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  DBK - Scabbard, Leather Care & Maintenance

With proper care & maintenance your DBK scabbard & leatherwork will last you many generations to come. Here are a few simple guidelines to follow in order to best maintain your scabbard and keep it performing just the same as the day you got it.

  • DBK scabbards are built using the finest craftsmanship & utmost care, and for each scabbard we build we can be proud to say they're built to last. We use nothing but premium materials, including the highest quality leather & wood to assure your build will last for generations. However, the build is made of the natural materials wood & leather. Each of which over time are susceptible to wear & tear, mother nature, and natural aging.

  • Our scabbards are designed with wool lining. To properly sheathe your sword into your DBK scabbard, slide the blade in so that the edge of the blade rides along the inside edge. This is to compensate for the wool lining and to prevent the tip of the blade from catching the wool. In the event you feel the blade tip catching the wool, stop and pull back slightly and re-adjust the angle of slide. Often times, it is just the tip catching the wool at an odd angle. After only a few tries you will become quite proficient at sheathing the blade.

  • Water & scabbards don't mix well. If it's raining, expect some changes in the leather & potentially the wood core. Some DBK scabbard's use extensive coloring techniques that will probably be ruined if exposed to wet weather or the like. Also, the core is lacquered, but too much moisture could eventually soak it causing it to swell and change the fit. If your scabbard is to be exposed to the rain, consult us before construction begins so that it can be built to hold up as well as possible given the circumstances.

  • Never slide a wet blade inside the scabbard. You're likely to ruin the fit, and your blade will rust. In the event the inside of your core becomes exposed to moisture, keep your blade out for 48 hours or more to allow your core to dry. Historically, scabbards were never made as form fitting as modern day tastes, so the fit is very sensitive to moisture, as wood shrinks & swells just from humidity, even elevation can play a part along with temperature.

  • Don't expose your scabbard to high heat while the scabbard is still new (within 30 days). In other word's don't store a scabbard in a car trunk on a hot day for example, as this could cause the glue holding the wood slats together to soften. This is especially important on newer scabbards. As the glue get's older it becomes more hardened and less likely to do this without cause for concern.

  • Don't slide an overly oiled blade inside the core. Some oil is good, as it keep's the blade protected. Too much oiling will eventually over-saturate the wool causing a poor fit, and possibly saturate the core causing swelling.

  • Of course, please remember to oil your chape. It will rust otherwise. If it's blued for the appearance of being aged, use a machine oil like 3-in-1, as an oil like break-free will slowly remove the bluing.


Leather Care -

Leather is exactly like your skin. You can feel when it's dry. You want to condition a leather before it begins to crack. Do this when a leather starts to feel dry.

(The following process takes some time and practice. Plan on 3 to 5 days minimum to treat your scabbard. The oils need time to pass through the finish and saturate the leather. During this time the oil will cause your scabbard to look wet, and also potentially cause color transfer if rubbed.)

There are three products I recommend for conditioning your leather products, two of which are leather conditioners, and a spray on finisher (Fiebings Leather Sheen is my preference). Find a good leather conditioner or mink oil (my preference), and lightly saturate a rag with it. Wipe this on lightly as using too much will over-saturate your leather, and in some cases it will start to remove the finish on the scabbard or belt. If it starts to do this, some scabbard's have some 2-tone / aging coloring techniques that could start to smear. Your leather will darken a tad after applying this, but should return to normal after 24-48 hours. After 2 days from application, take a dry rag and wipe down the scabbard/belts to remove any excess oil. After another 24 hours, take a clean 'white' rag and wipe your scabbard to detect any areas that rub off color and might need some finish applied. A product I have great success with for keeping leather moist, is Fiebing's Mink Oil, though this product can darken a lighter leather over time. What you're trying to do with conditioner is keep a leather from cracking and maintain it's flexibility. A leather mink oil or conditioner will keep a leather moist like your skin, and should prevent cracking. Another option is Fiebings 'Aussie' leather conditioner, which has a beeswax in it which helps with water resistance. It has a longer cure time, but the end result is nice. The problem with 'paste' or 'gel' conditioning on 'tooled' leather is that the paste or gel can get stuck in the crevices and dry white or cream colored. So minimize rubbing any of it into the creviced 'tooled' areas.

For a leather that is 'rubbing' color onto skin or clothing, use a leather finishing spray like "Fiebing's Leather Sheen" after oiling/conditioning as this will help keep the belt from rubbing color after conditioning the leather. One light coat should do it. When applying, if it's building up (looking wet), you're probably spraying too close or too much. Hold the can back 12 to 15 inches and keep the can moving. You essentially want to create a 'mist' like application. It's a good idea to experiment using any product on a test piece to learn it's best usage. Another product type to consider is a leather water resistance spray to help prevent water damage. I like to use "Dr. Jackson's Water Protector".

Essentially, I'd plan on doing this once a year depending on use, maybe less, maybe more. This depends on where you live and how you treat your scabbard. Condition first, seal second. A light coat of both. You can use a hand cloth after the finish has completely dried to give the finished sheen a buffed look so that it isn't too shiny.

Also, some scabbard's are ordered with an 'aged' appearance. Conditioning the leather will make the leather look somewhat new again, changing the look to 'well taken care of'. If aged is still your desire, try only conditioning the areas that bend the most to keep the leather from cracking.

If you enjoy my work, and feel like giving something to help support my art, it would be very much appreciated. A large portion of donated funds goes towards research, materials, and also give me more financial flexibility to experiment and learn new techniques.






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