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18th and 19th century metal scabbard construction?

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I'm looking for more information in steel scabbard construction from the industrial age. I've seen some Asian scabbards that were wood core with steel overlay, but I'm not finding much on Western European scabbards, and few of the photos I'm pulling up are looking down the throat.


When someone like Gill provided a "steel scabbard", would that usually be steel over wood or leather lining, or just a straight steel shell?


Thanks for any insights, references or links!

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Most of the ones I've seen have been a plain steel shell, no lining, or very rarely a velvet lining.  From the mid-19th century on, military steel scabbards are not lined.  Thus "saber-rattling" to describe threats of military action.

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Hey, I get to post something! Once every thousand years... :lol:


The scabbard from my British 1796 light cavalry sabre definitely has a wood lining. (The steel's rusted through at the bottom, and the wood's visible)

Scabbard.JPEGScabbard tip.JPEG

The bottom end, at least, is two pieces of wood, I presume it's the same over the whole length.


It also has a pair of triangular steel... tabs? inside the scabbard, about an inch and a half down from the throat. The form a sort of funnel, I suppose to keep you from jamming the tip of the blade into the wooden lining. The tips of the tabs are somewhere between 3/32"-1/8" apart, at a glance, enough room for the tip to move past easily, and they ride in the fullers when the blade's farther in. The wood's cut in a V shape around the tabs

Scabbard throat.JPEGScabbard throat 2.JPEG


One aspect I'm stumped about is the construction of the steel shell. I don't see anything like, say, a welded lap joint, or a brazing joint. Could just be hidden in the rust, although if it's brazed, I'd expect that to stand out more, if anything.

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  • 7 months later...

My 1796 HC sword scabbard has enough room for a liner and I had little trouble making one and placing it inside. Same deal with the small pieces in the mouth seeming to keep the point from jamming into the liner.

I can see traces of brass on the scabbard which is in slightly darkened but otherwise very good condition. I'm assuming then that these were sheet iron or steel, formed around a mandrel and brazed.

I want to make one for a 1796 LC I'm putting a guard and grip on but until my sheet metal skills improve I'll probably stick to wood and leather.

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Here are some photos of my 1866 model chassepot sword bayonet scabbard if they are of any help. No wooden core just a straight steel scabbard. Those rivets seem to help hold the blade.






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"The way we win matters" (Ender Wiggins) Orson Scott Card


Nos qui libertate donati nescimus quid constat

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