Winter 2016-17: Making a knife sheath inspired by 14th century examples has graciously provided this space for the Middle Earth Reenactment Society for purposes of archiving/presenting their newsletter, and to keep our community informed on Society-specific happenings.

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Winter 2016-17: Making a knife sheath inspired by 14th century examples

Post by caedmon »


Caedmon, I like the idea of wooden lasts. I don't know if I have that much patience, but it does seem a wiser idea.
My (vague) memory is that a lot of medieval sheaths were two layers of thinner leather - I wonder if the same would be true in our context? Not that I'm inclined to remake anything.



Re: the wooden last, I didn't go into it in particular dept but I use the wooden last for 3 reasons:

1. I rusted a new Cushman* when I didn't make a perfect seal with saran-wrap and tape.
2. The last allows a more precise end product when making an asymmetrical sheath.
3. It's really useful if you start cranking out multiple knives of the same pattern.

As for multi-layer sheaths, they are absolutely attested in the archaeological record, but I have doubts about their commonness. I only have one source, so these doubts are just that.

From the amount of time and illustrations in K&S, you would think that they were common. But of the 120 sheaths depicted, only 16 were multi-layered. Of those, most (12?) were for multiple knives. K&S hypothesizes that, for some of the others, the inner lining was used to keep a hat.

As for our context, that's a good question. I haven't made a multi-knife sheath yet, but have one planned. Aragorn's movie scabbard had an integral by-knife which could have been made like the single sword scabbard in K&S ( but I believe it was actually wood core).

* Chris Cushman is an Alaskan bladesmith of Elleth and my acquaintance.
-Jack Horner

Impression: Boater Wesman ( Balku'npâ Adúnerama ) bronze founder living in Archet, Breelander of mixed dúnedain descent. c. 3017
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Re: Winter 2016-17: Making a knife sheath inspired by 14th century examples

Post by Elleth »

double layer - thanks for clearing that up!
I'd read about the technique in K&S, but must have missed the part about relative commonality. I'd been assuming it was a resource availability issue, glad to be corrected.
I certainly like the single layer technique: much easier. :)

Cushman knife - oh no! I hope it cleaned up okay!
is he still doing those rustic blades for faire?

Oh - for those who don't know what book we're talking about, it's this:
Knives and Scabbards (Medieval Finds from Excavations in London)
Persona: Aerlinneth, Dúnedain of Amon Lendel c. TA 3010.
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