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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Help on positioning a helmet spring pin Reply to topic
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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 9:06 am    Post subject: Help on positioning a helmet spring pin         Reply with quote

I'm thinking of putting a spring pin on my GDFB sallet to keep the visor up (it doesn't stay up on it's own. it keeps falling in front of my face when I'm talking). I am planning on putting it fairly high on the helmet so it can do its job, but all the historical and reproduction helmets with spring pins I have seen have them near the bottom edge of the helmet.

My question is: Are there any historical helms with a spring pin placed really high on the helmet or would it be historically INACCURATE to have the spring pin placed high?

To show where I was planning to put the spring pin to keep the visor up, I've attached a basic pic of a GDFB sallet with red dots to mark where the button and holding rivet would be.

If anyone could offer their opinion on this or give me a better solution to my problem I would be very grateful. Happy



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"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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William Frisbee




Location: South Shore, MA
Joined: 07 Nov 2005

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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The reason it was low on the helm visor was force that could be applied to the pin.

Higher up like that a good visor shot is going to put quite a bit more force on the pin than it would be lower on the visor.


I also just think it doesn't look good up there, but thats just me.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The short answer is that this late medieval (apparently) German innnovation is meant to keep the visor down, so the lower right edge is the best position for it. I've never seen a spring pin of this era meant to hold up the visor. That answer doesn't solve your problem, though, so read on.

I have the very same helmet, with the same problem. The root of the problem is that the arms of the visor are too high and too far forward on the bowl. That restricts the articulation of the visor so that it stops short of the place where it wouldn't be fighting gravity quite as hard. That's actually o.k., historically, because when you see open visors in artwork they often are not pushed all the way up on the bowl, but are just high enough to clear the vision.

The weight of the visor is a contributing problem. This helmet is about 1-2 lbs overweight because it's 14 ga. throughout and VERY large. It is so large and deep, in fact, that I think it doesn't make a very convincing Italian export sallet of ca. 1460, which is what it aspires to be, stylistically. I'm rebuilding mine as a German or Austrian sallet of ca. 1480. Those tended to be larger/deeper and they also often had the spring pin, which I'll add in the usual place. Many German visors of this period did not have the multiple peaks typical of Italian export sallets of a couple of decades earlier. The GDFB visor has those peaks and also covers the forward strap rivets, which isn't right. Between those two features I've been able to cut quite a bit of steel off the GDFB's visor, which will help the visor stay up.

I'm not into the details yet, but I'll be trying to solve the remaining visor problem by using decorative bolts instead of the plain and too-small rivets for the visor pivots. That should allow me to adjust the tension of the visor so that it will stay up. If you're technically up for making and installing a spring pin you'd breeze through that modification. The holes are there--you'd just have to enlarge them slightly and cut/file/grind an appropriate design on the head of an off-the-shelf bolt. I'm not sure what kind of nut I'll use. Square would the most historical choice but it sure would be nice to have a good hex nut in there to tighten with a ratcheted socket wrench. This bowl is big enough that there should be plenty of clearance between it and your head, especially if you install a proper liner.

This is largely academic for me because I may never wear the thing in public. I enjoy the work, though, and the overall shaping of this sallet is surprisingly good for the price. With this kind of upgrade--including a proper liner--it should be pretty impressive.

Be sure to show us your results!

I'm just about to take up my GDFB project after a long hiatus. You can see a bit of what I've done so far. Since this photo I've also marked the rivet line. There's still a good bit of work to do on the visor.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another possibility to consider: Many sallets of this type have a half-moon shape filed out of the the top of the crest. This is meant for a detachable plume holder. If you can get the visor to pivot high enough you could bend in the tip of the visor in just enough that it engages that hole and stays up by that friction alone--effectively turning the visor into a spring.

I don't think this would work with my GDFB sallet because of the restriction of the visor's movement and its standoff from the bowl. Worth considering, though.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replys. Happy

yea, I thought having it up that high looked wrong...

Sean thanks for your help, I think I will try replacing the visor rivets. Do you have any suggestions or tips on filing/cutting/grinding a good design on the bolt head? Or if there is a specific type of bolt head that would be good to use?

I might try removing some of the visor as well. Although I will admit I'm not that anxious to do a whole lot of work on it. I'm probably going to buy a better sallet in the future, since this one doesn't fit my head very well. I just need this one to operate well for a year or so 'till I get around to getting a new one.

I might try using the visor like a spring like you suggested in your second post, but I'm not sure how well it would work since my visor stands off a bit from the helmet like yours.

BTW Sean good luck on your sallet project. Happy

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll probably use large carriage bolts, with the square section below the heads ground off. All of the patterns below are good choices for decoration. I've also seen plain bolt heads, too, which would be fine for a munition helmet.


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
Joined: 15 Sep 2010
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Posts: 243

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Carriage bolt heads, thanks Sean.

I think I might be able to file out something like the bolt heads on helmets 2 or 4...

Thanks for helping me out. Happy

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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