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David Stifle

Swordcane advise sought

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Hi guys,

 

I'm making a sword cane, the blade is done and I'm fitting the handle. I have not started on the scabbord, or rather, cane. My problem is I don't know if a simple pressure fit is workable, or if I need to devise some sort of quick release locking mechanism to lock the blade into the cane. If anyone has some insight here, sure would appreciate it.

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Well I really don't have a lot of knowledge (as in none,I have never made one) in this field but I am thinking if you use a pressure fit it will be one of those just right situations. The (cane)being of some kind of wood will come and go with the weather will make the pressure fit tedious work.

 

If you use some sort of a spring mechanism it will make a rub mark where it contacts the blade.

 

Embedding a couple of small rare earth magnets at the top of the cane might work. You could embed them just deep enough that they don't actually contact the blade and therefore not making any marks on the blade! :unsure:

 

Any way there are a few thoughts that immediately came too mind. There are probably some who have more experience than I in this endeavor and perhaps one of them will chime in!

Edited by C Craft

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A press fit will be needed to keep it from rattling, but I'd strongly recommend a button release or at least a spring clip, preferably hidden. The extra security and peace of mind of not having the blade slip out unintentionally is worth it.

 

You and your customer do know they're illegal in all 50 states, right? I know, technically a lot of the things we make are illegal, but most things you can get away with. A sword cane tends not to be one of those. Not telling you not to do it, I just wanted to be sure you knew. ;)

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A press fit will be needed to keep it from rattling, but I'd strongly recommend a button release or at least a spring clip, preferably hidden. The extra security and peace of mind of not having the blade slip out unintentionally is worth it.

 

You and your customer do know they're illegal in all 50 states, right? I know, technically a lot of the things we make are illegal, but most things you can get away with. A sword cane tends not to be one of those. Not telling you not to do it, I just wanted to be sure you knew. ;)

 

Along with what Alan said, I walk with a cane often because of my back injuries and every time I go thru any kind of security they always x-ray my cane or run a scanner over it! :blink: The first time I was told I would have to run my cane thru the x-ray machine I looked at the guy and said REALLY! I told the guy he had been watching too many James Bond movies, I don't think he really saw the humor in what I said from the look he gave me!

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That's because a cane really is a fantastic place to hide stuff.

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You and your customer do know they're illegal in all 50 states, right?

 

Alan,

 

I may be wrong, but I don't think they are illegal in Alaska. We have no concealed carry permit requirement, and with a few exceptions, can carry any weapon (concealed or not) in public.

 

Is it a Federal law? I don't see any state laws related to them.

 

--Dave

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yes,I know they are illegal. I don't intend to sell it, it's only for my own amusement. I'd like to do a button release, but, well, I don't know how. I do have an old Japanese sword that has a button release, you push it and it depresses a spring that goes through the guard into the inside of the scabbard. Maybe I'll try that. And I do like the idea of a magnet fit.

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The laws concerning such things are a patchwork, even within a given state. I think the authorities would tend to take an attitude that having such a thing is an indication of bad intent.

 

I have been trying to design a latching mechanism for a number of years, without real success. Old ones are either a press fit (quick to draw, but dicey in everyday use), some sort of clunky button lock (like waving a flag), or a screw fit ("wait there just a moment, mister mugger, I need to get my sword out"), not really good solutions. What I would like to build is a 1/4 turn lock, like a canon breech, with a safety.

 

I'm in love with the whole idea of sword canes, swagger sticks, and the like, and I think you could get away with one on a table at a show, just don't try to take one through security :lol: .

 

Geoff

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Geoff,

 

regarding the 1/4 turn, I've been spending a lot of time lately in plumbing supplies just staring and fiddling with brass pipe fittings. They come in all sizes, some threaded, some not. Anyway, I was playing with the idea of putting a threaded fitting on the handle, another on the cane, then, a fitting over both of them to connect them and hold tight. I figure I could pretty them up nicely and it wouldn't look to bad. Just can't quite figure out how to get the quater turn down yet. Just a thought, but we are thinking along the same lines.

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Dunno about Alaska, Dave, but as Geoff said they are considered "carry with intent" in most jurisictions. I don't know why, but most states and municipalities put them in the same category as switchblades (which is a Federal statute) and the never-properly-defined "dirk or stiletto." Add to that the letter of the law means nothing if a policeman decides it's illegal for you to carry.

 

All that aside, Tim McCreight shows a few nifty quarter-turn screw lids made by soldering in a tube in his book "The Complete Metalsmith." Aimed at jewelry and small box lids, but equally applicable here if you've got the skills. If I could draw on a computer or if I had a scanner in the office I could draw you a diagram of a simple button release. Hidden patchbox release latches on flintlock rifles are a good example of ways to pull them off. Hiding the button is always an issue. Screw heads or flush inlays are comparatively easy but obvious, and I've seen pictures of Japanese sword sticks that incorporate the button in some carving.

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And here we go: simple button release catch for a tubular object. Assume some wall thickness and that the hook or peg on the end of the spring doesn't go all the way through, and assume you'll be digging out wood for the spring to move within. The "tube" shown is just the inner sleeve and should be covered with a metal ferrule of some sort.

 

spring catch.jpg

 

 

You can solder a sheet of silver or something to the head of the button and fit it so it's flush with the shaft. Or carve a frog on it or something. :lol: Or just cut a slot in it and say it's a screwhead, and add a few real screwheads around the shaft to make it look like the way the handle is attached to the shaft.

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ok...so as many of you already know, most of my posts come from the japanese bladesmithing prspective of things...its not to say it's the "only way", or the "right way"...just "a way"...so keep that in mind when making your decision on how you are going to go about mouning the blade...

