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Brian Wolfe

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Everything posted by Brian Wolfe

  1. Before we talk about the bracket that will support the blade we should address a potential danger to the item being displayed. The danger is electrolysis. This is a chemical/electrical reaction between two pieces of metal that are in contact. Plumbing pipes made of copper, when in contact with steel brackets will start to experience corrosion due to this phenomenon and is prevented by using rubber gaskets or sleeves between the two metals. To prevent this from happening in the case of displaying metal weapons on metal brackets I always line the bracket with felt. I also do this with the wooden gun-rack style sword mounts I use in case there is any chemical reaction between the steel and the clear finish I use on the wood. I always wax my sword blades and scabbards but better safe than sorry when it come to any potential corrosion. A few drops of super glue will stick the felt to the metal bracket. I use a lot of different CA glues, two part epoxy and super glues as well as the usual wood glue and have found that the Ultra Gel is the easiest to use as it is not too fluid like many CA (Cyanoacrylate) glues. Be careful when using any CA or super glue as most produce a great deal of heat and when in contact with skin will burn. Yes, I have glued my fingers together on occasion, usually I glue things like felt to the side of my hand but I use latex gloves when working with the stronger glues. The most dangerous will actually “smoke” when used on wood as they produce so much heat that the moisture in the wood turns to steam. Burns of this type are extremely severe and the pain is unbelievable. If you do stick something to your fingers don’t try to tear the item off or your fingers apart, skin will rip away from your fingers unbelievably easily. Use a product such as Super Solvent, which is actually acetone to dissolve the glue. For the final bracket that will hold the blade you will need to cut the bracket still in the package (they come in pairs); just estimate the length you will need. Use a pair of side cutters to score the bracket and then bend the metal back and forth until it breaks off. It will not take too long to break the bracket as it is very soft metal. You want to make a more or less lightning bolt shape. Line this with the felt as well. Now you are ready to mount the specimen.
  2. The next step is to flatten out the bracket but not the ends where the screw holes are located. I find that gripping the bracket with the locking pliers just ahead of there “tabs” will keep them in line as you straighten out the rest of the bracket. This is important otherwise the two ends with the screw holes will not be on the same plane making installation difficult if not impossible. Next I placed the straightened out bracket on the piece of wood that in this case was ¾ of an inch thick which was exactly the same width as the edged weapon’s hand guard where it would be supported. Because you are working by hand and not with machine shop precision tools you will find that the bend, once made will be wider than the ¾ inches needed (in this case) but do not worry as I have found that this works to your advantage. I placed a second piece of wood over the straightened bracket and clamped this together as it is impossible to hold the bracket down while trying to bend it as 90° which is what you will need. This produces your first bracket of the two you will need. The photo shows the straightened bracket protruding from between the two pieces of wood. Use the hammer to lightly tap the exposed bracket downward. I have shown the shape of the finished bent bracket next to the original resting on the top surface of the anvil so you can better understand what I am saying.
  3. Once you have a few bayonets, daggers, short swords etc. You will most likely want to display them, not just for yourself but so you can bore your wife’s friends out of their little minds. Just how to get these treasures (and they are treasures) up on the wall becomes a problem. I have never liked hanging such items from hooks but will admit that I have done so and at times that seemed to be the best, if not only, answer to the problem. I have always liked the way museums displayed their edged weapons and years ago came up with my own solution. For my heaver swords that are in cabinets I have made what would best be described as “gun rack-style” mounts. However the following is a tutorial on how I mount edged weapons to a flat surface, such as a wall or in this case the inside of the side of a cabinet. I will post this in stages as the forum will not allow photos within the text so it will be best if I make several posts with the photos at the end of each step. You will need to purchase café rod brackets which can be found at just about any hardware store. These are made of soft steel with brass plating and are very easy to bend, however once screwed to the wall they become quite ridged and will hold quite a bit of weight. I would hesitate to display a full size sword on these though I have never tried. The tools you will need are minimal, a pair of locking pliers or in this case Vice-grips; the regular type, and a pair of needle-nose pliers would also be helpful. Any hard surface, NOT the kitchen counter top! I used my home-made anvil made from an old piece of rail road track. Now there was a project that I must say I almost regretted starting. But in the end, using an angle grinder and a blow-torch to make the bolt holes, I have a serviceable anvil. A hammer of any type and a couple of pieces of wood; I used pine even though in my shop hardwood is more common. The wood needs to be the thickness of the area near the weapon’s grip where you will support it on the wall. This is so that the piece you are making will fit the item you are mounting with the least bit of “playing around”.
