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Nathaniel C.





Joined: 26 Aug 2008

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject: Scabbard Project for Albion Knightly         Reply with quote

So It's been a while since I've been on here though I've been lurking lately. I'd like to post my latest project. Or rather one of several current projects. This just happens to be the one that's moving forward at the moment.

I'm making a scabbard for my Squire line knightly. This is my second scabbard but it's the first historical one and i plan to do everything. I'll post some pictures showing what I've done so far.

I've finished the wooden core and the chape. That's about where I am now. I am extremely proud of this chape by the way, first one I've ever made. I shaped the halves out of 18 gauge steel. I really like how it turned out.

I'm getting ready to start cutting leather but I'm trying to be careful not to waste any. To that end I'm using an idea which i believe i saw somewhere on this forum. I covered the core in masking tape and then cut it off to form a perfect pattern for the leather.

I've also re-wrapped the grip on the sword. It was just a temporary experiment/practice run. I did not actually use any glue but the grip has held on really well. I wanted to try out having five risers. I'm not quite sure whether or not the final grip will have that many or not.

Questions, comments, and criticisms are welcome.





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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct, 2010 11:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Can you give some info on how you formed the chape? Quite nice for your first attempt! Do you have a lot of experience shaping metal?
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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 12:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
I use masking tape to make all my patterns. What I have found is that it is generally beneficial to leave about 1/16"-1/8' extra... just so you have a little room to play as you punch holes, stitch, etc. That is, however, just what I do.
Looks good so far!
Hadrian

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Nathaniel C.





Joined: 26 Aug 2008

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 7:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the info on the pattern making. It definitely makes sense to add just a little as the leather is somewhat thicker than the masking tape so it's not going to stretch quite as far.

I have done some armouring in the past. So i was not completely new to forming sheet metal. I did the shaping cold using a few automotive "hand anvils" clamped in a vise. I'm really not sure what those are called. I also recently acquired a planishing hammer which was very handy. The most challenging aspect was the size. It was just smaller than any forming piece or stake I have. I think in the future I may make a forming stake just for chapes. It would make things go much quicker.
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Douglas S





Joined: 18 Feb 2004

Posts: 177

PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 2:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since I am about to make a new scabbard myself, let me put forth a question: How much wider than the blade does such a wooden scabbard need to be?

How thin do you think a scabbard makers can get away with?
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Nathaniel C.





Joined: 26 Aug 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 5:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Keep in mind I've only done two scabbards, this one being my second.

I like to try to match the scabbard to the thickness of the guard. This way when you add the leather it easily slides just over the guard.

As far as how much wood is on either side of the blade, at the edge. It's a little thinner to keep the profile nice and close to the size of the blade. Perhaps 3/16 of an inch.

here's a picture of mine to give you an idea of how thick it is.

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Tom Kinder





Joined: 27 Nov 2008

Posts: 148

PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 7:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

that is some very nice work so far. I did a wood core (but have not finished) of a scabbard for one of my swords and I used the chisel / router out the channel for the sword and I find it made my core rather a lot bulkier than yours which was obviously done by the warping thin wood around the blade method. I like the method you did better I think your is much nicer looking and at a lot less man hours I bet.

that chape is very nice looking, I too would love to hear more about how you did it. I have yet to try my hand at that.

looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
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Nathaniel C.





Joined: 26 Aug 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 9:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually I didn't do the warping method. Though i can see why you'd say that. I did most of the work with a sander. Though I did some with woodcarving tools but I'm not very good at it. The outside was done using a table top belt sander. it's very good at getting a nice smooth even look.

As far as the chape goes it wasn't a very simple thing to do. To be honest I didn't expect to finish it. I kind of figured i would get part way through and decide to start over using what I'd learned to do a better job the second time round. But, it turned out way better than I expected. My only complaint is that it's a little small or rather shorter than I'd like but that's mostly a personal taste kind of thing. I have a little previous experience playing around trying to make armour as well as jewelry so I think that's why it turned out ok on the first try.

I'm getting ready to go at the leather. I'm not sure what thickness I should use for the belt. I plan to have it weave through the leather on the scabbard in the fashion that Peter Johnsson made that nice drawing describing. Anyone have that saved somewhere? I didn't think to when I saw it. The scabbard will be covered in about 4oz vegtan. I'm thinking about 7/8oz leather for the belt since I can buy that precut into a 1.25 inch strip. I'm worried that 8oz might be a bit too thick though. Any experience in the area?
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 9:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathaniel C. wrote:
I plan to have it weave through the leather on the scabbard in the fashion that Peter Johnsson made that nice drawing describing. Anyone have that saved somewhere? I didn't think to when I saw it.


It's in a DIY topic of ours: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=4951

Rather than saving things to your computer and having to keep track of that, I suggest using the forum's built-in features to simply mark the topic as a favorite. You can then reference it at any time.

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Nathaniel C.





Joined: 26 Aug 2008

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 9:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I knew it was on here somewhere. Apparently I just really stink at searching. Thanks that should help a lot.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 10:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathaniel C. wrote:
I knew it was on here somewhere. Apparently I just really stink at searching. Thanks that should help a lot.