 

with that said, the japanese had astyle ofmount called shikomizue (sp?)...it was a cane sword...the blade was straight, and not curved like a katana would be...it was used for the same reason any cane swords where used...concealment...im not sure how common they were...i dont really recall seeeing many authentic examples...just the cheapo replica types that u can find right next to the "authentic ninja swords"...my guess would be they weret all that popular because samurai would be wearing daisho (katana and wakizashi set), and other calsses werent allowed to own long swords...and at times in history, no swords at all...to be caught with a long sword would almost be asking to be punished...

 

but anyways, back to the point...the fit on a mounting such as this is the same as it would have been for any japanese blade...friction fit...very precise friction fit...if you are thinking about going that route, then a habaki would be almost mandatory unless the blade was made with one "built in" or plan on fitting it with bolsters that have a similair shape so that it can be properly friction fitted into the scabbard (cane in this case) like a wedge, and not have to worry about it faling out or anything...

 

another thing to think of is the type of wood...i didnt read all the posts, so if that was already adressed, my appologies for bringing it up again...

 

ok, overly long post for a limted amount of info, but im in a good mood and felt like typing!!

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Just an idea here: What about non-threaded pipe fittings (i.e copper pipe fittings). you could make a ferrule out of a copper pipe, then inlet a coupling into the scabbard/saya/cane. It wouldn't be a "quick release" or "latch" technically, but it would give you a very nice, easy friction fit. And, it's much easier that a habaki, especially with something like cane (you would have to insert a wood pice that accepts the habaki)

 

Just my 2 cents

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Thanks Guys, you have given me some good ideas! I'll post some pictures when done. Oh, and the wood? It's plain ole walnut.

 

 

the reason i had mentioned wood was mostly in regards to a frictoin fit...in order to get a nice fit you would need something that machines well...i couldnt imagine trying to get te right fit on something brittle...the other reason is because idealy for a friction fit you need a somewhat soft wood so that it can compress a bit...a newly made saya has a very snug fit...too snug actually, until it is broken in a bit...if the fit was made just right at the time of making, it wouldnt be too long before it was actually too loose...

 

again, keep in mind this is all from a japanese perspective on doing things, and in this case might not be the best way...it would be nice to be able to see the blade you are talking about, but i think Dillon might be onto something.

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Here in Wisconsin I don't believe there are any laws on swords, other than you have to be 18 to buy from retailers, but I don't know if that's much help. :mellow:

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What about a rotating catch mechanism? I'm thinking of sort of a collar at the top of the sheath and a rotating piece on the hilt as a 'bolster' with a piece that communicates w/ the collar and a spring to keep it in place. here's my attempt at a working drawing.

retainer design.png

 

edited for clarity

Edited by MorganCD

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That'a a good idea, Morgan, and when I do my second swordcane I'll use something like that. But, this time around I opted for something very simple. The blade will have a steel collar which slides into the cane, and on each side of the collar I intend to "bury" a small earth magnet into the inside wood of the cane.

I think that should do the job, but we'll see.

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I think you're probably right. I think one magnet might have been a little bit tenuous. two seems more likely. that catch mechanism is something I might try on a knife... someday... maybe.

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That'a a good idea, Morgan, and when I do my second swordcane I'll use something like that. But, this time around I opted for something very simple. The blade will have a steel collar which slides into the cane, and on each side of the collar I intend to "bury" a small earth magnet into the inside wood of the cane.

I think that should do the job, but we'll see.

 

that is a darn fine idea...if it were me i woud still make the fit a bit snug so that you have friction on ur side as a bit of a backup measure...

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Mike, I intend to make a good tight pressure fit. The magnets are a secondary backup. As soon as I figure out how to do the catch mechanism Morgan mentioned, I intend to transition to that. It just appeals to me. Also, the blade on this canesword is similiar to a slender waki shape, but I would like to make the next blade a simple triangular shape, no cutting edge. A rapier meant for the thrust.

 

I am also working on a hickory walking staff. Each end will be fitted with a metal fitting, and it will be balanced to srike with either end. Before you guys think I'm crazy, a few weeks ago when I was out for a walk in the country I got chased by two rottweliers, they were supposed to be controlled by one of those invisable fences. They went right through it. I'd love to have the swordcane when or if that happens again, but well, I don't really want to kill them (and I'm not sure I could anyway, they are Fast!). But, I know I can strike them and I figure a couple of hard knocks should teach them. (I've also encountered an aggressive raccon, and came face to face with a fully grown black bear who strolled right into my garage as I was working on a blade).

 

Anyway, those incidents are what started me down this path. More than likely, I will walk a couple of miles out of the way to avoid those bad boys (or just stop walking and sit on the porch drinking a cold beer, Lol).

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That would be an Épée... delightful!

 

You could give a hooligan a proper thrashing and run him through, if need be.

 

How do you forge an Épée or Stiletto?? Swages, I take it?

Edited by Mike T Smith

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A swedge block and a narrow pien hammer, a top swedge (and an extra pair of hands :lol: ). If you have access to a press, it might go pretty quick, though the taper might present some challenges.

 

I have seen canes with a length of steel cable, instead of a sword, or chain and a ball. You need to figure out how to mount one of those extendable batons the cops use :lol: .

 

Geoff

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well this is an interesting thread I wanted to make a sword cane and had the same issue how to keep it from falling out and id love to see yours finished or in progress.

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peper spray the dogs works on bears to and you wont go to jail if cought with it

 

tho i think it might just make racoons go for the face not sure :o

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