Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

This forum is designed to help us spread the knowledge of armouring.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1020488
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 1:01 am
Location: Bloomington, MN, USA

Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by JT »

Just like the subject says... I noticed that Mac's "Dusting Off The Cobwebs" (St Florian project) has slipped off the front page. (edit... no it hadn't, I was just blind. The point remains though) :)

I do not want to continually bump up or "stickify" all the "important" threads, because doing so would mean that people would have to go to page 2 or 3 (or 4? 5?) to get to threads with new information. That'd be dumb and counter-productive.

But a single sticky post with a list of these threads... that's a different beast altogether.

If you have a thread you'd like to see added, reply to this and add it. :)
I reserve the right to take your response and incorporate it into the list, which I will start below as a reply to this post.

Please note that this is not intended as the "saved important threads" that I talked about in an OffTopics reply... these are not being copied out of the phpBB forums, let alone copied over to a different server to preserve them in case the forums go down/away. It's a quick-reference area to point to threads which have slipped off the first, second, or seventeenth page, which you're sick of having to remember the search words for.
Konstantin the Red
Archive Member
Posts: 26725
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Port Hueneme CA USA

Re: Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by Konstantin the Red »

Oooh yeah. I am gonna work with this.

It tends mostly to take reader time... starting at the last page and paging forward, checking out useful looking threads and linking these, with very brief summaries on the valuable stuff -- e.g. "Laminated Canvas" armor for the SCAdians, and "Easy-Bake" also.
User avatar
Keegan Ingrassia
Archive Member
Posts: 6398
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:07 pm
Location: College Station, Texas (Shadowlands)

Re: Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by Keegan Ingrassia »

I've got a few that I've listed a couple times in the past. :) By no means a complete list, but still a decent start.

Other threads worth reading:

Articulation - A treatise by Mac - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=188799
How does elbow articulation work - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177905
Designing a Knee - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177824
Make a Vitus Axe - viewtopic.php?f=2&t=132775
14th century armharness - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=170292
Coburg Bascinet by Tom - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177179
Bascinet prototype and Can Construction - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=170835
Raising Greaves - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177519
Analysis of fabric-covered globose - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176086
Mail - Sleeves and Skirts - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=168360
Early 15th century Brigandine - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=176428
Haubergeon sleeve length and vambraces - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176589
Creating a custom foam torso (for a body model of yourself) - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176431
Thom Richardson's Thesis - A must read for 14th century mail - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=175673
Ideas for Historical-Themed Hourglass Gauntlets - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=174655
Tom B's historically tailored mail sleeve - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=171813
Roundel dagger scabbard - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=172503
Questions on men's 14th century cotehardie and hose - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172174
Discussion on late 14th, early 15th sabatons - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=169478
Rust prevention tests - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=170738
Discussion on Plaque Belts and their Suspension - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=170488
Material Culture of a Late 14th Century Persona - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=27632
Wood for Pattens to Avoid Splitting - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=169049
Books for 14th Century Stuff - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=168287
Rolling and Roping through the Centuries - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=160267
Soft Kit, Late 14th Century - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=157481
A Late 14th Century Gentleman of Arms - viewtopic.php?f=14&t=43175
Late 14th, Early 15th Century Hinges - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=148968
Armor Primer - Decades of the 14th Century - viewtopic.php?f=4&t=128532
Hand-Sewing a Pourpoint and Aketon - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=127780
Mac's Bascinet Typology - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=96532
Questions about the Fabric-Covered Breastplate - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=178435
Comfortable and Flexible - Suspending your Leg harness - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=173292
Last edited by Keegan Ingrassia on Mon May 01, 2023 3:38 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"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
Archive Member
Posts: 12209
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2000 1:01 am
Location: albion NY half way between rochester/buffalo

Re: Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by losthelm »

Jacobs narrow sacrificial drill press table for tight spots.


Jeremy.g Making a stake socket

A link to the essay and pattern section may also help
Wilhelm Smydle in the SCA

My Ebay Listings
Konstantin the Red
Archive Member
Posts: 26725
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Port Hueneme CA USA

Re: Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by Konstantin the Red »

Myron's laminated canvas rigid armor: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=169268 3 pages, particularly SCA interest. Particularly few-tools interest: disposable brush, scissors, knife, leather punch, medium sandpaper for edges.

