Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Rabbit skin as a scabbard lining? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jun, 2011 9:52 pm    Post subject: Rabbit skin as a scabbard lining?         Reply with quote

Hello, all...

I'm planning on making a wood-core scabbard for a large seax, and I intended to line it with sheepskin. However, I only need around 18" x 6" to line the whole scabbard. The smallest amount of hair-on sheepskin I can find is much larger than I require and would cost me $40... however, I can buy a rabbit skin for only $5 that's plenty big for my intended use.

Is there any reason that the hair of a rabbit skin, once cut down to the advised length of 3mm, would not work as well as the wool of sheepskin? I have no experience with wool linings, but have read every forum discussion here on myArmoury that I could find related to the topic.

Basically, I don't even know enough to know all of the questions that I should ask, lol. The only direct query that comes to mind is this; will rabbit skin work as a scabbard lining?

Other than that... What advice would you offer me?

Thanks so much to all of you for your help, and for the great resource that is myArmoury in general.

All the best,
-Brogdon
View user's profile Send private message
Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 601

PostPosted: Wed 08 Jun, 2011 10:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't see why not. The rabbit fur will not have quite the same properties as the wool but it should work if you really want such a lining. As far as I know, such a lining is quite historically incorrect for a sax scabbard.
View user's profile Send private message
Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jun, 2011 3:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lambs wool is not the only type of liner having been found in scabbard remains. Others include goat and gopher as well as wool cloth.I don't see why rabbit shouldn't also work as long as it's properly perpared.

The down side being you can't use one complete length for the entire scabbard unless you find a true giant rabbit. And they're feirce... and can leap about.... well, you know. Wink
When making overlaps of the liner, shave the fur off the top of the segment closer to the tip and thin the leather back on the part further up toward the mouth, then glue the one with fur over the other, overlapping downward. The idea is to not have a lip the blade tip can catch on.
Like this:


Thin as much as possible and remember the fit becomes tighter after you glue the core halves and/or wrap or cover it with leather. So you need a loose fit, not a perfect snug fit with just taped together core halves. If need be thin to a great degree but never leave the leather completely bare. No leather should be in direct contact wth the steel but a very thin fur stubble is still fine.

When I use fur liners, I prefer the oval hollow you see in Giebigs diagrams rather than the flat one most use (which also is historically correct). Turns out very nice with the fur really holding the blade and form fitting to it and allows it to slide out easy, you can slim down and lighten the scabbard core more and you don't need to crop the fur as short. Just a tip, both types work fine and oval hole means less work with the fur, but more work with the core.



With a flat recess, you normally have to crop the fur really short, easiest done before gluing in the core with any scissors, just bend the fur and crop a section at a time and not so deep as to shave it all off in spots. Or if you decide to do it after gluing, or need to adjust later, you can still do it in the two scabbard halves with tiny sheep shears that fit in the groove. With curly lambs skin this looks something like lion skin. With straigth pelt rabbit, it probably looks different.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
View user's profile Send private message
Thomas R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 10 May 2010
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 395

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jun, 2011 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I used rabbit fur for my scabbard lining, and it still functions very well. Make sure you have a vacuum cleaner at hand, while shearing the fur (and use a breathing protection mask!). Rabbit hair is a really, really annoying stuff, if it isn't sucked away immediately by a vacuum cleaner while shortening. I used leather glue to glue it into the halves of the scabbard and added some oil.

Best wishes,
Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Nicholas Maider





Joined: 09 Jun 2011

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jun, 2011 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I must ask, does the rabbit-fur lining shed? I was under the impression that skins from that animal's tanned skin shed frequently, and easily acquired mildew. It was only to be used for open air items, like a throw blanket. Am I mistaken?
View user's profile Send private message
Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu 09 Jun, 2011 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the good responses!

My replies, in order of appearance:

Scott- Thanks for the input! I agree; it's probably completely ahistorical, but this is more of a 'test project.' I want to learn how to do linings on scabbards, but without the amount of work involved with doing a full-sized lined scbabard, or the level of importance if I mess up. For a cheap seax with a 12" blade, that I don't even care about all that much, but is in need of a decent scabbard... It gives me a lot of freedom to expirament and not worry about getting something wrong, you know? Thanks for mentioning historical accuracy, however; that's a pretty important concern of mine when looking at most projects.


Johan- Wow! Thanks for all of that! Big Grin Very helpful... I hadn't even considered using multiple rabbit skins for a full-sized scabbard, but that seems like a very good idea now that you've shown the proper way to accomplish it. Rather cost-effective, too.

