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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Mon 01 Apr, 2019 7:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael,

Thanks for the comments. I wasn't sure that I could successfully make and install metal hardware, so I didn't want to spend a lot of time filing, engraving, and decorating the brass. Next time I will make it pretty.

As far as waterproofing your wood core - I used an exterior spar urethane sealant. It takes a day to dry, but its waterproof. I suppose in period they would have used shellac.

You did a great job there, looks fantastic.
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Michael Zimmermann





Joined: 19 Dec 2018

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Mon 29 Apr, 2019 8:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for your praise and the idea of using shellac. I decided to go with a linseed varnish, which seemed to me to be a tad more period appropriate.

Since this is merely a prototype, I played around with a few other things: wrapping the core in very light paper, which is then covered with varnish, too.

I also added a couple of 'shoulders', to which I thought I could attach my horn and bone panels more securely, without piercing the core, of course.
In the pictures below there's a short piece of decorative banding attached with glue and wooden pegs, as well as a first horn plate with carved (but not yet decorated) floral pattern taken from Vat. lat. 9488.



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Matt Lewis




Location: England
Joined: 01 May 2007

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue 07 May, 2019 1:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello chaps

Brilliant thread , has helped me over the line to attempt my own laminated scabbard build. Scabbard worked great everything seems as it should.

I CANNOT figure out how to cut/size the leather to end up with a straight seam.

Does not appear to have been discussed here but I could really use some advice as I'm just butchering leather Sad

"Perfection is not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Tue 07 May, 2019 4:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Lewis wrote:

I CANNOT figure out how to cut/size the leather to end up with a straight seam.


Here's what I do:

1. Attach all risers to the wood core.

2. Draw a line down the center of the wood core (front and back).

3. Cut out an oversized piece of leather for the leather cover.

4. Draw a line down the backside of the leather. A line that you will match up
To the line on the wood core.

5. Draw a line perpendicular to the line on the leather that will line up with the throat of the wood core.

6. Cut out all the slits in the leather that you need, and insert temporary straps into the slits.

7. Line up the wood core on the leather, wrap the leather around the wood core, and mark the leather where you want to cut to make the straight back seam.

8. Open the leather up, and draw a smooth line that connects your marks. Use a ruler for the straight sections.

9. Cut along this line but add a 5mm margin so that the leather cover will be too large.

10. Go back to step #7 and keep cutting progressively until the two flaps meet along the back seam.

11. If I am going to dye the leather after it's sewn into place, then I make sure that there is a 1/8" overlap at the seam to account for leather shrinkage.

12. Some times I glue the wood core to the leather with a thin strip of hide glue to keep the wood core from shifting on the leather while I'm doing all of this.

13. The risers and place keeper straps need to be in place before measuring and cutting, otherwise you will cut the leather too small.
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Matt Lewis




Location: England
Joined: 01 May 2007

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue 07 May, 2019 11:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the assist.

I tried measuring at intervals and building a template.

Tried cutting over large then trying to trim overlap and a combo of both. Even tried 'wrapping paper' it and cutting a line down. When transferred to leather it didn't work. Suspect its thickness differences.

I think I might be struggling a bit as my leather seems too thick. Wont wrap easily and has to be fought into place. I got a whole side of 1.2 to 1.6mm natural veg tan ... whole thing seems more like 1.6 or more. Seems if it was thinner/softer I might have a bit more luck.

This is easily the hardest part of the process I'm in awe of anyone who can do it and get a neat/straight evenly spaced seam. Currently seems impossible to get a result I would be happy with.

"Perfection is not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Wed 08 May, 2019 4:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Typically I use 1.2 to 1.4 mm and wouldn't go any thinner.

I've used up to 2.4 mm if I am tooling but that's pretty thick.

Don't make a template. You're correct, the difference in thickness between the leather and template throws off the measurements.

More practice. Happy

If it was easy then everyone would be making scabbards. There is an art to the craft.
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Matt Lewis




Location: England
Joined: 01 May 2007

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Wed 08 May, 2019 11:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yup, seems it must just be a practice thing. Developing a feel for it. I'll keep trying.
"Perfection is not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
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Michael Zimmermann





Joined: 19 Dec 2018

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu 09 May, 2019 7:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One more update on my test scabbard core:

I gilt/silvered & painted the first carved horn plate, trying to hew closely to the manuscript (cf. below).


