Mostly completed scabbard for my Albion Steward
Hey guys,

I finally got around to making a scabbard for my Steward. The sword itself is a beautiful piece of work, and was quite possibly the best Christmas present I have ever received! Looking around these forums as well as Albion's scabbard pages made me jealous, so I figured I'd have a go at making one myself. This is my second attempt, and I'm quite happy with the result.

I'd like to thank everyone who posted on the scabbard project threads here. I couldn't have made this without the knowledge everyone shared.

I still need to find a belt buckle and strap-end I like, not to mention make a chape. I read the posts about chape making, so I figured I tried my hand at forming a simple U-shaped one, with less than spectacular results. As I tried to shape it to the scabbard's tip, tiny folds formed the inner edge of the brass where the excess metal collapsed on itself. I know almost nothing about shaping and forming sheet metal. How do you make the chape bend to the curve of the tip without getting those tiny little folds?

(I apologize to the admins if this is the wrong forum. To me, this seems to fit off-topic best, but I am not sure.)

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Very impressive for a second attempt :eek: Actually very impressive for the one hundred attempt. :D

The stitching on the back looks very regular and in addition to keeping things together is very attractive in a decorative as well as a functional sense.

I'm sure that some of the industry professionals who are members here will have many positive comments.
Very nice scabbard Jon !
That is a very nice scabbard. Does it have a wooden core? Did you have leather working experience before taking on this project. I wish I could create something that could turn out so well. Great job! :cool:
I have limited experience in working brass, but I ran into the problem of the same folds on my first few attempts at steel chapes. First, make sure your strip of metal is not too wide. My experience is that anything wider than about 3/8 inch is going to give you more problems than it is worth. Secondly, I like using heat to make the metal move easier. This is going to be a little different with brass, though. You may very well not want to work it hot, but make sure you heat it up to anneal it every now and then as brass will work harden.

The order that you do things in can also have a drastic effect. On my first few attempts, I tried to bend the whole piece into a kind of gutter shape (so that it would fit the sides and end of the scabbard) and then bend the U. That doesn't work too well for me. I have decided I like a little gutter shape to either end to help things stay lined up, but do not extend it far enough that it will run into the U bend. Once I have those guides formed, I bend the piece so that it fits around the end of the scabbard and then fold down the front and back of the chape. If you do it this way, you will want to do something to keep the sides of your chape from straightening out. I have thought of modifying a C-clamp, but a couple wraps of bailling wire works just fine and is easier to find.

The other thing that makes a big difference is having a good mandrel. If you are forming the brass cold, you might be able to get away with using the scabbard itself as your mandrel (I would suggest leaving the sword in the scabbard for extra support), but for the hot work that I prefer, the time spent getting the mandrel to the right shape has a very profound impact on the resulting chape.

Your scabbard looks great, love the belt. :)

You could take out bits at a regular interval of a strip off brass at both opposite sides and then it would bend very easily around the tip. Then you can fold it around the tip. My drawing skills are not so good :).

Maybe you can get a belt buckle you like here

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Thanks for the complements guys! Any time I make anything, I always see flaws more than the things that turned out right.

The scabbard does have a wooden core, and it's very thin. I tired to make the poplar slats a little over an eighth of an inch thick. The interior is carved to fit the profile of the blade. I lined it with wool felt in order to hold a little oil, hopefully that will keep it from rusting if I have to store it in the scabbard for a long time.

I have a little bit of experience with leather from boy scouts. However, the reason the leather turned out nice was more than a few helpful tips from a very nice lady at my local Tandy leather. For example, she suggested that I punch all the holes for the lacing with a scratch-awl before trying to sew it up. As it turned out, it worked really well. She showed me the method I used to make the pattern for the leather as well. I wrapped some paper around the core, taped it, and then sliced it up the back where the seam would be. Before I sliced the paper off, I cut the end of the paper to match the tip, which is why the sewing turned out so nice. I had to add an extra 1/4 to 1/2 inch to the length of the leather because sewing the tip decreases the length of the leather. I also found out that if you tape the pattern to the leather with electrical tape, making sure to have half the tape on the leather and the other half on the pattern, it gives the cut leather about a 1/4 inch gap along the seam. That's about perfect for pulling the leather tight without popping stitches.

One more thing, the natural sinew I used for the thread worked better than waxed linen thread IMO.

Thanks for the ideas for the chape, I'll have to try them once I get all the work done on my room. Hooray new college room!

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