Desdichado's Easy Bake HDPE armor pieces: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177354 2 pages, SCA interest. Needs oven; suited to production runs, thread discusses refinements of technique as it goes along. Deep molding (cops) and shallow molding (char aina).
"The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone..."
Sean M
Archive Member
Posts: 2295
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:24 pm
Location: in exile in Canada

Re: Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by Sean M »

One post in viewtopic.php?f=1&t=174655&p=2667934 has Mac's rough-and-ready typology of gauntlet fingers, with a focus on hourglass gauntlets
Check out Age of Datini: European Material Culture 1360-1410
Konstantin the Red
Archive Member
Posts: 26725
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Port Hueneme CA USA

Re: Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by Konstantin the Red »

We need to work harder on this, with an archive scour, copy, paste.
User avatar
Posts: 1020488
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 1:01 am
Location: Bloomington, MN, USA

Re: Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by JT »

Konstantin the Red wrote:We need to work harder on this, with an archive scour, copy, paste.
There are roughly 30,000 threads in this forum. Almost 900 pages of 35 threads each.
-- Many are (nearly) worthless.
-- Many are not.
-- A relative few are precious gems.

I can fairly easily write something that extracts and creates a single-page collection of a thread, once it's identified.

If there are 10 people scanning through, each doing 1 page (35 threads) per day, it's about 3 months of effort. (That assumes no replication of effort to catch things that one person doesn't think is important, while another does.)

Worth doing? Are people willing to aid and abet it getting done?
Konstantin the Red
Archive Member
Posts: 26725
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 1:01 am
Location: Port Hueneme CA USA

Re: Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by Konstantin the Red »

One of those relative few gems, I hope, is Jamesedgarson and me thinking over What Is The Most Amateur Friendly Helm To Make? ... 1&t=169379

-- with me putting in everything I could think of for how to make simple barrelhelms fast and with teamwork. Jamesedgarson's purpose was putting together loaner hats for the barony; he built two. Just by himself.

Their workmanship was rough, but still it's two more loaner buckets than I've ever built. But that recipe is how I'd try it. Personally, I'd go for making the results smoother and prettier -- but then paint them funny. Maybe a big red disc with a white block letter L on the back. Because funny. (Shire Darach's arms, painted small, on the red disc?)

Not keen on the Valerius barrelhelm model from the SCA KWH any more -- the safety-bars across the sight bother me less than its shape, narrowing down above and below the horizontal seam which is the widest part. KWH alleges this is 13th century, but I've never seen a 13th century source, early or late, with a barrelhat of that shape. Seems more to me the bucket should just go straight down from ears to collarline, and retain the sloped upper half.

Also we shouldn't forget the notion of using a "weldable steel pipe cap," that mushroom-cap-shaped affair, for a preformed top cap for interior-fit-topcap barrelhelms: flange and rounding already done for you. The Rachel Ray recipe for speedy barrelhats, taking advantage of somebody else doing some prep-work. Weldable pipe caps come in one inch size increments, from 2" on up.

I was skimming the nearly 900 pages of Design & Construction, last to first, up into about pp.760s or thereabouts, before deciding to do narrower searches instead. I think my posts and knowhow have improved from my earliest! We need to stick that "tip the temple triangles" method of installing camails on bascinets into here if we haven't already. :?:

Next search will be strictly frivolous: Searchterm "nad tasset" and then "DPU" next Search.

...Aand frivolous it was. Amusing, though. "Jewel Box," quotha. And other euphemisms, even cleverer.
Archive Member
Posts: 4759
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 2:01 am
Location: North Carolina, USA

Re: Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by wcallen »

I think that the involved discussion on the "Can" method of making helmets is worth having in one of the lists of good threads.
Whether you actually want to "can" the piece or not, there is a lot of general volume information and discussion of helmet form. ... 1&t=170835

Sean M
Archive Member
Posts: 2295
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:24 pm
Location: in exile in Canada

Re: Links To Important/Useful Threads In This Forum

Post by Sean M »

Here is my big file-of-links. I am very thankful to folks like Mac who take time to go back and boil down their threads / posts.

