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Garrett Hazen




Location: California
Joined: 30 Aug 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Sep, 2006 5:56 pm    Post subject: shield makers?         Reply with quote

does anyone here know any good sheild makers? like strong durable ones that can take a blow, and maybe can be made with your own design? thanks.
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Chris Last




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PostPosted: Sun 17 Sep, 2006 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What style of shields are you looking for (round, Roman, Norman, bucklers, etc)? Also what are you planning on using these for? You said take a blow, but are you looking for reenactment accuracy, sport combat, etc?

Best-

Chris

" Hang fires are all fun and games untill someone gets their eye poked out... by charging calvary." - J.Shoemaker

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Derek Estabrook




Location: Alexandria, Virginia
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Sep, 2006 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chris is right, we'll be happy to help you, we just need a little more info. We need to know the style and purpose before we can really recommend which places are the best.
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Garrett Hazen




Location: California
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Sep, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

oh, for reenactment uses probably, with good looks. specifically a norman viking sheild, or a medieval type sheild, i dont really know what they are called.
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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Sep, 2006 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

that still leaves a bit of ground to cover.

I'm oversimplifying here:
First off, we've got round shields, which were particularly popular in the early Middle Ages (up to and including the "viking age"). Can be either gripped by a handle in the center or strapped to the forearm, depending on era and style.

Then we have "Kite" (sometimes called "teardrop") shields. These are long, tapered shields (about shoulder to mid-thigh in length), shaped like an inverted teardrop (my family teased me when I tried my hand at making one a couple years back that it looked like a sno-cone). Wielded strapped to the forearm, these were quite popular through much of the Middle Ages, but are probably most associated with the Normans, as shown on the Bayeaux Tapistry.

A later derivative of the Kite shield is the "Heater" shield (so called because the shape looks like the bottom of an iron for ironing clothes. this is a modern term. They were not called "heaters" by people in the Middle Ages, not to my knowledge anyway). This is the "classic" medieval shield, the shape most commonly seen for hearaldry and "coat-of-arms." These were generally shorter than kite shields, often with a more flat top.

There are other variants of shields during the time (pavises, targes, bucklers... etc.)

You might check this out, too: http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_shield.html
its an article on the evolution of the shield, form this very website.

There are various makers of shields, of varying quality and historical accuracy, and various prices. It is also possible to make your own (its not that hard--I've made a few myself, and if I can do it, anyone can Big Grin ).
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 18 Sep, 2006 4:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Garrett,

Why not consider a Norman Kite Shield from Mercenary's Tailor? See here: http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ucts_id=87
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Garrett Hazen




Location: California
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

alright, how about custom sheild makers, that can actually be used? and what do you use to make a tough sheild anyway? i am looking for somthing that a person from medieval time would have actually used, or a viking. Wink
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 1:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Garrett Hazen wrote:
alright, how about custom sheild makers, that can actually be used? and what do you use to make a tough sheild anyway? i am looking for somthing that a person from medieval time would have actually used, or a viking. Wink


The suggestions given to you in this topic are all good ones. The best is to get a better idea of what you want. As suggested, start reading things like our article, The Shield: An Abridged History of its Use and Development.

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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you're looking for something quintessentially "viking," then you may want to look into center-gripped round sheilds.

The Mercenary's Tailor, mentioned earleir, has a example of one.

Historically, these type of shields would have likely been made of wooden slats about 1/2 in thick or so attached together (I'm not entirely sure how--tongue-and-groove? glue alone? help me out here, guys Happy ). A hole was cut in the center, covered by a boss (a.k.a. an "umbo"), the little metal dome in the center. This protects the handwhich grips the shield via a handle in this hole.
Ideally, a wood like linden (also called lime, a close relative of basswood) was used--fairly dense yet still springey--however, historically, it seems that shields would be made out of whatever suitble hardwood was available (poplar, oak, birch...).

The face of the shield would likely be covered with leather or perhaps several layers of linnen canvas, which adds considerable structural integrity. There is also some evidence for some sort of rim added to the shield as well (I personally think there was a variety of unrimmed and rimmed shields depending on what materials were available and how much the guy buying teh shield was able to spend). A metal rim may have been possible, but less likely (metal was, and is, expensive). Something like rawhide may have been used as well. Adding a rim may also help to strengthen the slat-constructed shield.

But, yes, take a look around and figure what sort of shield you are looking for. Do your research. Figure out what was and was not done historically and determine how much of that you are willing to sacrifice in a modern replica. Find a merchant that sells the type of shield you have setteled on after reading whatever you can on actual shields (tip: sales pitches and product blurbs at websites are often unreliable and often outright fallacious as historical information--always remember, to many merchants making money comes *BEFORE* historical accuracy).
Make a list of the different shields you find for sale and list out he pros and cons of each: "shield A is made of plywood, but is the right size and faced with leather, shield B is made of wooden slats, but lacks any sort of covering, shield C is inexpensive, but made of 1/4" pine plywood..."
Or find sources for suitable materials and tools to the extent you are willing to go for an accurate shield and try your hand at making your own (more time consuming and requires considerable effort, maybe not as reliable based on you abilities, but at least you know what you are getting).

In the end you will be much happier with your purchase, and much happier with yourself.

*edit: changed the after to before. whoops, my bad


Last edited by Eric Allen on Tue 19 Sep, 2006 4:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chris Last




Location: Janesville, WI
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 2:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not exactly sure how it was done in period (waiting to get a copy of the Anglo Saxon Shield still), but we've experimented with making round slat shields.

