A foursome: grip, rainguard, scabbard, belt
Finally it’s done. Last years scabbard project has come to a successfull end. Everything you see is made by me, except the metal parts (which were made and tinned by Holger Ratsdorf and Marco di Saro) and the blade itself (made by Jiri Krondak).
I disassembled the grip completely, wrapped the wooden core in linnen, glued on a riser and wrapped it in leather. After that, I attached a rainguard, tooled in a fashion of original finds from the netherlands. The scabbard has a core of hollowed wooden slats, lined with trimmed rabbit fur.
The outside is wrapped in linnen and bone glue. The leather is stitched in place, a metal chape protects the tip. The belt straps are knotted onto the scabbard using Matthieu Harlauts guide.
They are attached to the belt via two hooks (similar to contemporary portraits, e.g. Montefeltro) and a third strap is buckled in the front of the belly.
The last buckle is riveted onto the belt strap
The last few blog entries are not meant as tutorials, but since I shot some more pictures today, I’d like to give you some hints on riveting. At first you’ll need something heavy and sturdy like my little anvil there and a ball peen hammer. A normal hammer with a small peen will do to, but not as fine.
Cut the rivets with pincers and then file it smooth with a metal file. This is important to get a even rivet head. Use some leather under the buckle, you want to rivet, to prevent scratches.
The belt hooks are riveted in place
That is the result of my trial and error method of shortening the belt scraps for my new scabbard. The hooks attach to a small buckle (I hope, it will hold the weight…) on the belt.
Yesterdays prayer worked
As you can see, I had to cut some more length from both scabbard straps. I used trial and error to get the right length. That means for every scrap on this picture, I had to get into my breast plate, buckle the belt and adjust the strips, until I found the right set up.
I hope so much, that I’ve got the length of the scabbard straps right today. It was really a mess, trying to measure it. Not enaught hands, not enaught mirrors to see how the sword hangs. And the plate armor was hindering my movements.
The problem is: there are three straps holding the scabbard in place. But only one of them can later be adjusted via a buckle in front of the belly. This strap is used to adjust the horizontal angle of the scabbard, e.g. how far it’s tip sticks out to the left.
The other two straps are there to balance the sword so that it doesn’t tip over the handle. The scabbard should hang slightly slanted and parallel to ones side and beneath the breast plate, so it doesn’t always ding it. And after all, one should be able to grasp the grip and draw the sword.
That can be a real challenge, if the sword hangs too low or sticks out to the false side. And above all else, the breast plate restricts the movement of ones arm!
All these things considered, I cannot have gotten it right…
The belt hooks’ holes are to narrow for the rivets
This put my scabbard-belt-project to a halt today: the rivets are to thick for the holes in the belt hooks. At first I thought this may be a side effect of the tinning, but no…scraping some tin away was utterly useless.
Tomorrow I’ll have to drill the holes out before I can proceed with riveting. Nothing is ever easy, eh?
The brass parts for the belly part of the scabbard belt
The riveting was quite easy today, using my new little anvil and a new round head hammer, I bought during wintertime. Maybe my neighbours are now a little bit sour, ‘cause of all the hammering.
The clasp on the left is meant to hold the hooks of the two leather straps, coming up from the scabbard.
Finishing the belt and straps for my scabbard
Last year I built a new scabbard for my refurbished hand-and-a-half sword. I planned to attach a 15th century belt system similar to this one, during winter, but then I had to wait for some brass parts to ship and built me a new anvil for riveting.
Nevertheless, today I found some spare time to proceed with the project. I weaved the knots around the scabbard and experimented a lot with their straps on the backside, because I wanted to have the end of the strap to emerge in a slight angle and with the fair side up front. Well, this was no fun, but I succeded at last.
After that, I tried to cut the two other straps to length. Doing this alone is nigh impossible, because you have to wear your plate breast, hold three separate leather straps and a scabbard with sword in it at once - and then mark where to cut!
Tomorrow, I’ll see if I did cut the straps to the right length. For now, I call it a day.
Sometimes, when I speak with non reenactors about the hobby, conversations can become a little bit awkward. While I talk about “visiting my tailor” or even “my armorer”, people tend to get this bland, uncomprehending look, followed by a remark like “What, you’ve got your own armorer?” or “A tailor? Isn’t that expensive?” (Our reenactment group even has it’s own charcoal burner at hand - some aquaintances just do happen in this hobby…)
These are the times, I’ll get this slightly medieval feeling, as if I had a quick glance at the mindset of a medieval person, maybe of a knight, for whom it must have been a regular occurance to see his tailor, armorer or a local bladesmith.
Since my counterparts doesn’t have such personal relationships when they are buying clothes or other things, but only know shopping malls, I feel that I can relate a little bit to this medieval mindset. Well, at least more than a non reenactor.
So, if you like, let me know, if you are experiencing similar feelings.
A tailor steals fabric (1320-1330, Ms Harley 6563 fol. 65)
Today I went to see my tailor, Heyke Möller, for a last fitting of my 15th century clothes. She tailored a nice pair of joined hosen and a doublet, which I’ll share here as soon as I have finished all of the points.
I also had left a pile of wool fabric for making a pair of separate hosen, and we joked about stealing fabric, using the wrong cut, so that there would be excessive clippings.
Well, as we see in this illumination from the Blessed Hours of the Virgin (1320-1330, Ms. Harley 6563 fol. 65, British Library), stealing fabric has been always an issue. The medieval tailor in this illumination wastes fabric while cutting a tunic and tucks the clippings away.
Heyke didn’t do this to me, ‘cause she only likes to tuck away my money…