Can you make a sword to fit a scabbard?

Today we will look at a project that we recently completed that is one of the tougher challenges for a sword maker, Crafting a sword to fit an existing scabbard. The normal process is to make the scabbard to fit the blade but here we were working from the scabbard to hold the sword. The customer had the dimensions and style he wanted and asked us to have the sword work in the scabbard he already had. 

When we received the scabbard we started to rough the blade to similar dimensions to his request and when we where close started to check the fit. This went through many rounds of test and grind and is time consuming. But it's the only way to zero in on a decent fit to the scabbard. The process included working the blade down in size with progressively finer grits and ending up with a blade that fits and is polished.


Longsword hilt custom

We think it turned out pretty well. The sword is very nimble in the hands and feels great. The hexagonal faceted pommel is worked on the hub face with a carved ouroboros or snake eating its tail. The guard is gently arced forward towards the tip and the fuller on the blade is about a third of its length. This all came together with a long grip with four risers and custom dyed leather.

Here are the dimensions on the finished sword as per the customers outline.

Sword Specs:

OL: 47.5"

BL: 35"

COG: 3.25"

Wt: 3.53 lbs 1602 gr


Longsword overall
 Custom Longsword
The video below shows some of the details of this sword and the scabbard and how they work together. It was a bit of a challenging project and one we could not have done without the scabbard in hand. Our custom projects like this are a fun part of our job but also help us keep our skills and talents honed sharp :-) 
You can see other custom projects we have done on our website here and here. If you are interested in this type of order we would be happy to discuss the options though our custom queue is quite long at the moment.


divider swords

Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography.  He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985

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