshua R




Location: Montana
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Likes: 11 pages

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar, 2010 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alrighty, I'll give the self-made scabbard a go. My father's a woodworker and we both live in the same town, so I could always borrow his tools and his workshop.

Any recommendations on where to source the wood and/or leather?

And any recommendations on which sword I should go with, between Albion's Gallowglass and Knud? (I'm indecisive! On the one hand, it is very possible to learn how to utilize a longsword through ARMA, I love Irish ring pommels, and I'm of similar ethnic extraction as the historic galloglas. On the other hand, that extraction is primarily Norwegian and the somewhat simpler, more primitive fittings of Viking scabbards would be easier for me to mimic, while the manner of dress of the Vikings is both better understood by myself and looks quite swanky, if I do say so, myself. Not that I imagine that the manner in which a warrior dresses has a huge impact on how effective he/she is.)
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Mark T




PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Joshua, This reply might be a bit late if you are definite about making one yourself. But, just in case, and to let other folks here know, Brian at DBK has recently taken on an apprentice, and is now offering a mid-priced scabbard option. I recently had one made, and the turnaround time was about two months - very impressive. The scabbard is fantastic; I'll try to place a review on MyA soon.
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Joshua R




Location: Montana
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Likes: 11 pages

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar, 2010 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm pretty definitely going to get on either Brian or his apprentice's waiting list. I'm going to make one, myself, too, for use in the meantime and to build character. Wink
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Kevin S





Joined: 09 Jan 2009

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun 28 Mar, 2010 10:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I get my scabbard wood from Lowes, they sell Poplar slats that are just the right size. You can get leather from Tandy Leather Factory, either online or in store if there's one in your town. I know there are other places online that sell leather, but I don't have any experience with them.
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Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Likes: 4 pages
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Posts: 479

PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 5:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kevin S wrote:
I get my scabbard wood from Lowes, they sell Poplar slats that are just the right size. You can get leather from Tandy Leather Factory, either online or in store if there's one in your town. I know there are other places online that sell leather, but I don't have any experience with them.


Keep in mind though that poplar absorbs and holds water. I would recommend sealing the wood with a high qality sealant inside and out.

I have been working on mine on and off over the past year. I need to figure out how to make a metal chape and locket for mine (and me with zero metal working experience). I'm looking at using brass. Anyone have any ideas how to make a chape and locket?

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Joshua R




Location: Montana
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Likes: 11 pages

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is there a better choice for wood?

I was thinking about doing the slat method (if I go with the Knud. If I go with the Gallowglass, then I'd go with the "easy" method).
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Brian K.
Industry Professional



Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 01 Jan 2008

Posts: 717

PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Blair wrote:
Kevin S wrote:
I get my scabbard wood from Lowes, they sell Poplar slats that are just the right size. You can get leather from Tandy Leather Factory, either online or in store if there's one in your town. I know there are other places online that sell leather, but I don't have any experience with them.


Keep in mind though that poplar absorbs and holds water. I would recommend sealing the wood with a high qality sealant inside and out.

I have been working on mine on and off over the past year. I need to figure out how to make a metal chape and locket for mine (and me with zero metal working experience). I'm looking at using brass. Anyone have any ideas how to make a chape and locket?


Hi,

In my opinion there is no better wood to use than poplar. It's soft enough it won't crack under some flex, yet hard enough for durability. It is also one of the least acidic type wood's available. All wood's will absorb moisture, and sealing the inside of the core isn't necessary, only the outside, unless moisture will be introduced to the inside of the scabbard by sliding in a wet blade, which isn't recommended, you risk ruining the scabbard & rusting the blade anyway. If you put a lacquer on the inside of a core you may also invite a certain acidic element that may cause corrosive or discoloration of the blade, much like using the wrong kind of glue. So make sure your lacquer is non-corrosive to metal. I've done plenty of experimentation with different woods and nothing work's better than poplar in my opinion.

I hope this helps,

BK

Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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Kevin S





Joined: 09 Jan 2009

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Poplar was recommended to me because of the low acidity and ease of working, though I don't remember where that recommendation came from. I've never had any particular trouble with moisture, but I live in southern Arizona so that isn't really a concern for me.

