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S. Andrew B.




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 07 Jul 2015

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Mon 31 Aug, 2015 8:06 pm    Post subject: Heater Shields, Planks or Plywood?         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I'm getting ready to build a jig to make my heater shield and I've found two good-looking sites, and I'm wondering which method of construction is more historically accurate for around 1320-1350.

This one http://www.yeoldegaffers.com/project_shieldpress.asp from Gaffers uses plywood, while this one I found over at the Armour Archive http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=167321 uses butted planks, and uses Der Mittelalterliche Reiterschild as reference.

Is there any historical evidence to support the use of plywood? Or is that a modern convenience?

Thanks all!

see you space cowboy...
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,263

PostPosted: Mon 31 Aug, 2015 9:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Medieval shields use planks. Plywood is a modern convenience. Some of the Roman scuta from Dura Europos used plywood construction and leather facings, though. You might want to search for: Hilary and John Travis, Roman Shields.
ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 01 Sep, 2015 7:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you want to be strictly historically correct, use butted planks. Some shields use 2 or even 3 layers of (very thin) planks, set cross-wise to each other; this can be viewed as a historic form of plywood. 1 layer is the norm though from what I understand, generally reinforced with heavy cloth or leather.

Plywood is used nowadays because it's simply easier to use. As long as you're only bending it in one direction, it's absurdly easy to construct a press, slather some glue and press a couple of layers together. Butting planks together in a *curve* is more complicated than doing so in a flat plane and requires some woodworking expertise; a shield press can be made with less. You can also 'mass produce' with plywood if you are so inclined, as the press is basically a form on which you can reproduce the same basic shape as often as you like (as long as the press lasts anyway).

A press does represent a certain investment though, which is the downside for most people if you're only making one or two and don't expect to make more anytime soon.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,263

PostPosted: Tue 01 Sep, 2015 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could always go to your nearest barrel maker......
ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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S. Andrew B.




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 07 Jul 2015

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Tue 01 Sep, 2015 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, everyone.

The decision is made, I'll be going the plank route. That was the notion I had for how these shields were constructed to begin with, but then I saw how neat that plywood press looked. At any rate, I have a fair amount of woodworking experience so this shouldn't be too difficult. It looks rather fun in fact.

I think I'll reach out to Gerhard von Liebau over at the Armour Archives and see if I can get more detailed information on how he constructed his press.

see you space cowboy...
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Wed 02 Sep, 2015 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would someone mind sketching the assembling of a shield from butted planks? It doesn't need to be the whole process of shield making; just showing the planks being placed together in shield shape would be fine. It would help me, and others, better visualize this process.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 945

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2015 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, Liebau's thread over in The Armour Archive (already posted by Andrew in the opening post) has photos of the whole process, including that part.

You don't actually assemble the planks in shield shape, it would just be needlessly tricky; you glue them together into one large piece of wood first and then measure, draw and cut the shield shape out of that.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Thu 03 Sep, 2015 3:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Andrew,

I'm glad you've found some use from my step-by-step. I literally just typed a long message about how the shield press was constructed, and then I went and looked at the photos of the press... The description was way more confusing than the photos, so I'll let you ask particular questions in order not to muddle things up. What part of the construction process are you interested in knowing more about? Honestly the photos show just about all of the details. I used oak floor panels for the tension boards on either side of the press, which were very strong and took a lot of pressure (that being ideal).

Cheers!

-Gregory
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