Progress today could have progressed much better. I spent a stupid amount of time this morning mucking about trying to charge the car – or rather finding a functioning charger – after struggling with the hide glue.
I’d made up the hide glue last night, using 12 parts water to 1 part hide, which seemed to work at the time. I left it outside to cool, which is probably where I went wrong – by the time I was trying to use it, it had the consistency of jelly, and was difficult to apply to the thin edge of the scabbard. I glued it up, but came back this morning to find that it really had not taken. I don’t think I was able to get enough glue into the joint, and it did not have the right consistency to soak in properly. Feeling frustrated and short of time, I glued it up using modern white glue instead.
This afternoon I went back to shape the wooden core, using a combination of a plane, a very old spoke shave, and sand paper, which went quite nicely. One thing I wish I had taken notice of, and did not spot until I was shaping it: the grain in the two halves runs in different directions, because I rotated one piece 180° after ripping the board. This meant that I had to keep changing direction while shaving, depending which side I was working on. The other slight annoyance was that it’s not an easy shape to clamp down to work on, and I wound up sitting on the bench holding it down with my butt. Pretty obviously I really need a shaving horse if I do more of these, so that’s another project to put on the list.
Having reheated the glue before going back down, it was a much better consistency when it came to putting on the linen cover, something akin to peanut butter. Mind you, it was also easier to apply because I was putting on quite a lot, adding a comfortable amount to the timber before stretching the linen on, and then sizing the linen as I continued to work it around, ensuring that there was a lot of glue impregnating the fibres. I will leave it overnight, then go back tomorrow and trim the linen in preparation to sorting out the leather cover, which hopefully I will be able to do in the comfort of an armchair in front of Netflix.