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Thread: Replacement P1796 LC grip

  1. #26
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    Thank you for your tips and advice Richard. I am going to cover the grip with skiver leather.
    Ian

  2. #27
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    vice

    I now what it's like to have your vice break. Those cast iron ones are poor when it comes to real usage. The old blacksmith type that are about 2 1/2' long, are steel and will not break, is what to look for at auction. I glue 1/4'' leather pieces as jaws to my vice and it prevents marking the work, however that vice is cast iron but not used for torque.
    Good luck on the grip!

  3. #28
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    I bought a new Workmate workbench a few days ago so I decided to do a bit of work on the grip. After a lot of planing and filing this is how far I have got, and I am quite pleased with the result so far. I still have to do a little final shaping, reducing the overall size slightly to allow for the leather covering. Before covering the grip, I also have to cut the ribs in the grip with a small round file.

    Ian
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  4. #29
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    Looking Good

    Your patience is paying off, looks great! I'm shure if you made several you would have no problem with others wanting them. I am not familiar with the type of leather you say you are using, what is special about it, or is it just a term I have not herd?

  5. #30
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    Thanks Will. It actuall feels right in the hand, even it is not close to being finished yet.
    I was advised that skiver leather is the best covering to use. It is fine sheep leather.
    I'm not sure that it would be possible to make these grips without having the actual sword to work from. It took me a long time to accurately shape the wood to fit the backstrap.
    I have four P1796 LC swords and the backstraps and I am sure the tangs, all vary in size and shape slightly. There wouldn't be a bog standard, off the shelf grip size to fit all P1796s.
    Ian

  6. #31
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    Outstanding work!!! Looks wonderful.
    Where will you be sourcing the leather?
    BTW, does anyone know of a source for the ray skin or shark skin?

  7. #32
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    Thanks Dimitry,
    I am ordering an undyed 12" square offcut from: http://www.edenworkshops.com/Undyed_...okbinders.html
    I will then dye it using fabric dye.
    I think that it can be sourced quite easily. This small piece is costing £10 incl P&P.

    Ian

  8. #33
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    Will you be dyeing it after you stretch it on the grip, or before?
    If the dye is water-based you may want to do it after it's formed, since you will be wetting the leather prior to forming it to the grip, will you not?

  9. #34
    This thread is getting very interesting,Ian.A gripping tale,you could say.It's going well so far.I look forward to the next episode.
    Niall Dignan

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by niall dignan View Post
    This thread is getting very interesting,Ian.A gripping tale,you could say.It's going well so far.I look forward to the next episode.
    Stay tuned Niall.
    Ian

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitry Z~G View Post
    Will you be dyeing it after you stretch it on the grip, or before?
    If the dye is water-based you may want to do it after it's formed, since you will be wetting the leather prior to forming it to the grip, will you not?
    Good point Dmitry. I will consult the supplier.
    Ian

  12. #37
    Looks good!

    If you can, bearing in mind that you will have to shorten the grip slightly to allow for the leather, creat a ridge on the top of the grip that slots inside the top of the backstrap. It helps locate the backstrap on the grip and stops it slipping on the top of the grip when you tighten up the top nut. If i haven't explained that very well, let me know.

    I'd suggest using a hacksaw blade to cut the wire grooves into the grip to the depth that you want them. Then use a file to open out the grooves. Using the saw blade to create the wire grooves gives you a guide and stops the wire groove 'drifting' which tends to happen if you just use a file.

    I'm surprised you haven't been able to get pre dyed skiver, but if we needed to change the colour of a grip we would use a shoe leather dye that is sold to allow you to change the colour of shoes. That way you know exactly what colour you'll get. Fabric dye isn't strong enough to really change the colour of the skiver whereas shoe leaether dye is more like a paint that also soaks in to the leather.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Lowe View Post
    Looks good!

    If you can, bearing in mind that you will have to shorten the grip slightly to allow for the leather, creat a ridge on the top of the grip that slots inside the top of the backstrap. It helps locate the backstrap on the grip and stops it slipping on the top of the grip when you tighten up the top nut. If i haven't explained that very well, let me know.

