Crusader Monk: H/T 9th Century Viking w/ Boar Strap Bridge
This is my personal sword, which I acquired a couple weeks ago. I'd not yet owned an H/T Viking, so when a good deal on a used one popped up, I decided to give it a go. I was instantly charmed with the sword and decided it was a keeper. So, I decided to make a nice little rig for it with a bit of historic flair.

I returned to my piece of 200 year old red oak, and cut off a bacon-sized portion. Working with a Dremel, needle files, and various grits of sandpaper, I carved the strap bridge. I did not use any historical example for this, I just sort of winged it based on a few different Celtic variants I've seen before. I wanted the bridge to be oversized to give it a lot of presence on the sword and to be very noticable.

For the grip on the H/T, I kept it simple with two central risers. The wrap is black pigskin, of course. The grip has been slightly waisted from it's original form to give it more of an hourglass profile, then rewrapped with hemp twine. The final wrap was bound with hemp twine for a good corded impression.

The scabbard was made from kiln-dried poplar, finished, and given bands of alternating oversized risers. These risers are about twice the height of my normal latigo risers because I used a nice thick twine to make them. I then wrapped the scabbard with veg tan leather, dyed black to match the grip of the sword. After this, I drew back the finish of the scabbard in the higher areas with steel wool to give it more of an aged appearance. Though not readily apparent in my photos, there are a number of brown highlights in the high areas and edges. All of the leather was burnished and aged to give it a worn appearance.

The strap bridge was affixed to the scabbard using a small amount of epoxy, then bound with two 3/4" leather bands which I roughly tooled to match the sword's alternating-dot decorated hardware. I dyed these bands a dark antique brown to best match the strap bridge itself. The bands are aged as well.

The mild steel chape is a very basic one, with the rune for 'J' (for my first name), filed into the steel. The steel was left with a rougher antique finish to better match the aged look of the piece.

The suspension is a very simple, yet effective one. It consists of two thin antique brown tooling leather straps, connected by pivoting Chicago screws for flexibility. The lower strap is looped and crossed though the strap bridge to attach it to the scabbard. I have found that this type of simplified suspension is not only comfortable enough for all day wear, but looks stylish in it's own right as well.

All in all, I am very happy with how this little package turned out. I hope you all like it! :)

Wow! I love this. The boar is fantastic.

That strap bridge is fantastic! The straps holding it on accent the guards and pommel nicely, also.

If I may ask, do you buy or make chapes? I've only recycled them, not having found much stateside online.

Thanks for the compliments.

I buy, recycle, and make my own chapes. I have a hard time finding them as well, and typically if I do find them, I will buy them in bulk for future projects. It's easier to modify a simple cone chape (add a finial, or cut a rune) than to make one from scratch, so frequently I do this to keep my labor down. I do custom ones, but they are a pain to do properly and end up running up the labor cost on a project, so I try to only do them for special projects. Recycled ones, I get them alot because I redo old stock leather scabbards. I have a drawer full of these from Windlasses going back 20 years. LOL! :lol:

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