We used poplar as our wood as it was one of the one mentioned in the grave finds and it was affordable at the time. The boards we used were 1x4's or 1x6's. We tried both toung and groove as well as just butting the slats together. We found that there really was no difference in the destructive testing of the two styles so we went with just butted together for time saving sake.

We didn't cover the shields we made with any leather or fabric, but that will hopefully happen in version 2.0 of the shields. We did do a soaked leather rim and found that it added a good deal of structural integrity to the shield as a whole. This was our firss shot at trying something like this. We're going to give it another go at the end of the month so hopefully we'll have some new results then.

Here's some pictures:




" Hang fires are all fun and games untill someone gets their eye poked out... by charging calvary." - J.Shoemaker

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Shawn Shaw




Location: Boston, MA USA
Joined: 07 Jan 2006

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 2:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is there any particular preference for having vertical vs. horizontal slats? Given the power of a downward stroke, I'm guessing most slats are horizontal but I wonder if that's always the case...
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Jim Adelsen
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another reason is that the grip will reinforce the planks. I believe each plank should be attached to the grip. If the planks and the grip were both vertical it would only be attached to one plank rather than all.

Shawn Shaw wrote:
Is there any particular preference for having vertical vs. horizontal slats? Given the power of a downward stroke, I'm guessing most slats are horizontal but I wonder if that's always the case...

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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 2:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mr Last
I've not seen any evidence for the use of the reinforcing strips shown on either side running at 90 degrees to the planks (in the anglo saxon period at any rate - it may have been done with iron bands later). As far As I can recall, only the extensions of the centre grip provided this sort of reinforcement, together with possibly cloth or leather or hide facing or edging, and possibly metal edge 'clips' at certain points. If you have any evidence of this sort of construction it would answer a lot of questions about integrity of the plank round shield and I'd love to see it.
Geoff
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Chris Last




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Geoff Wood wrote:
Mr Last
I've not seen any evidence for the use of the reinforcing strips shown on either side running at 90 degrees to the planks (in the anglo saxon period at any rate - it may have been done with iron bands later). As far As I can recall, only the extensions of the centre grip provided this sort of reinforcement, together with possibly cloth or leather or hide facing or edging, and possibly metal edge 'clips' at certain points. If you have any evidence of this sort of construction it would answer a lot of questions about integrity of the plank round shield and I'd love to see it.
Geoff


No evidence what so ever. Purely conjecture in our attempt at "The Big Mother" shield we tried. Its a 46 inch diameter one, and we added the extra strips as a "just in case". We didn't do any of the leather reinforcement on the facing of the shield so we weren't sure what would happen with out the extra stability. That being said, it is one stout shield.

BTW, its Chris, Mr. Last is my father. Big Grin

" Hang fires are all fun and games untill someone gets their eye poked out... by charging calvary." - J.Shoemaker

Chris Last
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Jim Adelsen
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With a good rim I have found that reinforcing strips other than the grip are not needed. The strength of this type of shield is really in the rim.

Geoff Wood wrote:
Mr Last
I've not seen any evidence for the use of the reinforcing strips shown on either side running at 90 degrees to the planks (in the anglo saxon period at any rate - it may have been done with iron bands later). As far As I can recall, only the extensions of the centre grip provided this sort of reinforcement, together with possibly cloth or leather or hide facing or edging, and possibly metal edge 'clips' at certain points. If you have any evidence of this sort of construction it would answer a lot of questions about integrity of the plank round shield and I'd love to see it.
Geoff

www.viking-shield.com
www.thevikingmuseum.com
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Chris Last




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PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jim-

Your shields look great! Are you doing glue in between the planks on your planked ones or just butting them together and using the rim as an extra tension reinforce?

" Hang fires are all fun and games untill someone gets their eye poked out... by charging calvary." - J.Shoemaker

Chris Last
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Jim Adelsen
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Sep, 2006 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks. They are glued. I don't think it really adds to the strength of the shield when finished, but its more to hold things together while putting it together. The planks can come unglued and the shield will still be plenty strong as long as the rim holds.


Chris Last wrote:
Jim-

Your shields look great! Are you doing glue in between the planks on your planked ones or just butting them together and using the rim as an extra tension reinforce?

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Garrett Hazen




Location: California
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Sep, 2006 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

alright. this is cool, who do any of you guys suggest to go to to make you a sheild, preferably custom, and ones that are strong and durable? my internet is weird, so i cant seem to find one.
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Eric Allen




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Sep, 2006 4:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Garrett Hazen wrote:
alright. this is cool, who do any of you guys suggest to go to to make you a sheild, preferably custom, and ones that are strong and durable? my internet is weird, so i cant seem to find one.


Quite a few options here. Often some makers of "off-the-shelf" products are willing to take on custom commissions (for a fee, of course), all you have to do is ask them.

Mercenary's Tailor
www.viking-sword.com
http://www.atzingershieldworks.com
The majority of the armourers listed >here<

These all offer shields, all to various degrees of historical accuracy and cost. You'll have to ask them directly if they'll do custom work.
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Sep, 2006 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know if Shane at Iron Age Armoury does them on commision but if your looking for early Celtic and iron age shields he's done some very nice work in the past. www.ironagearmoury.com.
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