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Zach Luna




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 04 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jun, 2011 9:18 pm    Post subject: Too-tight Scabbard         Reply with quote

There are a lot of remedies for a scabbard that's too loose, but what about one that's too tight?

I have a beautiful scabbard that came with my newest sword from its previous owner (a custom scabbard for an Albion) and it is nearly perfect--except for the fit. The sword slides in easily and only becomes tight at the end (indicating a properly made and fitted scabbard) but it is TOO tight at the end. I can stop with a couple inches of blade showing, turn the scabbard completely upside down and shake without the blade falling out. I have not been able to place the sword fully in up to the hilt due to the tight fit and my fear of splitting the core.

Is there a trick to loosening a scabbard? As I said the scabbard itself is lovely, and clearly it fit well in the past. It has perhaps swollen due to altitude and climate factors, but I've given it a few weeks to settle and it is still too tight. Any suggestions?

Thanks for your time and any responses.
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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 383

PostPosted: Sun 12 Jun, 2011 11:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,

One quick thing to check first. How long have you had the scabbard? Scabbards such as these are often made to extremely tight tolerances. If you purchased it from someone in another climate the abrupt change in temperature can cause the wood to contract. I once had a scabbard that I sent to someone and it didn't fit, they sent it back and it no longer fit on my sword. I allowed it to normalise, and adjust to the local temperature, for a couple days and it fit again.

Cheers!

Historia magistra vitae est
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Julien M




Location: London
Joined: 14 Sep 2005

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 1:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Can you put the blade in the scabbard all the way?

If you can do so then leave store the sword in it for a couple of months (or use the scabbard to store it for good). It may solve your issue. I have seen what Hadrian mentions happening on a number of scabbard, and doing so did the trick.

If you find you still have an issue, you can try the following trick: apply double sided tape on the last quarter of your blade (if that's where you reckon the fit is too tight), then a layer of 120 grit sandpaper on top. Then in goes the sword and out etc...use the blade as a file. It worked well for me in the past.

J
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can also get adhesive-backed sandpaper.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Climate change really affects the fit on one of my scabbards also. It is made of hickory or walnut and not poplar so not sure what/if this could have to do with anything.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One of my poplar cores is very slightly looser than when first made but the chappe still holds the sword well. I thought that would prove to be the case and this experience confirms it. Makes me think that one of the purposes of the chappe is to ensure a secure fit as the scabbard ages/dries.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stupid question... is there anything stuck in your scabbard? Try upending it and tapping it or searching it with a long piece of wire. If your sword is sharp it might have shaved off a bit of wood inside which went ot the bottom of the scabbard and is causing the sticking
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Treichel wrote:
Stupid question... is there anything stuck in your scabbard? Try upending it and tapping it or searching it with a long piece of wire. If your sword is sharp it might have shaved off a bit of wood inside which went ot the bottom of the scabbard and is causing the sticking


Bent steel coat hanger can be made into a hook to fish anything that might have gotten stuck in the scabbard including some sand paper you might lose in the scabbard trying to sand it looser.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Anton de Vries





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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mine works better in winter. While it's not so bad that I want to take it apart, temperature and humidtity are definitely a factor.
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Zach Luna




Location: Los Angeles
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Jun, 2011 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Too-tight Scabbard         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the suggestions.

To answer a couple details:
I've had the scabbard and sword for about two weeks and it is still quite tight, though slightly less so than when it arrived. I've gone fishing and tapping and there doesn't seem to be anything caught in the scabbard tip.
I cannot yet place the sword in all the way, even when pushing with some force. About 3/4 of an inch of blade remains visible currently.

I believe the tightness is localized at the mouth of the scabbard, as I test-inserted a shorter sword with a sharply tapering profile into the scabbard that was still caught tightly before being fully inserted. As this tightness occurred before the sword could possibly reach the tip, I believe the mouth is not quite accommodating the full thickness of the blades at the base.

I'll play with it a bit more before attempting some of these sanding tricks. Again, many thanks! Any other ideas would be appreciated as well.
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