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Thread: finished scabbard

  1. #1
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    finished scabbard

    I just finished another fiberglass scabbard. IF enough people are interested I will do a step by step with photos. It fits the Atrim that i rescently posted on here with my custom gaurd, pommel and grip. Fiberglass core with leather wrap. Let me know if you want me to post a how to article on building a scabbard with this method!

    Brian
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  2. #2
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    Sweet

    I like that one much better.

    Now get to work on my helmet

  3. #3
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    Sure! I wouldn't mind learning

  4. #4
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    Absolutely!!!!!!
    The sword was not forged to decorate walls or be a lifted signal of victory and dominance, but to cut flesh, bone and sinew, and kill. She is not an extension of your manhood, nor an expression of your selfhood. She is an Instrument of death. At her best she kills in Justice. If this notion is objectionable to you,and I do not for an instant suggest that you apply it, simply that you acknowledge its truth,then you should put away the sword forever

  5. #5
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    Re: finished scabbard

    Originally posted by Brian Brown
    I just finished another fiberglass scabbard. IF enough people are interested I will do a step by step with photos. It fits the Atrim that i rescently posted on here with my custom gaurd, pommel and grip. Fiberglass core with leather wrap. Let me know if you want me to post a how to article on building a scabbard with this method!

    Brian
    I love the metal work on the scabbard. How did you do it? Looks terribly complicated for a fellow like me with six thumbs, two fingers and two toes on my hands.

    Don
    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf."

    An unknown, but very astute person

  6. #6
    Is fiberglass safe for swords? and a resounding YES.
    Lawyer in training

    Both sides deserves an advocate.

    I reserve the right to change my opinion upon the furnishing of new evidence.

  7. #7
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    Its been quite busy here and will be for another week, but I'll see how much I can get loaded up here for you all.

    First off
    Leighton:
    I've had no adverse effects from fiberglass but I dont store my blades in there scabard. One thought on it would be that fiberglass COULD be more likely to gather condinsation droplets on the inside than wood would, just like a glass jar would compared to a wooden one. Conversly though fiberglass wont swell up and bind on to a blade like a close fitting wood scabbard could. For normal use though mosture shouldn't be an issue, I have carried this particular scabbard for a full day at an event in teh pouring rain and had no issues at all. The only ill effects I've had so far wheren't from the fiberglass itself but from an experiment that showed what not to do that i'll address later(as if anyone else is crazy enough to try what I did).

    Don:
    The metal work was actually very simple and will be covered when I get that far into this. The chape did require welding that was done by a friend of mine. The other fittings are quick and easy to make with very few tools or skills. The fittings will be removed and color case hardened when I get the chance to have sword fittings done. Kevin and I work the same place but opposite days off so timing to experiment is limited.

    Please remember this is only the second scabbard i've made like this (well period actually) so i'm sure there are better ways and ideas of doing some of it that will come out from everyone elses input and questions.

    step 1
    I take a standard width piece of tinfoil and cut it a little longer than the blade. The foil is used to make a barrier between the fiberglass and the blade to allow a small amount of clearance to allow for a snug but not overly tight fit.
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  8. #8
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    step 2

    step 2

    I wrap the blade TIGHTLY with the tinfoil. Try and keep it as smooth as possible. I made sure that the foil went onto the gaurd in the same piece so that I captured its shape in the mouth of the scabbard and to insure that it was sealed sot hat no resin leaked through and stuck to the blade or gaurd.

    Would something else work besides tinfoil? I'm not sure as long as you can remove the blade without harm it might be worth some experimenting. I've had saran wrap suggested but havne't tried it yet.