Mac and Charlotte on avoiding the diaper look viewtopic.php?f=16&t=164027&start=51 Avoiding the 'Diaper' Look with the phrases "fundamental" and "decent"

Mac and Chris Gilman on how to tailor a camail or aventail viewtopic.php?f=1&t=80687&hilit=aventail A- D&C "How to deal with maille around face-Aventail"

Overlapping and underlapping faulds viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177258 A- D&C "Did late 14th century faulds overlap or underlap?"

Mad Matt on the secret of armouring (take a piece of metal. Hit it until it looks like it should look). viewtopic.php?f=1&t=175798 A- D&C "everything you'll ever need to know about how to shape armor"

Mac on knees and James Aarlen on the ergonomic deficiencies of XV German armour viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177824 A- D&C "Designing a knee, trying to get it right"

Several people on SCA silhouettes viewtopic.php?f=1&t=154661 A- D&C "On SCA Silhouettes"
See! This is the sort of thing we are up against. As soon and somebody mentions "squeezing in the waist" somebody else says "corsets" and next thing ya' know, everybody's worried that we want to take out their short ribs and squish 'em til their uteruses prolapse.

Seriously, here is how to find out just how much you can squeeze the waist.....
----Cut out two "L" shaped pieces of plywood and clamp them together to form a sort of caliper. If you have two framing squares, that will work as well.
----adjust the width between the "arms" of your ersatz caliper to be just smaller than your waist (your "skeletal waist" as defined in my post above)
----try it on
----bend from side to side
----take it off and make it tighter
----try it on again
----repeat the process, making it tight and tighter
----when you have it so tight that it hurts to bend, it is too tight
----loosen the caliper until you can bend without pain

The ultimate narrowness of the waist of the armor is limited on the one side by the ribs and pelvis coming together as you bend, and on the other side by the abdominal muscles stretching tightly across corresponding place. As long as it does not actually hurt, you can really wear it that narrow. You will be surprised at how narrow this is.

When you make the armor to that width, you will find it is more comfortable than the caliper because the armor waist will not be as "sharp" as the measuring instrument was.

For really lean guys, the armor will only be about an inch narrower than they are buck naked. For most of us, it will be between 2 and 4 inches narrower than we appear under those circumstances....and that make a really big difference in how an armor will look.
Several people on precision including Mac "This made me smile. It's been over thirty years since I thought hinges "should" have interchangeable parts." viewtopic.php?f=1&t=178070&p=2716979#p2716979
A- D&C "Precision in craftsmanship"

Mac on beveled edges viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177831&p=2714390#p2714390 "Real armor almost invariably has its outside arrises beveled to some degree. The better sort of real armor has its inside arrises beveled as well."

Mac on bascinet shapes relative to the skull viewtopic.php?f=4&t=154000 (Mark G. comments that sport armourers tend to want to place the bascinet to allow more vision) " Armor is always a three way compromise of "Wearability", "Defense", and "Style". So long as the first two principles are not to badly trodden upon, Style will always win out. In the final analysis, I think we have to conclude that they thought it looked cool that way."

Photos of the Statue of St. George in Prague viewtopic.php?f=1&t=132598
Covered cuirasses and Mac on how to read photos viewtopic.php?f=1&t=173764

Mac on raising viewtopic.php?f=1&t=175534&p=2681853#p2681853
Mac on how to be a good client at a fitting viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176431&p=2693680#p2693680
Various on covered cuirasses with globulose chests viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176086
Randall and Mac on closed cuisses in XIV viewtopic.php?f=4&t=177016
Varii on the shape of greaves viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177194&p=2705955#p2705955
A thread on articulating bracers in the 14th century viewtopic.php?f=1&t=170292&p=2713442#p2713442
Mac on the Lyle bascinet viewtopic.php?f=4&t=177632&p=2710535#p2710535

Aventail linings viewtopic.php?f=4&t=163273&hilit=pisane

Mac suggests that he counts photos which he does not already have as $5 and buys an armour book if it pays for itself in photos viewtopic.php?f=4&t=166371

Many smart people on authenticity and appropriateness viewtopic.php?f=4&t=157029

Various on front-opening cuirasses viewtopic.php?f=4&t=175840&p=2686212&hi ... g#p2686212

