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Sebastian Szukalski





Joined: 10 Jun 2012

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Fri 18 Oct, 2013 4:42 am    Post subject: Carbon steel armour on a budget?         Reply with quote

Much like many of us, I can only spend so much per year on this particular addiction. Having already bought two daggers, a federschwert, and a longsword this year, I've turned my attention to armour. This would be my first venture in that direction, (though I have made my own arming gear (a gambeson, and cap), from what I can see, most armour in what I consider a reasonable price range is mild steel. Compounded onto that, much of it is 16 gauge or thinner, being unsuitable for re-enactment in many cases.
For those of you with more experience, whats the best way to go about getting carbon steel armor on a budget?
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Oct, 2013 5:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, it looks like he's off for a year, but Eric makes armor suitable for HEMA and and reenactment. His prices are very reasonable. His style is more function than flash, so if you're looking for fluted Gothic look elsewhere.

Also, check out http://www.armourarchive.org/

they have patterns and advice, if you have the inclination you could probably roll your own.

http://www.wintertreecrafts.com/items/instructions.html Eric also sells patterns.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Jeffrey Hildebrandt
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Location: Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Oct, 2013 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Carbon steel" is actually a broad term that includes both mild-steel and steels with medium- to high-carbon content, used to differentiate them from steels with other alloying elements, like stainless steels. What you are probably looking for is something in a mid-carbon range, but the best term to describe what you want is probably "hardened steel," because plenty of historical pieces were made with mid-carbon steel, but not hardened.

I hope this helps in your search!

-Hildebrandt

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Arne Koets




Location: Leeds, England
Joined: 20 Nov 2006

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct, 2013 7:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

there is a full armour for sale in Germany of realtively heavy gage and good hardness.

It was made for jousting after the Friedrich der Siegreiche armour (although a different GB was used to allow for exchange visors)

It is for sale with all accompanying kit and mail for a rather reasonable price.

all resistance is futile
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Travis Melcher




Location: North Carolina
Joined: 20 Jul 2012

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

do you have a link for this?
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

GDFB and Epic armory is pretty decent for it's price range.
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Sebastian Szukalski





Joined: 10 Jun 2012

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon 21 Oct, 2013 11:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps I was not specific enough. By carbon steel, I meant high carbon steel, which had been tempered. Something like 1050 at 50 rockwell C. As far as I know, Epic Armoury uses mild steel, and GDFB do not specify, leading me to assume it is also mild steel.
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Travis Melcher




Location: North Carolina
Joined: 20 Jul 2012

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

John Gruber at the Surly Anvil is AWESOME, and he works on a payment plan, I have a full suit on commission from him right now, he works in tempered 1050. Plus he's a great guy in general, drop him a line and discuss what you would like, he will definitely work with you
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Surly-Anvil/356355614391056
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Ian S LaSpina




Location: Virginia, US
Joined: 01 Jun 2010
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct, 2013 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The straight up, no BS truth of the matter is that hardened and tempered 1050 spring steel, shaped properly and historically is expensive. It's justifiably expensive, because the people who work in 1050 and shape their armor correctly have extraordinary skill, and you're paying for that skill. You may find some people who work in 1050 and heat treat their armor for less money, but I would guess that the shaping is not really what you're looking for. You may find the opposite as well, mild steel that is shaped rather well for less money. But the combination of high quality steel, with high quality historical shaping on fitted pieces of armor is one that requires financial commitment.

There are ways to mitigate the cost. Style for example changes things. A simple early 14th century knee cop is a small piece that can be done well and in hardened 1050 for not much money. Even a 14th century breastplate will be less money than a late 15th century high gothic breastplate due to the fluting and file-work required on the latter. Level of polish is also a huge money-saver. If you are willing to go with a satin finish (which in my opinion is way easier to maintain and not offensively shiny like a mirror finish) you will have quite a bit of money as well because high levels of polish are very labor intensive.

If you find an armorer with really low prices who works in 1050 and does amazing work, don't tell anyone because you just stumbled upon the best kept secret in armoring! Laughing Out Loud

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