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Mounting Your Bayonets, Daggers Etc.

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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”.




anvil photo.JPG

rod bracket.JPG

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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.



two blocks of wood.JPG

bracket on anvil.JPG

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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.


Super glue.JPG

blade bracket.JPG

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I should have mentioned earlier that you need to leave the felt that will cover the top screw on the main bracket without glue until you install the screw. Then glue the felt with a drop of glue on the top of the screw to cover it and protect the specimen.


This is where I should also remind you to read all of the instructions before you start.


Now all that is left is to mount your bayonet, knife, small sword etc. Mine is a Pattern 1895 Mk.II Bugler’s sword which is more the size of a large dagger. Here’s a small tip that you might not think of until it is too late. If you are working over a glass shelf as in this case place a piece of wood or a thin cardboard box (that was what I used) on the  shelf in case you drop a tool such as your hammer onto the glass. No need to explain why. I had also removed the sword display as past experience with renovations has taught that everything will get in the way so move it out before you start work. My next project for this cabinet will be to install LED strip lighting to the top inside. As you can see the room lights do not reach this area of the cabinet very well. I will try to remember to show before and after photos of that project when I get around to doing it.


I hope this encourages you to try some do it yourself projects in the future.









mounted sword.JPG

replaced sword mount.JPG

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Oops. In the past when I put together a tutorial I would take all of the photos ahead of time, while this time I was "winging it" as I wrote the piece. At the end of a long day I didn't notice that I had mounted the sword incorrectly.

The bracket at the grip end of the sword should have been behind the sword's langet to fully show off the bugle crest. The idea is always to show as much of the items as possible while hiding the support. I could also have trimmed the bracket on an angle to hide it even more but there are times when I have to say "enough already".

Below is a photo of how the mounted sword should have looked.

Sorry for the error.



remounted sword.JPG

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  • 1 month later...

Brian, after reading this thread, which gave me some incentive to get started.... I have just finished making up some display cabinets for some of the edged weaponry, that have been in boxes for years, to add to the uncased general awards cabinet.

thank goodness for those woodwork classes at school....


And on the other side of the room....




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That is very nice work, your wood shop teacher would be proud of you. I especially like the way the edged weapons stand proud of the backing material, the shadowing really brings them to life. Thanks for sharing your work not to mention your exceptional collection.




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