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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 678

PostPosted: Mon 19 Jul, 2010 4:34 am    Post subject: A cuir bouilli cervelliere...         Reply with quote

Just wondering if it was feasible to do a cervelliere in cuir bouilli?
Are there references to helmets being made thus?
And how would one go about doing it? I was thinking 3mm veg-tanned blue cow leather, with simple incised/pressed designs and a touch of paint. but would something like kangaroo be possible?
It wouldn't be used by itself (coif, arming cap and a helm to go over the lot when it gets heavy going).
Pictures are greatly appreciated Big Grin

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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Posts: 614

PostPosted: Mon 19 Jul, 2010 5:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The 1997 Royal Armouries Yearbook had an extensive article on 14thC archer's caps. They were not too different than the cervelliere. Chris Dobson made a plasible experiment to recreate one. Check it out, its a good article.

I don't think I'd go at it the same way as I'm pretty confident in the "last & dunk in hot water" method for my own work. I've made enough elbow and knee cops that way; scaling it up to a little helmet should be interesting.
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 678

PostPosted: Mon 19 Jul, 2010 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah thanks Kel, I'll look into that. Big Grin
Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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Brawn Barber




Location: In the shop
Joined: 20 Nov 2008

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jul, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd think that Kangaroo would be too thin of material to form with enough heat for the toughness needed. In the helms that I'm currently working on in Cuir bouilli leather it is becoming apparent that the thicker the leather the better. I don't see any reason why the cervelliere wouldn't be possible, however the full skullcap has been a challenge.
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 678

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jul, 2010 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, thanks Brawn.
I was thinking of constructing it like the 'skull/top' part of a chapel-de-fer, that is to say a three part design where the two 'edges' are attached to the central spine bit.
What thickness would you recomend/do you use?
And, as such, would it then be feasable to perhaps layer the leather so that it is thicker, or (as it seems to me) would that be too much bother?
It seems I may just end up using Kangaroo for the suspension lining rather then the actual helmet.
Worried

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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Brawn Barber




Location: In the shop
Joined: 20 Nov 2008

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jul, 2010 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have used that method with fair success (two "half caps" joined with a central strip). However, due to the way to two separate halves can end up hardening in different comparison you will find that you may have to do additional work to make them match up. I find that working in full sections that the leather forms a more uniform piece. I use strictly 13/15 oz leather of at least 1/4" (6.35 mm) but use thicker than that when possible.
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
Joined: 16 Nov 2008

Posts: 678

PostPosted: Fri 06 Aug, 2010 6:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, cheers Brawn.
And 6.35mm leather!? I've never heard of a hide that thick before, except perhaps on an elephant Laughing Out Loud
Is that doubling up the leather or is that just a single piece? Worried
Anywho, I've tried to make a scale model of a simple couter/poleyn with 'rondel' from 3mm, and it seems to have worked (besides being inside out).
Can one recomend a method for hardening, as whilst I kind of get the gyst, and have read many an instruction on how too, it can never hurt to get one more method. Big Grin
And even though I put this in another thread: A picture of the supposed Wuttemburg Tournier Helmet, and/or the Royal Armouries Yearbook 2: "Hardened Leather Armour" text; I've tried getting both, but to no avail, can anyone give me some leads?
Better still, does anyone have an example of them?
Thanks.

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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Brawn Barber




Location: In the shop
Joined: 20 Nov 2008

Posts: 60

PostPosted: Fri 06 Aug, 2010 10:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, Sam...the leather I'm referring to is a single piece. At times the 13/15 oz leather has large sections (especially in the butt) that run this thickness.
I'm sure there's other threads in the forum that cite different methods of hardening. In fact I'm sure of it because I was actively involved in one. Historic methods involve "boiling" in different mediums but mainly water, and/or further hardening with pitch or glue. I use 3 different methods which include simple water hardening, a historically correct cuirbouille water "boiling", and a method passed down through the family which adds a combination wax treatment to resist mildew and increase hardness.
Debates over the method of hardening and pros and cons of each will probably continue as long as people have different opinions, but if you use a historically documented method you can't really go wrong.
I've posted an example of one of my helms on the "Show your helms" thread. It fared better than an 18 gauge steel helm against a baseball bat.
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