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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Mar, 2006 5:14 am    Post subject: Need DIY instruction for regripping         Reply with quote

I realize that there have been quite a few posts on re-gripping swords. In my case, I need to regrip an Albion Crecey and am concerned about two specifics...seating the guard (which has loosened), and applying a leather wrap.

My grip core has crushed (heavy blow) a little under the gaurd area and the the space has permitted the guard to loosen and wobble. I wish to repair this before allowing it to continue as I suspect it will rapidly ruin the fit of the guard onto the blade shoulder. If I make a new grip, should I be able to just gently hammer against the guard to seat it back in place?

I have plenty of aged wood (will be stable in terms of moisture and dimension) and am sure that I can make scales to replace the crushed ones. I don't have birch, but am thinking Osage Orange would be a good choice. I also have vegtable tanned calf skin (roughly 2mm thick leather.)

Once it is ready to cover... what exactly is the detailed process for wrapping the core in leather? I am hoping I do not have to find any cow intestine for this, and would prefer a more modern approach that still gives a relatively seamless look. I can get a friend with a skive knife to taper the thickness of the leather covering. Some detail on what cord to use for the risers, how to shave the leather covering (beginning and end of wrap tapered?), wetting/glueing, and external wrap cord would be appreciated.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Mar, 2006 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared,

I have not ever tapered the leather in anyway. If you use something thin like chamois, it compresses down to the point that the seem gets lost without any other effort.

Almost any cord will work (I used 550 cord (aka parchute cord) for one), but going with some kind of natural fiber would be best for historical accuracy. Albion uses cotton or linen cord, if I recall correctly. Sean Flynt used hemp for at least one of his, and I have used some stuff of uncertain origin that might be made from cherry fibers.

I have had luck with gluing dry leather on and then soaking it, or you can wet it and then glue it on (that is probably better as it stretches, and then becomes thinner). I noticed that one of the pics on Albion's site shows Eric wearing latex gloves while wrapping a grip. That is probably a good idea so that you don't glue and dye your hands too much.

For the exterior cord, finer cord gives better detail, but requires more cord and more patience. I would recomend using something equal to or slightly smaller than the thinest cord used under the leather. That should be a good compromise between detail and convenience. The biggest thing is to make sure you do not rush the outer wrap. If you have cords running all over the place while it dries, you will be able to see it once that cord is removed. Take you time, and get a nice uniform wrap around the outside. Also, I find it best for my cord to cross over the risers at the leather seam. That holds the leather down where it would normally want to bulge, and keeps you from having a super visible line across your riser. If someone else knows a good way to keep from getting marks on the riser, let me know, that is one of my biggest hang-ups at the moment.

One of my most recent discoveries is that you get a very nice look to the ends of your grip leather if you fold the top and bottom over. This makes for a nice edge by the guard and pommel rather than the rougher look of leather that has been cut. After a little observation, it became clear to me that Albion uses this trick as well.

Since you mentioned the other threads, I'll assume you can find them (for anyone else searching for them, just search for "Grip" and put either "Greyson Brown" or "Sean Flynt" in the author field; search message subjects only to narrow down the results a bit), so I'll not bother with finding the links again (I really need to add those to my favourites).

As for your guard, I would think you could just tap it back into place, but I am not familiar with Albions First Generation swords, and I have not seen the damage specific to yours, so I can't say anything for certain.

Hope that helps a bit.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Mar, 2006 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Greyson.

I have copied much of the text from your previous posts and am sort of editing / pasting it togather into an integrated document. If I go for this one, I will try to take some step by step photos.

Right now, all I have is 2 - 3 oz weight vegtable tanned leather that is for scabbard covering. I need some idea of what your chamois actually is. I had guessed that the leather needs to shrink, and should not be oil or chrome tanned. One could buy "chamois" for drying cars at an auto part shop, but I would not expect it to be the right thing. Where did you get the leather, and about how thick was it?

On my first Generation Albion Crecey, I can see the seam where the leather wrap ends, and it is a jagged line (not folded edge) that is very hard to detect. I believe this is because the leather was "skived"...shaved to a papper thin taper where the wrap ends so that there is no noticeable buldge. The edge appears to have been hidden with dye. I have to study the thing for about a minute before I can spot this edge!

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Jonathon Janusz





Joined: 20 Nov 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 04 Mar, 2006 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared, I know you have probably already done so, but I would recommend giving Mike Sigman a call. It sounds like your sword has just gone through some normal wear, and Albion might be able to get your sword back to as good as new for a nominal fee. . . I wouldn't have stressed the matter if it was just the leather cover on the grip, but with the guard being loose, I would personally probably turn it over to the professionals Happy

Good luck!
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Mar, 2006 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am very strongly tempted to just send it to Albion.

I had asked about costs a while ago and it was something like $150 since a new set of scales will have to be made, and they are not in current production. The ends of the scales under the guard are definately crushed so that there is some give, maybe 1/16" space for the guard to slip down towards the grip.

Also, with so many models comming out (I am expecting roughly a 1.5 year wait on my Munich order), I wonder how long I would be without my only hand and a half sword!

An upside of having it serviced is that I could ask to have it sharpened. When I ordered it on last years clearance, I had them "gently dull" the edge of an existing sharp sword so that a first timer like myself would not hurt himself. This was not a drastic blunting, but left a rounded edge about 0.6 mm wide (basically a 0.3 mm, radius rolled edge.) Now that the kids have gotten over their curiosity, I am thinking I could return it to a functional cutter without drastically altering the properties of the blade.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Mar, 2006 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is some info on grip re-wraps here: http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_antique.html
Happy

ChadA

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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Mar, 2006 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Chad, I meant to mention the Antiquing article, and forgot to include it.

Jared,

I am talking about folding the ends nearest the guard and pommel (top and bottom on a sword viewed point down). The seam, however, is just the normal cut edge. I can't say what Albion might have done on the First Gen swords. On my Squire, there is just the slightest bulge over one of the risers, so I can get a better idea of how thick the leather is. I didn't measure it, but it is awfully thin. I don't think it has been skived (could be wrong, though). I think that comes down to personal preference, really.

I did just use a chamois for drying a car. The PX had one that was 30-some square inches for $14, and one that was 40 or so square inches for $12. I bought the $12 one. Like Sean, I found that the more expensive ones are thicker, and not as good.

[UPDATE] Sorry, work got in the way of fun. Let me finish my thoughts. The chamois will shrink when it dries, so that works just fine. A layer of beeswax or even some shoe polish will halp to water-proof it a bit, so you shouldn't have problems with it getting wet and stretching back out.

Also, when buying your chamois, look at the leather and try to find one that is fairly smooth. They have one rough, suede-ish side and a smoother side to them. The last chamois I picked up had some rough stops on the smooth side, and it resulted in a couple of spots on the grip being more suede-like. It also varied in thickness throughout the piece. As long as you examine the piece of leather before you buy, it should be okay.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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