Jump to content

Nijmegen narrow seax


Jeroen Zuiderwijk

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

For some reason I am reminded of one of my favorite photos:

 

5590057980_73c0281944_z.jpg

 

Owen Bush's house, spring 2011, I don't remember who took the picture.  Maybe Grace Horne?  Left to right: Peter Johnsson, Tod of Tod Cutler (his last name is not cutler, btw), I don't remember who's holding the camera, maybe Eli Sideris? Jeff Pringle, Petr Florianek, Jeroen Zuiderwijk, Josh Burrell, and me.  Hard to believe that was 12 years ago... 

That was a really excellent, if slightly blurry, weekend, thanks for the reminder Alan!

 

(It was bizarre ending up at a week long course with Eli, in 2017 (tool making, with Seth Gould). Hadn't seen any of those folks since)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

For some reason I am reminded of one of my favorite photos:

 

5590057980_73c0281944_z.jpg

 

Owen Bush's house, spring 2011, I don't remember who took the picture.  Maybe Grace Horne?  Left to right: Peter Johnsson, Tod of Tod Cutler (his last name is not cutler, btw), I don't remember who's holding the camera, maybe Eli Sideris? Jeff Pringle, Petr Florianek, Jeroen Zuiderwijk, Josh Burrell, and me.  Hard to believe that was 12 years ago... 

One of my favorite photos and moments too. It was great to be among such talented and inspiring people, particularly for an amateur like me :)  I hope there will be more times like that!

  • Like 1

Jeroen Zuiderwijk

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/barbarianmetalworking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Such a great picture, I had to sign back in! 

Jeroen posted it to facebook. 

it was a great weekend. cant believe it was that long ago. I suspect its James Wood behind the camera,  Alan

  • Like 1

Onen Hag Ol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/3/2023 at 2:28 PM, Alan Longmire said:

Probably so, Josh, thanks!  And good to see you're still up and about!  

 

Sorry for utterly hijacking your thread, Jeroen...:lol:

For great memories like that you are welcome too. It is related though, since I did the seax lecture then, and I believe I brought this seax with me in unfinished state. So it's still on topic ;)

  • Like 2

Jeroen Zuiderwijk

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/barbarianmetalworking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Yesterday I started on stitching the sheath. I'm using a zigzag stitch, which was also used on the Groningen sheath(s). I yet have to figure out how to do this correctly. At least the way I'm doing it is certainly not the way to go. I punched the holes on the front side only, and started stitching the thread at about 45 degrees, and then back through the same hole at 45 degrees to the other side. At least that's the intention. 

 

But getting the needle to exit exactly where I want is a real challenge. On the back side, it's a total mess, certainly the first 10 stitches, which are between 2cm and 2mm apart. But like everything I make, I consider this a practice piece to learn from. Mistakes are part of the process. On the front side, I just keep poking the needle until it exits the pre-punched holes (or right next to it). There has to be an easier way to do this. Next time I will punch the holes on both flaps at 45 degrees and stitch before gluing the flaps. At least then any mismatch will be hidden on the inside. 

 

Anyway, it's an interesting stitching pattern, that I haven't seen anyone else doing. Does anyone else have experience with it?

20230801_225725.jpg

Jeroen Zuiderwijk

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/barbarianmetalworking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have stitched leather a variety of ways, but that isn't one of them. 

If I understand the stitch pattern correctly. there should be a series of double holes on each side of the seam, and these hole locations are offset from one another side to side..  So, for example, if on side A you have a series of hole locations , each location has two holes spaced 3 mm apart, (center to center), and the next set of holes is centered 1 cm away from the last set of holes, the holes on side B would be spaced the same, but side B locations are in the middle of the Side A locations. At least that's what I see looking at the first panel in your diagrams.

 

Side A Holes x      x  x       x  x       x  x

Side B holes  x  x        x  x       x  x

 

The last panel on your diagram doesn't look like that though. That panel looks more like the last hole in the pair on one side lines up with the first hole in a pair on the other side. So there would be one stitch straight across and the next one at a sharp angle.

 

Side A holes     x      x  x      x  x      x  x

Side B holes     x  x      x  x      x  x      x  x

 

In both hole patterns, the stitch process is this:

The first two holes line up across the seam. The thread enters on side A at the first hole and goes straight across through the first hole in side B.

Back through the second hole in side B on a 45* angle through the second hole in side A.

Over the top through the third hole in side A. Straight across through the third hole in Side B.

Repeat process

Edited by Joshua States

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Joshua States said:

In both hole patterns, the stitch process is this:

The first two holes line up across the seam. The thread enters on side A at the first hole and goes straight across through the first hole in side B.

Back through the second hole in side B on a 45* angle through the second hole in side A.

Over the top through the third hole in side A. Straight across through the third hole in Side B.

Repeat process

On the original sheath(s) it's just one hole or slit on the surface, rather then two. And the row on the other side is staggered with regards to the first side. You don't need the second holes if you do 45 degree angles, you can use the same hole to go back. I did end up using two holes occasionally, but that's simply because the needle exited next to the pre punched slits. 