There is another plate in the works, this time cut by laser. I'm curious to see how much they'll differ.

Also, I carved a horn mouth. My hope was to achieve a snug fit on the hollow ground diamond section and I'm quite happy with the result:



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- Michael
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Sat 11 May, 2019 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's gonna be pretty spectacular, Michael.

Can you quote a source for that scabbard? Thanks.
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Michael Zimmermann





Joined: 19 Dec 2018

Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat 11 May, 2019 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very kind of you. Since these first experiments haven't been too far off the mark, I'm looking forward to starting the actual thing, once the blade and hilt parts get here in autumn.

Well, the scabbard is going to house a type XVIII arming sword based largely on the blade of A466 in the Wallace with a slightly altered grip/pommel. I think it's reasonable to situate that kind of weapon somewhere in the third quarter of the 15th c in Burgundy.

So, from weapon to scabbard: The nucleus of the whole project is the Ainkhürn sword in the KHM. In case you're unfamiliar, this is it:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/94/Schatzkammer_Wien_5215651841_80caed78df.jpg
It's also attributed to the Burgundian court of that time.

Since this design doesn't work technically with a blade like A466's (too wide &c.), I came up with an adjustment: only the lower two thirds, being relatively slimmer) will be covered in narwhal (either real or replica, depending on whether I can get a tusk that suits my purposes).
The upper third will be clad in black horn plates with a number of carved decorations in bone and perhaps amber (from a practical perspective, the template is the group of ivory saddles).
This is an early sketch of what this could look like:


The whole thing continues along the broad parameters of Burgundian ducal taste of the period from a design perspective. I.e. I can actually get away with an almost monochromatic colour scheme, since Philip the Good developed such a decorative palette at some point in the 1430s.

In a more concrete way, this means taking inspiration from works in grisaille, both on altar panels (eg. van Eyck &c.) as well as in illumination (eg. Philip's hours in the KBR), and the famous group of black manuscripts (hours, cf. above for Vat. lat. 9488, dance booklet of Margaret of Austria) from later in the century.
The iconography/devices of the Burgundian dukes are quite distinct and thus well-known: firesteel/fusil + flint &sparks, cross of St Andrew, the initials of the ducal couple (P &Y), sometimes alongside their arms in a hortus conclusus or their mots, namely Aultre naray & Tant que ie vive.
Here you can see some of these in one place (KBR, Ms 10308, f. 1):


Hope, this answers your question.



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Ryan Thorpe




Location: Guelph, Ontario
Joined: 09 Apr 2018

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu 26 Dec, 2019 2:20 am    Post subject: DIY Scabbard         Reply with quote

Hello. First time posting. I have a dagger from James the Just, and an arming sword from Alchem. The part that makes it interesting is that the sword has an arm. Makes the scabbard challenging. I intend to wrap in leather and tool it. I’ve included a photo with red arrows showing the point of balance of the sword alone, and the point of balance of the sword and scabbard. Assuming the leather will bring the balance down slightly, and a brass chape (yet to be made) slightly more so, I have a question about the interlaced suspension:

Should the balance point be in between the upper and lower belts, or closer to the lower belt?

Appreciative of any commentary or advice.



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My vision for decoration.

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Rondelle dagger scabbard.

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Change of the point of balance between sword alone and sword in scabbard.

L’espee au fourrel blesse quand mesme.
Known in the Society for Creative Anachronism as Beathán MacFinnon
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Thu 26 Dec, 2019 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as the scabbard is concerned, the upper attachment should be above the POB of the combined sword and scabbard together.

The distance between the upper and lower scabbard attachments merely determines the angle that the scabbard will assume when you tighten the belt. The greater the distance, the more of an angle that scabbard will be levered.

As far as the dagger is concerned, the relation between the suspension point and the POB is more critical. If the suspension point is too low, then the knife will flip upside down when hung from the suspension. This can be a big problem when the handle is much heavier than the blade.


Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Thu 26 Dec, 2019 3:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Thu 26 Dec, 2019 7:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do you guys use any leather treatments on your scabbards.

