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Robert Rootslane




Location: Estonia
Joined: 06 Aug 2007

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2018 2:24 pm    Post subject: A durable training shield         Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

havent been to the forum for a while now. Anyway, i was wondering weather anyone has some good ideas how to make a really durable training shield.

Basically what we use in training are plywood shields with thick leather rim and a durable boss/straps depending on the style.

However since we usually fight full contact these shields tend to wear down rather quickly. With multiple sparring sessions per week, id say the regular lifetime of the plywood part is a month tops. Its really annoying having to build a new shield every month or so.

Anyway i was wondering weather someone has some good tricks to make their training shields last longer? They dont have to look pretty, just be durable.

I was also wonering, i anyone has tried the materials used in the riot police shields?
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,278

PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2018 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm currently in the (slow) process of making a shield just as you described. I will be adding rope around the circumference, and using glue and nails to hold it on. Other folks have done this and say it works quite well for preserving the shield's edge. You might give that a try on yours. Wink .....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 433

PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2018 9:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i found this a while ago and wanted to give it a try, the guy in the video said to use baltic birch plywood. thought it could probably help you.the rope rim is mentioned and shown https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cYuC82WvT4
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 612

PostPosted: Sat 25 Aug, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert, do you cover the plywood and rim with anything aside from paint?

A significant part of the strength of historic shields is their multi-layer construction. Not just laying strips perpendicular for support, as in modern plywood, but adding layers of glue, parchment or canvas. Much like modern fiberglas constructions that remain light and flexible, adding layers of glue and bonding material really toughens up the wood substrate.

Lastly, the more you use a shield to absorb blows, especially on the edges, the shorter its lifespan will be. Yes, shields are disposable but they are also capable of deflecting, trapping and transferring force away if used well. Don't let it be an anvil, it isn't made for that.

Good luck!
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Philip Melhop




Location: Wokingham, Berkshire, UK
Joined: 24 May 2008

Posts: 132

PostPosted: Sun 26 Aug, 2018 3:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Decent quality rawhide, stretched slightly then stiched or nailed on wet and left to dry will make a much more durable edge than leather. As others have said, cover both sides of your sheild with cotton canvas and plenty of glue(standard old PVA workss well)Dampen the caanvas and thin the glue slightly with water, use a paintbrush or similar to saturate the canvas then stretch on to the sheild board and secure around the rim (I staple it)Brush over more glue, add a second layer of fabric to the front side if required. Leave to dry then seal with paint, any old water based paint works. Attach the edging after the facing has dried. The shrinking of the rawhide will stiffen your sheild considerably.
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