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Chris West




Location: Las Vegas
Joined: 13 Sep 2009

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2009 11:08 pm    Post subject: Making a shield boss         Reply with quote

I am attempting my first shield. I am making a viking round shield and I would like to make my own boss for it. I want it to have an overall diameter of about 71/2" with a dish diameter of 6". I have found a couple places that describe making a boss but was wondering if anyone new of a site that gave a very detailed description possibly with some pictures. I am also going to edge it with rawhide (due to lots of suggestions I have seen in other posts) and was wondering how long I should soak the rawhide before putting it on and where the best place to get the rivets or nails for attaching the boss and edging.
Add another body to the body toll, God please bless this poor bastard's soul.
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2009 2:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The first thing I would recommend you do is make a negative form (in a tree stump) to the size that you want your boss to be. If you don't have access to a stump you can use a section of railroad tie, or use steel strapping to bind four by fours together.
There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Jim Adelsen
Industry Professional



Location: WI
Joined: 28 Dec 2005

Posts: 137

PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2009 4:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another way to make your form is to take pieces of plywood and put them together. So your first sheet would have say a 6" diameter hole and your second a 5". Keep getting smaller till you have the form you want. Be ready for a tired arm also.
www.viking-shield.com
www.thevikingmuseum.com
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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
Joined: 15 Jun 2006
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Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 1,200

PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2009 4:58 am    Post subject: Re: Making a shield boss         Reply with quote

Chris West wrote:
I am attempting my first shield. I am making a viking round shield and I would like to make my own boss for it. I want it to have an overall diameter of about 71/2" with a dish diameter of 6". I have found a couple places that describe making a boss but was wondering if anyone new of a site that gave a very detailed description possibly with some pictures. I am also going to edge it with rawhide (due to lots of suggestions I have seen in other posts) and was wondering how long I should soak the rawhide before putting it on and where the best place to get the rivets or nails for attaching the boss and edging.


While I admire your enthusiasm for making your own boss, there are a number of sources for very well made bosses that would save you the time and effort and allow you to devote yourself to the making of shield itself, decorating it, etc.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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R D Moore




Location: Portland Oregon
Joined: 09 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2009 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a couple of links that may help you:
http://www.anvilfire.com/21centbs/armor/
look under raising a norman helmet

Adjust the dish to what you want. You could also weld a boss together and grind and sand it to finished state.

PS
I have another link that may help:
http://members.ozemail.com.au/~chrisandpeter/....html#Boss

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation" ...Gen. Douglas Macarthur


Last edited by R D Moore on Mon 14 Sep, 2009 7:42 am; edited 2 times in total
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,272

PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2009 7:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That sounds a little big. Aren't most original bosses smaller than that? Roman ones have domes no larger than 5", as I recall.

Yeah, I made a dishing form from 2 layers of 1" plywood, glued and screwed together. For a little more depth I added a pair of c. 1" strips on the bottom. It has served surprisingly well for years.

Have fun!

Matthew
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Chris West




Location: Las Vegas
Joined: 13 Sep 2009

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2009 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the replies. I' m thinking I may buy a boss for my first shield and then start working on one for a second shield. I mean one can never have too many shields.
Add another body to the body toll, God please bless this poor bastard's soul.
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Chris West




Location: Las Vegas
Joined: 13 Sep 2009

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have found everything I need for my shield except rivets. I am having a hard time looking for some that have that old nonbolt look. Where might be a good source for them?
Add another body to the body toll, God please bless this poor bastard's soul.
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Matthew Fedele




Location: Auburn, NY USA
Joined: 21 Jul 2005

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009 4:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not sure what you mean about the "old nonbolt look." The older rivets were a bit more rounded and the ones you find in hardware stores now days tend to be galvanized. You can hit it with a belt sander to make it more round or burn the galv off with hydrochloric acid.

I've always bought my rivets from http://www.rjleahy.com/

I haven't found a east coast source with as good of a selection that seems to be willing to sell to the public.
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Mark Millman





Joined: 10 Feb 2005

Posts: 228

PostPosted: Fri 18 Sep, 2009 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dear Chris West,

On Thursday 17 September 2009, you wrote:
I have found everything I need for my shield except rivets. I am having a hard time looking for some that have that old nonbolt look. Where might be a good source for them?

Don't worry--rivets aren't accurate anyway. You want to use clenched nails. You can buy hand-forged nails, of which there are many sources. A quick Google search on the phrase "hand-forged nails" (be sure to include the quotation marks) will show several right away, selling both hand-forged examples and ones that are machine-made in imitation of hand-forging. Or you can hammer on ordinary nail-heads until they look right. If you're ambitious--which I guess you are, as you wanted to forge your own boss--you could make the nails yourself. The same Google search also turns up sites with directions for making nails.

As R D Moore mentions earlier in this thread, Peter Beatson's article The 'Viking Shield' from Archaeology is an excellent source for construction details. It should be the first reference for anyone who plans to build a historically accurate replica of an early-medieval shield.

I hope that this information proves helpful.

Best,

Mark Millman
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Chris West




Location: Las Vegas
Joined: 13 Sep 2009

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri 18 Sep, 2009 9:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

both of the last posts are extremely helpful, thank you.
Add another body to the body toll, God please bless this poor bastard's soul.
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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

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Posts: 474

PostPosted: Fri 18 Sep, 2009 10:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Go to a good automobile parts store or a store that specializes in autobody tools. There are different types of forms that are used to restore dings and bumps by placing the form underneath the body panel and working it with a hammer. Place the "spoon" (that's what I seem to remember them being called) in a vice and use an autobody hammer which looks like a heavier version of an engraver's chasing hammer. This is basically the same process a silversmith uses to raise a teapot, etc. Progressively lighter taps will smooth out the surface. Another method is one used my a friend who makes Basket hilted swords. He has an old brass shotput that he uses to form the basket. I also imagine a really good quality croquet hardwood ball would work if the gauge of the brass was not too thick. Just some ideas.
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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