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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jan, 2022 11:34 am    Post subject: Historical Handcrafts Scabbard & Grip for Albion Regent         Reply with quote

I was going to wait to post this until I had it in hand, but I'm too excited to wait. I sent off my Regent to longtime friend and myArmoury colleague Bill Grandy (historicalhandcrafts.com) for a scabbard and grip re-cover. I ordered the grip in blue from Albion way back when. It arrived darker than I expected and had darkened more over the years to the point where people who didn't know just thought it was black. I experimented with lightening the leather color myself. It ended badly. I now know what "Campaign worn blue" might look like if Albion offered it...

So, off it went to Bill for a proper scabbard and a new grip cover. The belt rig and chape are from Tod Cutler; installed by Bill. Bill made and did simple tooling on the wood core scabbard. He could have done more extensive tooling and it would have been great, but we kept it simple at my wallet's request. The belt is brown and the scabbard is blue. As in bluuuuueeeee. Happy

The grip was rewrapped in tooled blue (as in bluuuuueeee) leather with scrolling vines. Albion's laminated stabilized wood grip was left in place as were the risers.

I'll do a full review with my own pics (these are Bill's) for the forum when I get it. Based on the pics, though, I'm very happy. Bill is great to work with.



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Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/


Last edited by Chad Arnow on Thu 27 Jan, 2022 12:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2022 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful
That's actually a historical leather dye color, too.
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,618

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2022 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah. I thought it was black. This looks pretty darn spectacular!
"The goal shouldnít be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2022 12:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

WOW Chad- That is BLUE1

Pretty cool!
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2022 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

UPS says it should arrive tomorrow. I hope you like it in person! Happy

I originally told Chad that I was nervous to cut off an Albion wrap, as their grip wraps are phenomenal. Iím glad he talked me out of that attitude, because Iím pretty happy with how it turned out!

HistoricalHandcrafts.com
-Inspired by History, Crafted by Hand


"For practice is better than artfulness. Your exercise can do well without artfulness, but artfulness is not much good without the exercise.Ē -anonymous 15th century fencing master, MS 3227a
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Michael Sandoval





Joined: 21 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Jan, 2022 10:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thatís really quite elegant in its simplicity. Beautiful and clean. Bill did a fantastic job from the photos.

One of the nicer combinations of this sword Iíve seen. Congrats!
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Jeff Cierniak




Location: NE United States
Joined: 17 Sep 2020

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PostPosted: Tue 25 Jan, 2022 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! That's gorgeous.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Yesterday at 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know I previewed this above, but I wanted to do a more full writeup/review. Historically, we haven't reviewed scabbards on our Reviews page. Perhaps we should consider changing that, because there's great work being done out there.

Background:
I've had my Albion Regent since 2005. It's a version made before they changed the tip profile from the extremely thin and pointy one on mine to a more robust, durable tip. I ordered it with a blue grip. It came very dark blue, darker than I wanted. Albion suggested lightly rubbing it with some alcohol, which brightened it up a little. Through the years, sweat/skin oils/dirt had darkened it up to the point that most people thought it was black, but it was never as blue as I wanted. Early on, I bought a leather transport sheath for it, but I always wanted a proper scabbard for it; it's too cool of a sword not to have one. Happy

Commissioning:
In the last year or two, myArmoury contributor has started Historical Handcrafts (http://historicalhandcrafts.com/), making scabbards, leather goods, and wooden items of many kinds. I've watched Bill's portfolio of offerings increase and have been impressed by the combination of quality and price. His website has a price list and lays out the process for commissions very clearly. I emailed him to get a quote for the scabbard. The grip ended up as part of the project. I tried some home hacks to lighten it up again and made it a splotchy mess. Bill and I tossed around the idea of re-dyeing it, but I'd messed it up too much for the original leather to ever be blue again. We'd have had to cover my mess with black...

