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Hal Siegel
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Location: Austin, Texas
Joined: 30 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject: Shrinkage         Reply with quote

No, not a man-in-cold-water problem: a leather scabbard.

I have a newly made sword stuck fast in a leather sheath. If this were an old sword I'd expect corrosion, but since it's new and the sheath is unfinished leather I expect it's a shrinkage problem.

Simply tugging it out isn't working.

Any suggestions?

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Lloyd Winter




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 27 Aug 2011

Posts: 172

PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 9:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That happened to me once. I finally ended up cutting the scabbard open. If you're lucky the sword is stuck at the top and you only have to open part of the seam. I was not so lucky...
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Tue 01 May, 2012 11:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well..you *could* try this..if you're game. Try wetting ( damp..not dripping wet) the sheath..that should soften it a bit and let it stretch so blade can be withdrawn. Clean/oil blade IMMEDIATELY you get it free. If it doesn't come free..then I'd cut the stiching, working slowly from the throat, working down until it finally comes free. You didn't mention if there were any metal fittings at the throat ? Whatever happens..clean sword asap...
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 7:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cut the stitching. It's the quickest method and, as the scabbard is clearly too small for the sword, it's not like you need to be worried about using it again.
"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, I thought this was referencing a Seinfeld episode Big Grin
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd try sewing machine oil, squirted all around the inside of the scabbard mouth and worked down by massaging the leather and twisting the blade as much as possible. It's a very light oil, so it runs freely and the bottle has a built-in nozzle for precise placement.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Squirt some neatsfoot oil on each side between the blade and sheath, opening with a small plastic putty knife or even a disposable picnic knife. Stand it up in somewhere and ignore it for a few hours. The leather was probably very dry.

You could also squirt hot water down the gap instead then yank that sucker free while the sheath is wet. That will take some serious followup on the blade by comparison. Depends on how patient you are.... Laughing Out Loud
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How about hitting the scabbard gently with a rubber or wooden mallet and hoping the vibrations un-stick the areas holding the sword in the scabbard if it's some sort of adhesion rather than just shrinkage.

Would putting the whole thing in a freezer have the steel contract enough to detach itself from any adhesions ?

Well, if the scabbard can't be salvaged cutting the sword out makes things a bit simpler.

If the scabbard and sword are separated from each other without damage to the scabbard it would be good to make sure that the scabbard can be " fixed " before risking putting the sword back in it. Wink Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Josh Wilson




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
If the scabbard and sword are separated from each other without damage to the scabbard it would be good to make sure that the scabbard can be " fixed " before risking putting the sword back in it. Wink Big Grin


This could possibly be done with a leather skever (sp?) tool, if you end up cutting the seam.
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

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PostPosted: Wed 02 May, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Medieval swords usually had wood cores for this very reason.
If you know the basics of wood- and leatherworking you can make one yourself, maybe even line it with lambs pelt or wool. IMO it's a great way to learn more about how swords work.

Is this a welted seam? Most modern all leather sword scabbards are.
Anyway, if you prefer an all leather scabbard you can cut the stitches, and then add a leather tounge as a spacer between the seam sides all the way down and re-stitch. This'll make it less tight.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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