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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > i made my own scabbards! God. i remind me of me! Reply to topic
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Katie Neal





Joined: 17 Jul 2006

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri 24 Nov, 2006 1:17 pm    Post subject: i made my own scabbards! God. i remind me of me!         Reply with quote

Hi Gents.

As we all know, swords are expensive and so are their scabbards and belts. But my biggest problem with having a scabbard made is the time it takes....i hate not having my sword around for months.

well im no Christian fletcher or Triton. but i think my work is not to bad. ive made all custom Scabbards for my:

Christian Fletcher Border Watch
ATrim single hander
Albion Armorers Gladius (still in the making)
Atrim Custom saber.

these scabbards are made from oak and Ceder. some wrapped in thin leather and then dyed. all custom with the blets i desired.


check out these pics of the Gladius Scabbard!
im going to add some roman belt plates and a custom imperial Phoenix for the top of the scabbard.

what do you guys think??



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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Nov, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: i made my own scabbards! God. i remind me of me!         Reply with quote

Katie,
Your scabbard looks great. I do have one issue that I should mention:
Katie Neal wrote:
... these scabbards are made from oak and Ceder ....

There have been some other discussions about wood for scabbards on the forums here. If I recall correctly, both of these woods are high in tannic acid. This means that you probably should not store your swords in the scabbards, since the steel of the blades won't like the environment.

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Katie Neal





Joined: 17 Jul 2006

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Fri 24 Nov, 2006 6:57 pm    Post subject: Crap.         Reply with quote

CRAP!!!!!

what would be a better wood to make them out of???
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Nov, 2006 8:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harder to do with an assembled scabbard but maybe the inside could be coated with some sort of varnish or varatane ( spelling ? ) that would isolate the sword from any acidity of the wood ?

Maybe one of our scabbard makers could give suggestions about what to use and how to do it to the inside of a finished scabbard ?

Brushed in with a wipe ( brush ??? ) to the inside or sprayed from a can ? My concern would be full coverage and how well the " varnish " would dry: I remember using some rubbing alcohol to clean the inside of a scabbard with the theory that it would evaporate quickly and not cause problems that a soaking with water I would imagine would not be good.
In fact the alcohol seemed to take weeks or months to dry. Eek!

So whatever might be used must be able to dry quickly even in the confines of a scabbard.

Oh, a gun cleaning wipe on a rifle cleaning rod might work getting the " product " to the bottom of the scabbard.

A side note: How does one dry the inside of a scabbard that got filled with water ! In period it could be rain or falling in a
river ! One solution comes to mind: Get a new scabbard and don't let the inside get wet in the first place. But was there a good way to save a soaked scabbard ? Obviously one would not want to put the sword in the scabbard if any humidity remained.

Oh, nice scabbard. Big Grin

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




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 25 Nov, 2006 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: Crap.         Reply with quote

Katie Neal wrote:
... what would be a better wood to make them out of???

Poplar is supposed to be a good choice.

"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Katie Neal





Joined: 17 Jul 2006

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sat 25 Nov, 2006 10:29 am    Post subject: thanks!         Reply with quote

when i make my tinker viking scabbard i shall try and use poplar!

i could allways coat the wood in something. or line it in wool...
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Sat 25 Nov, 2006 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:



A side note: How does one dry the inside of a scabbard that got filled with water ! In period it could be rain or falling in a
river ! One solution comes to mind: Get a new scabbard and don't let the inside get wet in the first place. But was there a good way to save a soaked scabbard ? Obviously one would not want to put the sword in the scabbard if any humidity remained.



Put a hole in the bottom so that you can get drainage and a through draught, or, nowadays, put a narrow tube down to the scabbard base and pump air through it.
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Allen Andrews




Location: Maine USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2006
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Posts: 305

PostPosted: Sun 26 Nov, 2006 5:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just wanted to say the scabbard and rig look good Happy Each time I see one of these projects I feel myself ever so much closer to trying it myself! Thanks for the pic.
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Thomas Watt




Location: Metrowest Boston
Joined: 19 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Nov, 2006 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice work!

Someone suggested varnish... most varnishes will "migrate" acids and other things through them, so such a coating would not likely long prevent the acid from reaching the blade. There might be some sealers available through the museum/restoration industry that would provide a better seal.

However, if the varathane is what I recall (a brand of polyurethane varnish) then it would seal and be more impermeable than standard varnish. But if I recall this material correctly, then you will eventually experience some acid penetration through the coating.

I appreciate the heads-up regarding poplar (now all I have to do is locate some), since I have at least one scabbard on my to-do list.

Have 11 swords, 2 dirks, half a dozen tomahawks and 2 Jeeps - seem to be a magnet for more of all.
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Nov, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have only used poplar, as it was the wood I could remember was safe when I went looking. Home Depot has 1/4"x4"x4' poplar slats that I like very well. Because they are only 1/4" thick, it saves a lot of time in shaping the exterior. I think the boards are about $4 each.

I have not tried this, but you might be able to pour some varnish or boiled linseed oil or something similar into the scabbard and then just dump the excess back out. If there is enough space in the scabbard, I would then wrap the blade in some paper towels (if you use regular scotch tape, they stay put suprisingly well), and use the blade, thus wrapped, to wipe out the remaining bit that you don't want. If the sabbard fits too tight for that, I'm not quite sure what to suggest.