I have a simple leather conditioner I use on my shoes and renaissance wax. I just don't want the leather to dry out or crack with time.
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Ryan Thorpe




Location: Guelph, Ontario
Joined: 09 Apr 2018

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu 26 Dec, 2019 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
As far as the scabbard is concerned, the upper attachment should be above the POB of the combined sword and scabbard together.

The distance between the upper and lower scabbard attachments merely determines the angle that the scabbard will assume when you tighten the belt. The greater the distance, the more of angle that scabbard will be levered.

As far as the dagger is concerned, the relation between the suspension point and the POB is more critical. If the suspension point is too low, then the knife will flip upside down when hung from the suspension. This can be a big problem when the handle is much heavier than the blade.


Thank you! Exactly what I needed to know. I planned on hanging the dagger from a simple looped thong. Already checked the balance on that one, as it is rather hilt-heavy. For the sword, thank you! I should be able to get the top belt well above the point of balance, and the bottom one I’ll play with with some tape or strapping to get an idea of the best angle.

Much appreciated!

L’espee au fourrel blesse quand mesme.
Known in the Society for Creative Anachronism as Beathán MacFinnon
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Ryan Thorpe




Location: Guelph, Ontario
Joined: 09 Apr 2018

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu 26 Dec, 2019 8:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Do you guys use any leather treatments on your scabbards.

I have a simple leather conditioner I use on my shoes and renaissance wax. I just don't want the leather to dry out or crack with time.


This is my first, so I’d love to know what others use, also! Great question.

L’espee au fourrel blesse quand mesme.
Known in the Society for Creative Anachronism as Beathán MacFinnon
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Thu 26 Dec, 2019 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Do you guys use any leather treatments on your scabbards.

I have a simple leather conditioner I use on my shoes and renaissance wax. I just don't want the leather to dry out or crack with time.


If you're looking for more historical treatments, then a conditioner or oil is fine, and then when it's dry use the wax.
Sometimes I also use Resolene (acrylic) diluted 1:1 with water.
Any treatment may change the color, so test it first.
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Artur Zima




Location: UK
Joined: 11 Apr 2016

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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jan, 2020 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love this thread, so much useful info here!

I have a couple of questions regarding dagger scabbards - I noticed that most surviving knife sheaths (as well as modern reproductions) are made with 2 layers of leather, would that also be the case for dagger scabbards? Are there any surving examples with wooden cores and would it be inauthentic to make a dagger scabbard with a wooden core?

Thanks!
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Radovan Geist




Location: Slovakia
Joined: 19 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Jan, 2020 11:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ryan Thorpe wrote:
Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Do you guys use any leather treatments on your scabbards.

I have a simple leather conditioner I use on my shoes and renaissance wax. I just don't want the leather to dry out or crack with time.


This is my first, so I’d love to know what others use, also! Great question.


I use shoe wax or saddle wax (something along this line: https://rayholesleathercare.com/products/saddle-butter) for all-leather scabbards or vegetable oil for scabbards with a wooden core. Works fine.
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Ryan Thorpe




Location: Guelph, Ontario
Joined: 09 Apr 2018

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon 13 Jan, 2020 6:11 pm    Post subject: Leather weight/thickness         Reply with quote

Hello again.

Follow up question: how thick or what weight of leather is being used to cover and tool? Not doing much tooling, just some simple lines, but the laced suspension will need something to hold onto, no?

As for my dagger, it will be tooled with a repeated lozenge stamp.

L’espee au fourrel blesse quand mesme.
Known in the Society for Creative Anachronism as Beathán MacFinnon
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Tue 14 Jan, 2020 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Leather weight/thickness         Reply with quote

Ryan Thorpe wrote:
Hello again.

Follow up question: how thick or what weight of leather is being used to cover and tool? Not doing much tooling, just some simple lines, but the laced suspension will need something to hold onto, no?

As for my dagger, it will be tooled with a repeated lozenge stamp.


My opinion:

2-3 ounce is as light as you want to use. It won't take tooling very well because it's so thin, but it's easy to work with. It will shrink a bit if you dye it after you sew it onto the wood core, so either dye it first or sew it on a little loose to account for shrinkage.

5-6 ounce takes tooling well but it is difficult to form over risers and around sharp curves. If that's not a concern, and you plan to do tooling and stamping, then it's a good choice.

4-5 ounce is a good all-around compromise.
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