I agree that the carved channel would be more effective with a fur lining, which is another reason why I want to try out the lining on this seax first. I'm not currently equiped to effectively produce a scabbard in that manner, and up 'til now have used the '3-piece' method. This seax, being single edged and thin to begin with, shouldn't lose much of the benefit of a fur lining even with a 3-piece scabbard, in my opinion.


Thomas- First-hand experience, great! Now I'm even more confident of success. Happy Thanks... and especially, thanks for the tip about a vacuum and breathing mask! I never would have thought of that, but you're right... obviously.


Nicholas- Not that I'm a great resource, but I'll post back here when I recieve my rabbit skin and let you know how durable it is. I just ordered a 'jumbo rabbit black' skin from Tandy Leather; http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/search/sea...11-01.aspx


Thanks again, guys!
-Brogdon

"Here's to you, mister pirate-ship-captain! With your endless booty calls and a violent streak that makes Grand Theft Auto look like Super Mario Kart, only you could bring the wooden leg back into fashion, and only you could fight three men at a time with a patch over one eye and a hook for a hand."
-Strongblade.com
View user's profile Send private message
Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Fri 10 Jun, 2011 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cutting an oval core recess is not as hard as most think. Just draw the outline of the blade and create a roud bottom channel by carving it out with a spoon chisel and mallet. Make sure to cut diagonal to the grain to avoid taking out deep splinters though.
But perhaps a seax would be best off with a flat recess with a shallowing toward the edge since it doesn't have a oval-ish cross section but a one sided wedge similar to modern larger meat carving knives but thicker backed, or flat main section with an extended edge wedge like a modern bowie. The recess needs to follow that shape plus some extra depth for the liner.

I'm looking into the Valsgärde seax scabbards from the Uppsala mounds right now trying to figure them out for reproduction. Old Uppsala with the staging field and many burial mounds was most likely the main scandinavian merovingian age to early medieval age cult centre. These scabbards are a bit odd and also very interesting as they turn a few of my own ideas about seax scabbards and handles upside down. They're different from the straight sword scabbards we most often see as well as different to the all-leather and metal seax scabbards we refer to them most commonly today.
They mostly resemble greek Xifos scabbards (as seen on statues) or similar early roman or Etruiscan designs with what seems to be square sides and a flat face with decorative plates and overlap fitted plating running along the edges. The last feature is something also seen in some migration era sword scabbards but they were more or less rounded over the face to make an oval cross section. If I was to guess, these Valsgärde scabbards would have used straight box cut recesses for the blade given the box shape cross section of the core halves, but I haven't been able to verify that yet.

There's also another even odder seax sceath/scabbard type that looks something like a revolver holster. But it looks too odd for even me to contemplate for recreation right now. I'd need to look into them a lot more, perhaps they're not even for seaxes but some other type of blade.

This all said, I've seen some finds of early seaxes with rounded scabbards similar to straigth double edge swords also. Like the find from Odensjö in Sweden (probably from 2-300 AD) and several german finds. So both were used at some point in time. These are usually from Roman iron age though, not Merovingian or viking age.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
View user's profile Send private message
Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
Likes: 8 pages

Posts: 601

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jun, 2011 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan, I am interested in learning more about this scabbard that resembles a revolver holster.
View user's profile Send private message
Phil D.




Location: Texas
Joined: 23 Sep 2003
Reading list: 56 books

Posts: 590

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jun, 2011 5:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would have to side on the "be careful" side of this.I have used both rabbit and springbok on displays in my study.The blades that have sat on either fur for a while developed rust...wool is good because of the lanolin...I don't think the others are near the same.
"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
View user's profile Send private message
Will White




Location: Staffordshire
Joined: 10 Jun 2012

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012 4:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I now almost nothing about making sheaths, although I see no reason why rabbit skin would not be historical. The point about the lanolin is a good one (I know about that). But you said this was a learning experience so I say go for it. Or you could make multiple linings fro sheepskin (bit to late now though I suppose) Laughing Out Loud .
The scariest moment is always just before you start.
Stephen King
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Will White wrote:
I now almost nothing about making sheaths, although I see no reason why rabbit skin would not be historical.


That'd depend on where and when the scabbard you're making would have been made. You wouldn't be using rabbit fur on an anglo- saxon scabbard for example.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Rabbit skin as a scabbard lining?
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