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Johannes Zenker

Joined: 15 Sep 2014

Posts: 158

PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2020 2:30 pm    Post subject: Planned: Leather Scabbard (sic!) for curved Kriegsmesser         Reply with quote

Hi everyone.

I should receive a Landsknecht Emporium Kriegsmesser (sparring edition) in the next few weeks and would like to construct a scabbard or sheath for it.

I will either use a three-point longsword-style suspension for it, or opt for a Landsknecht-Knot as seen in this thread. ( ) Probably the former, though, as I'm not *really* that much of a 16th Century guy.

Now here's the kicker: I would like to be able to wear the sword in training, so I'd rather not have a wood core. One wrong move or tumble, and it's cracked. Been there, done that, not doing that again.
I also plan to eventually (once my finances permit me to do so) have a corresponding sharp made, which I'd like to be able to securely stow and transport in the scabbard/sheath as well.

Thus I want to make it entirely out of leather.

I see two approaches for this:

1. I could try to use the "wrap around" method I have in the past successfully used to make a suitable sheath for my blunt version of the Marienburg Longsword by Maciej K. (I still love that one, by the way, it is my go-to training tool for longsword). On a symmetrical blade this wasn't too hard to do, but I see two problems with this approach here: The curvature, while slight, will make it awkward to get the shape right and I'm worried that the fit will be very tight, so that the sharp version will push too strongly against the leather and just cuts through. It would also be kinda skinny, and I do prefer a bit of girth to a sheath/scabbard for a Messer, so I thought I might wrap the entire thing with another layer of leather, which is also where I could introduce risers. More on that idea further down.

The sheath on my Cervenka Rapier/Sidesword is made in a similar manner, but I don't think I'll be able to feasibly replicate this with my own skills and he might have also used half-tan leather, of which I have none. I've grown a new sense of appreciation for this sheath recently. It's pretty dang well made.

2. I am thinking about making a two-layer construction: First: A simple and basic "sandwich" sheath made from four parts of leather would be easy to make with the right fit. That would look ugly, though, and therefore I figured I might try to cover the entire thing with another thin layer of leather that I could just glue over the sheath. The result would likely be rather bulky, easily adding 2cm width and probably 8mm thickness, but then again: The regular scabbard for the "Gottfried" Messer by Landsknecht Emporium is 1,8cm wider and 8mm thicker than the blade as well. It wouldn't be so nicely lenticular, though, more akin to a slab-sided look.
This method would alleviate my fear of the sharp cutting right through, as it would have to cut through a considerable middle layer of dense leather, and I could also make sure that there is enough room for the sword, so that the edge doesn't rub against the sheath with much force.
It should also not be too difficult to make: make a rough approximation of the blade from a piece of wood, cut leather pieces to shape, roughly match the distal taper with the sandwich's "middle" layer, glue, punch holes (with an awl), and sew - sandwich complete. Add the required risers, glue on the thin leather, dye, finish, add suspension (TBD), scabbard finished.

A potential difficulty I see for this approach is the thickness and distal taper of the Kriegsmesser. From what the guys and gals at Landsknecht Emporium told me they are using 8mm stock for the KM, so I expect some pretty radical distal taper, probably with a thickened point on the blunt and a reinforced point on the sharp. Assuming they are going for a similar geometry as on their thick blunt Gottfried I'd wager the blade goes down to 3mm at 5cm behind the point and probably back to 5mm in the reinforced/thickened section. If I don't add any distal taper to the sandwich liner it would probably not only look worse, but also be much too spacious in the forward section of the blade, which would lead to a lot of rattle.

Right now I'm envisioning the use of thick leather for the middle layer, probably doubled where the blade is thickest. I might even be able to use scraps of 3-4mm leather for it since it should disappear under the wrap.

I'll try to make this a documented DIY project, and until I receive the KM and can properly start I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts and input.
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