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Jeroen Zuiderwijk

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Jeroen Zuiderwijk last won the day on November 15

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    Bronze age, iron age, early medieval.

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  1. And complete with belt and bronze age zip lock bag, all based on bronze age finds
  2. Preview of the scabbard & suspension. The scabbard, belt and buttons are all based on finds from Denmark, that are more or less contemporary with the sword blade. I see it as one potential option, considering that there were no metal fittings found with this blade. But of course it comes with a lot of uncertainty.
  3. Is there actually any clay in it? It may just all be silt. If it's clay, it should bake hard, not turn to powder.
  4. Thanks! I will do some experiments until I'm happy with the result. The scabbard I worked on I was intending to leather wrap, so the glue wasn't necessary. But I want to do a full wooden scabbard as well, and that will have to stay together with the glue only.
  5. I was following the instructions on the package, which did state heating to 60C. I read online that fish glue isn't supposed to gel at room temperature, but in my case it did. Maybe what I did wrong is to apply it to one side only? Should it instead be applied at two sides before clamping? And what consistency should the glue be like? I found it to be rather thick, a bit like honey, which may have prevented it from soaking into the wood.
  6. So I tried to glue to wooden scabbard halves together with fish glue. I mixed fish glue 1:1 with water, and heated it au bain marie. I didn't have a thermometer, but I kept the water in the larger pan from boiling. When all of the glue had dissolved, I applied the glue. The contact surface on the scabbard halves is about 4-5mm wide. After gluing and assembling, I tightly bound the halves together with rope, put a plank on top and put a weight on top to compress it, and let it sit for 20 hours or so. After that I wanted to check if the glue did its work, and pulled lightly on the two scabbard halves at the mouth, and it came apart there with very little effort. A bit like it was held together with dried sugar. The glue that has set in the pan is like silicon rubber. I read that it is supposed to be good for gluing metal, but it wasn't stuck to the pan at all. The rubbery glue itself is quite strong though. Funny stuff. But as to attaching things with it together firmly, any ideas what could have gone wrong?
  7. P.s. this is a real Auroch horn, from the last living one to be exact (from 1620). It appears to have blondish color. May have been lighter originally.
  8. At least ancient horn artifacts often seem to have been blonde horn originally. Some are too dark now to be sure. But quite a few pieces still have some of the lighter color visible, or at least where it's damaged.
  9. On some original finds, they used annoyingly large pieces of horn. For example the Aachen seax (AKA the "Hunting knife of Charlemagne), has a solid horn handle 22cm in length. Another example is a bronze age rapier, found with a horn hilt that requires a pretty wide and thick piece of solid horn. Sourcing these pieces from modern cow horn is pretty much a lost cause, as they have very small solid parts in their horns. For years I've not been able to find anything larger then 3cm thick, and 10cm long. However, Indian water buffalo does come with very large solid tips. But finding large pieces is still really difficult. I already have a few pieces which I was fortunate to find recently, but they need to be straightened. But this piece is already straight for 3/4th of the length. And at 40cm long, that is 30cm of straight horn suitable for a seax hilt, and then still enough left in the tip to make a bronze rapier hilt! I don't plan to make those any time soon, but having this in my material stock certainly does open up such possibilities.
  10. I just started making a scabbard for the Monnikenbraak sword. The inside is carved out. I'm still contemplating between a wooden scabbard and leather wrapped scabbard, as shown in examples. I'm leaning towards leather wrapped. It will not be lined with fur like original finds, simply as I don't want to spend 500 euro for a Scottish highlander hide for it. I may some time get an alternative, like a sheep hide which are much cheaper, but not for now.
  11. Got some new leather in for future sheaths. There's so much variation in leather, even in natural veg tanned cow leather of the same thickness. The leather I previously worked with was too soft. It's ok for small sheaths, but carving it is more challenging, as it tends to spring back, making the carvings less clear. This new leather is sold here as saddle leather. It's properly stiff. Stiff enough that if you cut a strip of it and hold it horizontal, it stays straight. I hope shaping it will not be too difficult, particular the angle for broken back seaxes. That was easy with the softer leather. But we'll see.
  12. Thanks! I'll try with the flat headed punch!
  13. And the last things done: riveting and sealing the leather. The rivets on one of the Groningen sheaths have round heads of 4mm, and shanks of 2.5mm. I used the draw plate to make 2.5mm bronze wire (starting from 3mm). It's quite a bit of effort I made rivet heading tools to make the rivets. It went ok. Some with fairly symmetrical heads, others totally off center. Still takes some good practice to get better at that. Peening the rivets on the sheath was more troublesome. Most of the rivets went quite well, but two went sideways. And that stretched the holes, so I could not get the rivets peened anymore in such a way that they would be fixed in place. The more I tried to correct it, the looser they got. They won't fall out, but I'm not happy about it. But it's a big challenge to keep round headed rivets from rotating, particularly as the leather does very little to hold them in place while hammering. I can see why they started using those larger flat headed rivets later. I also made two suspension loops at the back, based on finds from German narrow seaxes. I don't really know the exact position they'd had on the sheath. Maybe I should have placed them further apart, like the slots for the straps on the other Groningen sheath. So I have mixed feelings finishing it. On one hand I see too many obvious flaws in it. But it was never my intention for it to be perfect. This was intended as a learning project. And in that respect it was a big success. There were so many learning aspects along the way, many were firsts for me. My knowledge, skill and tool set have expanded a lot. So I want to make another one, and apply what I've learned. If I get around to it, it also won't be perfect, but I know I can do a lot better now. Some things I still need to increase my skill, like the type of tunnel stitch on this sheath, but mainly peening the rivets. That is something I need to get a lot better at, and I don't know yet how. Any tips on that are welcome!
  14. Yeah, I found that out as well, basically shellac in unprocessed state. I still have a jar of shellac that I'm not using for anything. I may do some experiments with it someday
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