Attaching aventails and camails to rounded bascinets/cevelliers viewtopic.php?f=1&t=173160&p=2645534&hi ... s#p2645534

Rare painting of black helmets next to white helmets, France circa 1370

Debate about whether a video library would be a good idea viewtopic.php?f=1&t=58034&p=742158&hili ... th#p742158 (criticism of the MET photos of raising a helmet from 1915)

Gaps between the lames as an elbow articulates viewtopic.php?f=1&t=177905&p=2715193&hi ... w#p2715193

Mac on sketching viewtopic.php?f=1&t=158178&hilit=beard

Mac on his work circa 1984 viewtopic.php?f=1&t=172120&hilit=purple

Various on the development of SCA armour viewtopic.php?f=1&t=15890

Reproduction of Wade's 1560s Augsburg gorget viewtopic.php?f=1&t=157286&hilit=gorget

Mac on the width of a cuirass at different levels viewtopic.php?f=1&t=178435&p=2722646&hi ... e#p2722646

Mac on Can/house construction of helmets viewtopic.php?f=1&t=170835&hilit=house&start=35

Wade and others on people's inability to see the difference between an original and a bad reproduction viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176093&p=2691043

Various on how to avoid joint and tendon damage viewtopic.php?f=1&t=169453&p=2580131&hi ... n#p2580131

Mac and Wade on curves in three dimentions. Wade mentions that he makes vambraces with compoud curves without a fancy stake viewtopic.php?f=1&t=160040

Various on keyhole and shallow pointed visors viewtopic.php?f=4&t=178752&p=2725402

Wade on Tools viewtopic.php?f=1&t=167031&p=2539737&hi ... t#p2539737
I haven't had the energy to write up some ideas I have had about tools. I happen to have an annoyingly reasonable set to play with, but most of it isn't actually necessary. I did an afternoon recently with a local trying to boil things down to what you really, really need. It is a lot like the list above, but it works from "what you need to do" instead of "what tools I need" because there are lots of ways to do the same thing and a lot of different tools that can do the same thing.

Other than the basics:
Something to use to draw what you want to do
Something to make patterns
Something to cut the metal
Something to curl metal (where necessary)
Something to allow you to do 3D shaping of metal (almost always necessary)
Something to allow you to smooth the metal
Something to allow you to grind out the marks you put in doing the rest of the stages
Something to allow you to put holes in metal
Then things that will allow you to finish like doing leather work, buckles, hinges, and the rest.
Picking a specific first item, drawing it and thinking about how the metal needs to move will lead to what tools you need.
For example - curl metal.
A piece of pipe (with a way to hold it)
A piece of large bar stock (again, with a way to hold it).
A pipe stake (the real tool version of the two above)
A bickhorn (a nice version of the above with a cool taper on the end and a useful flat back end)
A slip roller
A bending fork (two pieces of metal with a slot in between to allow you to slide the metal in and bend)
Something with a groove and something to hit the metal with. The crudest of this can be a dent in the ground, or if you don't care about the finish or road, the curb on a street.
For armour, I find the horn of an anvil to be worse than most of the lower-end things. It is to short, tapers to fast and the body of the anvil gets in the way for most things.
There are lots of possible expensive and cheap ways to do the same thing.
So pick something and start from there.
If you can find someone near you who is making armour, you can get a lot of ideas from talking with them or seeing their tools. But don't let what they have limit you. I find that most armourers do similar things, but many of them to things in slightly different ways with slightly different tools - even when they have previously worked with each other.
Wade on making children's armour in four days: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=179025&p=2728618
That "armour" was accomplished quickly because it leaves out almost all of the hard parts of making armour. It is really more 14th c. esque than anything else.
The breastplate was straight dished. No attempt to maintain metal thickness where it should be.
The arms (except for the elbows) are all flat metal. Cut, fold the edges and roll up to shape.
The pieces (arms, legs, breastplate, spaulders) were taken from patterns I had lying around put into the copier at 50%, so no patterning work (except for the helmet).
And when you are planning a quick piece with a PB-80 (scratch) finish, you can get away with pretty minimal finishing work on most of the pieces.
Add to that the fact that I used commercial buckles and mounted the buckles wrong - using loops of leather, not the right metal mounting plates. Since there were no inner plates on the vambraces and no back plates on the cuisses, the armour needed no hinges.
The number of straps was minimized. I didn't put any in the elbow or knee (there should be straps there).
Suspension tabs on the arms, spaulders and cuisses were omitted. I just put holes through which I passed thongs for suspension.
The helmet lining was just some open-cell foam strips glued into the skull. I didn't make a tow-stuffed lining, and I didn't sew it to the skull.
On the other hand the armour is made of steel. It is formed by hand with no power tools other than the grinder/polisher. To most people (other than those here) it appears to actually be an armour.
So, when you start with patterns, only have to do about 1/4 of the work, keep the finish rough, and don't have to make or correctly mount buckles or hinges, you eliminate a lot of the work that actually goes into making a correct armour.
That armour is a pretty good example of how something that can look like armour, but really not require all of the actual work of making armour that is really correct. It should be relatively simple for many people to build armour for children or even armour for the SCA to this relatively low level of construction or authenticity.
wade and schreiber on raising with and without heat viewtopic.php?f=1&t=179131
Two quick points.

