Cavpilot2k

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About Cavpilot2k

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    Member

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    South Shore, MA
  • Interests
    Homebrewing, Martial Arts, Medieval History, and now...smithing
  1. Welding and historicity

    I'm not suggesting that there isn't plenty of anachronism in modern attempts to "replicate" medieval armoring. To suggest otherwise would be like saying we should work in a shop without electricity. If course we work with the materials we have, and modern steel is very different (better, more consistent) than medieval steel. I also understand there a point at which it is significantly more efficient to use modern techniques like welding than traditional techniques. That said, there are a great many smiths who seem to go to great lengths to use historical methods where possible, except where domed helms come into play. I know smiths that use only coal forges and hand tools - no power tools, etc - I'm sure you do too. But I haven't seen a single template or pattern that doesn't use modern welding to put domes together. I'm not knocking anyone for their choice of techniques, I just find it curious that in a field where so many practitioners are sticklers for the APPEARANCE of historical accuracy (armoring), why there isn't more attempt to build helmets using the historical methods. So my curiosity is in how DID they do it historically? Knowing this might answer my question as to why nobody does it maybe welding is just so much simpler that it's not even worth doing it the "old way".
  2. As I prepare to make my first helmet (a spectacled spangenhelm with mail aventail), I have been researching patterns and techniques, and I notice it is exceedingly common, if not virtually universal, for helmet-makers, even those who are sticklers for period accuracy on the design, to use modern welding, particularly to join halves of a dome. Am I missing something? Did medieval armorers have TIG and MIG welders? Clearly they didn't, and while forge welding was a common general smithing technique, it doesn't seem appropriate for helm construction. Therefore, I am left to surmise that period helmet domes probably were either of one-piece construction (a serious exercise in dishing), or simply riveted. If riveted, I wonder if the crest joint was overlapped or were the two halves simply butted and joined by riveting them independently to the strip of steel that would follow the crest of the helm. I'd pose this over at armour archives, but their forums seem to be down, and this has been bugging me long enough that I feel the need to ask the question. What question is that? Well in addition to those raised above, I just have to wonder why welding is so commonly practiced in helmet construction when it is clearly not an accurate historical construction technique?
  3. My first attempt at armour

    Very nice piece! I'm a big armor fan, which is what has gotten me into smithing. Sure I'll make some tools and weapons (my interest in weapons lies more along the lines of warhammer, axe, and mace than blades), but my focus will be on armor, so I am also dabbling in leatherworking. I am working up my skills for my first helm, which will be a spectacled spangenhelm with cheeks and aventail. If it turns out looking half as good as your great helm, I'll be thrilled! And I agree that things not matching up perfectly is not only okay, but looks better, as you can tell it's not the result of modern mass production. So my point is...Nice Helm!
  4. Coal on the south shore

    They only have anthracite on hand but can order bituminous.
  5. Show me your Bottle Openers!

    The first thing I forged (from an intro class at Prospect Hill Forge in Waltham, MA).
  6. Coal on the south shore

    Awesome, thanks! There's one not ten miles from home.
  7. Yeah, it's going to get some kind of transportation system. Not that i plan on moving it much. Simple deadlifting it on or off of its stump is easy enough, but I carried it from my truck to my shed yesterday (about 40 yards) hugged to my chest, and I don't have any intention of doing that again...ever. Just the weight of the horn and heel resting on my forearms bruised the muscles.
  8. So I finally picked this thing up yesterday. The former owner said he thought it was around 170 lb. the first time I tried to pick it up I knew there was no way - it had to be over 200. I weighed it today and current weight is 231! It's a freaking beast! ...and a bastard it move and carry, and I'm in shape and strong and it's still all I can do to move this thing.
  9. Question about my first forge

    Good point. Maybe some dirt or something temporary just to fill a little of that space. My question about value was more to have some kind of idea just how ridiculous was the deal I got for the forge, anvil, leg vise, and hand-crank smiths drill (no need to go into the details, but I got it all from a guy who was retired and moving and didn't want to haul it all, and he hooked me up big time). I have no intention of selling it any time soon. I could build one, but a bird in hand... I intend to use it and hone my craft and make awesome stuff.
  10. Hi all, I'm new here and a new smith as well. I've taken a few classes and just purchased a forge, anvil, and some basic tools. I'm in SE Massachusetts near Plymouth and wondering if there is a good, reasonably priced source for coal around here. Any recommendations?
  11. Question about my first forge

    Anybody have any idea what the rough value of one of these is? Hand crank blower, no hood or anything. 36" across.
  12. Question about my first forge

    Okay, so don't put anything in it? Just coal until it fills with ash and clinkers?
  13. So I just acquired a good sized railroad-style forge (pictured below). The first thing I notice is that the grate is elevated on a "cone" and therefore there is a "trough" of dead space around it where cinders, clinkers, and other junk will build up (not to mention fuel that will probably not burn correctly due to not being in the line of airflow). I drew a cross-section diagram to illustrate perhaps better than the photo. Is this space meant to be filled with refractory or clay or some other substance? Recommendations welcome.
  14. Greetings from South Shore Massachusetts!

    Awesome! Yeah, it never made sense to me that group politics even enters into that stuff.
  15. Now that I look at pics of Mouseholes, I think you may be right. The heel end being higher and sloping toward the horn end seems a characteristic of old Mouseholes from a google image search.