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I'm fairly new to metalworking as a whole, and I really want to get a taste of as many different aspects of it as possible. I've been making knives, decorative brackets, tools etc on the forge, and I'd really like to try making armour. I can get old drums for free so I have a virtual limitless source of sheet- so why not?

I have been researching how the different plates are made, but one bit I have struggled with is the more simple question of holding it together! I want to base the armour I am making on the one in the picture. From what I can see, he is wearing a chain maile suit under the plate, although I do not believe that the plate attaches to it. There are a few leather straps, but surely there must be more securing the shoulder plates and various arm plates in position? I think I'll leave the majority of the arm plates and just go for spaulders and bracers, but what would you recommend for attaching it all together? The breast and backplate can be secured together with leather straps and the bracers can be held with two leather straps. But I'm really not sure about the spaulders. Any general advice on how they go together would be great and perhaps suggestions on what to wear underneath other than maile?

Thanks!

post-24777-0-70269100-1338587342_thumb.p

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May I suggest you ask this question over at armourarchive.org a set of forums that specialize in people making medieval and renaissance armor today. Sure there are a few of us that play in both places; but there are hundreds of folks some of which make armor professionally over there!

The basic answer is that things are strapped and pointed save those that use sliding rivets, etc And you are correct it would not be attached to the underlying maille

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Techniques of medieval armour reproductions by Price is an invaluable resource and the is another that is an online manual, Basic Armouring, A Practical introduction to armour making, by Paul Blackwell. I not sure if it is to still be found as it was a long time ago that I had printed it out.

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i would also suggest mr price's work, but also study study study originals, and pictures of originals, and i reckon that steel drums are a bit too thin for armour reproduction. i use mainly 16g mild steel, as it covers legal combat requirements over here, but i find anything thinner is hard to work properly, and doesnt have the right look. pluss i like to thin or leave thick any area nessesary,
look up raising, it is an art to behold, and shows how versatile a sheet of iron (or steel if you cant source iron :P ) can be

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Thanks for the info! I've got a far better idea of how I'll do it now! Fortunately these barrels are 2mm thick which is slightly thicker than 16ga which is good.

What kind of tools would you recommend other than an anvil and ball pein hammers for simple dishing? What sort of finish does the armour pictured have, it doesn't look painted but is too dark for plain steel? Is it iron?

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Q&D "bluing" on using armor is often done by heating as piece and immersing in oil and sort of "burning it on"

Discussed in *many* posts over at the armourarchive.

For cold dishing the rule is "soft over hard or hard over soft"; so if you are using a wooden stump with a dish carved in it you use a hard (steel) hammer. Note that ballpeens are NOT generally used save for if you grind the hammer face to a shallow curve---if you think of it a ball actually has a point and will leave dings in your metal giving you the "bag of marbles" look to your dishes that requires massive amounts of plannishing. "The Complete Modern Blacksmith", Weygers, has instructions for modifying ballpeens into dishing hammers)

If you use a toroid or welding tank bottom, (hard) to dish in you often use a heavy rawhide mallet to make smooth dishes.

All this is discussed exhaustively over at the armour making forums; which actually predate this site by quite a long time and so have a large amount of information built up on the topics.

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the shoulders on that armor would be attached to the shoulder strap that is from the breastplate to the backplate. i make armor for a living and i will gladly share my experience. for blackening I use a gun blueing kit that you can get from any place that sells guns for less then $10.

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Dogsoldat and all,

Looks like Blackwell's book is on-line at the site below. the site says it is posted with the writer's permission.

http://www.arador.com/construction/basicarmouring.html

You have to look under the techniques and tutorials on the left hand side if this does not take you straight to the page.

Also there is a getting started article on the site. I would suggest most of us read the beginning section. It does describe something I have seen on this forum since I joined. It doesn't matter if it is armor or blacksmithing, there are some definite truths for beginners.



Brian Pierson

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