I typed "peter johnsson scabbard" in the search tool and selected "Search for all terms" and it was on the first page about 8 items down.

Cheers!

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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2010 10:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
The 8oz is going to be harder to work with... I don't really like it. It seems thicker then the historical examples of this type of scabbard and is harder to work with. I only really use 8oz for the thin belts used in rapier hangers, etc. I use about 1.5-2.0oz to cover and then 5-7oz for the belt (depending on the type, for laced one generally 5-6oz). It is a bit up to personal preference though, many people prefer thicker leather. Getting one of these http://myArmoury.com/books/item.B0036UU0AG.html will come in extremely useful. They are very easy to use.
Cheers,
Hadrian

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Nathaniel C.





Joined: 26 Aug 2008

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Wed 20 Oct, 2010 7:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So, some not so great news. I have been shaping the damp leather to the wooden core and it seems to be coming along pretty well. It never occurred to me that the moister from the leather would effect the wood. The core has expanded to the point where the sword is now loose. This is extremely discouraging. It was a perfect fit.

I think i's shrinking down as it dries out but I'm not sure that it will fit as well as it did.

So assuming it does fit once it dries, what then? I assume the wood is normally sealed somehow before the leather shaping is done. What should i use to seal it? Would just a clear coat of spray paint suffice?
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Ben Anbeek
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Oct, 2010 8:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mine experience is that the leather wil shrink when it dries
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Matt Corbin




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PostPosted: Wed 20 Oct, 2010 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathanial,

First off...impressive work. In spite of your recent setback I'm sure the scabbard will look amazing when finished.

Secondly; I have a larger scan of Peter Johnson's scabbard illustration posted above. The text is easier to read in the larger format. It's a fairly large file and I would rather not post it here. If you are interested I would be happy to email it to you.

Matt

“This was the age of heroes, some legendary, some historical . . . the misty borderland of history where fact and legend mingle.”
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Douglas S





Joined: 18 Feb 2004

Posts: 177

PostPosted: Wed 20 Oct, 2010 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathaniel C. wrote:
So, some not so great news. I have been shaping the damp leather to the wooden core and it seems to be coming along pretty well. It never occurred to me that the moister from the leather would effect the wood. The core has expanded to the point where the sword is now loose. This is extremely discouraging. It was a perfect fit.

I think i's shrinking down as it dries out but I'm not sure that it will fit as well as it did.

So assuming it does fit once it dries, what then? I assume the wood is normally sealed somehow before the leather shaping is done. What should i use to seal it? Would just a clear coat of spray paint suffice?


Nathaniel, Peter Johnsson's tutorial mentioned to lacquer the wood first.

Did someone mention calf skin? Can you find a single piece long enough? It's not hard to find a good piece of belly hide, maybe as thin as 2-3 oz. The straps should not be made from belly hide, though. Maybe goatskin if available. Happy
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Nathaniel C.





Joined: 26 Aug 2008

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Wed 20 Oct, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A larger version of Peter Johnsson's drawing would be very helpful. I'll send you my email in a PM.

I was wondering, does anyone have examples of an accurate but perhaps simpler style of weaving the belt through he scabbard. I know I've seen this done. Christian Fletcher's Antioch is sort of what I have in mind. I think I saw a similar one in the classifieds that might have been done by Dan Dickinson. Does anyone know of an historical reference for this simpler style. I thought that considering the thickness of the leather I have, it might be easier and look better if the pattern is a little simplified. Just a thought, I may try to copy Peter's drawing anyway.

The leather I have for the scabbard is about 1/16 of an inch. I think it was supposed to be 3/4oz but it's been a long time since I bought it. The belt will be around 7oz. That may change though, if i can find some 5/6 oz leather.

I'm looking at getting some 2/3 oz leather for the grip. The current attempt was just an experiment using what i had on hand which is the same stuff I'm going to use for the scabbard. It's a bit too thick for a grip.
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Ron Reuter




Location: Southern Indiana
Joined: 04 Oct 2007

Posts: 56

PostPosted: Wed 20 Oct, 2010 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathaniel,

Near the bottom of my webpage here: http://www.yeoldegaffers.com/project_scabbard.asp there is a link to a much larger view of Peter's scabbard plans. I do have Peter's permission to display them here.

I also show the steps to thread the leather through, which you may find helpful.

Ron

www.yeoldegaffers.com
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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Wed 20 Oct, 2010 4:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
If you are doing a cord wrapped grip it's generally best to go under an oz. Quite hard to find actually. Albion uses 0.5-0.75 oz for their grips. I tend to use about the same.
Cheers,
Hadrian

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Nathaniel C.





Joined: 26 Aug 2008

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Wed 20 Oct, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

2 to 3 oz was the thinnest stuff I could find. I'm sure thinner would be nice. How much variation would there have been historically? I have the same question regarding the style of belt weaving. How many different styles do we know of for weaving the belt through the scabbard? I've tried searching for period art depicting scabbards utilizing the woven technique but I can't find much.
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