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SGM (ret.)

Bayonet Display

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Hi all,

 

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.

 

Enjoy,

Mike

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"Hope is not a course of action." Sean P. Kelly, SSG, 1st US Ranger Battalion

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Nice! I like! Thats a very ingenious setup. I may have to copy your technique. ;)

 

- Jeff


9/11: The Pearl Harbor of Our Time

 

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The next couple of pictures show the details of the brass pegs holding the bayonet crossguards and the ends of the pistol belt hidden in the cleats.

 

It came out nice enough that my wife has let me use some wall space in the living room to hang it.

 

Mike

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"Hope is not a course of action." Sean P. Kelly, SSG, 1st US Ranger Battalion

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Wow!, That is awesome!!!!!!!

 

Really nice!

 

Justin

 

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I love it but where are the Ka-bars :)


Hi, I am 18 and Im looking all era USMC items to my collection. I live in Finland.

 

Im looking espicially Vietnam era. Grunts or Recon you name it ;).

Antti

Team Isthumus, 3rd Force Recon and Recon Btln

 

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SGM could you provide me closer pics of the description cards. This makes me want to start collecting more bayonets and fighting knifes.


Hi, I am 18 and Im looking all era USMC items to my collection. I live in Finland.

 

Im looking espicially Vietnam era. Grunts or Recon you name it ;).

Antti

Team Isthumus, 3rd Force Recon and Recon Btln

 

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I think you could make these and sell them as a side business! I personally would buy one if you would be interested in making another one... thumbsup.gif


Looking for WWII, Nam items, Painted or Decaled Liners, and Military Pocket Bibles

 

My dog loves SPAM and snores like a drunken Sailor!

 

C Battery 2/32 FA BN

Sgt/E5

Giessen, Germany

1987-1990

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Now that is an ingenious and very cool way to display a bayonet! :packin heat:


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Wow, very impressive display method.


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Always looking for WWII 10th Mountain Division uniforms and groupings

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Very cool!!!!!!!!!!!........ thumbsup.gif .......mike


Always looking for and buying 50's era 11th Airborne/ 187th ARCT/ 82nd Airborne tac mark painted jump helmets!



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That is the one of the coolest displays I have ever seen! How did you come up with that idea?


"Earn this" -Saving Private Ryan

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Genius Creation!....I might have to fiddle around and attempt a display like this!! thumbsup.gif Thanks or posting


Regards,

 

Michael Sweeney--Researcher and Collector of WW2 77TH Division

If you have any named items to a 77th Division Soldier please contact me!!!

 

In memoroy of my Grandfather

Eugene Henry Sweeney

1st Lieutenant of the 306th

Infantry Regiment Company L -

Veteran of Guam and Leyte

 

 

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Thanks for the kind words and compliments, everyone.

 

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.

 

Mike

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"Hope is not a course of action." Sean P. Kelly, SSG, 1st US Ranger Battalion

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This next sketch is a scrap detail of the mounting pegs for the bayonets. As I said in an earlier post, these were cut from a 3' piece of hard brass rod, 1/8" diameter. I got this at the local Home Depot.

 

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.

 

Mike

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"Hope is not a course of action." Sean P. Kelly, SSG, 1st US Ranger Battalion

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This last picture is for "Grinch."

 

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...

 

Happy collecting,

Mike

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"Hope is not a course of action." Sean P. Kelly, SSG, 1st US Ranger Battalion

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Hey thanks. for reply and pics. Maybe I someday make one. Almost asked where's the M6, Im into USMC more myself.


Hi, I am 18 and Im looking all era USMC items to my collection. I live in Finland.

 

Im looking espicially Vietnam era. Grunts or Recon you name it ;).

Antti

Team Isthumus, 3rd Force Recon and Recon Btln

 

mcha_sig.jpg

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That is fantastic man! I've been looking for a tasteful way to mount my bayos/daggers/knives without looking like a physco aswell, and i've got to say, you've nailed it. Thats come up a treat!


If you can read this, thank a teacher, and, since it's in English, thank a soldier.

- Anonymous

Dedicated to the hard core.

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Very nice. Creative, effective, and very eye pleasing! Nice blade display. It sounds like you have inspired many others out there to attempt to do the same. I think that blades of any sort are some of the hardest things to display well and you have nailed it with this one.


Always looking for 325th G.I.R. and WWII USMC items!
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I love this display. How did you decide what type of belt to use?

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That is one fantastic dispaly! bravo.gif The possibilities are endless. You could vary the size of the "crate" lid and have a nice M1 or carbine display. Or you could hang a couple of .45 holsters on the belt and display various models of the handgun....Just let your imagination run wild.

 

I too may have to "borrow" your idea and experiment with it. Thanks for showing it.

 

Troy

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Not sure how you exactly did it, but i looks easy. However, yours looks 10 times nicer then mine would

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Thanks for the nice comments, everyone. I'm happy that some of my "forum friends" have found the idea promising enough to maybe use it themselves.

 

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.

 

Happy collecting,

Mike


"Hope is not a course of action." Sean P. Kelly, SSG, 1st US Ranger Battalion

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