Jean, if the inside of a scabbard has been sealed in some way (such as boiled linseed oil) getting water in there will probably be less of an issue, but I would still take the same steps regardless. When the wood gets wet, it seems to want to relax, thus creating a very loose fit. If the wood has dried out that way, I would get it damp again and use c-clamps or some kind of weight to hold the scabbard mouth closed. Over-correcting is always a problem, but you might be able to use a shim of some kind to avoid that. Today a fan would help speed drying; without that option, I guess just leave it in the sun on a breezey day. Again, I don't have experience with this practice. I'm just piecing together ideas from similar things I have fought with.

-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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Thomas Watt




Location: Metrowest Boston
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Nov, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just as a precautionary... if you do try the boiled linseed oil approach (it's still a varnish, which is made from linseed oil), be careful how you dump the excess... if you put the used leftovers in the trash, it can/may catch fire as it generates a bit of heat as it begins to dry.
Have 11 swords, 2 dirks, half a dozen tomahawks and 2 Jeeps - seem to be a magnet for more of all.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sun 26 Nov, 2006 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will suggest using boiled linseed oil (available for about $ 5 U.S. per quart at your local hardware store.) This is used to protect steel surfaces (machine table surfaces etc.) but is also an o.k. wood sealer. I use it on wooden waster swords and some large tools when putting away for long term storage.

You should be able to coat your sword liberally with linseed oil (with no ill effects to the sword) and move it in and out of the scabbard to help seal the wood. I would do it more than once and expect it to take a week to dry up. The scabbard is still a good temporary storage device or rainy day transport device even if you decide to make a much more eleaborate one later.

Making a second or third scabbard (believe I have made more than 10 in order to do destructive bend and impact testing on some of mine) for your first sword is something I found fun to do (other than swinging it around and damaging/denting garage door hanger rails, shoving it through a car door panel by accident, etc.) About ten scabbards down the practice trail you will probably start to get pretty good at it and draw inquiries on how much you charge.....

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Nov, 2006 8:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greyson Brown wrote:
I have not tried this, but you might be able to pour some varnish or boiled linseed oil or something similar into the scabbard and then just dump the excess back out. If there is enough space in the scabbard, I would then wrap the blade in some paper towels (if you use regular scotch tape, they stay put suprisingly well), and use the blade, thus wrapped, to wipe out the remaining bit that you don't want. If the sabbard fits too tight for that, I'm not quite sure what to suggest.

Jean, if the inside of a scabbard has been sealed in some way (such as boiled linseed oil) getting water in there will probably be less of an issue, but I would still take the same steps regardless. When the wood gets wet, it seems to want to relax, thus creating a very loose fit. If the wood has dried out that way, I would get it damp again and use c-clamps or some kind of weight to hold the scabbard mouth closed. Over-correcting is always a problem, but you might be able to use a shim of some kind to avoid that. Today a fan would help speed drying; without that option, I guess just leave it in the sun on a breezey day. Again, I don't have experience with this practice. I'm just piecing together ideas from similar things I have fought with.

-Grey


My suggestion of coating after assembly was trying to save a good scabbard made with a wood that might be a problem: Obviously choosing poplar and/or coating before assembly would be better.

The choice of coating was also a guess and something that would stop acidity from the wood leaching out should be used. ( Whatever that is . )

As to water in a scabbard I fortunately don't actually have that problem to fix but it's nice to know in advance what might work. With a well sealed scabbard on the inside, water should just flow out and not actually get inside the wood if water is not left in the scabbard for a long time I guess. Eek!

So do scabbard makers waterproof the inside of their scabbards ? Modern construction and what was done historically ?

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




Location: Windsor, Colorado
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PostPosted: Mon 27 Nov, 2006 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
So do scabbard makers waterproof the inside of their scabbards ? Modern construction and what was done historically ?


I can't speak for other people, but I have not sealed the insides of scabbards up to this point, and I had some trouble with my last one as a result. The wood got wet while I was stitching the leather, and when it dried, the opening was no longer 5mm wide but rather about 10 or 15mm. I got things back in order, and I don't anticipate problems unless it is submerged, but I want to avoid the issue in the future. To that end, I am going to be coating the interior and exterior of all of my scabbards with boiled linseed oil from here on out (unless, of course, I learn of a better alternative).

-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




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PostPosted: Mon 27 Nov, 2006 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have had fair success with gluing (using epoxy) wool felt into each half of the scabbard core before gluing the two halves of the core togather. Gluing the core with epoxy (I laminate a thin wrap of fiberglass cloth over it anyway since this roughly tripples the strength of the scabbard core) also seems to have made the Albion Knight scabbard work the best. Wood glue is aliphatic (attracts water) and all of my cores glued with wood glue seem to cause faint rust along the swords' cutting edges, but not the one glued with epoxy. Done as mentioned below, I have been leaving the swords in the scabbards for several weeks, typically taking them out to show someone before any real test (storage for more than 3 months) can accumulate time to tell how well this really works. Rust or tarnish is much more of a problem on the exposed guard and pommel areas since I am only using a very light grade of oil.

I test fit the tightness (stack paint cans on the hollowed and unglued core halfs) before gluing anything and have found this rather forgiving on fit. Also, before gluing the two halfs (with felt already glued in place) I lightly brush the inside surfaces of the wool with light (made for guns) oil. It is too difficult to get the oil spread throughout the insides after the core is assembled. Inserting an oiled sword simply results in it being wiped off as part of the insertion process without really coating all of the wool with oil.

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