Bill added the grip quote and I chose a tooled option rather than a simple rewrap. Once I was ready to go, Bill confirmed all the details, pricing, and set an estimated completion window. I boxed it up and off it went. Happy

Bill sent a proposal sketch of the tooling for grip and scabbard, which I liked. He sent some pictures along the way. Even with a snafu that delayed things a bit, it was still done a month before quoted. His communication was great throughout. Bill has been a customer in this market for years; he understands how to navigate these projects from both sides of the transaction.

My impressions:
Bill's scabbards are made by forming wood slots around the blade, not by carving out a hollow. The core is wrapped in linen and glue, then covered in leather. The leather cover is glued on with an overlapping seam. These are historical methods as is a stitched seam and carved core that some others use. Bill's methods are a little less labor intensive, which reduces the price point. The belt leather and hardware and the chape are from Tod Cutler, mounted by Bill.

I'm quite happy with it. I did have to adjust the belt/knots and move a buckle since I didn't send Bill all my particulars. I will only wear this with civilian clothes and my *ahem* modern dad physique has a lower waist than where a rig like this would sit in period armour. I don't consider these adjustments odd at all; they're part of a final tailoring that needs to be done on-site. Bill sent a couple of extra rivets so I could re-rivet a buckle. The scabbard fit is really good. Not loose, but easy to draw. If turned upside down it doesn't fall out instantly. Bumps in transport and/or changes in humidity at my place did loosen the chape up slightly, but a dab of glue fixed it easily.

The grip is tooled leather with slightly different vine patterns from one side to the other. It's stitched on. Tooling leather is thicker than what Albion originally wrapped the grip with, so the risers have slightly different definition than before, but not in a negative way. The tooling and background seeding are a great period look and really make it even more gothic than before. Bill used the same Royal Blue dye on the grip as the scabbard.

I think it's a great package and I'm thrilled with the result. Historical, unique, and a price I can afford is a combo that I haven't found in a lot of scabbard makers. I'm currently trying to figure out what else I can send his way. Happy



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Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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John Dunn




Location: Frankfort, KY
Joined: 15 Apr 2013

Posts: 181

PostPosted: Yesterday at 3:46 pm    Post subject: Regent         Reply with quote

It is truly beautiful. Do you have any pics of the grip before you had it done? Just for comparison

Also you said Albion told you to use alcohol on your old grip to brighten it up


Rubbing alcohol ?

May have to get this done myself but thought I would try the alcohol on the grip in the meantime.
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

PostPosted: Yesterday at 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John,
Try here from my online collection gallery: http://myArmoury.com/chad_swor_alb_reg.html . The blue in those pics is about as bright as it ever was. Itís possible those old pics actually make it look bluer than it was. On the alcohol, I couldnít swear to it, as it was 15 years ago or more. Thatís what I seem to recall but I canít remember if it was rubbing alcohol or isopropyl. Try it at your own risk. Happy

What messed it up for me more recently was saddle soap. That pulled color out in splotches, so donít do that. Happy

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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John Dunn




Location: Frankfort, KY
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PostPosted: Yesterday at 5:26 pm    Post subject: Regent         Reply with quote

Thanks Chad. I can see the blue in the old pics and your right it is very dark.

I have a Gus trim type xviii with a very similar color grip.

Might experiment on some cheaper swords I have to see how it goes.

But your sword with the blue grip and scabbard is the bomb!
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Yesterday at 6:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Iím really happy you like it, Chad!

Pretty much everything I know about scabbards comes from these forums, so itís especially nice to make this for such a long time forum member and contributor. Happy I only started making these a couple of years ago, and certainly never thought Iíd be doing them for clients, but itís something Iíve really developed a passion for. Plus, I had to resign from teaching fencing and HEMA to focus on family health matters, so this has been a wonderful gig that I can do from home!

HistoricalHandcrafts.com
-Inspired by History, Crafted by Hand


"For practice is better than artfulness. Your exercise can do well without artfulness, but artfulness is not much good without the exercise.Ē -anonymous 15th century fencing master, MS 3227a
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