    Another idea I've thought of but NOT tried yet is to carefully strip the insulation of of some common household wiring and "snap" the insulation over the edge of the blade. If the insulation would pull out of the finished scabbard it would prevent the edge from ever touching the scabbard. Just an idea it may or may not work. Biggest forseeable problem being getting the insulation to remove from the finished scabbard.
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  9. #9
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    step 3

    step 3

    protect the rest of the sword. I just used more tinfoil here but about anythign would work since it doesn't get covered in layers of fiberglass and can simply be unwrapped.
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  10. #10
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    step 4

    step 4

    Sizing up some fiberglass weave. I cut a section of woven glass cloth (picked up at my local Fred Meyers store) to a tad longer than the scabbard. Note that I would have liked a wider piece to make a thicker scabbard BUT this was all I had laying around at the time and I'm to impatient to wait tell I picked some more up. The more times it will wrap around the blade the thicker and stronger the scabbard will be. It is possible to build up the thickness in steps which is what I choice to do this time.

    I feel that woven glass is far better than matt for this because it will conform to the tight bends going around the blade better. Besides woven glass doesn't have much of the loose fibers that make you etch.

    I guess I should add a word of caution in here that it is best to wear rubber gloves while handling fiberglass as well as a dust mask.


    I hope everyone is overlooking all my miss spellings.
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  11. #11
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    step 5

    step 5

    Carefully wrap the glass fabric around the blade keeping it as tight and smooth as possible. To keep it that way I tied a simple piece of sewwing thread around it at one end and wrapped it down the leangth of the blade. If it isn't fairly smooth redo it as it will creat large air pockets in the finished product and make for a lot more finish work to smooth it out.

    Another untried idea would be to use the fiberglass "tape" that comes in 2" - 4" wide rolls and wrap it spirally up and down the blade either over regular glass fabric or instead of it. Just an Idea.

    You can see a can of resin that I'll be using as well as a small plastic cup that I used to mix the resin in and a cheap disposable paint brush that I've found is the best thing for mixing and applying resin. Hey now! quit looking at the messy work bench behind it all, thats my private mess. LOL
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  12. #12
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    step5 second pic

    Just a close up of how the glass fabric is wrapped and tied onto the blade.
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  13. #13
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    step 6

    step 6

    Mix up some resin per the instructions on the can, then brush it into the fiberglass cloth. The cloth will darken when properly saturated with resin so if you notice any areas that look "white" brush some more resin into them. take your time and tray and keep the glass cloth smooth while doing this, invariable there will be some small air pockets inbetween layers but you can brush most of them out if you take yoru time. Also keep in mind what direction you wrapped the fabric around the blade, if you brush the opposite direction you are loosenign it up where if you brush the same direction you are keeping it tight. I clamp the sword (by the handle) in an uprigth postion to dry. if you dont have that luxury tehn make sure that yoru work bench is covered in something semi non-stick such as wax paper or what I used a left over section of laminate flooring. Dont worry about the rough frayed edges that stick out they can and will be filed/ground off later.

    Well I need to stop this thread fo the night and get some much needed sleep. Since I have a busy weekend with my daughters 10th birthday and a pool to set up for her I'll leave you all a few day to look this over and discuse it before I have the time to post some more. Dont wory other than attaching the metal trim and the welding of the chape I do have pictures for every single step I took.

    Brian
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  14. #14
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    step7

    step 7

    Here it is clamped in an upright position to dry. This helps keep resin from "pooling" up in any areas and fromsticking to your work surface.

    So is anyone enjoying this post? I see the number of views going up but no replys or questions.

    Brian
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  15. #15
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    step 8

    step 8

    After the resin has cured I ground off any rough edges or high bumps. While I did this with a angle head grinder it is probably best to use a course file. You dont want to slip and go through the fiberglass (Then again I did this with a thin layer this time) and into your blade!! If you used enough layers of glass then go ahead and smooth it out as best as possible. Dont worry about low spots they are quick and easy to fill with some bondo, or if really low and thin build up some more glass and resin.

    ps If my step numbering seems streached out in some areas and squeezed in others thats because when i edited the photos I labled them with these numbers.