42782812_1908057992606863_4677739419984199680_n.jpg

Jeroen Zuiderwijk

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/barbarianmetalworking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not understanding that at all. If you go back through the same hole you just came through, doesn't the stich fail?

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it would make sense to me that going back through the same hole, regardless of the angle made, the stitch cannot stay on the side you just came out of.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a bit confused as well. I've been trying to make sense of how this sheath is stitched to try and replicate it, but haven't quite gotten there. When you used a single hole, how do you keep the thread loop from pulling through? Does each "slit" branch into two "tunnels" in the leather?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Aiden CC said:

Does each "slit" branch into two "tunnels" in the leather?

 

Yep, that's what's happening.  The needle comes through at a 45 degree angle. Then it goes back in at the opposite 45 degree angle, leaving what looks like a dot of thread on that surface.

 

I've never done it, though.  I'd think you'd need a glovers' needle or similar triangular awl-pointed needle to do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

I've never done it, though.  I'd think you'd need a glovers' needle or similar triangular awl-pointed needle to do it.

Those I have! And you can too....

Straight Leather Needles for Leather Working (3riversarchery.com)

or buy aenough to last a lifetime

Size 0, C.S Osborne 3 Cornered Point Glover Needle, #T-518-0 (weaverleathersupply.com)

 

  • Like 1

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've applied the decoration based on one of the Groningen sheath finds (Usquert). Quality is a bit meh due to f.e. the waviness of the lines. Next time lines first, then stitching holes, stitch and then glue the flaps together. I also had to do a bit of guess work on the snake patterns. And since had a longer panel left near the tip, I had to be a bit creative with how to fill it in. It's alright as a practice piece I guess. And since I rarely actually get around to make sheaths or scabbards as this is generally the plan, but never done, I'm happy I got this far. Now I need to seal it. I'm questioning whether to use grease or wax. Wax would be better, keeping the leather more stiff. But I did a practice piece, and it got so dark that it hid the patters almost entirely. Of course I can fill the patterns in like the The St Cuthbert Gospel, but hmm... And I need to apply rivets and suspension. And for that I need to make rivets, and for that I need to make rivet heading tools. 

20230806_214611.jpg

20230806_214634.jpg

20230806_214705.jpg

20230806_214712.jpg

20230806_214742.jpg

  • Like 3

Jeroen Zuiderwijk

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/barbarianmetalworking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that turned out great, it really looks like a museum piece.

I had always believed that seax sheaths covered most of the handle, but I might be wrong on that for this type of knife.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/14/2023 at 1:07 AM, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

I had always believed that seax sheaths covered most of the handle,

I have wondered about that myself. I always thought that would make it difficult to draw the knife in a hurry when needed.

A little more handle showing out of the sheath makes it easier.

Then there are those that have a ring or a lanyard hole in the pommel. That makes it easier to draw quickly if the handle is deeply covered.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/14/2023 at 10:07 AM, Pieter-Paul Derks said:

Now that turned out great, it really looks like a museum piece.

I had always believed that seax sheaths covered most of the handle, but I might be wrong on that for this type of knife.

That's the case for later broken back style seaxes. Earlier ones usually had only part of the hilt covered.

  • Like 1

Jeroen Zuiderwijk

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/barbarianmetalworking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

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!

P1010532.JPG

P1010531.JPG

P1010526.JPG

P1010533.JPG

  • Like 4

Jeroen Zuiderwijk

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/barbarianmetalworking

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice job! I've been meaning to try making my own round rivets for a while, but haven't ever gotten around to it. I will say that having made and used some of the larger flat headed rivets, they also have a tendency to come out a bit wonky.

 

One thing that helps with round rivet heads is to make a block with a divot to hold the head on the anvil. I use a copper plate that I put dents in with a series of dome headed punches. You get a lot of control over the contact that way. Once the rivet is started, I also like to tilt the sheath and rotate how it is tilted in a circle as I go. One last thing is I found it helpful to grind/file off any work hardening at the end of the rivet shank. I found that riveting the edge made by wire cutters didn't always work out well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perfectly imperfect. B)  The stitching is beyond anything I can do, but I will add to Aiden's rivet tips that I find it helps to keep the rivet as short as possible or it will go wonky no matter what.  I have also started using a much smaller hammer with much lighter blows.  This will expand the head without bending the shaft.  I went from using a 12 ounce/340g hammer to a 30g jeweler's hammer, tapping rapidly.  For nonferrous only, of course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I would add that the shank end should be as perpendicular and flat as you can get it…… I agree with Alan about a small hammer ….and I would use a flat ended punch that you can press flat  on to the rivet…… the first blow is the most important so using a punch enables you get every thing lined up before hitting it with the hammer…..it makes hitting the end of the rivet  just right with  the hammer the first time a little less in need of skill and luck……use a piece of flat stock the thickness of the length of the shank and drill a perpendicular hole the size of the wire you are using ….. insert the rivet and file it …..then you will have rivets all the same length and square on the end…..

 

and congrats on finishing it…… Nice!!!   I think you did an amazing job for a learning project…. And your attitude about perfection is a good one to hold i think…… 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...