Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

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Gaston de Clermont
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Gaston de Clermont »

They're still looking great. I like the thumb nail detail. I might shorten the plate on the pad of the thumb a touch. Some of that is personal preference. I like having more leather in contact with the weapon rather than steel, since I feel more in control. I fight mostly pole arm with a slightly deeper dome on my thumbs, and no enclosing plate on the fingerprint side, and I don't have problems with my thumbs getting smashed. The upside of the design you have is that you don't have to deal with any fiddly leather work on the thumb tip. The leather there has to be thin, so it doesn't last forever, and you can't neglect it or your thumb will get shredded. It takes constant maintenance.
I love the lighting in your shop.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

Thanks, aidan!
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Gaston de Clermont wrote:They're still looking great. I like the thumb nail detail. I might shorten the plate on the pad of the thumb a touch. Some of that is personal preference. I like having more leather in contact with the weapon rather than steel, since I feel more in control. I fight mostly pole arm with a slightly deeper dome on my thumbs, and no enclosing plate on the fingerprint side, and I don't have problems with my thumbs getting smashed. The upside of the design you have is that you don't have to deal with any fiddly leather work on the thumb tip. The leather there has to be thin, so it doesn't last forever, and you can't neglect it or your thumb will get shredded. It takes constant maintenance.
I love the lighting in your shop.
Thank you, sir. :) You know, I looked at the thumb a bit more, and I have to agree with you. I could stand to lose about 1/8" off the thumb pad. I also need to shorten the plate that covers the trunk of my thumb by about 3/16". I find myself most comfortable with sword and shield, at least for the time being, but I realize that as a lefty I'm going to be opening my hand for quite a bit of incidental contact...hence the thumbtips. I almost considered enclosing each of the fingers, as well; more so I didn't have to replace the straps as often, than to protect my fingers.
Glad you like the lighting! It really is a tool, and one just as important as your favorite hammer or stake. Several windows on the East and North sides let in natural light, and there are 4 sets of 8' flourescent tube lights (2 bulbs per set) along the ceiling, and another 4' set directly above the workbench.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Gaston de Clermont »

Yeah, I figure you don't get extra credit for armouring in the dark. Having a single point of light can be helpful for seeing exactly what's going on when you're planishing a crease, but otherwise bright light is your friend.

A soft-ish handle might let you cover the digit tips without losing much control. Just wrapping your handle in leather might be enough.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

Gaston de Clermont wrote:Yeah, I figure you don't get extra credit for armouring in the dark. Having a single point of light can be helpful for seeing exactly what's going on when you're planishing a crease, but otherwise bright light is your friend.

A soft-ish handle might let you cover the digit tips without losing much control. Just wrapping your handle in leather might be enough.
Funny...yesterday we lost power several times in a thunderstorm. Since I couldn't work on the computer, I went out and worked in the shop...with no lights. It worked alright for rough shaping, but I wouldn't want to make a habit of it. Was very happy when the lights (and the fans!) came back on.

As far as a weapon handle, I absolutely plan to craft a proper leather handle on my sword, with a small riser or three underneath, and a cord-wrapped texture on the exterior. But that's another project, down the road. :lol: Heck, I may just build the pommel, hilt, and cross-guard all in one piece, so I won't have to make a new leather handle every time I broom out a stick. Taper the end and slide it in. Secure with a bolt through the pommel, and a small screw through the cross-guard, et voila!
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

Just a quick update tonight, folks. Was having to spend the day clearing fallen branches from a storm earlier this week.


I got the other thumb and knuckle rider shaped this afternoon. Typically, the second set took less time to make than the first.

Image
The right-hand set (on the left) took 8 hours to shape and tweak. The left-hand set (stage right) only took 5 hours. Most of that time, for both sets, was in getting the knuckle rider to properly fit and move inside the metacarpal plate. Add another 30 minutes after that to tweak both knuckle riders to fit a little better, and that's this evening's progress.

Tomorrow I'll sand these up and get the articulations set, then begin work on the fingers. Almost there! ...okay, not really, but it sounds nice to say. :lol:
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

A small, boring, albeit necessary, update this evening.

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Finger lames cut out and rough-shaped. Time - 2.5 hours. A nice male-female forming stake to squish the pieces between would have halved the time; I'll have to make one before I make another pair of gaunts. I'll be honey-doing this weekend, but I'll shape up the fingertips when I get the chance. Then its onto the brass; first for the knuckle gadlings, and then onto the decorative elements. Once all of that is cut out and shaped, I can start on the leathers, and the decorative punch, file, and wigglework.

Oh, a tip for the newbies: if your pieces become twisted while shaping, don't freak out, or beat up the piece trying to straighten it with a hammer. Just put one end in the gap between the jaws of your vise (loosely), grab the other end with a pair of pliers, and twist.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Mad Matt »

you're gonna want to label your finger lames on the inside instead of the outside
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

Good point, Matt. I'd labeled them on the outside while shaping, but I completely forgot that I'd need to write them on the inside after I sanded; thanks. :)
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

A small update this afternoon, folks. I finally dragged my butt out to the shop and forced myself to finish up the fingertips for these gaunts. In about an hour and a half, I had the other hand finished. I'd finished up one hand's fingertips in a couple hours about a month ago.

Image

The set on the left is done. The set on the right needs the fingernails finished, and then a final tweak to the shape, and some sanding.
You can see on the left set the difference between the three sanded fingers, and the one polished one. Shiny!

Tomorrow I'll be trimming the size on the lames; I've got more metal than I need currently. Decided to forego the grounding, and just properly pad them instead. And I'll begin working on the brass knuckle gadlings, and brass decorations on the gaunts, themselves. :D
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by jarlragnar »

Glad to see this project still being worked on. I was missing the updates.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by audax »

~lavish praise~
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Baldwin »

Agreed, I love this thread glad to see its still coming along.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by mattmaus »

Very nice.

Thank you for the pictures.
It looked better in my head....
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

Another quick update tonight.

I finished the fingernails on the other hand tonight, and sanded all the fingertips. No picture, but they look the same as the first set, now.

I finally got to touch my brass today.

To ensure that I use it as efficiently as possible, I waited to pattern the pieces until the main body of the gaunts were finished. First, I penciled in guidelines exactly where I wanted the decorative elements to go, using my original sketches as reference. Then I taped over those areas with masking tape, and trimmed to the desired shape with an Exacto.

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After that, it was a simple matter to peel them off and lay them flat on another sheet of paper.

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Cut out, repeat process for other hand. Lay down patterns on brass, jigsaw a bit.

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Realized that the large cuffs will need to be cut in half, and go on a seperate sheet of brass. Also realized that my jewelers saw is missing. :? Mildly annoying, because it means I can't really cut out the pieces tonight. I could use the shear, certainly, but that would warp and curl the thin elements badly.

Toss in the fact that its half past 2 am here, and I'm pretty tired. I'll try to have something interesting for y'all tomorrow night or the day after.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Halberds »

Thanks again for the progress pics I like em.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Mac »

KI,

I always cut my brass trim with a tin snips. The distortion is not an issue. After the brass is annealed, you can shape it up by hand to fit the armor.

By no means anneal, before you cut. Brass cuts better "half hard" or harder.

I would check the validity of the templates by making them up in light cardboard or heavy paper. The thickness of the brass will make a difference, and the tape might not account for that. Also, masking tape can get "out of shape" because of its "crape paper" nature.

Mac
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

My pleasure, Hal. :) I just hope that some newcomer finds this thread at some point, and learns something. I know that some of my favorite threads on here have gone start-to-finish on a project.

Mac, I'm ashamed to admit that I'd completely forgotten about tin snips. :oops: Talk about overthinking an issue...its not like .040" brass is going to cause difficulty in the cut.

Good to know, about cutting the brass half hard. Thanks. :)

I'd tried to account for that by layering the masking tape several layers thick, then attaching it to another sheet of paper. While not cardboard thick, the thickness of the patterns are similar to cardstock. But I'm going to intentionally cut the pieces a bit larger, just in case. It will be a small thing to file the brass down to match the steel.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Mac »

For greatest accuracy, the templates should be about as thick as the brass. Leaving a little to trim at the exposed edge is a good plan. It can easily be trimmed flush with the steel, once the brass is riveted down and plannished. I recommend a leather mallet for the plannishing. steel hammers tend to work harden the brass too much and can cause it to stand away from the steel and not just "lay down". Be careful not to "get under" the brass while you are filing or grinding the edge, or the brass can pull up.

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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

Thank you for the help, sir. :) It is greatly appreciated.


I cut the brass out and deburred the edges, tonight.

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Then promptly dulled up that shiny, clean brass by annealing.

Image Image

However, once its cleaned back up, I'm really going to like the way the wiggle-work will look. Took all of sixty seconds for this inch.

Image Image

And just to experiment, here's a sample of what the cuff will look like, roughly. I'll need to back my rubber embossing pad in a softer rubber, so I can get crisper and deeper marks.

Image Image

Oh, right; time. It took just about an hour to cut out, deburr, and anneal (normalize) the brass.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Kenwrec Wulfe »

Looking Sharp my western brother!

*EDIT*
Where did you get your wriggling tools?
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

Would you believe, Harbor Freight? ;)

Really, the local places don't carry any engraving tools, so I couldn't find any gravers. Most of them would be too large for what I'm doing, anyway.

So, I was keeping my eyes open for something cheap that I could modify, instead.
And came across this set of miniature screwdrivers from H.F.

Image

The shafts are three different thicknesses, and the bulb at the top of the handle rotates freely, so you can apply pressure with your palm, while twisting with your fingers instead of your wrist.

A quick touch on a sanding pad, and the heads are turned from standard screwdrivers into sharp mini-chisels.

Image
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Andeerz »

Dude, even without the thumbtip being totally enclosed, that thing will protect like a BOSS! I am super jellies. You have the knuckle rider plate so nice... well done!!!
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

Thank you, Andeerz! :D


I cleaned up and sanded all the brass today, just so I wouldn't hammer the firescale into the metal.

The decorative brass elements for the edge of the metacarpal are rough shaped. Thanks for the tip on annealing, Mac; it was a breeze to shape the pieces by hand. :)

About a third of the way into shaping the roped bracelet for the wrists. I've got too much metal; I'll have to grind it down. But that's better than not enough.

And I went ahead and started shaping up the gadlings, as well. I used a mini dapping punch set that I'd picked up from H.F., and stepped it down through three dishes. From there, I rough shaped the pyramid shape into the domed metal with a plastic mallet.

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And then used my planishing hammer to sharpen up the creases, and planish the faces.

Image

Oh, and I also trimmed down the steel lames for the fingers. Don't ground anymore, but I can comfortably close my fingers now. Also shortened up the lames, so the edges wouldn't dig into my knuckles. I still need to add in a subtle flute down the length of each lame.

I suppose next time I'm in the shop, the next step will be polishing up the metacarpals, then the brass for the edges and getting them rivetted on and engraved and filed. Then come the thumbs, and getting them articulated in. Then attaching the fingers to the leathers. Wait, no...before I start rivetting anything together, I should paint the interior of all the pieces. So I suppose that's the next step, before the first step. Honestly, how you professional armorers don't charge a grand or more for a pair of these things is beyond me.

Probably about 9-ish hours of shoptime, today.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Knight Sir James »

Very nice work. Thanks for taking pics and documenting this along the way, too. Can't wait to see them finished.
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Keegan Ingrassia
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

Sure thing, sir. :) Also helps keep me motivated, to post the progress shots.


Here's a quick snap of the current state of affairs. All the metal bits and pieces in one place.

Image

Link to larger image. (siiiigh...stupid pixel limit on size....)
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6159/620 ... 76ce_b.jpg
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Konstantin the Red »

This is a most outstanding tute, Keegan!
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Gurahl »

Wow...I have to say that I am impressed by your ability to spread your work out, but still produce the quality that this is acheiving. I have pipe dreams of doing something like this, but my wife seems to be under the belief that if i don't use something for two weeks it is trash....:(
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Ckanite »

Oh my!! That is simply fantastic! How did you get the finger tips lookin so nice?
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Zetheros »

I really like the sharpness and chiseled strength appearance of the gauntlets! It's almost as if you carved them from grey marble. Great work!
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

KtR - My sincere thanks, sir. I'm enjoying the process and sharing with y'all as I go.

Gurahl - Thank you kindly. :) It comes from long practice of juggling several different projects, and needing to go from pounding on steel and welding, to carefully throwing pottery, to working at the computer, to drawing portraits, and back around again. And, if your wife can take a joke (and a hint), try tossing out any shoes she hasn't worn in the last two weeks... ;)

Ckanite - Thanks! I'll be right back with some step-by-step shots of how I made the fingers. :)

Zetheros - I really appreciate that, man. :) Its all in the details. I'm loving your work, as well!

Ckanite - I actually got this particular sheet from a local hardware store, but I normally get all my brass/copper/silver from Metalliferous.
http://store.metalliferous.com/departme ... ?dept=1630
I'm using 18ga (0.040") sheet on this particular project. Its a nice middle of the road thickness for what I'm doing. A hair thick on the decorative elements, and a hair thin on the gadlings, but it balances out nicely. However, the thickness of the edges will help reinforce the gaunts, and the heavy shaping of the gadling will give them strength, as well as the work hardening from the planishing.
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

Alright, lengthy post ahead. You have been warned. :)



Fingertip Tutorial


Step 1 - Cut out piece.

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Step 2 - Deburr edges, smooth contours.
Because ripping your fingers is no fun. Also saves time later.

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Step 3 - Curl piece.
I like to use a rawhide mallet, over a bar stake of approximately the proper size to match a finger. Use a pair of pliers to hold onto the piece as you curl the opposite side, to avoid some really painful jarring to your finger bones.

Image Image

Step 4 - Snub nose.
This will help hold the curl, as well as prep the piece to deepen the fingertip.

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Step 5 - Rough in knuckle crease.
Here you quickly dish out the knuckle crease's rough location using a narrow faced hammer over your creasing stake.

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Step 6 - Shape tip.
For this step, you can do it one of two ways: raising it down with a lot of hammer blows, or dishing it into shape between a male and female forming die. I'm going to show you the faster way.

I'm using a doming kit from Harbor Freight for this step. Starting in the largest dish, I rough in the fingertip. You'll notice that the piece will want to uncurl, and widen back out as the tip gets dished. We'll fix that in the next step.

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Step 7 - Tighten Curl.
Nice and simple. Set the piece on edge, on a flat slab of metal. Smack it (gently) with the rawhide mallet a couple times, on both sides, until its properly curled again. You need to do this to keep your curl, and so the piece will be able to fit into the smaller dishes in the doming block.

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Step 8 - Repeat Step 6 until proper depth.
And here we've got the fingertip to a good depth. It was stepped down through 3 or 4 dishes to get to this point. An important note: Use the male die that most closely fits the dish you're shaping into while still leaving room for the thickness of your piece. If you don't do this, you risk gouging the outside of your piece, and thinning it.

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Caveat...I was careless here, and allowed the edges of the dapping holes to gouge into the plate. Caution and mindfulness will avoid this, as will using a male die that allows for the thickness of your piece.

Step 9 - Refine knuckle.
Using the backend of my earlier curling stake, I raise down the back of the knuckle crease with my planishing hammer, smoothing the curve into one even line. Make sure you keep the piece tilted, so as to push the metal down. This will keep your depth in the knuckle, rather than just flattening out the dish you put in.

