Jump to content

Sword Guard Repairs


Recommended Posts

Repairing a Sword Guard

 

When I am running the shop I like to have several projects on the go at one time when possible.  Many times I find myself with all of the projects that absolutely must be completed as soon as possible in a stage where everything is “in clamps†waiting for the glue to set up.  It is during these “down times†that I will tackle some repairs to the items that need it from the collection.

 

Today I am showing how I repaired the bent hand guard on a pattern 1895 Infantry Officer’s Sword.  A common injury to swords stored in their scabbards often occurs when the sword is moved from place to place by people unfamiliar with edged weapons.  The sword is either carried or passed to another person with the grip downward allowing it to slip from the scabbard and bending the guard upon striking a hard object, usually near the narrow part of the guard near the grip.

 

The first photo shows the damage.  While not drastic it does distract from the overall appearance of the sword and should be repaired.

 

 

The first thing you will need to do is to determine the proper curvature of the guard in its undamaged state.  Once you have done this take a hardwood block and cut that curve so you have something close as possible to the correct shape to bend the guard to.  You will also need a large hardwood dowel cut in half which will be used to force the guard into the curved piece.  As you can see in the photos below you will need to cut the hardwood block, in this case white oak, so that the clamp you will be using isn’t going to slip off the block when you start to tighten it down.  Set the hardwood dowel aside for now.  Use a screw clamp and not one of the quick-clamps you may have seen in some of my other “how-to†posts because you need lots of pressure to bend the metal and quick-clamps will not do as good a job (and they “kill†your wrists when trying to squeeze them hard enough).  The jaws of the clamp should have protectors on them to prevent damage to the sword guard.

 

 

 

This will bring the guard close to the correct shape.  Next re-clamp using the ½ dowel which will bring the metal further into the curvature of the hardwood block.  Note that the sword will have to be secured to the table of workbench as in this case.  I was able to use the bench dogs or vise clamp pins to secure the sword handle in place.  My “dogs†are made of red oak and will not scratch the sword, do not use steel dogs...for anything...ever.  If you can’t find wooden bench dogs then make your own; you’ll thank me later.  Most people will not have a workbench and may only have a work table so you can use blocks clamped to the table to hold the sword as well.  You’ll notice I’ve also used a large block clamped to the bench at the back of the sword in the photo that serves to hold the sword in place. 

 

Tighten the clamp again using the wooden ½ dowel as shown to bring the guard to its correct shape.

 

 

 

You should now be finished and your guard should also be back to near original condition, or as original as you can get it.  If it needs further “bending†you will have to cut the curve of the hardwood block a bit deeper and using the ½ dowel bend the guard using the clamp and see if that is enough.  I was happy with the way mine turned out and I hope you will try some repairs of your own as it greatly increases the overall appearance, the collectability of the item and with it the value.

 

 

 

Happy restorations.

Brian

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting.  One question - not to sharp shoot or second guess - but I am wondering: Do you know how this damage to this particular sword occurred? A clumsy dealer or collector?

 

I am thinking that I wouldn't attempt this unless I was sure it was something like one of those scenarios.  What if the damage occurred in combat or is otherwise "original" versus modern day clumsiness?  You might not know that...or even care, but I'm just playing a devil's advocate here...

 

 

 

(PS: As much as I play devil's advocate to your posts, you might wonder if your wife hasn't put me up to it... :whistle: )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The sword has never seen combat as it has never been sharpened even though it is a Geo.V era sword.  These had the bumb-bell shaped blade and only the last 4 inches would have been sharpened but this one was not and was no doubt used for dress parads etc.

 

This type of damage is common to mis-handling by either the owner's heirs or a careless dealer.  Due to the weight of the sword if it is held by the scabbard upside down and is bumped the guard can be damaged if it strikes something hard. This type of damage is not what you would normally find if used in battle, that and the short time swords were still used during the First World War makes this likely damage through carelessness.

 

Hmm, I never thought of you being put up to your harassment by my wife.  You are now on the "watch list" and I'll assign a staffer for the Home Office to monitor your communications.  Unlike your FBI we enjoy immunity from prosecution for unapproved surveillance, mainly because we are so secret we don't exist...or do we. :ninja:

 

Regards

Brian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Hmm, I never thought of you being put up to your harassment by my wife.  You are now on the "watch list" and I'll assign a staffer for the Home Office to monitor your communications.  Unlike your FBI we enjoy immunity from prosecution for unapproved surveillance, mainly because we are so secret we don't exist...or do we. :ninja:

 

Regards

Brian

 

I always figured those Canadian Geese were doing something more than simply crapping in my yard. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brian - some excellent help and advice  -  this type of Post is what makes GMIC so important a resource for it's members.

 

I have occasionally seen swords with this sort of damage  -  as you say, usually when the sword is badly held and the

blade slips out.  Others I have seen have been caused by vehicles running over them in bivouacs etc..   The information you

give is easy to follow , but having said that you need to have a familiarity with tools  -  I'm not even allowed near light bulbs..... 

 

I hope your monitoring of Rick is succesful  -  you might persuade him to seek asylum in Russia  -  although I hope not.   Mervyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always figured those Canadian Geese were doing something more than simply crapping in my yard. 

Actually those are some of the drones we have developed.  We offered them to the U.S. Government for trials in the Middle East but they were not all that successful.  I suppose making then all look like either a Canada Goose of a Northern Loon may have been a slinght error. :blush:

 

Back to the drawing board.

Brian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Blog Comments

    • As a theology student my professor, a much published former Naval chaplain, set us an essay, saying that if we could answer that successfully we would be guaranteed  a good degree "Which of the gospel writers was the biggest liar, discuss."   I got a good mark, but  don't want to be burned for heresy.   P
    • As my father used to say: "Tain't so much Pappy's a liar - he just remembers big."  
    • Brian: First, let me say that I always enjoy reading your blog and your "spot on" comments.  Another fine topic with such a broad expansion into so many different facets.  I had watched this a week or two ago and when reading your blog, it reminded me of this great quote.   There is a great video on the origins of "Who was Murphy in Murphy's Law"   Anyway, about mid way through this video, there is this great quote and I think it sums it up quite well to your statem
    • I've received word from the Curator that she has permission to re-open this summer.   We're already making plans for a November event at the Museum.   Michael
    • I recall I did the same on hot days at Old Fort York back in 1973-74 - wool uniforms, and at 90F they would let you take your backpack off.   Michael
×
×
  • Create New...