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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2019 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cut out the Poplar spacer along the outer margin line, and then sand it as clean and symmetrical as possible.


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Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Sat 09 Feb, 2019 6:19 am; edited 4 times in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2019 6:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Use this Poplar spacer as a template to make 4 identical copies from 1/32-inch thick Birch plywood.


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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2019 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The 1/32-inch Birch plywood is so thin that you rough cut it with scissors.

Once you have all 4 veneer pieces rough cut, sand all 5 pieces together so that they are all identical in size and shape (the Poplar spacer and the 4 Birch veneers).



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Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Sat 09 Feb, 2019 6:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2019 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cut out the profile of the sword from the Poplar spacer. You will end up with a large U- or V-shaped piece of wood.

Consider leaving a thick tab of wood at the point to prevent your Poplar spacer from splitting at the point. You can sand off this tab at the very end.

Here you can see that my spacer split at the point and I had to repair it.



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Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Fri 08 Feb, 2019 7:10 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2019 6:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lining Material

Use the piece of wood that you cut out of the spacer as a template for cutting two strips of lining material.

I use short-hair cow skin, with the hairs running down towards the point.

Glue a lining strip onto one sheet of 1/32-inch Birch veneer. Repeat with the other lining strip, but flip over the Birch veneer so that you have a mirror image not a duplicate.

(In the bottom photo, the sword is wrapped with tape.)



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Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Sat 09 Feb, 2019 6:24 am; edited 4 times in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2019 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Next you want to glue the 1/32-inch Birch veneers together, so that the front scabbard plate is 2 sheets thick, and the rear scabbard plate is also 2 sheets thick.

Make one scabbard plate by smearing glue all over one veneer and press another veneer on top. Repeat for the other scabbard plate, but make a mirror image not a duplicate.

Clamp the plates over the sword, with no more than 1 inch distance between clamps. You'll need a lot of clamps. Clamp only along the margins.

Do not glue the front scabbard plate to the rear scabbard plate! You are only clamping them together to bend them into a convex shape. When the glue dries, the plates with retain their convex shapes.

If you allow the plates to sag into a banana shape while the glue is drying, then you will have a banana-shaped wood core. I turn the whole assembly onto its side so there is no sag, and I can verify that everything is straight.

And be sure that the sword is perfectly centered on the lining material between the two plates.

When the glue is dry, remove the clamps and separate the front and rear scabbard plates.



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Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Sun 10 Feb, 2019 7:07 am; edited 2 times in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2019 6:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now glue one scabbard plate onto the Poplar spacer to make half of a wood core.

Smear glue along the margin, and clamp one scabbard plate to the wood core. You've made two scabbard plates, mirror images of each other, so be sure that you glue the correct scabbard plate to the correct side of the Poplar spacer.

(You can never get these plates be be perfectly symmetrical, so they're only going to match if they're flipped one way or the other.)



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Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Sat 09 Feb, 2019 6:26 am; edited 2 times in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2019 6:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now it's time to check the fit of the sword in the wood core, and make adjustments to get the proper fit.

Clamp the other scabbard plate into place (no glue). Be sure to clamp only along the margin.

Insert the sword and check the fit.

If the sword is loose, then it's a simple matter of sanding the face of the Poplar spacer to make it thinner. Be sure to flat sand the face of the spacer. If you sand in any undulation or dips, then your final wood core will have the same undulations and dips, and the scabbard plates are too thin (2/32") to really sand off any major imperfections.

If the fit is too tight, then you're going to have to add thickness to the spacer. That's why I start with a 1/4-inch thick spacer. It always results in a fit that's too loose and I just have to progressively sand the spacer thinner and thinner to get a perfect fit.

When the fit is perfect, then glue the remaining scabbard plate onto the assembly.

You will end up with a wood core with a cross section as shown below. You can see the:
- 2 layer veneers of the front and rear scabbard plates
- the margins of the Poplar spacer
- the strips of lining material

(If you are more precise in your cutting than I, then you'll end up with a cleaner wood core than me!)

This wood core is so thin that it flexes when you insert the sword. This helps the wood core grip the blade for a smooth draw, and still holds the blade securely when you turn the scabbard upside-down.



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Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Sun 10 Feb, 2019 7:10 am; edited 5 times in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2019 7:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sand the edges of the wood core to get that nice oval shape.

I like to lay the sword onto the wood core to draw its outline as a sanding reference.

Remember, you have that pen mark at the point of the wood core to show you exactly where the point should be.

This wood core is so thin that if you're off by 1/8 inches then you could accidentally sand one edge so thin that you break through.

When done right, this method is quick, easy, and you get a light but strong wood core.

Even though I used thick cow skin for the lining material, the wood core is still remarkably thin.



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