Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Carving/burning wood-core, leather scabbards. Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
T.F. McCraken




Location: Ingleside, Illinois
Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 128

PostPosted: Thu 03 Jun, 2010 11:49 am    Post subject: Carving/burning wood-core, leather scabbards.         Reply with quote

I tried to keep this within an existing thread, but, I think it was going to take it in a direction different from the topic there. My question revolves around the decorations and detail carving on wood-core leather scabbards. As it stands, I've done around ten wood cores for various swords owned by myself and a few others. I usually stain them and poly them and call it done, but, examples of the leather wrapped works by the talented Christian Fletcher and Brian K of DBK have inspired me to give it a serious go at leather wrapping my wood-cores.
I've read EVERY thread on the process here at myArmoury and others such as Olde Gaffers, etc, but, I have yert to find an answer to:
HOW/WHEN does the carving/stamping take place? Before it's sewn up in back and shrunk to the wood-core, or, afterwards.
It may be as stupid a question as it sounds, because I have a hard time believing that it's done while ON the wood core. The curving around the core seems to eliminate (in MY mind) doing it after applying it to the core, but, having to moisten the leather to get good carving results would pre-shrink the leather (Vegetable-tanned, of course) before it was shrunk to the wood-core. It seems that if I cut it to the correct size, keeping in mind it will shrink to tighten, then I wet it to carve the designs, it would shrink to smaller than the desired size when I am done and ready to apply it to the core. I hope my explaination/question makes sense.

I'm also interested in the process of pyrography being used on the leather scabbards. I've done some artwork on leather using a woodburning iron and the results were good, but, I'm wondering if anyone else has thought of this method and tried it. As an artist, I can draw just about anything and the medium I'm remarking on should work just fine, so, I'm curious as to anyone elses results.

Thanks in advance.
Murphy Cool

aka "Murphy"
See ya at Bristol Renaissance Faire!

The decisions we make, dictate the life we lead.

"I drank what?" -Socrates
www.celticfuryproduction.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 383

PostPosted: Thu 03 Jun, 2010 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
I am sure different people do it differently so you should see varying answers. When I do it, I generally do all stamping and carving prior to wrapping the leather around the core. Depending upon the type of core you make the process may be done differently. A three piece "sandwich" core from thin plywood (like Albion does it) will take moderate stamping and incising after the leather is already on; when using this method I suggest using only light taps and keeping the sword in the scabbard. A hollowed out poplar or balsa* core on the other hand will take just about no pressure from stamping/incising and is likely to crack. I would advise against using plain wood scabbards, they seem (for the majority of history) to be a rarity. Leather and fabric coverings are far more common.
Leather decoration, in terms of carving/stamping/incising, isn't always necessary either. Sometimes leaving the leather plain emphasizes the decorative knot-work. And again you have fabric...
If you are worried about the leather shrinking than I advise just keeping it wet. When I make a scabbard cover I take masking tape and wrap it all around the core, slit it, and use the tape as a pattern. It creates a very tight fit, the only way to get it on is to wet it and stretch it around, so when I am making scabbards I keep the cover wet through hole punching, decoration, and stitching. I keep a cup with lukewarm water and a sponge next to me and keep running the sponge down the leather whenever it begins to dry.
Good luck!
Hadrian



*I would advise against using balsa unless you have no other option.

Historia magistra vitae est
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
T.F. McCraken




Location: Ingleside, Illinois
Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 128

PostPosted: Thu 03 Jun, 2010 10:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Hadrian,
awesome post! VERY informative! The tape pattern is one I haven't read before. I think that will try that the first time. That will save much in the way of leather trimming. Your post also re-assured me that I was using some common sense, where my plan was concerned. Thank you. That's exactly what I needed to hear.

When I made my first wood scabbard, I used pine. I was working at a local Home Depot at the time and when we got clear pine delivered, the separators they used between stacks was scrap clear pine about 3" X 3/8" X 4'. I liked the lack of knots and decided to giver her a go for my wife's Starfire longsword. After carving, shaping, pyrography and some polyurethane, it came out looking sweet




Since then, I've done scabbards in oak, a couple different exotic woods and have settled into poplar. Nothing balsa. Now that I want to leather-wrap them, I used what most have advised and that's the poplar.

Any other advice before I delve into my first one?

Thanks for posting!
Murphy Cool

aka "Murphy"
See ya at Bristol Renaissance Faire!

The decisions we make, dictate the life we lead.

"I drank what?" -Socrates
www.celticfuryproduction.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jared Smith




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

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Fri 04 Jun, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T.F. McCraken wrote:


Since then, I've done scabbards in oak, a couple different exotic woods and have settled into poplar. Nothing balsa. Now that I want to leather-wrap them, I used what most have advised and that's the poplar.

Any other advice before I delve into my first one?

Thanks for posting!
Murphy Cool


Given your location in Illinois, you may be able to find ash lumber. This is also a fair choice, and should have better shatter resistance than poplar. (Used for canoe paddles for that reason.) I would not go to extreme trouble for it, but, if you have a local sawyer you may be able to get it planed into suitable thickness in sufficient quantities for several scabbards at a price that would only buy premium priced hardware store popular slats sufficient for one or two swords. Asking some local woodworkers about it might could turn out to be well worth the trouble in terms of the other treasures of wood species such a sawyer often has laying about willing to sell for prices well below anything you would have to pay in a hardware store for similar sized pine lumber.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Fri 04 Jun, 2010 9:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do laminate (3-pc) poplar cores, put my risers onto the core, then wrap with leather secured with glue. Once the scabbard has dried for a couple hours, I will emboss the risers with a spoon tool and begin to add any details with stamps, a swivel-knife, etc. I've not broken or cracked a core yet. Happy

I have alot of respect for those that tool the covers before they put them onto the scabbard - this is a pretty difficult task. I could never achieve that level of precision, because in my experience, the leather is unpredictable when it stretches/shrinks once mounted on the core and this can make things crooked or uneven - even a fraction of an inch can make a good project look like crap. I have not the patience for such things. Hell, I do well enough keeping the back seam even! Laughing Out Loud

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
View user's profile Send private message
T.F. McCraken




Location: Ingleside, Illinois
Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 128

PostPosted: Tue 08 Jun, 2010 8:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys. There's never enough advice, so, I appreciate your imput.

Waiting for this rain to quit so I can get back to work! (I do my carving/shaping outside)

I think I'll do the risers at the suspension points, of course, but, I'm going to do some leather burning today on some scrap veggie-tanned and get some ideas on how it will work. I've done some pyrographied leather before, but, I can't really judge until I pick up the iron and try what I want to try.

On a REALLY positive note, the shop I work for at the Bristol Renaissance Faire will be selling some of the sword suspension systems I've designed. My boss is excited, the Faire Director loved the designs and I sent off the prototypes to our shop for die-cutting patterns to be made. Boogity!

Thanks for posting, there are some good advices up there!

Murphy Cool

aka "Murphy"
See ya at Bristol Renaissance Faire!

The decisions we make, dictate the life we lead.

"I drank what?" -Socrates
www.celticfuryproduction.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Carving/burning wood-core, leather scabbards.
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum