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Helmet


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Hi, this is my first attempt at a helmet it's based on a mandalorian helmet from star wars. I know it's rough, nothings straight, needs planishing and some welding. I've done a little copper work not much besides flowers and a little "repousse", so advice is appreciated. I started tig welding the cuts,using oxy brazing rods, but I ran out of argon and then tried to use 72 25 but that was a mistake,lol. So my man question is how can I flare the neck part of the helmet. Any help appreciated.

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Welcome aboard from 7500' in SE Wyoming.  Glad to have you.

I think that this has been a BOMTICC (Bit Off More Than I Can Chew) project for you.  One of the thing you have to earn about armor making is that things have to be shaped and assembled in a certain way because once assembled it can be tough to impossible to do the necessary forming operations.  For example, the crown should be fully formed, planished, and smoothed prior to attaching it to the brow piece or the fore and aft piece that goes over the top.  Now, you will need a very long stake to be able to smoth out the crown pieces.

The sides should have had their bottoms flared prior to assembly.  You may be able to do it now by placing the bottom endge over the horn of an anvil or other round object and tapping it from the inside.  If the material were steel this is something best done hot because you are stretching the metal in the flare.  Since it appears that you are using copper you may be able to do it cold if you anneal the metal to get it as sort as possible.  If you don't already know, you anneal copper, brass, or bronze by heating it and then quenching it in water.  It is the opposite of what happens with high carbon steel where quenching hardens the metal.

Frankly, it is kind of a hot mess right now.  If it were me, I'd drill out the pop rivets and disassemble it and start over.  You may have to discard some parts because of burn throughs or other damage.

It is tough to get all the planning right.  Often, a person really wants to get into a project and complete something cool but you have to rein yourself in and think about the project logically, beginning to end.  As youself, "Can I do X if I do Y first or does it have to be the other way around?"  This can come from hard experience or you can carefully think it out before ever touching a piece of metal.  It often helps me to draw things out and even make a paper or cardboard prototype.

Also, it is sometimes a good idea to assemble things using small nuts and bolts before permanent assembly using rivets or welds.

Good luck, and consider any mistakes made or time lost to be tuition for learning how to do better on your next project.

BTW, what part of Chicagoland are you in?  I grew up on the South Side (7600 South and the Lake, next to Rainbow Park and Beach).

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand." 

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Thanks for your advice. I think I'm going to keep up "finishing" this one just tryout different finishes and stuff on it and start from scratch soon. For the next one I'm definitely going to scratch with a cardboard model, and use some bolts to help before riveting. Ig I'll chalk this one up to what not too do but had a lot of fun so far. Next time I might use cherry max rivets if I can get them from work. I'm in the nw suburbs mount prospect now but have lived in Jefferson park before. Again thanks for the advice.

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You also might want to try real machinist's (dome head) or tinner's (flat head) steel rivets which are more traditional in armoring rather than modern pop rivets which always look inappropriate and a bit cheesy IMO.  That said, if you are doing fantasy armor that may not be as much of a problem.  Also, if you are making helmets or other armor just for the look of the thing rather than the actual functionality of turning a blow from a weapon structural strength is not as big a concern.  For example, armor for boffer combat can be made out of plastic or cardboard but armor used in blunted steel or rattan (SCA) combat has to be very functional and close to the original thing. 

Good luck and keep posting here.  We LOVE pictures.

Also, I believe there are some armoring forums, particularly connected with the Society for Creative Anacronism (SCA).

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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  If it were me, I would leave that helmet as is and put it on the bookshelf and tell everyone it saved my life and I survived the battle.  Of course, I don't mind telling a tall tale or two...:)  Then you could start a new one keeping Georges tips and advise in mind.  Personally, I think it's got character.

  There is a repousse section on the forum.  If you haven't seen it you might find it interesting.  I tried my hand at it and gave up fast.  

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  I was looking at that hole on the right hand side of it and thinking an arrow could have made partial penetration....  If it stuck, you would look like a pretty formidable opponent.

  Edit:  I just wanted to add, Malenmetal, that I see things from an artistic view and was not making light of your project.  I like it very much as a first attempt.  Sometimes things go off track around here.   I really would put that on my bookshelf and appreciate it.  I might even let it set outside until a patina developed and then move it to the bookshelf.  You have talent and desire, develop it.  Scott.

Edited by Nodebt
Fix something...
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I would recommend Thak Ironworks on youtube. He does a bunch of armor and repousee (sp?) and is a very gifted craftsman and artist. Well above my pay grade, but I do pick up lots of good info from him.

Steve

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Thanks guys, I have see thaks videos and they really inspire me. I've been really busy with work lately but got some more time on a rivet gun this last week. I think I might weld up the helmet then a little gun blue and call it there and start the next one. I've been enjoying home metal work as there are no federal rules like at work and plan to keep it up when it slows down at work.

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That hole is definitely a blaster burn; looks like a helmet for a SF con anyway. I rather like the "brain" look however...   for dishing: use a much "flatter" dishing hammer ground or forged from the main face of a ballpeen or my favorite; a railroad bolt---not spike, bolt!  Forge into a block of wood with a dish carved into it.  (The rule is hard on soft and soft on hard; so steel hammer over wood dishing form and rawhide or wooden mallet over steel ball stake for smoothing things out.  Check with the local SCA group for someone doing armouring locally; they are generally very helpful with new folks---I claim it is because after doing it yourself; most folks decide that the "excessive prices" on things are DIRT CHEAP! (And the others become friends or shop help!)

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