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Hello to all smiths out there :)

I am making a suit of armor (about 45% complete) and I need to make a particular type of scales for the shoulder guards.

Below is the design that I have attempted to create based off of pictures that I found of particular set of scale armor that I like.

The different colors represent different angles that the metal would be bent at. I am planing on using a 20 gauge mild steel as this armor won't be used for 'heavy' fighting.

I need to make at least 100 of these with each scale being as similar as possible and I have only two months to finish the shoulder guards.

Any help/ideas would be appreciated.
armor_scale_design_by_ne0spartan-d50ztnc


~Ne0spartan

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what is the time period and what is the question? Any chance of posting a Pic of your doco?


Its a type of Japanese armor but I am not sure of the time period since it is from a movie and Hollywood isn't know for it historical accuracy, I do know that it is based off a real type of Japanese armor that's name is roughly translated as 'fish' scale. The time period doesn't really matter since its for fantasy armor.

My question is how to make my design from 20 gauge mild sheet steel, keeping the scales as similar as possible, within the time frame of two months.

Here are three pics of the armor that I got the design from, I am trying to copy his shoulder guards.

post-24270-0-79040800-1337835299_thumb.j

post-24270-0-06646500-1337835315_thumb.j

post-24270-0-87178600-1337835330_thumb.j

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Do you have access to a hydraulic press? if so you could rubber press the parts into the desired shape. Once the tooling is made it would be a matter of a few hours to complete the process. The time to the finished product would depend on how the flash is trimmed from the final part; if you cut them with a pair of aviation snipes it would take longer than if you make a trimming die . Short run dies for rubber pressing are relatively easy to produce.

brad

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Do you have access to a hydraulic press? if so you could rubber press the parts into the desired shape. Once the tooling is made it would be a matter of a few hours to complete the process. The time to the finished product would depend on how the flash is trimmed from the final part; if you cut them with a pair of aviation snipes it would take longer than if you make a trimming die . Short run dies for rubber pressing are relatively easy to produce. brad

Well I don't have a hydraulic press but I might know some people people who have one. Could you go into more detail about this rubber press process? I might need to make more of them so this process might be helpful in the future.

Well gosh, two months! Even just cutting them with tin snips and raising them with a chisel on a stump they shouldn't be more than two days work! 100 pieces is EASY! Get thee to the shop man!


I was just giving the two months as a reference for when they have to be finished, not how long I need to make them.
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May I commend to your attention armourarchive.org a set of forums dedicated to making medieval and renaissance armor (and yes they use the British spelling: armour in the URL) Probably a much better match for your question than a blacksmithing forum.

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May I commend to your attention armourarchive.org a set of forums dedicated to making medieval and renaissance armor (and yes they use the British spelling: armour in the URL) Probably a much better match for your question than a blacksmithing forum.


I know of this forum and I looked on there for information before I came here (I usually go to Armor Archive for helmet stuff).

The reason I am asking here for this bit of info is that I am not looking for period accurate information or techniques (the scales I want are from The Last Samurai for crying out loud XD )

I am looking for general metal working advice which this site has in abundance.

Thank you for the suggestion though.
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Buy your sheet cut to size for the blanks, seriously, if they're 2" x 4" the sheet supplier will whack those out in a square shear in minutes for reasonable. Then all you have to do is round the ends, punch/drill and flute. If you drill the holes stack a bunch of scales and drill them in batches, you'll have to have them clamped solid six ways from sundown and be easy on the down pressure and keep the revs low but it's not hard.

If you buy the sheet blanked for you the rest isn't a full day's work, if you do it like a job. If you want to dink around on it then there's no telling how long it'll keep you occupied.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I will type out a detailed explanation on how I make dies for rubber pressing tomorrow after work. I re-drew, from memory, a simple hydraulic press which I used, several years ago, to press large batch decorative copper light switch plates for some custom homes. This press could be made in a few hours and is reasonably cheap. If you are interested in building it I can finish dimensioning and annotating it by the end of this weekend.

brad

Assem1.PDF

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I will type out a detailed explanation on how I make dies for rubber pressing tomorrow after work. I re-drew, from memory, a simple hydraulic press which I used, several years ago, to press large batch decorative copper light switch plates for some custom homes. This press could be made in a few hours and is reasonably cheap. If you are interested in building it I can finish dimensioning and annotating it by the end of this weekend.

brad


Sorry for not getting back to you before the weekend, I would really appreciate it if you could finish the press diagram. I am also looking forward to your die information as well.

Thanks for the help


~Ne0spartan
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If it were me I would have the supplier shear the straight cuts then,(using a template) I would trace and cut the curved bottom.20g is really thin so it deforms easily.You could chisel out a form into the end grain of a dishing stump and make your die from wood as well.Then place your blank into the form set your die atop it and whack it with a mallet.Just be sure to drill/punch your holes before dishing.

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If it were me I would have the supplier shear the straight cuts then,(using a template) I would trace and cut the curved bottom.20g is really thin so it deforms easily.You could chisel out a form into the end grain of a dishing stump and make your die from wood as well.Then place your blank into the form set your die atop it and whack it with a mallet.Just be sure to drill/punch your holes before dishing.


I just might go with your method but I would still like to hear Brad's as well, I like like to be informed of different techniques.
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Thanks for the great laugh! 99% of the armour archive is NOT "period accurate". They are modern people using modern tools and alloys to make modern interpretations of armor---exactly what you were asking. Still the best place to ask.


Now if you want to get into "how would they have done it" there is a historical research forum there and wrought iron weirdos like my self will start to chime in; but in the general section you will find more info on making Ti armour than on wrought iron armour!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry it took so long ... we rarely get non-rainy days in BC so I have been taking the opportunity to work on my shop. I hope this helps you.

brad


Hey thanks ^-^

Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, I have been busy with finals and term papers.
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  • 2 weeks later...

make a solid steel stamp, and weld it to a piece of quarter inch plate(we'll call this the stamp plate). then make a double of what you just made as a stamp except everything is in and not out (hope it makes sense) (we'll call this the double plate). i dont know how your vice are set up but make it where the stamp plate is on the solid side, the part that doesnt move. then place your double plate on the part that moves. then just place your sheet steel between and crank. its a crude fix when you dont have a press but it works the same way, then just cut it out, and repeat the last bit. and viola youve got a way to massproduce these scales. if you are not a machinist yourself, find one in your area and pay him to do the stamps. after the stamps are made, depending on how quickly you could make the armor with all the scales there, you could whip these out fairly quickly.

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  • 2 weeks later...
make a solid steel stamp, and weld it to a piece of quarter inch plate(we'll call this the stamp plate). then make a double of what you just made as a stamp except everything is in and not out (hope it makes sense) (we'll call this the double plate). i dont know how your vice are set up but make it where the stamp plate is on the solid side, the part that doesnt move. then place your double plate on the part that moves. then just place your sheet steel between and crank. its a crude fix when you dont have a press but it works the same way, then just cut it out, and repeat the last bit. and viola youve got a way to massproduce these scales. if you are not a machinist yourself, find one in your area and pay him to do the stamps. after the stamps are made, depending on how quickly you could make the armor with all the scales there, you could whip these out fairly quickly.


I just might try part of this, thanks for the information.

theringlord.com


The ringlord doesn't carry the scale design that I posted above.
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