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Now, flip the piece around, and carefully planish the opposite side of the crease.

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Step 10 - Fingernail, laying it out.

Simple enough. Put the piece on your hand. Mark where your fingernail is / where a nail would be asthetically pleasing.

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Step 11 - Fingernail, setting in the back.
For this step, I switched out my stake to the smaller bar, so as to more easily get into the piece. I'm also using my raising hammer for this step.

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Hang the piece off the back end of the stake, so the edge is just above your sharpie line. Tilt the piece at about a 45 degree angle, and hammering below the edge of the stake, push the metal down, so it forms what is basically a flute.

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Here, you can see where it should be so far. The dished top of the piece has been pushed down, creating a nice, crisp top of the fingernail.

Image Image

Step 12 - Fingernail, laying in the front.
Grab the planishing hammer, and using the edge of the stake, planish down the front tip of the fingernail. Be careful not to ruin the dished shape of the finger, as you flatten out the nail.

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Step 13 - Fingernail, refining the edges.
Flipping to the pick-shaped backend of the planishing hammer, I then go around the sides of the nail and the corners, pushing the piece down against the edge of the stake, as I had first done on the back of the nail.

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Step 14 - Final tweaking.
Correct any damage done to the overall shape of the tip.

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One quick pass through the dapping block to regain any dish lost to the piece.

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And a quick planish to the nail to even the entire surface of the nail, so you don't get any low spots during sanding.

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Step 15 - Sanding!
Angle grinder...check. Medium grit disk...check. Quench bucket at your feet, for when the little piece gets too hot to hold...double check.

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First, I sand the fingernail. Its a detail that needs to get finished, before you thin the piece too much elsewhere. This will also allow you to get a really crisp shape to the nail, which might be difficult later.

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Same story for the back of the knuckle. This will sharpen your crease.

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After that, you can carefully sand down the rest of the piece, taking time to dunk it in your water bucket when it gets too hot to comfortably hold.

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And a final detail, is to sand down the very back of your piece, so the edge matches the line of your knuckle crease. A wavy or oblong shape behind the crease looks sloppy.

Step 16 - Smoothing it out.
Once you've finished sanding, I like to take a quick run over the piece with the wire brush, to smooth out the lines of the grinder. Personally, I like a satin finish, so you could stop here. But the surface is more rust resistant at a higher polish, or even if you take it to a high polish, then bring it back with a green scrubbie.

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Step 17 - Polishing! (finally)
Simple enough. Just you, the buffer, and some quality time with the Tripoli and polishing compound. I use a stiffer, sewn wheel for the Tripoli, and a loose disk for the polish.

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And the money shot.
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http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6219/623 ... d483_b.jpg

Total time: 1 hour from start to finish. If I hadn't been taking pictures of every step, probably 30-45 minutes, tops.
Total time spent typing this up: Just over two hours. :lol: Would have been faster to show you, but now its preserved for posterity.

Hope this was helpful! :)
"There is a tremendous amount of information in a picture, but getting at it is not a purely passive process. You have to work at it, but the more you work at it the easier it becomes." - Mac
veltez
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by veltez »

I almost feel as though I should be paying for this lesson...
"I can eat a 5 lb bag of sugar with a spoon, and be a _bit_ hyperkinetic, but I won't lose focus. One red M&M though.. and boy howdy.. boingy boingy LETS RIDE BIKES LOOK A TREE WHAT WAS I DOING WITH THIS CHAINSAW WHEEEE!" --Maeryk
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Ckanite
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Ckanite »

Ditto there veltez! That was fantastically indepth! Thank you very much!! and now I feel I must go waste away in the shop after class today...
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Kenwrec Wulfe
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Re: Some new tools, and a new project - hourglass gauntlets

Post by Kenwrec Wulfe »

Hey Keegan,

I had meant to ask you, is there a historic example of the fingernail shape on the fingertip lame?

BTW, nicely done tutorial!
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. -Aristotle
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