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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > A Albion with a piece of codDIY Project Reply to topic
 
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Nils Anderssen




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Location: Drammen, Norway
Posts: 61
PostPosted: Tue 20 Mar, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: A Albion with a piece of cod         Reply with quote

A couple of years ago a friend of mine bought a Albion Wallingford and has been using it every week since. Naturally this has left some where and tear, after all it has been used in the warm summers, rainy falls and freezing snowy winters... from - 20 to + 30 degrees. So the skin on the grip needed some attention and I decided to do something about this... so I go his sword without telling him my plans and removed the skin on the grip.

Hugely inspired by our bad sense of humor I decided to cover the grip with cod skin dyed in blue similar to the color you would get from woad... or urin (commonly used by the sami people). Here is the result:



When I handed it to him his first reaction was WTF... followed by loads of laughter and a big smile Happy

Although this was a prank I kind of liked the pattern from the skin and the feeling it gave to the sword... almost Asiatic somehow (shark skin on katanas?). I do not know if the skin from fish was used for anything during the viking age and have not done any research on it either, but I would not be surprised.

If you know anything the usage of fish skin in the viking age please shout Happy

It was fun to make a grip from something else than just calf skin or bare wood which I normally use. It seems fairly strong and suited for the purpose.

I would also like to add that this is one of the best best blunt production re-enactment swords that I have ever handled and can highly recommend it to anyone... with or without cod skin Wink

Now off to make that codpiece...
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Peter Johnsson




PostPosted: Tue 20 Mar, 2012 2:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I *Like* it!

Surprised Laughing Out Loud Cool

Some time ago I was looking into using fish skin (salmon) for the scabbard of a sword. Never got around to do that, but now I really feel inspired.
-Beautiful :-)

I shall return to fish skin with renewed interest. The effect is even better than I assumed.
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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Mar, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Save a cod, cod peace must be acheived!


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codpeace.jpg

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Julien M




PostPosted: Wed 21 Mar, 2012 4:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's the most unexpected thing I've seen for a while!

I have to say it works well and I find the result improbable yet aesthtically very pleasing.

I would not have a clue how to handle such a material though...isn't fish skin very brittle when dried? How stong is the grip such as it is? Will it easily tear? Does it take sewing without tearing? Forming raisers must have been a challenge as well.

And silly question...is there a smell to it?

This would look fantastic on a fantasy piece.

Great job anyway and again interesting approach!

J
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Scott Woodruff




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Mar, 2012 8:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nils, I love it! I have long toyed around with the idea of using some sort of fish skin on a viking sword. It seems like at some point I heard something about some sort of fish skin being used on European swords (Scottish? Scandinavian?) but I can not find any good references. Somehow, fish skin just seems right to me for a Scandinavian sword. I too would love some more info on what it was like to work with fish-skin and how you were able to achieve such beautiful results with this unusual material. On a tangent, how about a birch-bark grip on a Scandinavian sword? And didn't I recently see a beautiful Rus-style type Z with snake-skin grip on myArmoury?
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Mar, 2012 11:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've had carp skin in my shop, which I would consider for a bill fold or wallet. Too coarse for a sword grip.

I think salmon or trout skin, properly tanned, might make a good grip. Certainly sharkskin was considered so in the 19thC. Leather is the preserved skin of some animal. I've been offered frog and snakeskin for tannery very often. Apparently its easier to come by than to tan.
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Nils Anderssen




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Mar, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi,

Thanks a lot guys Happy Sorry for the late answer.

Peter: Nice to be able to inspire you for once... it is usually the other way around Wink I am looking forward to the result Happy There are so many interesting colours and patterns to choose from... and loads of design traps to fall into as well...
A scabbard where the "end fin" off the fish is the tip flapping about, the two fins about where you attach the belt and the mouth forming the opening to the blade... I would love to see that :P

Julien: It handled about the same as regular skin and was fairly thin... I guess about 0.5 m and could be stretched a bit.. I just treated it as I normally do with calf/goat skin and glued it onto the grip while it was wet/moist. The raisers are left from the Albion version of the grip and is just a thread run twice around the grip. I tried to treat it with the same kind of fat as I use on the calf/goat grips, but it didn't do anything.

I am not sure exactly how strong the grip is, but I will find out in the next couple of months. I think it is tougher than what you would expect from regular skin of that thickness. This might also have been because of the tanning process that I don't have any details on.

It has a faint smell if you stick your nose close to it, but nothing that you will notice. Apparently it taste fish if you lick it... but I have not tried :P

Scott Woodruff: Thanks Happy I have no references on any historical use of fish skin from the viking age, but I must admit that I have not searched for them either. I am in the process of hunting down some clever people that might give some more information. It would also be nice to know how well fish skin is preserved over time. Rawhide for example despairs really fast and is therefore rarely found. I don't think that birch-bark will work well on a sword grip... sweat, rapid changes in temperature etc and is fairly brittle compared to skin... but I might be wrong Wink
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Johan S. Moen




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Mar, 2012 11:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nils Anderssen wrote:


I am not sure exactly how strong the grip is, but I will find out in the next couple of months. I think it is tougher than what you would expect from regular skin of that thickness. This might also have been because of the tanning process that I don't have any details on.

It has a faint smell if you stick your nose close to it, but nothing that you will notice. Apparently it taste fish if you lick it... but I have not tried :P

Scott Woodruff: Thanks Happy I have no references on any historical use of fish skin from the viking age, but I must admit that I have not searched for them either. I am in the process of hunting down some clever people that might give some more information. It would also be nice to know how well fish skin is preserved over time. Rawhide for example despairs really fast and is therefore rarely found. I don't think that birch-bark will work well on a sword grip... sweat, rapid changes in temperature etc and is fairly brittle compared to skin... but I might be wrong Wink


I've seen quite a bit of documentation on the use of fish skin in more modern times, namely during WW2 in Norway when we used it, among other things, as a leather-substitute for making shoes. As far as i recall, it didn't hold up very well on average. I think the abrasion resistance should be quite good, but that it would have somewhat poor tear resistance, especially if dried out.

Untanned fish skin decomposes very quickly. Somehow, I don't think the tanning process is going to do wonders for its durability(though leaving it better off than if untanned), especially not when we're talking hundreds of years buried in the soil. Maybe if the scales survive decomposition long enough one would find impressions of them on other organic material though.

Birch bark, when prepared properly, can be quite flexible, springy and tough stuff. But it would probably have to be oiled fairly regurarly to prevent cracking, especially if exposed to sweat. Seems somewhat pointless to use it when you could just leave the wooden core exposed though.

Johan
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Robert Rytel




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Location: Pittsburgh
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Mar, 2012 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Possibly just some artistic license, but Jack Whyte put a fish skin grip on Excalibur...
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