1. I can hot raise without mouse ears on. I don't do it as a rule but I can. I cannot dish without them.
2. If you haven't made a riveted helm, make one. Tools required are not as specialized, they're really quite fun... and despite what you're probably thinking, you really don't know how to do it until you've done it. It is very much worth it and the sense of accomplishment is no smaller. It takes craftsmanship just like raised helms.
I think that maybe something should be clarified. When people say "it is a lot faster to raise hot" they really mean it. A lot really doesn't tell you what they really mean. A lot means A LOT. I haven't raised cold in so long I can't provide a valid time difference, but for something like a helmet I expect we are probably talking about .... 1/10 the time? Something like that.

And the noise difference isn't close either. Hot raising is civilized. You can talk about it if you have anyone who cares to listen while you are doing it. Cold raising steel is loud like cold dishing.
Toby on his career where he says that the Mac Black harness was his only harness at the time, and that his only income was from museum curating and jousting (!)
When it was sold at auction in 2006 auction 51 lot number 2155 the starting price was 30,000 Euros but it did not sell ... p?id=27746 ... _kat_p.txt

Wade and Mac on integral buckles in the 14th century viewtopic.php?f=1&t=126677&hilit=Chartres&start=35 Mentions effigy of Sir John de St. Quintin (1397) by name and what we now call Met Museum accession number 29.150.19 (not by name) as well as the armour in Chartres Cathedral.

100% Textiles List from 2008 viewtopic.php?f=4&t=89965

Modern equivalents of 14th century silks viewtopic.php?f=4&t=65272

Greaves with staples for a strap at the back: Doug Strong has #1668 which was found with other objects in the style of the late 14th century ... 68&cartID= and viewtopic.php?f=4&t=150994&p=2283917&hi ... e#p2283917 Pins and staples on greaves

Greave fitting: mcallen "Much better (as Mac said) to have the greave support its own weight. You really shouldn't be trying to hang the greave from the cuisse, the other way around works better (supporting the cuisse a little from the bottom)." Thread contains theorized and schynbald

Konstantin the Red "The best suspension points [for cuisses] are port and starboard at your jeans outseam, perhaps supplemented by two more a bit forward of that, like just behind where your jeans pockets curve up to meet your waistband. Farther forward on your hips than that becomes too changeable in length and your cops don't stay on your knees." in '"Hanging your legs" question' viewtopic.php?f=1&t=164811&p=2502218&hi ... e#p2502218

Wade Allen on planning a 16th century armour: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=182895&p=2776669&hi ... n#p2776669
Personally, I would look for someone who has done things in the past that look like what you want.
Then I would see how they want to work with you. A lot of this will depend on what you really want. 16th c. esque SCA armour, or 16th c. armour. Also, what part of the 16th c. There are common techniques used in a 1510 Italian armour and a 1590 Augsburg one, but the actual armour is pretty much different in every way.

At some point you will have to decide on an order of things. (almost) no one is willing to wait for a whole armour to be completed, and almost no armourer can afford to wait that long for money. If you are being mean, you could tell them what you want and ask them to start with the pauldrons. If they say yes, go somewhere else.

