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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 31 Aug, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject: Armouring Technique         Reply with quote

I'm always impressed by how perfectly most plackarts and visors conform to the shape of the underlying plastron or helmet. Do any of you armourers know if those plates can be stacked and formed together? Seems like it would be challenging, to say the least, but maybe not harder than perfectly matching plates shaped separately. Shaping a double-thickness of even just 16 ga. would be no small thing, but keeping the plates in correct registration might be the hardest part.
-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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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 31 Aug, 2012 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My guess is it was done hot. Moves much easier when the one is hot you are forming.

RPM
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 31 Aug, 2012 8:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But the stacking makes sense, yes? I'm going to try it cold with 16 ga. and use heat if needed. Just wondered if this was an historical technique.
-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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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 31 Aug, 2012 11:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I've seen, each part is made separately. Make the helmet or the upper breastplate first, then the visor or plackart to fit. They don't have to match over their whole surfaces, mostly just the edge where they meet. I have a feeling that stacking the pieces and trying to work them together will be harder than you think--either there is going to be way too much bounce and chatter, or you'll end up welding them together! You also have none of the usual cues and control you have when working one thickness, hearing and feeling as well seeing what needs to be hit, when to reheat, etc.

Matthew
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 31 Aug, 2012 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
From what I've seen, each part is made separately. Make the helmet or the upper breastplate first, then the visor or plackart to fit. They don't have to match over their whole surfaces, mostly just the edge where they meet. I have a feeling that stacking the pieces and trying to work them together will be harder than you think--either there is going to be way too much bounce and chatter, or you'll end up welding them together! You also have none of the usual cues and control you have when working one thickness, hearing and feeling as well seeing what needs to be hit, when to reheat, etc.

Matthew


That sounds reasonable, Matthew. Thanks!

-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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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Fri 31 Aug, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've done some work with an armourer on articulated pieces in the past, and one of his techniques was to shape the pieces individually, then bolt them together temporarily and give the overlap a little more shaping to conform them where they met. Definitely don't try and do the whole shaping together, but you can even out the connection a great deal by doing a later pass like that.
Ottawa Swordplay
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 5:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You would for sure need to do the major shaping at different times until the end but you will find the way they get that like a glove fit is likely heat. I have never gotten it to work cold like the ones I have seen in museums. Several of the ones I have seen they look to be nearly made on a machine they are matched so well. That said not sure all were so good. One I was looking at had been popped off. It might mean some one was working on it and was concerned on reaffixing it for some reason, I do not know.

RPM
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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 3:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The armourer I worked with only worked cold, and we were able to match up overlapping edges very well with the method described above.
Ottawa Swordplay
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now that you mention it, I did discover something interesting about lorica segmentata construction a couple years ago. I had always shaped the chest plates one at a time, bending each one to match the one below it, so that they nested properly. But Sean Richards was making them by assembling the strips while flat, then bending the whole assembly at once. So we tried that, and it worked! Took a lot less time, not only because you only had to do one shaping (which admittedly was long than bending just one plate, but not more than 7!), but also because it was much easier to rivet all the plates to their internal leather straps when everything is flat. A rubber mallet was the handiest thing for doing the ends, especially. And it's all cold work.

Matthew
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Craig Shackleton




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PostPosted: Sat 01 Sep, 2012 8:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know, now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure my friend used a rubber mallet for some of the final shaping of overlapping plates as well.
Ottawa Swordplay
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep, 2012 5:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt,

So he ran all the leather straps and everything then bent it? That is interesting. I would never have tried that unless I heard some one was having it work.

Rubber mallets are wonderful for some things like simple curves. Problem us trying to get that to work with more complex shapes. At that point my mallets just died.

RPM
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Sep, 2012 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
So he ran all the leather straps and everything then bent it? That is interesting. I would never have tried that unless I heard some one was having it work.


Yeah, basically made a flat steel Venitian blind and then curved it to fit the body! Seemed really risky, but it worked.

Matthew
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