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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Thu 16 Oct, 2014 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote:
Matthew Bunker wrote:
Analysis of all early medieval scabbards which have been lined shows that it was with skin rather than fleece or felt.

A couple of Viking scabbards were found to be lined with a textile of some sort - probably wool. The wood core was composed of 2 laths of oak wrapped in linen, and then the whole affair was covered with leather.


Sorry, I put that badly. I was only referring to 'unwoven' products, making the point that neither fleece nor felt has been found in the corpus of early medieval scabbards, only skin-based products.

In Anglo Saxon England, sheepskin predominates until the late 10th century/early 11th century, the end of the early medieval period (there is only one known example of a textile lined scabbard from the pagan period).

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2014 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Early medieval scabbards were lined with skin...

But small goat skins are perfect. Thin skin, fine, straight hair all going in the same direction. If you want to line an early medieval scabbard with something, goat is what you want.

Shorn or unshorn? Or doesn't matter?

I found some shorn hair-on-hide goat skins for $10 (about 6 square feet)
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2014 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It depends on the fineness and density of the hair I suppose.
I've used beaver and kid skin without trimming the hair.

Hair direction is often (most usually I think) perpendicular to blade length, not in line with it.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Oct, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As it happens I'll have a sheep pelt here soon. Hopefully it will be in decent condition to do something with. If it isn't cut badly, I may shear the pelt and tan it, and see how the skin looks for a scabbard. If it is, I'll clean it and have it tanned with the wool on for some other project.

http://www.isbona.com/vol8no1win04.html

One of my friends has hair sheep so I might end up with a comparison. One website says hair sheep make the best leather (sheep-wise), but most processors in US do not like their pelts for other reasons.

Quote:

The skins from hair sheep produce the highest quality leather. This is because the numerous fine wool fibers, as compared to the lesser number of coarse fibers of the hair sheep, cause the skin to be more open and loose in texture.
http://www.sheep101.info/products.html

Of course if anyone has direct experience with this part of the process, I'd be interested to hear about it.
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Fri 31 Oct, 2014 11:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would like to see different ways that people have sewn the leather cover closed.
Thanks
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Lance Morris




Location: NYC
Joined: 17 Aug 2013
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Posts: 186

PostPosted: Mon 03 Nov, 2014 9:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey guys!

ask and you shall receive!

three scabbards stitched. all in different ways. I still haven't decided which is the best yet all are a pain



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Dean F. Marino




Location: Midland MI USA
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 229

PostPosted: Tue 04 Nov, 2014 7:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I use a double needle "X" stitch, as it flattens the seam as one goes along... takes a good two days per scabbard:


In edhil, hai edhil. In edain, hai edain.
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Lance Morris




Location: NYC
Joined: 17 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Nov, 2014 8:34 am    Post subject: Great stitching Dean         Reply with quote

Great stitching Dean!!

how did you get the leather to meet so tightly around the core?
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Dean F. Marino




Location: Midland MI USA
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 229

PostPosted: Thu 06 Nov, 2014 1:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Great stitching Dean         Reply with quote

Lance Morris wrote:
Great stitching Dean!!

how did you get the leather to meet so tightly around the core?


I combine back stitching with a very SLOW wood glue process. Full data on what I do (not necessarily what everyone else does) is here - totally free:

http://findlithui.deanandsandy.dyndns.org:808...ore1.1.pdf

In edhil, hai edhil. In edain, hai edain.
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Sat 08 Nov, 2014 6:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lance Morris wrote:
ask and you shall receive!

I have seen a few people use the stitching pattern on the far right in your photo.

I have seen numerous other stitching patterns. The photo by Lance shows three different patterns - a tight X, a wider X and another stitching patterns that I don't have a name for. I have also seen a diagonal stitching pattern, too. Some stitching patterns are rather tight and others are very wide.

Does anyone have any photos or evidence of "period" scabbard stitching patterns?
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Alessandro Petrocco




Location: Rome, Italy
Joined: 30 Jun 2014

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun 09 Nov, 2014 3:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is there any other kind of wood to use if you can't find poplar?

I have found poplar wood but is a multilayer type. It's very hard to dig in because the layers ar glued whit the perprendicular wood veins.

I'll try to use hard sandpaper to remove the wood and create the shape of the edge but i think it's an hard work.
Any suggestions?

"There's a beast in every man and it stirs when you put a sword in his hand"
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Sun 09 Nov, 2014 5:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alessandro Petrocco wrote:
Is there any other kind of wood to use if you can't find poplar?

The Vikings used oak for scabbards, but that wood is too hard for me.

I like to use a 5/8-inch fishtail wood gouge to carve the internal cavity of the wood core, so the wood has to be soft enough to carve.

To shape the outside of the wood core, you really need a belt sander and 50 grit sandpaper. I remove the guard on top of the belt so that I can lay the wood core flat on the belt while I am sanding.



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Leo Todeschini
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Location: Oxford, UK
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PostPosted: Sun 09 Nov, 2014 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry Marinakis wrote
Quote:
The Vikings used oak for scabbards, but that wood is too hard for me.


