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Jonah Pacolet





Joined: 15 May 2020

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 30 Aug, 2020 5:01 am    Post subject: What steel should I use for my (decorative) brigandine?         Reply with quote

Hey there,

I'm a relatively new 15th century Flemish reenactor, and while I have a gambeson should I ever participate in a field battle, I'd love to make a brigandine for decorative purposes (to wear during events but not on the battlefield).

My question is; what steel should I use for the plates inside the brigandine? I've already got the leather and tools to make one, now I just need to know what kind of steel I should use (carbon steel, mild steel, ect.)

I couldn't find all that much information on this on the internet, so I'm posting it here Happy

Thanks in advance!
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Sun 30 Aug, 2020 6:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello

I love brigandines, they are easy to wear and can be very attractive. I had a brigandine with "aircraft aluminum" plates. I do not remember the actual number on the metal but it was light and very strong, heard it's popular in SCA groups.

My brigandine was around 1mm thick and weighted about 7 lbs(may vary depending on size). The average 1mm steel plate brigandine should weight around 13lb-20lb(size varies).

There is another alternative, hardened leather plates. I remember seeing a velvet covered brigandine somewhere before and the plates were hardened leather, it was for SCA combat so walking around events/fairs should be fine. Overall I'd say regular scrap metal would do, especially if you have hard time finding other alternatives.
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Jonah Pacolet





Joined: 15 May 2020

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 30 Aug, 2020 6:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey there, Edward

Coincidentally, I was also looking to have my plates be 1mm thick, I agree that it should be just fine for events.

If scrap metal should do - then, I assume any sort of steel should also do the job?

Thanks for the reply!
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Edward Lee




Location: New York
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 356

PostPosted: Sun 30 Aug, 2020 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes I believe scrap metals would do, by that I mean scrap metal sheets if you can find any near you, however I believe there are laws regulating the purchase of scrap metal so I would check on that first. You are also correct that any steel of relative thickness would do, and 1mm or less is what you should aim for because the plate overlap each other. Most of the reproductions these days are 1mm or less.

Since you are making it for show it doesn't have to be heat treated. I believe if you keep striking the metal with a hammer it could harden it, I think it's called work harden.

Also I would watch for the edges while cutting and working with metal sheets. Scrap or new sheets they can be very sharp.
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Jonah Pacolet





Joined: 15 May 2020

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun 30 Aug, 2020 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think I'll just order a steel plate from a shop nearby. Cheers for warning me about the sharpness - I was definitely going to use gloves to prevent early rust anyways, but a heads up never hurts.

Thanks alot for the information, you've helped me out alot!

Have a great day.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 566

PostPosted: Wed 02 Sep, 2020 10:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Go for thin. It is the overlap of the plates that makes them heavy, since it means that, fundamentally, there are two layers, not just one, everywhere. You could use 'tin cans' if it is just for show, or use banding steel (if you can find it wide enough) if you think you might some day want it to be functional. Banding steel is very strong.
jamesarlen.com
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Jonah Pacolet





Joined: 15 May 2020

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 02 Sep, 2020 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello, James

Thanks for your informative reply! I'll definitely consider that should I ever want to make a functional brigandine Big Grin
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