  4. “It’s the Gospel”; a term meaning that something is beyond reproach, to be taken at face value, no questions asked. The Gospel also, of course, refers to a religious book and this is not the topic for debate today. We use the term, perhaps a bit liberally, to mean that any work, especially a work requiring research, is the definitive word on the subject. Here we are interested in military history and or collecting artefacts of historical military importance, at least important to the individual collector. In our search for information regarding our chosen areas of interest we might venture out and purchase a book or two or failing that refer to the Internet. Once we have such a book or information gleaned from the multitude of websites far too often we simply file that information away as fact, cold hard unshakeable fact. Accumulate enough of these factoids and you are an authority or expert on the subject; you might even decide to write these down and publish a book of your own, or post them a website or forum such as this one. Here’s a hypothetical problem, your research was flawed, for whatever reason you were incorrect about a fact, or two. Someone else reads your work and after a while felt they too would like to write a book and like a virus your error has been passed on, and on and on. As each new author researcher has taken your work as the definitive word on the subject, used your work, and those who followed you, to qualify their own work and now, the “virus” becomes pandemic. We read the work by author “Z” (to indicate author zero in 1966) and take his findings as correct as we might for Author “Y” (in 1975, revised edition in 1988) and then Author “X” (in 2003, 2010 and again in 2013) as we also purchased their books. I used the term “we” as I too tend to accept the works of researchers who then become authors. Why not, after all they have done the research and we (I) have simply taken the easy path and relied on their hard work. The problem was and still is that they all missed the research done in 1977 by another researcher. This is where I feel compelled to state that I am not criticising the work of any of the authors noted (or hinted at to be more accurate) as their work is for the most part completely on the mark. However, we need to remain sceptical and continue to ask questions and look for answers, not simply accept what others tell us is true. You cannot take anyone’s opinion either verbal of written as gospel. Well...except for mine of course. The sword I have managed to avoid to mention is the 1816 Baker Rifleman’s Sword which I will cover in a proper article later this winter in the section, “Let’s Talk British Swords”. I won’t go through the material found here again in the proper article but rather stick to the history of this very interesting and rare British sword. Regards Brian
  5. It looks authentic to my eyes. The naming looks correct, as to the Regiment, Lincolnshire would seem correct but there are members who would know more about that. Here in Canada the price would range around the $100. mark with the rank of Lance Corp being more desirable than a Private soldier. My price estimate is based on what I ask and get from these at the local shows where I sell medals. Mine are all with ribbons but these are cheap enough and easily purchased through eBay. I hope this helps. Regards Brian
  6. Hello Reinhard, Happy New Year to you as well and what a great post of your excellent collection to start the new year off on a high point. Many regards Brian
  7. Many thanks Andreas and Glenn. As soon as the holiday season is behind me (family Christmas on the 27th this year) I'll post the three new German additions to the sword collection. The one has a German made blade that was used on a Turkish sword that has their markings on the langet. Thank you once again. Regards Brian
  8. Hello Everyone, I was fortunate to have acquired three Imperial German swords lately, one made for use by the Ottoman Empire. These I will post at a later date. I was hoping that the membership could help me with the translation on one of the sword blades. I can figure out the easy part which states it was to a member of the Artillery Regiment No.9 but the rest is a mystery to me. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Regards Brian
  9. If it is glue any brand of mineral spirits should soften the glue and allow it to be gently removed. Even a paint thinner or turpentine should do the trick. Just be sure not the "scrub" it in any manner, scratches will completely ruin the piece. Please lets us know how you make out. Regards Brian
  10. Very nice grouping of sawbacked bayonets terrylee. Here is a photo of one of the rarest British swords and one that I recently acquired for my collection. This is a Pattern 1816 Baker Rifleman's Sword that is usually misidentified as a Pioneer or Artillery Privates hanger. I will go into the documentation supporting this identification in "Lets Talk British Swords" later when time permits. These were issued before the Baker Rifle was "fitted" for the familiar sword bayonet and when the Baker used with the then familiar socket bayonet,( I have two such Bakers in my collection), and it was decided that the rifleman needed a sidearm since a socket bayonet is of limited use when not attached to the firearm.. Regards Brian
  11. I wish I could help you out and can only add that this is one exceptional group. Don't give up on getting a response as I have seen members replying well after the initial post. Regards Brian
  12. That was quite interesting I had never heard of the hoaxer, thanks for adding to the story. Regards Brian
  13. Really? None was intended. I shall await your details. Regards and more than a little confused (happens more and more with age).😕 Brian
  14. Just when I was starting to doubt the health of this forum this post appeared, the item was identified and then the post took on a life of its own, so-to-speak. Just like in the past, it's good to see this sort of "sport" is not extinct. Now before my statement generates hate mail, I was just kidding about the health of the forum. Regards Brian
  15. Hello Dave, Your comment brought back memories of being firmly reminded that he or she was an "alleged offender"; the court will make any further determination. "Yes your worship" eyes down trying to look ever so humble, was the prescribed response. Ah the good old days. Regards Brian
  16. Hello Mossy

    I have received an email from a lady wanting to contact you regarding some ancestor research. Naturally I would not give out any of your contact information unless you authorised me to do so. If you are interested in helping her out let me know and I will forward your email address to her.

    Please let me know your current email address as it may have changed since your last information update. I see we have sammoss948@hotmail.com as you current address.

    Regards

    Brian

    .

     

  17. I can't help but wonder if this is a WWI era trench truncheon. I've seen similar in the past but this one has an especially interesting look to it. I hope others will weigh in on this post. Regards Brian
  18. An exceptional display, thanks for the photos. Full points to you. Regards Brian
  19. Hi Blackrose, Personally I have always stayed away from hooks. Not only do you run the chance of a reaction between the metal of the hook and the steel in the blade the item may be accidentally knocked off the hooks and require opening the display case to remount the item. This may not be a problem and I may not understand exactly what you are using for the display case. I have mounted daggers in shadowboxes and used light weight fishing line (6 lb / 2.7 kg) called Trilene. This is transparent and almost invisible. You can mount the items on a backing board "sewing" them on and then mount the backboard into the display. If you ever need to remove the items just take the back board out of the display and cut the line. Then simply remount them if needed later on. This has always worked for me and in several decades of collecting and mounting weapons for display and never been a problem. Let us know how you make out and if possible show us the results. I'm sure other members would also be interested. Good luck Regards Brian
  20. Great idea. I have used a ribbed boot tray with success in the past but this time I think the vegetation was wetter than normal and that was why I was surprised when the bag gave way. I try to time my weed pulling and shrub trimming to the weekend before the compost pickup on Tuesday, which is also every other week here where we live; in the case mentioned in the blog the bag had sat in the garage for an extra week, so I was totally to blame. The forum used to have a quite active "What's In Your Garden" section a few years ago which was interesting but seems to have run its course. Thanks for your comments. Regards Brian
  21. I Hate Gardening! Today, early in morning, I decided to get some long overdue gardening done. Specifically the removal of yucca bloom stems and young smoke trees growing where they are unwanted; they are a plague and I would not recommend them to anyone but the most dedicated gardener. I had a half filled garden waste bag that is of the type to be picked up by the garbage men for composting and decided to top that one off before starting new ones. It turned out that the stems of the yucca bloom spikes and the smoke trees had gotten too large for the small nippers so I went into the garage and retrieved the larger lobbers. So back to cutting up the heavy stems into small lengths that would fit the bag then using the nippers finishing off the flesher stems, placing both into the partially filled bag from earlier trimmings. The bag was pretty well filled to the recommended height so I decided to return it to the garage to await its transfer to the curb for pick up tomorrow morning. As I lifted the bag suddenly the weight was gone, nothing, no resistance to my arm muscles what-so-ever. A split second later I looked down to see a column of compressed vegetation the shape of the bag sitting there like some weird sculpture and me with the now paper bottomless cylinder still clutched in my hands. Within the next second gravity took over and the column disappeared leaving a pile of an indecipherable green mass of different species of weeds and leaves. The bottom of the bag, the "cul de sac" I suppose, had given way dumping its contents leaving me to relocate it into a new bag. OK, no need to call upon the wrath of Odin to fall upon all gardens, I just decided, for a change, to apply my favorite "stiff upper lip" British slogan from the War years, "Keep Calm and Carry On". Having finished with my retrieval of the detainees attempting an escape of their paper prison I proceeded to roll the lip of the full second bag in an attempt to close it somewhat. My efforts were met with a sudden ripping sound and upon looking down I saw that the end of a small branch, about the size of the lead pencil, had caused a rip to appear the width of the bag. Why we call them "lead" pencils is somewhat of a mystery as the rod in the middle of its wooden casing is actually graphite. There went my attempt to draw upon my British ancestry of stoicism and in its place language that would have made the roughest East End Londoner bush. In the end, I took a third bag and slipping it, much as if it were a boa constrictor, over the second bag top end in first making it ready for tomorrow's compost pick up. The surrounding elderly neighbours could heave a sigh of relief and were satisfied that they need not press the last number of 9-1-1 in order to call the proper authorities to deal with some demon possessed psychopath about to go on a rampage through everyone's flower gardens. Yes peace and tranquillity reigns supreme once again in our quiet little neighbourhood and the citizens, mind numbingly marking time until the end of their days, can sleep soundly in their beds this evening knowing that no one managed to summon Grendel; though history will argue that a serious attempt was made. As for me the rage has turned to the realization that I hate gardening and this afternoon I am going to the hardware store and purchase 50 gallons of the strongest vegetation killer I can find. Agent Orange, where are you when I need you! Bwahahaha. Regards Brian
  22. Hi Hashim, That is one beautiful medal indeed. Well done in finding one I can't begin to imagine how rare these must be. Thanks for sharing the image of your latest find, you made my day.. Regards Brian
  23. Hi Duncan, This could prove to be the most valuable information in the forum for some poor devil. Thanks for taking the time to alert us. Regards Brian
  24. Serious Problem Solved – For Now. It has been a while since I’ve written a blog and thought I should catch you up on News from the Home Office. I would like to first reference a couple of earlier blogs dealing with collecting, “Space: The Final Frontier” and “Why Collect – The Best Answer” as a lead-in to this entry. We discussed the problems of a collection outgrowing the space available and the reasons for collecting. Thanks goes out to Beau Newman for his comment under the blog, “Why Collect” and pointing out that collecting is a poor investment; a topic that ties well into what I am about to talk about. I don’t know about you but I used to have a habit, perhaps bad, depending on your point of view, where I would attend a show and not finding anything that I was looking for purchase something that “fit into the collection”. Let me explain. As an example when my main focus was British military medals and finding nothing new and exciting at a show I would purchase something like a brass tobacco/candy box that was given out to the troops in WWI at Christmas 1914; or another such box that was given out in 1900 to the troops in South Africa wishing them a Happy New Year during the Boer War. These are real examples but could have just as well been an artillery shell, bayonet or even an elephant goad or ankus. You’ve probably heard or even said yourself, “That would fit into the collection”. You can only do that so many times until people visiting your collection use the term “eclectic”, but not necessarily in the best way. The Victorians liked clutter, but organized clutter. Their dens and collection rooms were a menagerie of things natural and man-made and photos of such parlours demonstrates this well; just Google this under images to get the idea of what I mean. My wife insists I was born in the 1850s and never really left that era. I might agree with her in that my collection room and office are indeed a somewhat organized chaos, I like to say it is organized, or even selective, hording. Rest assured that I have read and researched the Victorian period and back as far as the George II era and have no delusions about wanting to have lived in those days. There are children back then that had lives so much harder than mine as to make my life seem like extreme luxury by comparison. Having said that, I see no issues with wanting to study what I will term as pre-Edwardian eras. My past addiction to making purchases that “fit in” started to fill my available space to beyond capacity. These I have often said were those, “What the Hell was I thinking?” purchases. I realised I needed to make a change in my thinking, a paradigm shift so-to-speak. To this end I called a couple of local antique dealers, pickers, if you will, to come over and see if there was anything that they might consider interesting enough to purchase. This is much like the television program “American Pickers” or the poorer cousin program “Canadian Pickers”. They come to your home and look through your collection and if something sparks their interest and is for sale they make an offer and after some negotiation a deal may made. If you have seen or even see re-runs of the program “Canadian Pickers” and are not Canadian please let me assure you that these two DO NOT exemplify what Canadians are like. Enough about them other than to say I do not respond well to rude and crude people! This initial purge of odds and ends rid the collection of the most unwanted items but still there existed too many collectables and themes to which I no longer desired to continue to add specimens. A couple of years past and I started to become very aware that I had to do something as the problem of space to house the collections simply had not been alleviated. Looking at options: Option One: Take over the guest room across the hall from the main collection room. That might work but where would the in-laws stay when they visited, solution: SOMEWHERE...ANY WHERE ELSE! That was starting to sound better and better all of the time (in my head). Of course that would also include our grandchildren as there would exist no spare room, so that was out of the question. Option 2: Sell off a sizeable portion of the collection. I almost threw up a little in my mouth just at the thoughts of this; however, as time went on and the problem just got worse (it never occurs to me to stop collecting) option 2 started to sound a lot more palatable. How to decide? Since the medals were housed in shallow drawers in several cabinets selling them off would not give me the needed wall space, especially considering that above each cabinet the wall space was already occupied. And that material is not up for consideration, for one reason or another. I thought about it and decided to apply something I had experienced years ago. Have you ever visited someone who lived in a house where the water