I am quite surprised by this as the tannic acid in oak usually causes iron to rust quite quickly.

Harry Marinakis also wrote
Quote:
Does anyone have any photos or evidence of "period" scabbard stitching patterns?


Some had glued seams, most however had a raised seam at the back with saddle stitch going through the faces; none of this flat back that we are all obsessed by making/having. There is a good book on Finnish finds that details this and some detail also in the knives and scabbards book. I will try to remember the name for you.

Tod

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Dean F. Marino




Location: Midland MI USA
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 229

PostPosted: Sun 09 Nov, 2014 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Harry Marinakis wrote
Quote:
The Vikings used oak for scabbards, but that wood is too hard for me.


I am quite surprised by this as the tannic acid in oak usually causes iron to rust quite quickly.....


You know - I keep HEARING this... yet I have employed Oak grip cores for about eight years now. No rust - and in several cases, I've re-griped for aesthetics, giving me the opportunity to examine my tangs. I have seen NOTHING.

So I'm going to ask - does anyone have any real DATA on this "oak rusts your swords" tale? And I mean have your TRIED it, and what were the results? Old wives can be wonderful - their TALES may not be so wonderful.

In edhil, hai edhil. In edain, hai edain.
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Lloyd Winter




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 27 Aug 2011

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sun 09 Nov, 2014 6:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've done a few oak handles and never had any problems including examining the tang after dismounting one when it was broken.
I always figured the epoxy protected the tang from any theoretical damage from the tannins.
I would avoid oak scabbards simply because of the weight but I wouldn't be too concerned about any possible blade damage.
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Sun 09 Nov, 2014 10:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
There is a good book on Finnish finds that details this and some detail also in the knives and scabbards book. I will try to remember the name for you.


I'm always looking for more info on Finnish arms and armor, if you can find the book please make sure to post it! Sounds like an invaluable resource!
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

Posts: 483

PostPosted: Sun 09 Nov, 2014 10:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dean F. Marino wrote:


So I'm going to ask - does anyone have any real DATA on this "oak rusts your swords" tale? And I mean have your TRIED it, and what were the results? Old wives can be wonderful - their TALES may not be so wonderful.


Oak doesn't make swords rust but I know for certain that the tannin from oak can and will leech through a scabbard lining and lead to black marks etched into the blade. I know that because I made it happen.
Oak laths (as found on the Balnakeil viking era sword burial and a sheepskin liner.
My mistake was oiling the blade. The oil (can't remember what exactly) soaked into the skin and into the oak, giving the tanin a pathway back to the blade. Result, after only a few days, black pitting on the blade.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2014 8:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leo Todeschini wrote:
Some had glued seams, most however had a raised seam at the back with saddle stitch going through the faces; none of this flat back that we are all obsessed by making/having. There is a good book on Finnish finds that details this and some detail also in the knives and scabbards book. I will try to remember the name for you.

Would the ridge created by this method cause problems when trying to install a chape, locket or other type of metal suspension as we often see in 14th/15th century scabbards? Is this a case where a glued seam or some other method would be necessary? I use the saddle stitch method on most of my knife scabbards and it works very well and matches period examples but I can see it getting in the way in this case.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Thu 13 Nov, 2014 4:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[Would the ridge created by this method cause problems when trying to install a chape, locket or other type of metal suspension as we often see in 14th/15th century scabbards? Is this a case where a glued seam or some other method would be necessary? I use the saddle stitch method on most of my knife scabbards and it works very well and matches period examples but I can see it getting in the way in this case.[/quote]

Not necessarily. often, where the chape/locket is fitted there IS no stitching. The leather is probably glued to scabbard core in those areas, and tight fit of chape/locket is all that's needed to keep seam closed ? Also..there is the alternative that you see on many 19th/20th C bayonet scabbards- the chape has a raised area that fits over the raised seam. Don't know if any swords used this method, though.?
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Mark T




PostPosted: Thu 13 Nov, 2014 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Ruhala wrote:
Leo Todeschini wrote:
There is a good book on Finnish finds that details this and some detail also in the knives and scabbards book. I will try to remember the name for you.


I'm always looking for more info on Finnish arms and armor, if you can find the book please make sure to post it! Sounds like an invaluable resource!


Not sure if this is the one Tod means, but I have a vague recollection that he and I had some correspondence about it a few years back:

Craft, Industry and Everyday Life: Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York (The Small Finds), Quita Mould, Ian Carlisle and Esther Cameron (Council For British Archaeology, 2004). It's pretty rare, and expensive when it does come up - copies currently on ABE are listing for US$400: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults...7&y=14

However, curious to see whether it was still available directly from CBA, I just checked their site, and found that it's available online from York Archaeological Trust. Direct link to the 388-page PDF is here: http://www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk/resources/AY...orking.pdf

The main York Achaeological Trust download page is here: http://www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk/resources/pubs_archive.htm ... lots of other things that might be of interest.

Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

Schallern sind sehr sexy!
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