In your friend's case Morion with breast/back and tassets, I expect that whether they know it or not they are looking for 1580-1600. Italian and German based styles aren't that different, but they are different.
I could skew a morion back to at least the 1560's, but the shape probably isn't quite what the customer is expecting.

Details will also matter a lot. Black/rough from the hammer? Black and white? Polished? Plain or roped borders? recessed borders? sliding gussets, fixed gussets, or integral rolls on the breast? Etc. Etc.

Finding someone who does all of the details the way you like and with whom you can agree will govern how satisfied you are with the result.

Oh, and mild? Stainless? Spring? Tempered? Those will affect who you should work with too.

I also expect any good piece is going to involve some waiting.
And a really correct shape and fit will involve some in-person time between the customer and the armourer.

Oh, and while I am at it. You skipped the gorget. Either you need integral collar with the cuirass, or you will want a gorget. And it has to be done first. If the person offers to do it later if you want it, also a good sign that you should go somewhere else.

I could probably ramble on....


Using the Icefalcon Riveted Mail Tool (A- D&C) viewtopic.php?f=1&t=152341
Making needles for sewing leather viewtopic.php?f=1&t=173435&hilit=pliers
1st post and maille question viewtopic.php?f=1&t=168190

A-D&C Raising Armour like Chocolate Pudding viewtopic.php?f=1&t=184915&p=2803489&hi ... t#p2803489
mac: Like the guys are saying, raising from sheet is probably a modern technique. It dates back to the availability of rolled sheet.

The basic problem is that we all learned to make armor from reading modern books on silver and copper smithing. Those books all date from well after the time when sheet metal was readily available.

In all likelihood, the helmet makers of old worked up a heavy plate from the inside until it was deep enough and then raised in the sides. If the initial work is done with brutal efficiency, the resulting helmet blank will have a rather uneven wall thickness. At that point the armorer's job is to make the outside look good without regard to what the inside looks like. The result is that the irregularities of thickness are all pushed to the inside of the helmet (or breastplate for that matter) where they are left to amaze and astound us modern folks.

It's a bit disheartening to learn that everything we "know" about helmet making is probably wrong, but It time we just suck that up and move on. On the plus side, you can tell your customers that raising vessels from sheet is only about 150 years older than oxyacetylene welding, so you're not going to bust your arse and ruin your elbows doing it that way anymore. :wink:

I'm working up a Youtube playlist which includes material on traditional (pre-sheet metal) production of volumetric shapes. ... hedoxU4W1A

A-D&C Dishing Steel- On a Flat Anvil? ... &p=1051740

A- D&C Some questions about the munich covered breastplate
The neck of the breastplate should be as high as it can be while not resting on the place where your sternomastoid muscles attach to your sternum. To find out where that is, pull your head forcibly forward and feel where the muscles are.

Are your torso tracings verified with caliper measurements? If so, then you have drawn the armor too wide. The widest part under the arms should be the width of your chest when you take a deep breath. If you make it too wide there it will interfere with putting your arms at your sides more than it must.

Pursuant to the above; the waist should be as narrow as it can be. Get a scrap of plywood or MDF and cut a waist sized "notch" in it. Shove this onto your waist and see if it fits. If you can't fit it on at all, it's too narrow and you need to cut it a bit wider. Open it up bit by bit till you can "wear" it. If it fits OK, but hurts when you bend from side to side, it's probably still a bit narrow. If it's perfectly comfortable, it's too wide.

Put your arms out in front of your and lay your hands on opposite elbows. The distance between your arms, right where your pectorals insert to your humeri is the width to make the upper breast. Most people make this too narrow.... beware.

The width of the back at the top can be significantly wider than the corresponding with of the breast. Hold your arms out at your sides and than try bringing them back as far as they go. This should convince you that the back can be pretty wide. Most people make this too narrow as well... beware again.