    I'd suggest using a hacksaw blade to cut the wire grooves into the grip to the depth that you want them. Then use a file to open out the grooves. Using the saw blade to create the wire grooves gives you a guide and stops the wire groove 'drifting' which tends to happen if you just use a file.

    I'm surprised you haven't been able to get pre dyed skiver, but if we needed to change the colour of a grip we would use a shoe leather dye that is sold to allow you to change the colour of shoes. That way you know exactly what colour you'll get. Fabric dye isn't strong enough to really change the colour of the skiver whereas shoe leaether dye is more like a paint that also soaks in to the leather.
    Thank you very much for your advice Richard. I was wondering about the best method to start creating the grooves.
    I have tried a number of leather suppliers but they mostly want to sell you a whole skin, which is expensive. I have managed to buy a cheap un-dyed off-cut. I will treat it how you suggest and see how it looks, it it doesn't please, then I can remove it and try again.
    Should I wet the leather before applying it to the grip? What is the best glue to use?
    The tang will need peening when re-assembling the sabre. It doesn't have a top nut. I might ask Pooley sword if they can do this for me.
    Ian
    Last edited by Ian Knight; 11-07-2009 at 02:29 AM.

  14. #39
    We used to use ordinary PVA glue. You might want to water the glue down a bit depending on how thick the PVA is.

    Whether the leather needs to be wet or not depends on how thick and stretchy the skiver is. Skiver is usually pretty thin and stetchy and if it is stretchy you won't need to wet the leather. If you can aovid wetting it, do so because if you wet the weather it will shrink as it dries and may pull.

    You want to give both the back of the leather and the grip a good coat of PVA and ensure you get a slight overlap of the leather at the back of the grip. Then use string (preferably a plastic string that doesn't stretch) and bind the leather to the grip using the string to stretch the leather into the wire gooves. It may take you a couple of goes to get the size of the piece of leather right and judge how much the leather will stretch.

    You will need to take quite a bit of wood off that grip to get it down to the right size with the leather on. You'll probably have to do this a couple of times as i virtually guarantee you won't take enough wood off the first time Make sure the leather goes under the ferrule and over the top of the grip (ie where the pommel would be if it didn't have a backstrap with integral pommel).

    If the end of the tang is to be peened, its even more important to make sure the top of the grip has a ledge that the backstrap can sit on to help locate it. You also want to make sure there is space under the backstrap for an undernut. If there is not much space you should be able to get hold of a half thickness nut or get one turned down or domed on a lathe

    Assuming you have taken the sword apart, is there actually enough tang left sticking through the backstrap to repeen it over? If not then a Pooley blacksmith will need to heat the tang and hammer it out a bit to make it longer. That will in turn change the shape of the tang so it may then need raking out internally to make it fit again. We used to have some old sword tangs that had had rought saw teeth cut into the edge of the tang to use as a rake for this purpose, but the other way to do it is with a metal drill bit in piller drill. You can then use the end of the drill bit as a router to remove the excess material.

    The other thing you'll need to do is wire the grip. You also need to cut a bit of a groove in the back of the grip to accomodate the wire and stop the wire holding the grip off the backstrap. At the start of the wire drill a small hole about the same size as a matchstick. Push the end of the wire into the whole and them hammer in a matchstick coated with PVA to trap the wire. At the other end of the grip you need to keep the wire tight so lay the end of the wire over a small hole but keep the tension on it. The again hammer a matchstick in to push a doubled over loop of wire into the hole. That way you keep the tension on the wire.

    Check that the shoe dye gives you the finish you're after on a scrap of leather first, but wait until the leather is on the grip before staining it. Once the leather is on the grip you can file down the areas that won't be seen (such as under the ferrule and behind the backstrap) if the leather ends up too thick after gluing. If you accidentily go through the surface of the leather anywhere or there is any bare wood anywhere then this will be covered by the leather stain as the wood will also take the leather stain.

    Don't hesitate to ask any more questions if i can be of any further help.

