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Thread: 1803 Pattern hilt J J RUNKEL Restoration advice sought

  1. #1

    1803 Pattern hilt J J RUNKEL Restoration advice sought

    Help please!
    I have just purchased an 1803 pattern J J Runkel blued and gilt sabre, sword knot with its original metal scabbard rather than the leather dress scabbard we usually see with these items.
    The wooden grip has been severely eaten by worm resulting in the outer sharkskin grip surviving but only just. I have posted a couple of images showing the condition.
    I could dismantle the hilt and start a rebuild from scratch, creating a replacement wooden plug, then reassembling but I would rather preserve the hilt in its present form. After all it is over two hundred years old and disturbing the original setting carries considerable risk.
    Is there a way of injecting the void behind the grip with a neutral material which could be reversed should a future owner/ museum wish? I would be happy with the grip stabilised and could easily live with the worm holes visible as long as the grip has been consolidated.
    It may be better to pass the item onto a professional restorer so a second question would be if anyone knows of an expert in restoration of hilts?
    Thanks James
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,880
    If you want to fill in the areas of loss Paraloid B-72 works but it will take time. This is a clear hard removable substance that museums use (not terribly expensive).
    It comes in pellet form and can be dissolved with acetone etc.
    Once complete you will be able to handle the sword by the grip. Looks like you'll have to dam up some areas prior to filling. The material soaks into the wood and any holes. You may use dye mixed with it if you prefer or colour it after it's hardened. It can be easily filed or sanded once hard.
    .

  3. #3
    thanks for that info.I`ll give it a go and let you know how i get on.

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