I'd love to find an easy way to make chapes, but I doubt there is one, though there are sites out there that sell them. I always just steal them from my old Windlass scabbards though. You might want to ask around and see if anyone is willing to sell such scabbards for cheap if they don't use them.
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Joshua R




Location: Montana
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Likes: 11 pages

Posts: 71

PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just out of curiosity: Are there any advantages/disadvantages to using leather rough-side out (ie: suede) on a scabbard or simply leaving the scabbard undressed by leather? Are these methods historical or no?

EDIT: Used wood where I meant to use leather.

" For Augustus, and after him Tiberius, more interested in establishing and increasing their own power than in promoting the public good, began to disarm the Roman people (in order to make them more passive under their tyranny).... "
-N. Machiavelli, The Art of War


Last edited by Joshua R on Mon 26 Apr, 2010 9:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 9:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joshua R wrote:
Just out of curiosity: Are there any advantages/disadvantages to using leather rough-side out (ie: suede) on a scabbard or simply leaving the scabbard undressed by wood? Are these methods historical or no?


There are disadvantages in that it's not as protected from the elements and is far less durable. It also absorbs liquids and moisture. Bare wood has many disadvantages, too, mainly relating to exposure to the elements, strength, and whatnot.

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Leo Todeschini
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Location: Oxford, UK
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Joshua R wrote:
Just out of curiosity: Are there any advantages/disadvantages to using leather rough-side out (ie: suede) on a scabbard or simply leaving the scabbard undressed by wood? Are these methods historical or no?




I am with Nathan on this, but pricipally I would say that strength would be my biggest concern. The leather will act both as a support and shock absorber and if the leather is glued to the core then it acts a little like a composite - combining the best properties of both materials. In a nutshell a wood core 2-3mm thick cannot ever be tough, whereas a core covered in leather will be much tougher.

Tod

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A.A. Boskaljon




Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Joined: 08 Apr 2008

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Tue 27 Apr, 2010 12:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Artis Aboltins wrote:
Indeed, the fastest way is tro make a scabbard yourself - depending on how fancy do you want to go the costs will varry - for simple wodden core and leathr cover it is not that much, if you want to ss metal chape and locket it will depend if yuo can do them yourself or have to buy. There are some excelent guides online on how to do this http://www.yeoldegaffers.com/project_scabbard.asp for one, and it is an excelent learning experience.


Small offtopic question, would a scabberd shown on the bottem of that website be possible for a 15th century sword? Would say around 1420 - 1470?
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Philip Montgomery




Location: Houston
Joined: 29 May 2008
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 83

PostPosted: Tue 27 Apr, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: The Scabbard Quest         Reply with quote

Joshua R wrote:
After a long hiatus from sword collecting, I've decided to jump back into the game. My selection has boiled down to, basically, either the Albion Gallowglass or the Albion Knud (what can I say? My tastes and interests are various. And expensive). However, I've noticed something: I cannot seem to find much in the way of scabbards. ...
Are there any options? Or am I doomed to be patient?


I just contacted DBK Scabbards today to order a scabbard for my Albion knight. The sword is very sharp and worries my wife so she has encouraged me to get a scabbard. The folks at Albion recommended DBK. There are two major options. Mr. Kunz said he can make me a scabbard or his apprentice can make me a scabbard. There is a one year waiting list for Mr. Kunz's scabbards, but the apprentice scabbard will be ready by roughly September 2010. The apprentice scabbards are considerably cheaper, and Mr. Kunz vouches for their quailty.

The apprentice scabbard is an option I am happy with. I can work wood when I need too. I have my own forge so I make knives, but I do not have the patience to make a scabbard....not a nice one. I can make something that will be functional but ugly. I don't want that.

Any way, this is just an option to consider. The website for DBK is http://www.dbkcustomswords.com/

Philip Montgomery
~-----~
"A broken sword blade fwipping through the air like a scythe through rye does demand attention."
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Ozsváth Árpád-István




Location: Romania
Joined: 27 Apr 2008

Posts: 131

PostPosted: Tue 27 Apr, 2010 9:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I ran into the scabbard question too, but I find them very expensive especially when you want to buy one for your "custom" home-made sword. I guess scabbard makers have patterns for well-known popular swords, like your Albion Knight.
For the woodwork I know a good carpenter. They usually don't accept such works for it's a time consuming peculiar job not just routine. I helped him with some software-related problems, so the wooden part of my scabbard is for free Happy
I can get a 100x15 cm strap almost for free, or perhaps for a beer or two. I will ask a friend for the leather related work, or I will try it myself.
For the chape:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVd6oEWECn4&feature=related
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