    Brian
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  16. #16
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    step 8

    step 8

    After the resin has cured I ground off any rough edges or high bumps. While I did this with a angle head grinder it is probably best to use a course file. You dont want to slip and go through the fiberglass (Then again I did this with a thin layer this time) and into your blade!! If you used enough layers of glass then go ahead and smooth it out as best as possible. Dont worry about low spots they are quick and easy to fill with some bondo, or if really low and thin build up some more glass and resin.

    Since this particular scabbard had a fairly thin layer of glass to start AND because I had some unoriented strand fiberglass mat on hand I decided to build its thickness up a little with some. You can see sections cut and ready to resin on to the scabbard. Note, the fiberglass mat here is the stuff that is all itchy and bothersome.

    ps If my step numbering seems streached out in some areas and squeezed in others thats because when i edited the photos I labled them with these numbers.

    Brian
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  17. #17
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    step 8 continued

    step 8 continued <see my streached out numbering of steps >

    fiberglass mat wont conform to sharp curves very well (like the edge of the scabbard so just resin it on smooth on the side. Of course after that is dried repeat on the opposite side. One thing that I did that didn't get photographed is after both sides where any gap was present between the mat along the edge I took thin strips of glass mat and filled these spot in and resined them up.

    Note, cheap paint brushes from harbor freight work great for resin as its pintless to try and cleam them after use so you'll be throwing away a few of them as they get used. Case of 36 half inch brushes I used was about $6 - $8. Kids plastic cups and butter tubs work great for mixxing resin in. Once the resin has cured it will "pop" out of the container leaving it ready to reuse.
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  18. #18
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    step 9

    step 9

    Once all the resin has cured up good its time to remove the sword from the scabbard. I like this part because it means that I get to put my beauty away and no long have the potential for it to get dammaged or harmed.

    Hopefully tomarow I'll get a chance to post some more

    enjoying this anyone?

    Thanks for the PM's Barry, its easier to take the time to write this when I know its being appreciated.

    Brian

  19. #19
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    step 9 photo

    OOPs I forgot to add the picture.

    Brian
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  20. #20
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    Definitely enjoying it, Brian! Very ingenious method! Results look good, too... (by the way, I love the metalwork on the belt/scabbard in the first photo!)

  21. #21
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    step 10

    step 10

    Time to grind/sand down the rough spots. This can be done with a angle head grinder and a dust mask or with a good wood rasp(realy course file). Done worry about getting it all down even and perfect. If there is low spots they can be filled with some bondo.
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  22. #22
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    Step 11

    Step 11

    Well I got a tad over zealous with the grinding in the previous step. While roughing out the curve around the edge of the blade area of the scabbard i took off a little more fiberglass than what I was comfortable with. I didn't grind all the way through but got it thin enough that I was concerned with long term integrity of the piece. And since I had been back to the store and picked up some more fiberglass cloth I decided to wrap one more layer around it all for good measure.

    Note that this step is the result of my slip up not part of the process. I cut sections of glass skinny enough that I could wrap over the edge and down the sides but not have any excess hanging past the far edge (This kept loose strands from sticking out and requiring more clean up). I built up a few layers along each edge tell I was satisfied with it.
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  23. #23
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    Step 12

    Step 12

    final smoothing. I had built up enough resin and glass that I didn't need to fill any low spots with bondo. Just as a test for all of you out there I finished smoothing out the scabbard with a good file. Not only did it work great it was realitively fast and the resulting dust was much more course and there for less irratting.

    If you notice that it very tip of the scabbard isn't all that even and smooth, then you get a gold star. The tip will be covered with a metal chape and I will be drilling a small hole through the tip of the scabbard to make the next step easier. So in other words it doesn't have to be really pretty and I didn't take the time to make it so. If that was the case I think personally that would be best to shape it out with bondo after the next step, but thats just me.
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  24. #24
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    excellent thread!
    "Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth of not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion."
    - Dalai Lama

  25. #25
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    Step 13

    Step 13

    Here is where what I did and what I should have done departed trails and allmost relusted in catastrophic problems. First I'll go into what I should have done and have done before then I'll let you all laugh at my near faliure trial by other means. So needless to say I dont really have any good photos for this step.

