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Karl Schlesien





Joined: 15 Sep 2010

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Sun 26 Dec, 2010 8:12 pm    Post subject: Sheeps skin lining for the scabbard.         Reply with quote

I search a lot of the alten threads for instructyions on how the sheeps skin linings are to be put in sword scabbards with no real satisfaction. Can someone help me with this project please?

I have been told ancient type of sheeps wool is different from modern sheeps wool. Modern wool is tight curly and long and ancient sheeps are straight and short. That the old types do not get caught in the blade tip like curly modern sheeps do. The closest living old relative today is the Soay sheep (Ovis aries).

Is sheeps wool only to be applied at the mouth of Scabbard or all way down the Scabbard? Do you need it all the way in if it is there just to oil the Blade?

Tschüß!
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 28 Dec, 2010 6:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you can find a dealer that handles "hair sheep" skins they are much better for scabbards. Orient the hair down into the scabbard. I have been told that the breed is kept for meat and milk more than for its wool. I found one skin more than a decade ago but haven't been able to find it again. ( And I work in the leather trade!)

The shearling skins sold for saddle pads in the harness trade can be trimmed very short with barber's shears and a great deal of patience. That might be your simplest solution.
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Karl Schlesien





Joined: 15 Sep 2010

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Tue 28 Dec, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Kel for your responce. I did not know of these hair sheep so I will go looking for them.

I found this site, it is a begining.

http://www.sheepandgoat.com/articles/hairsheepupdate.html

A very many dealers from India but I do not have much trust in buying from there. There is one dealer in the UK I will ask after his prices.

I found this interesting dealer in Canada, great skulls and furs!

http://www.furcanada.com/


Thank you for your help. Many people look but not so many answer.
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you can also try IKEA... sometimes they have sheepskins in the homegoods area... their meant to be used as floormats so you will need to trim down the hair.

I am staring at a gladius bare blade from Albion these days and must say I have been thinking about that for the scabbard as well... only issue is that I am thinking it might make the scabbard a bit thick...
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Karl Schlesien





Joined: 15 Sep 2010

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"only issue is that I am thinking it might make the scabbard a bit thick.."

That is the dilemma I am looking at. The scabbard will be proportionally to large for the sword. If one uses a wood core lining and then makes room for the sheeps skin as well, then puts the outer leather on the wood it becomes a monster!
Its solution is probably very simple as it looks me in the face, but I can not see it. Are there any scabbards with sheeps skin that survive as originals? I am certain that some people here have attempted this. Could they post some photographs?

Ikea sounds like a try, thanks.
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well the scabbard I made with sheepskin lining turned out to be not too thick - the "trick" was to trim the wool very short, and use a rather thin leather for scabbard cover - you do not really need thick leather for that anyways. Also, wooden slats that make up the scabbard core have to be on the thin side. As result you can get a decent looking scabbard with snug fit - so that sword would not fall out when scabbard is held upside down.
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, Artis ist right. You'll have to trim the fur really short (3 mm or so). I did this with rabbit fur for my scabbard project. When you glue the lining into the scabbard core, watch out for the grain/streak (don't know the right word für it) of the fur. The hairs of the fur shall prevent the blade from sliding out if glued in properly.

Regards Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
Industry Professional



Location: Netherlands
Joined: 11 Mar 2005

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PostPosted: Wed 29 Dec, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Sheeps skin lining for the scabbard.         Reply with quote

Karl Schlesien wrote:
I search a lot of the alten threads for instructyions on how the sheeps skin linings are to be put in sword scabbards with no real satisfaction. Can someone help me with this project please?

I have been told ancient type of sheeps wool is different from modern sheeps wool. Modern wool is tight curly and long and ancient sheeps are straight and short. That the old types do not get caught in the blade tip like curly modern sheeps do. The closest living old relative today is the Soay sheep (Ovis aries).

Wooly sheep have been around since the stone age (roughly 3000BC), so unlike you're making a scabbard for the earliest eastern European copper daggers, you're safe using a more modern wooly sheep.

Quote:
Is sheeps wool only to be applied at the mouth of Scabbard or all way down the Scabbard? Do you need it all the way in if it is there just to oil the Blade?

It's not so much there to oil the blade, though that's a neat added bonus when it comes to steel swords. The main advantage is that it makes sliding the blade in and out very smooth (wood can make the blade jam sometimes, particularly if the wood deforms due to difference in moisture), and the sword doesn't fall out when you keep the scabbard upside-down.

I don't exactly know how how often scabbards were lined with fur in later times (you might have to check if it's really appropriate for your period), but it was common practice in the bronze age. One scabbard that had the lining analyzed turned out to be finely haired cowhide, with hair similar to that of a Scottish highlander. During the iron age, textile seems to be more common then fur. Also mind to keep all of the layers very thin. Original scabbards have a total thickness of no more then a few mm for all the layers combined (lining, wood and outer coverings). As suggested, you have to shave down the hairs to just a few mm. Also keep in mind that if you want to build a representable scabbard for a specific period, scabbards tend to be far more complex in construction then you might think. Particularly early medieval scabbards are very complex in construction.

Jeroen Zuiderwijk
- Bronze age living history in the Netherlands
- Barbarian metalworking
- Museum photos
- Zip-file with information about saxes
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Karl Schlesien





Joined: 15 Sep 2010

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"I don't exactly know how how often scabbards were lined with fur in later times (you might have to check if it's really appropriate for your period), but it was common practice in the bronze age."

I cast blades from bronze so if this is what was common for scabbards then, I will try one for one of my newr castings.

I was wanting to use this sheeps skin technique for a steel blade I am working on. I am not that carring if it is period correctness or not. I am more interested in the weather proofing self oiling qualities of the lanolin. Interesting about the
finely haired cowhide, I have lots of fine cow hide and other small animals here to work with.

"the lining analyzed turned out to be finely haired cowhide, with hair similar to that of a Scottish highlander."

So Scottish highlanders could be used inplace of fine haired cows. Do you think they would mind? Better you try, not me.

I found this scabbard construction image on another site and I am thinking that it's style of manufacture would be best for the addition of animal hide.

I have borrowed this images from: http://www.yeoldegaffers.com/project_scabbard.asp



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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

Posts: 656

PostPosted: Thu 30 Dec, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeroen,


Thank you....that's priceless! So Scottish Highlanders have hair like cattle? I can think of places I'd be careful of making THAT statement! On the other hand, lining one's scabbard with the hair of a Scottish Highlander could be a bragging rights thing like the Plains and Rocky Mountain tribes and the mountain men would wear grizzly bear claw necklaces. The only way to get one was to kill a grizzly or kill a man who had a grizzly bear claw necklace.

Thanks again for the chuckle and a Happy New Year !
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