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Artur Zima




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Apr 2016

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sun 19 Apr, 2020 1:30 pm    Post subject: Rondel Dagger Scabbard Build DIY         Reply with quote

Hello!

Recently I decided to take on a new project, something I wanted to try for a while, which was making a scabbard. Since I had no leatherworking experience I wanted to start with something small. I'm lucky to have a Tod Culter 14th -15th century Rondel Dagger, which I thought would be a manageable project. The rondel dagger came with its own leather scabbard and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, in fact it's pretty great, but I wanted to make something just a bit more fancy.

As I mentioned I've never made a scabbard before, so my process is probably not the best. All of the knowledge for this project was taken from the internet so if any more experienced members out there have any tips or advice for the future projects I'd really appreciate that!

I started off by carving a wooden core out of two slats of beech wood about 5-6 mm thick. This was by far the most time consuming step. Because I wanted to get a snug fit, it took a lot of chipping away bit by bit with a chisel.



Once that was done coated the inside of the slats with renaissance wax and glued the two halves together. After doing some research I found out that a lot of wood glues can rust steel, so I ended up using Titebond Original. After some testing I can confirm that it doesn't cause rust, so if you're planning to do a similar project make sure the glue is suitable first.



I wasn't really confident in being able to get a good seam at the back of the scabbard, so I dyed the wood with the leather dye I was going to use (in this case Fiebings Royal Blue). Once the dye was dry I painted the wood with two coats of clear varnish just so that it doesn't soak up all the moisture from the leather. At this point I also stuck two leather raisers (2mm thick and wide) using super glue.



The next part was leatherwork. I went with veg tan leather about 1.5 mm thick. It was a little bit tricky to get used to the material but after a while I found it really enjoyable. To start, I soaked the leather for about 10-20 sec until bubbles stopped coming up and left it out for about 5 min. At this point the leather was soft and pliable. I wanted to make the raisers a bit more decorative. Using a swivel knife I made some diagonal cuts where my raisers were going to be. Because I wanted the raisers to be distinct and pronounced I used two bamboo sticks taped to the table and slowly 'massaged' the leather into shape, first using just my hands and later a round, long paint brush to define them a bit more.



Once the raisers were shaped I started to mould the overall shape against the wooden core. Prior to this I wrapped the wooden core in cling film so that it wouldn't get too soaked. After a couple of hours of forming the leather took the shape of the core. Then I left it overnight to dry.

A lot of the medieval examples of knife sheathes in 'Knives and Scabbards' by J. Cowgill have stamped decorations, which I wanted to emulate. One of the more popular ones seemed to have been Fleur de Lis symbol. However, I couldn't find the right stamp anywhere online. In the end I decided to make one using some modern technology. I am lucky to have a friend with a 3D printer so I modelled the stamp in a 3D software and got my friend to print it for me. I also, printed some edge staps to go near the borders.



I used a spare piece of wood and cut it to a similar shape of the wooden core but kept the surface flat to help with stamping. The results were surprisingly good. Using a paintbrush I slowly dampened the areas of leather I was going to stamp and using a mallet went one by one stamping away. It helped to trace a rough placing of stamps before but you could easily freehand it, which might look more rough and authentic. But because I'm a bit of a perfectionist I wanted to make sure they all aligned.



Next I cut the slits for the suspension cord at the back and using more bamboo sticks I expanded the opening (it helps to wet the leather while doing this). Then I trimmed the excess leather near the seam - I left it purposefully bigger in case the leather shrunk after it dried.



The next step was to dye the leather - I used two coats of the Royal Blue dye, which came out pretty nice. Instead of using the wool dauber, I poured some of the dye out and used a sponge to cover a bigger area quicker and avoid streaky patterns. Then I punched the holes using a diamond pricking iron.



Finally it was assembly time. I threaded the suspension cord through the slits at the back and stitched the leather with a 18/3 linen thread (I waxed it first with beeswax) using a whip stitch. I also purchased a scabbard chape from Tod, which complimented the whole build really nicely.

Overall I'm quite happy how it turned out and definitely would love to make another one. Hopefully, this might help someone trying to make their own for the first time. Like I said, if you have any tips, advice, questions or overall thoughts feel free to let me know! Thanks for having a look! Here is the final product:











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Lloyd Winter




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 27 Aug 2011

Posts: 188

PostPosted: Sun 19 Apr, 2020 7:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good job!
Why then the worlds mine oyster
Which I with sword will open.
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Michael Zimmermann





Joined: 19 Dec 2018

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2020 4:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice! And an admirably clean job, too.
- Michael
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2020 5:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Artur,
That came out really nicely, especially for a first attempt.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Blaz Berlec




Location: Podgorje, Kamnik, Slovenia, Europe
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2020 6:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is a pro job! Looks great!

Extant 15th Century German Gothic Armour
Extant 15th century Milanese armour
Arming doublet of the 15th century
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2020 6:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

WOW! That's really nice and a clean job. I really like the blue.
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Randy Cieszynski




Location: Bourbonnais,IL.
Joined: 12 Aug 2012

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2020 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks Fantastic!!
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 577

PostPosted: Mon 20 Apr, 2020 7:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's incredible, especially for a first attempt! Very clean scabbard core!
'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Julien M




Location: Austin TX
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,083

PostPosted: Tue 21 Apr, 2020 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Holy Molly - just realized I have barely posted anything here for the past 3 years...

Artur, I'm most impressed by your ability to pop in here every couple of year and knock it out of the park on first attempts.
I recall your Fulham gladius project well as the piece and finish was absolutely top notch, on par with the work of the very best pros.

I can see with this scabbard that you have not lost the touch - it is perfect all around (that wood core is a beauty, even dye, spacing between punched seam holes 100% consistent, same for the stamp marks) - in fact everything is so neat it even remind me of P johnsson early leather works.

I happen to also have this piece from Tod, and your scabbard does a lot to elevate it to a status weapon - as intented so very well done.

Amusing as I also started 3D printing a few month ago, mostly for miniatures but also for sword prototyping and had in mind to use this for leather punches too - I see that it works very well as suspected. I will document progress here too hopefully soon.

Looking forward to your next project!
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Leo Todeschini
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, UK
Joined: 12 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2020 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brilliant work Artur.

Really inspiring and what is interesting is I remember sheath 1 and I must have been at sheath 100 before I made anything as good as this.

Amazing

Tod

www.todsworkshop.com
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Artur Zima




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Apr 2016

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2020 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your kind comments! It's all really encouraging to hear and I can't wait to get started on another one. I have a 10th century viking sword in a need of a scabbard, so this might be next on my list.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on with stamp printing Julien M, good luck!
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R. Robinson




Location: NE
Joined: 23 Apr 2018

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2020 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How long did the carving take you? That's been my downfall with grips and scabbards. Carving and sanding take me forever, and I neither have the skills nor tools it would seem to help that along Wink.

It looks amazing.
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Artur Zima




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Apr 2016

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2020 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R. Robinson wrote:
How long did the carving take you? That's been my downfall with grips and scabbards. Carving and sanding take me forever, and I neither have the skills nor tools it would seem to help that along Wink.

It looks amazing.


Thank you! It took a while, I didn't keep track but I was working on it for a couple of evenings so maybe 5-6 hours. I'm not very proficient in wood carving and I only used a chisel, so I can imagine someone with more experience and a better setup could do it a lot faster. Perhaps using a router might speed up the process, I'd be interested in trying that next ime.

Also, I was being being careful not to remove too much material, so patience definitely was they key there.
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