contained an extreme amount of sulphur? If not allow me to say that it smells exactly like rotten eggs. I grew up on a farm so I have always assume everyone knows what rotten eggs smell like, the odour they add to natural gas smells like this. The people who live in houses where there is sulphur water get so used to it that washing in and drinking the water is no problem at all and they no longer actually detect the smell...they become “nose-blind”, to paraphrase a current television commercial for air freshener. We can also get so used to our surroundings that we no longer notice things like a messy garage or perhaps a storage room stuffed with odds and ends in boxes prompting us to keep that door closed for fear of a junk avalanche. Were there areas in the collection room where this applied; turns out that there was. The police headgear was the first to grab my attention. I really never looked at this display much anymore and usually when I did it was to dust off the hats and helmets. This was a good sized display and other than a few helmets that were gifts I felt I could part with them. On the opposite wall was another good sized display of modern firearms. I really like my British military musket collection (housed in another display that had originally been a wide closet and therefore has garnered the title of “The Musket Closet”. This display of modern weapons was situated in another former closet, a nine foot wide and 28 inch deep closet one of the many I had built in our daughters’ bedrooms, anticipating the day when they would hit their teen aged years and their wardrobes would explode, needing more space. While I dust, clean and re-wax my musket collection quite frequently I found that as time passed this became more of a chore when it came to the modern firearms. I called two dealers I have know for a long time, one who has several police collectors waiting for new items to become available through him and the other dealer who has a website and sells everything from muskets to land mines. I evaluated the two collections and decided on the price I would accept and made appointments for them to visit. I will admit that perhaps because I have known these two fellows for decades I was a bit “kind” with my expectations and both disagreed that I was too low on my estimates and offered well above my asking price. Perhaps they felt the same way toward me, being long term acquaintances, as this is a rare occurrence indeed when trying to sell to dealers. I finally had my space and lots of it. The office is now pretty much the police room with painted truncheons, tip-staves, headgear, lanterns and police swords. The collection room is now devoted mainly to Victorian and pre-Victorian items, after a small bit of renovation to the modern firearms area. Do I miss those items? No, not really, I think I was done with them and it was time they went to other collectors who would appreciate them a lot more. I have decided to let some medals and small odds and ends such as bayonets and police helmet badges go and will be setting up as a vendor at two different militaria shows in our area starting this fall. Of course one problem solved often results in a new issue. There were quite a few spaces to be filled in the new display area so some of the swords displayed will be “rotated out” as I upgrade and others are duplicates. OK, I’m really stretching things to call this a problem; perhaps a “happy results” to reducing the collection as a whole is more accurate. Collectors, like soldiers and police, are only happy when they are complaining. As to the idea of an investment, mentioned earlier. It is a poor investment concerning the return on the dollar, even when dealer/friends are involved. Here is something you will seldom here regarding “investing” in collectables. If we take $10,000.00 as a figure for example and invest that in true investments you will do better in the long run financially. However if one person, say you, takes that $10,000.00 and puts it in collectables and your neighbour spends his money on trips to some exotic locations then in ten or twenty years you both need a new roof on your house here’s the difference. You will be able to recoup at least a portion of your ten grand and after your roof has been repaired perhaps even be able to purchase some pots and pans to lend to your neighbour when it rains. If you want to use this angle the next time your hobby spending becomes an unwelcomed conversation between you and your spouse, just know that you are on your own. Your first mistake could have been taking my advice in the first place; my logic has a track record of being slightly flawed. Happy collecting. Regards Brian
  25. Hello Dave, I agree with Peter on the issue of the urban legend of "weighted" truncheons. A number of years ago, here on the forum, there was a proposed competition to produce a lead weighted truncheon using only hand tools. It was not too well received and I think I was the only one to complete the assignment. I was in contact with Mervyn through Skype quite frequently back then and we talked about the likelihood of such items being used in the UK and it was his opinion that this was never the case. Here in Canada the Ontario Provincial Police carried a weighted leather "sap" in the 1960s (?) but this was an issued item and not a modification of an existing piece of equipment. The sap was around 6 to 8 inches in length and fell out of use quite quickly, if memory serves me correctly. Good luck with the book. Regards Brian
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