There is a range of fauld lengths for this sort of armor. If they fall to the level of the hip joints, they can be made very close fitting, but you may want to extend the front with one of those triangular appendages that vulgar modern armorers call a DPU. If you want it to cover all the way down to the glutial fold in back, the fauld will have to be a bit wider to allow you to spread your legs a bit before the fauld has to collapse.
A- D&C -> 16th C Cuirasses, and gaps at waist viewtopic.php?f=1&t=99122&p=1390604
Those gaps are pretty common on armors from the first half of the 16th c. I've always worried about them, myself. Here are my thoughts on them...
-As Alcyoneous says, they make the waist look really slim.
-They are easier to get into, because you don't have as much trouble squeezing your waist into the backplate.
-They are less inclined to pinch ones clothing and flesh at the waist when the breastplate is cinched uptight to the back.
-They are easier to make, because the most difficult anticlastic curvature of the waist lame is simply not there.
-It is my impression that this construction is more prevalent on cheaper armors, but this is by no means universal." - mac
"When you buy a shirt, just think of it as a shirt kit. That is what it is, and you shouldn't think anything else." - wcallen
Re-tailoring a shirt takes a certain amount or resolve. I usually begin by establishing where the waist is going to be and then simply cutting it apart at that line. I modify the skirt and bodice separately and put them back together as a final step.

Here is what I do to the bodice....
---mark the locations of the tops of the shoulder blades on the back
---make a vertical cut from those points up over the shoulders and down to the waist in front
---remove one column of rings every 4 rows from begining of the cut to a point just over the tops of the shoulders. You will be removing about 5 or 6 columns on each side.
---close the cuts back up all the way down to the waist in front. The upper back is now broader than the chest.
---mark the locations of the bottoms of the shoulder blades.
---make a cut from here to the waist in back.
---Figure out how many columns you can loose and still be able to your shoulders through the waist.
---Remove half that number from the edge of each back cut at a rate of one column per four rows.
---Close up the back cuts and try it on to make sure you can easily get your shoulders through the waist.

If you are reconfiguring the armpits, do that next. I am not going to try to describe the armpit. Burgess' articles show it clearly enough. The important thing is that there will be a "cross grain" joint about a hand's breadth wide at the bottom.

If you have full length sleeves, make them taper evenly from the armpit "gusset" to the wrist. You will be dropping two rows at a time here. Make sure you can get your hands through the wrists.

Find the "point" of the elbow and make a cut through about half of the circumference of the arm. I have always made this in the "back" of the arm, but surviving mail sleeves all seem to have on the bottom. You will need to add columns of mail to this cut to give you the extra material you need to bend the elbow properly. You can either add a series of expansions right down the center of the cut as you close it back up, or put in a sort of "lens" of mail.

Close up the neck hole as much as you can and still get you head through it. Some shirts with square neck holes have a band of cross grain mail over each shoulder. This lets you make the hole even smaller, because the cross grain stuff will sag out of the way when you but your head through. It also gives you a consistent edge to decorate with brass rings.

Modifying the skirts will require more work than brains. There are ways to do it that will allow you to reuse big patches of fabric, but they are harder to describe. Here is the "brute force" method. If you can see a cleverer way that yields the same result, so much the better.
---start by counting the number of rings you ended up with at eh waist of the bodice. This will be the number you must end up with at the top of the skirt when you go to reattach it.
---Cut the skirt into four panels.
---make the top of each panel have 1/4 the number of rings as the waist, minus one.
---put the panels back together at the waist
---start closing the cuts, adding one extra column every four rows.

You may now reattach the skirt.

I would not consider doing this to a shirt for less than $1200. That's just how long it takes. When everything is said and done, there are probably no more than 200 "funny rings" in the whole shirt. If the mail maker had put them in in the first place it would have only increased the production time by an couple of hours....." - mac
Evan M., How do I start making armor? viewtopic.php?f=1&t=186949&p=2833778&hi ... l#p2833778
In my experience, most authentic armor finish can be described in the following grades.

1 From the hammer. This is a black oxide (fire scale) surface with good smooth hammer work. There may or may not be some file or coarse grind marks under the oxide.
2 "Shine over scratches". This is a surface which has been coarsely ground and then finished and then polished. It is shiny, but the coarse scratches are very evident.
3"Fine finish" This is basically the same thing as the above, but more effort has gone into removing the scratches.
4"Mirror finish". Here, more time has been spent on removing the scratches, and the surface is more or less secular." (specular?)

Mac, Facebook
Check out Age of Datini: European Material Culture 1360-1410
Post Reply