    WHAT TO DO
    Using some wire or thin steel strap (A broken coil spring out a pull start lawn mower works great) you scrape the tinfoil out of the scabbard. This is where the little hole in the tip of the scabbard comes in is its easy to bunch the foil up in the tip so I just pull it all they way through the scabbard. A small hook is needed in the end of what ever you use for this purpose. be warned the thinner the blade the scabbard was made for the harder this is. From previous experiances I've had no adverse reaction (on a Sword blade)from residual foil being left in the scabbard (Note that I dont store any of my blades sheathed). The biggest trick that I've found so far wtih this is to give your "cleaning hook" a twist while you pull it through the scabbard that way it catches any loose tinfoil. Its even possible on some scabbards (Thickness and distal tapers makes a big differences) to run a gun cleaning wire brush through it. Most of the tinfoil does come loose from the fiberglass quite easly so its not hard to get the vast majority of it removed and possible to get all of it removed with some time and patience.

    DO NOT TRY THIS
    Ok laugh away at me here, but the idea jumped in my head and I had to try it. My thinking was that with a thin blade such as this scabbard was made for it would be harder to scrape out the foil and the scraper that I had used on a previous scabbard wouldn't fit in this one (Was before I realized what a handy tool the broken spring in the mower was), so instead of scrapping it out I decided to eat it out with acid. From other projects I had a bottle or two of Ferric Chloride (Sold by Radio Shack for etchign circut boards, and far saffer than most acids for etching metals) sitting around, and knew that it quite easly desolved aluminum away. So I filled the scabbard with acid and it did indead eat the foil out. I did have to replenish the acid a time or two as it used its self up on all the foil that was linning the scabbard but it did work and removed every little last trace of foil out of the scabbard.

    I was thinking "Awsome, it worked better than I hoped". So I rinsed it out good and filled it with baking soda to nutralize the acid. After it sat and dried for a day I tried the blade in it and whala it fit like a dream, snug but not tight. I played with it for a hour or so seeing how nicely it fit and gloating to myself on how smart I was for doing it that way. So I put it the trunk of the car and headed over to a buddys to show it off.

    Well after setting for more than an hour in the scabbard some acid leached out of the fiberglass and started to eat on the blade. Needless to say when i pulled it out to show it off my face went from a huge smug smile to an shen frown as the majority of the blade was covered in large dark red streaks of rust. Luckly for me this was discovered before the damage was more than superficial on the blade (What a way to ruin a perfectly good ATrim).

    After that I repeated the cleaning that had been done before and tried again and still more acid seemed to leach out of the fiberglass. I had not even considered that it could absorb into the resin. By the looks of it there was a couple of small areas that the glass didn't get fully satureated with resin and worked as spong.

    I did manage to salvage not only the blade but also the scabbard, I packed the scabbard with damp baking soda and let it sit for three days then soaked in baking soda laced water for a number of hours, then rinsed in running water for a few more hours. After all that I used soem more tinfoil and wrapped the mouth of a hair drier to the mouth of the scabbard and blow dried it for a few more hours. This time I was lucky and managed to remove any trace of acid in the scabbard. Even though I was able to salvage it I wouldn't recomend that methode to anyone. For the time alone it took to clean it out I could have split the scabbard appart and removed all the foil and glassed the halves back together if I was having problems scraping the foil out. Note, splitting the scabbard is just another IDEA and untried by at least me.

    Since that time I've worn this scabbard for a weekend event on the coast in pouring rain and haven't seen any eveidence of acid still in the scabbard, and if moist salty air doesn't bring it out then hopefully nothing will. BUT I still have a hard time trusting this scabbard and soon or latter as prioritys allow I'll be building a new one just for the piece of mind.

    Dang that was a lot of jabbering about what not to do, hopefully if anyone is crazy enough to come up with the idea of using acid like i did that it will discourage them from doing so.

    brian
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