Posted 02 November 2008 - 10:28 AM
Thought I'd share my latest display. I've recently added several edged weapons to my collection. I had originally thought to display these with the various uniform / field equipment displays that I have, but as I expanded the numbers to include post-WWII bayonets I had a change of heart.
I wanted something to show the evolution of the US bayonet and how the basic blade design remained un-changed from the M3 to the M7. After putting some thought into the problem, I was inspired by a plaque on my "I love me wall." It was made by a colleague out of the lid from a hand grenade ammo box.
After struggling with the idea of how to sceure the bayonets and scabbards separately, my wife mentioned that maybe I could use a pistol belt to hold the bayonets in their scabbards. Combining the two, the ammo crate motif and the pistol belt, I came up with what's here.
The display is about 38" x 23-1/4." The boards are 3/4" x 4-5/8" and the cleats are 3/4" x 2." After assembling, I gave it two coats of tung oil. The mounting pegs for the bayonets are made from 1/8" dia brass rod cut into pieces 1-3/4" long. The holes are 1/2" deep and drilled at a 10 degree angle. I chemically blackened the brass pegs and used #8 rubber backed washers pressed on the ends to provide a bit more security. The pistol belt is a Boy Scout belt given to me by a well-intentioned friend who thought it would be a nice addition to my collection. (I didn't have the heart to say "no thanks.") The ends of the belt are hidden in recesses cut into the edges of the cleats. After hooking the scabbards onto it, I secured it down to the display using #6 x 1/2" flat head brass wood screws, also blackened, in every other center adjusting hole.
I added the brass card holders with description cards printed on my computer and stenciled the "US Bayonets" title across the top using a stencil cut out of blue painter's tape and flat black spray paint.
Below and in the following post are pics of the original plaque that inspired me and a couple of detail pics.
It was all pretty easy and didn't require any special wood-working talent. I'm already thinking about the next one. First, I'm planning on replacing the M5A1 bayonet on this display with an M6 to complete the series. As I add an M1905, M1917 and a cut-down M1905 to my collection, I plan on building another display just for the M1905 through M1 and adding the M5A1 back to this display.
Posted 02 November 2008 - 10:32 AM
Posted 02 November 2008 - 10:37 AM
It came out nice enough that my wife has let me use some wall space in the living room to hang it.
Posted 02 November 2008 - 02:20 PM
Posted 02 November 2008 - 02:35 PM
Posted 02 November 2008 - 03:22 PM
Posted 03 November 2008 - 12:21 PM
jhs1970426: The idea was a while in developing. I wanted to display the bayonets and scabbards, but wanted the blades out of the scabbards. I had originally thought to use cup hooks or small round eyelets to hold the scabbards with belt hooks but was stumped by the M3's early M8 scabbard without hooks. The "breakthrough" came when my wife suggested that maybe I could use a pistol belt.
72newport: Thanks for the offer to buy one of these should I ever make them for sale, but I'm afraid that the material costs and fabrication time would make a "limited production" run too expensive. However, below are some sketchs which show the detailed measurements, etc. I really think that anyone could make one of these. There's really little or no special woodworking skills required. The only tools you need are a tape measure, a drill, a circular saw, and a hack saw, although I used a table saw and a drilling jig to keep the brass peg holes all the same angle. I cut the stencil for the title using a hobby knife out of 2" wide blue painter's tape.
Having said that, though, I also think that you could take the sketches and pictures to someone locally to fabricate the display board if you wanted. If you don't have any friends or relatives into hobby woodworking, I'm guessing that you could get a shop that makes custom kitchen cabinets to build one fairly quickly. The hardest thing is to find the label / card holders. Here're a couple of internet sources:
NextTag Comparison Shopping
The Hardware Hut
The House of Antique Hardware
Van Dykes Restorers
The holders I used came from an old mom-and-pop hardware store. I bought all they had, and they told me that the manufacturer had long been out of business. Oh well... Looks like I'll be buying the "spendy" ones for my next project, too.