  15. #40
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    Superb Richard, thank you so much. I am sure that this information will also be of much use to others looking to make their own grips.
    There is about 2-4mm of the tang visible when the sabre is assembled (The sword is in parts). I will try to make sure that I reduce the grip enough so that this amount of tang is still visible when the grip is covered with leather.
    The skiver leather that I have ordered is very thin at 0.3mm so I should need to reduce the size too much.
    I have part of a the grip from a P1796 sabre and the grip has a 'flat' on the top. I assume this is what you mean regarding the ledge.
    The sabre is a trooper's P1796 LC sword and so I assume that the grip wouldn't normally be wired.
    Ian

  16. #41
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    Ian
    This is what Richard is talking about at the top of the grip. Sorry for the bad picture but you get the idea. the postion above the rough line I have drawn is where the tang appears and sits inside the dome of the backpiece and pommel.



    and


    It is an old RN grip I have in my junk box!
    Robert
    PS So far it looks superb!

  17. #42
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    Thanks Robert,
    I have shaped mine as the photo and the same as an old broken P1796 grip that I have.
    Ian
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    Last edited by Ian Knight; 11-08-2009 at 02:51 AM.

  18. #43
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    Here's one I did. You'll note the ridge in question which occupies much of the volume under the pommel.

    Rob
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    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob O'Reilly View Post
    Here's one I did. You'll note the ridge in question which occupies much of the volume under the pommel.

    Rob
    Superb grip Rob.
    I didn't quite grasp what Robert and Richard meant by the ridge. I can see it on your grip. Now that I have removed this part of the grip I will have to use an undernut as Richard suggests.
    I have been working to an old grip that I have, which doesn't have the ridge in question. See photo.
    Before I start marking and cutting the ridges in the grip is there a favoured amount of ribs? I have seen P1796s with as few as six but as many as 12 ribs.
    Ian
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    Last edited by Ian Knight; 11-08-2009 at 02:40 AM.

  20. #45
    You could always let a new piece of wood into the back of the grip and glue it in if your woodworking skills are up to it (and they look like they are).

    The other option is to shorten the back strap slightly by filing the area that fits in behind the ferrule. Then you can create the ridge in your grip. It only needs to be a couple of mm deep to just help locate the backstrap.

  21. #46
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    Richard,
    I will see if I can let in a piece on the pommel end. I don't think that I can reduce the length of the grip any more.
    Should I make the piece domed so that it fills the inside of the pommel?
    Ian

  22. #47
    If you've got the space and you're going to use an undernut, you want the top of the grip to be flat. Otherwise it doesn't matter. The ridge is there to locate the top of the backstrap and stop it sliding off the top of the grip. Whether it fills the void in the top of the back strap doesn't make any difference.

    A nut holding the sword together is much more secure than a peen as the hammering involved in a peen can shake the hilt loose and you end up with play. The other option is to use a taper nut to hold the hilt together that you then dress into the backstrap and peen flat. But i'm sure authenticity is important to you and i can't remember how the back strap is held on on this particular sword design.

  23. #48
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    Thank you Richard,
    I have three other P1796 LC swords and the tangs are all peened over.
    Ian

  24. #49
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    Making this grip has made me realise why you see so many P1796 grips broken near the pommel. The thickness of wood where the tang passes close to the narrowest part of the grip is only 1-2mm thick. Because the direction of the grain runs parallel with the tang this creates a weak spot underneath the pommel, where your smallest finger rests. Any bang to the pommel area could result in the wood splitting and breaking off the 'dove's head' of the grip.
    See photos. Typical P1796 LC grip damage. You can see how close the tang is to the surface of the grip.
    Ian
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    Last edited by Ian Knight; 11-10-2009 at 01:19 AM.

  25. #50
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    Ribs, How Many?

    I would suggest if the sword has a makers mark, to copy another sword of the same maker for the number of ribs. Most likely the sword is unmarked, find one that is very close in design and use the same number? Or, do you have a lucky number? Using a smaller number of ribs you can make them more pronounced/deeper. My 1796 has 11 raised ribs, but the method used was twine over wood, not carved in. Nearest the pommel there are no ribs, about the last inch. Pick the number that your favourite maker used for his?

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