Getting dents out of a metal scabbard - any ideas?
Like many bayonet collectors if I see a loose scabbard I'll often pick it up just in case the right bayonet to fit such a scabbard turns up one day.
So, for a few months now I have had this metal 98/05 scabbard with a throat designed to take a sawback, and now I have a nice 98/05 sawback to go into it - except that there is a large dent on one side of the scabbard about 3-4 inches below the throat, and the bayonet won't go in (well, it might if I push it - but I don't want to scratch the blade!)...
I have seen somewhere (on this or another Forum) a WWI photo of a German military engineer easing out just such a dent using a blow torch to heat up the scabbard and then (apparently) forcing a piece of blank metal of the right size into the throat - but the scabbard I have has a rather nice patina, so I don't want to use a blow torch on it...
Any suggestions what to do?
Super Moderator / Silver Bullet member/ Rocket Scientist
Special tools were made that would slip into the bayonet scabbard, the inside dimensions of it, and then the scabbard could be hammered into shape over this mandrel. You need to make something similar.
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Thanks Sean. It just so happens that I also have a battlefield relic 98/05 sawback that does fit into the same scabbard, with a slight push. There is not that much variation in 98/05 blade thicknesses, but I can see that the relic might have lost just enough surface through corrosion to slip in more easily - if so we are talking possibly of about 0.5 mm here!. Perhaps I can use the relic as a mandrel to reform the scabbard?
If the dent is that close to the throat, you can make a mandrel out oak, or other hard wood. Just trace the end of the scabbard, on the end of the wood, Then make the wood slightly smaller. I have also heard of people filling them with water, and freezing to push dents out. I've never done this. Seems to me, you would have to seal the open end. If tightly sealed, you run the risk of splitting the seam.
The scabbard to my 98/05 I recently posted in another thread is MISSING both the throat and the screw that held it in place; they DO come out! If you can remove these from yours without boogering the slot on the screw ( or even worse - breaking it off! ), then you can MUCH more easily get something to use as a mandrel down the scabbard. Just don't force anything!
Trajan, you will not be able to use the "relic" bayonet as a substitute mandrel. Use a purpose-made mandrel close to the dimensions of the inside of the scabbard and of the same curve, that way you know it will work. Light hammer blows around the edge of the dent with a flat, wide faced hammer will do the trick. Oak or an equally hard wood may work but steel will do better and will not take that much longer to file to shape. It can also be held in your vice more securely than wood.
As far as the freezing water in the scabbard? No, not in a million years will that work. I've seen that suggestion too but as water freezes it is not selective in it's expansion. it exerts equal pressure everywhere and is just as likely to distort, even split the scabbard as it is to push out the dent though it will likely expand in the space with least resistance and come out of the open end if not tightly sealed.
To heat the dent without the fire touching it, the scabbard can be tightly wrapped with thin metal sheet able to stand the heat. Another way is to use a large soldering iron. I used both ways to heat up the epoxy long ago.
Good suggestion to use a suction cup although I suspect the steel gauge in the scabbard (thicker) is different that that used in autos (thinner). In theory the heat then cold makes some sense. I knew an old farmer in Wisconsin that built a fire over large hard head rocks in fields he was plowing. He'd keep them going for several hours, poured cold water on the hot rocks and remove the small pieces.