I also think that I'll use a used M1956 or a repro pistol belt on my next display. The holes on the Boy Scout belt are not regulation distance apart, so the scabbard belt hangers don't fit as well as I'd like.
In so far as dimensions are concerned: I laid out all of the bayonets and scabbards on top of the pistol belt on a table top. After playing around with the layout, I established to width measurement between the cleats. This distance then determined the proportions for the remainder. So, take the dimensions on the sketches for what they are, nothing more than how I worked the display out. If you're using a different number of knives, different lengths, a more correct belt, etc, you're measurements should reflect your specific needs.
(Another reason why it might not be practical for me to try long-distance to fabricate a similar display for someone else. You really need to have the bayonets and knives on hand to establish your most pleasing layout.)
Finally, for Grinch: A close-up of the label cards is posted. Nothing special here, really. I just used MS Word to make a few correct sized text boxes. I printed them and pasted them to 3 x 5 cards and trimmed to size. The idea was to keep the display flexible so that I can add or change when ever.
(BTW, Grinch: "Kay-Bars...." Ain't them some kinda Gy-rine knives?? Nothing but "You-Esss" Army stuff around here in this ol' Doggy's Hootch... )
Anyways, thanks again. I hope these additional instructions are helpful, and if anyone needs more info, son't hesitate to ask.
Posted 03 November 2008 - 12:33 PM
These pegs should be angled to allow for the fact that the display will "lean out" from your wall when hung like a picture. If the pegs are mounted at 90 degrees (perpendicular to the face of the display), the bayonets might have a tendancy to slide off the mountings. 10 degrees worked just fine for me.
I also plan to put short sections of clear aquarium tubing over the brass pegs to buffer the crossguards from scratches.
The small round "button" on the ends of the pegs are #8 rubber backed washers also purchased from Home Depot.
Posted 03 November 2008 - 12:43 PM
These are the lables above each bayonet. Just something to inform "the great unwashed masses" what they're looking at.
All kidding aside, actually, I find that having some lables and other "instructive materials" generates some good discussion and interest when we have guests over, and they're looking over my collection. Also, my wife is much more indulgent of my hobby if I can display things so that the house doesn't look like a garage sale, so I actually spend quite a bit of time and effort on keeping her goodwill (i.e Bayonet Display).
One thing that I have is a 3-ring binder with labled pictures of my displays (not the individual items, the actual displays as viewed in my room). This is pretty easy to keep up with. I just make a PowerPoint slide in portrate (not landscape) format, lable each item in view (as practical) and put each slide in a document protector. These are in the "Visitor's Folder" in my "war room," and anyone who cares to find out what they're looking at can easily flip through the pages to find the display they're looking at.
Enough for now...
Posted 03 November 2008 - 01:18 PM
Edited by Grinch, 03 November 2008 - 01:21 PM.
Posted 04 November 2008 - 07:58 AM
Posted 04 November 2008 - 10:58 AM
Posted 21 November 2008 - 01:54 PM
Posted 22 November 2008 - 09:11 AM
I too may have to "borrow" your idea and experiment with it. Thanks for showing it.
Posted 22 November 2008 - 09:23 PM
Posted 07 December 2008 - 12:47 PM
Since I originally posted, I've since gone back and added short sections of fish aquarium hose to the metal pegs supporting the bayo crossguards. I was concerned that over time I might have some issues with corrosion or wear. Anyways, a 15' piece of hose was less than $2 at the local Wally World in the pet section, and I cut the pieces using sissors the last time I took the bayos down to dust them. Just slipped the short hose sections onto the pegs before I put the bayos back up.
For Wearp: For the belt I used a Boy Scout belt that someone had given me. When I fabricate the next display, I'll use an ATF or other repro belt (or perhaps a wornout M1956 belt). The Boy Scout belt holes are actually a bit too close together and the scabbard hangers don't fit quite perfectly.
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