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Jason G. Smith




Location: Quebec
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
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Posts: 130

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 12:27 pm    Post subject: Leg harness         Reply with quote

I'm still building my kit, and have a question - again. Should the entire weight of the leg harness be supported by the cuisses - i.e. pointed to the pourpoint, or are the greaves supposed to rest on the top of the foot. The latter seems uncomfortable for me, yet I have a friend whose kit is done this way, where the weight of the armour rests on the foot, and the points simply keep it in place. Any thoughts?
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If your greaves are out on right they are tight to your leg and should support themselves. My greaves are not casefitting but have a strap over the calf that supports them and another below near the ankle that does support some as well.
The rest if held in place by the points but the straps really support most of the weight on the knees and the cuisses the points just keep the top section up and facing forward..

RPM
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Most full-plate legharnesses tended to have a pin locking the bottom lame of the poleyn to the greave. Your greaves can't sit on your instep because you won't be able to walk correctly, they should be held up by the way they fit your calf. The pin then helps to hold up the poleyn (and thus the quisse). In addition, the strap behind the back of your knee does a lot to support your cuisses. Pointing my cuisse keeps it from moving around my leg; I find that if I point it too tightly (i.e., trying to hold the legs up more) the whole assembly gets uncomfortable.


 Attachment: 89.23 KB
Cuisses.JPG
You can clearly see the locking pin in this picture.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jason G. Smith




Location: Quebec
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 130

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps I should have been more specific - I'm using cuisses with floating articulation, the poleyns are of the "soupcan" variety. A pin in the poleyn is pretty much out of the question. I'd considered leathers to hold up the greave, but then thought better of it. What I thought might work is using the lower strap from the demi-greave to go through a slot in the top of the greave, effectively holding it up. Presently, the strap around the back of my greave (which is not enclosed, btw) is too low to go around the upper part of my calf, which would send it around over the curve of my calf, effectively holding it up as well. My options would therefore be: choking up a few bucks to get an articulated knee; or fudging with my present knees to get it to work well enough.

That being said, I have ordered a set of articulated knees with demi-greave, but I'm still keen to figure out if the weight rests on the top of the foot, and how to avoid this uncomfortable circumstance. I'm using greaves from Mercenary's tailor, and they fit fine otherwise, I just find it awkward walking with the greave resting on my foot - I've tried.

My leg harness was actually inspired by this:
http://www.wassonartistry.com/images/armor/various/IMG_0123.JPG
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 4:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason G. Smith wrote:
Perhaps I should have been more specific - I'm using cuisses with floating articulation, the poleyns are of the "soupcan" variety. A pin in the poleyn is pretty much out of the question. I'd considered leathers to hold up the greave, but then thought better of it. What I thought might work is using the lower strap from the demi-greave to go through a slot in the top of the greave, effectively holding it up. Presently, the strap around the back of my greave (which is not enclosed, btw) is too low to go around the upper part of my calf, which would send it around over the curve of my calf, effectively holding it up as well. My options would therefore be: choking up a few bucks to get an articulated knee; or fudging with my present knees to get it to work well enough.

That being said, I have ordered a set of articulated knees with demi-greave, but I'm still keen to figure out if the weight rests on the top of the foot, and how to avoid this uncomfortable circumstance. I'm using greaves from Mercenary's tailor, and they fit fine otherwise, I just find it awkward walking with the greave resting on my foot - I've tried.

My leg harness was actually inspired by this:
http://www.wassonartistry.com/images/armor/various/IMG_0123.JPG


In that case the cuisse is supported by the points and the strap behind the back of the knee. The greave is held up by the straps around the back of the calf if it's a front greave or by the fit if it's a closed greave. Either way, your greave should easily hold itself up and you should *never* have to hold up your greave, I promise you, unless they're so poorly made that you have other problems besides how to strap them.

I will say this, however: In my experience closed greaves are second only to finger gauntlets in the difficulty of manufacture in terms of making them work correctly. Get as high-end an armorer as you possibly can to make them. If he says he can make them without you there and without taking castings of your legs then say thanks, but no thanks and find someone else.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jason G. Smith




Location: Quebec
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
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Posts: 130

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
In that case the cuisse is supported by the points and the strap behind the back of the knee. The greave is held up by the straps around the back of the calf if it's a front greave or by the fit if it's a closed greave. Either way, your greave should easily hold itself up and you should *never* have to hold up your greave, I promise you, unless they're so poorly made that you have other problems besides how to strap them.


Actually, they fit fine - better than I expected for something 'off the rack,' but they are not enclosed. The problem seems to lie then in the positioning of the strap - it needs to be moved higher up in order for it to rest above the curve in the calf. Allan Senefelder from Mercenary's Tailor has already offered to alter them or otherwise send the straps so I can do it myself. I'd like to thank him publicly for his great customer service - he keeps me coming back.

Quote:
I will say this, however: In my experience closed greaves are second only to finger gauntlets in the difficulty of manufacture in terms of making them work correctly. Get as high-end an armorer as you possibly can to make them. If he says he can make them without you there and without taking castings of your legs then say thanks, but no thanks and find someone else.


I understand your point, but not everyone has the luxury of having a personal high-end armourer do custom work. I do have a limited budget - as my wife will attest Wink - and munitions-grade (high-end at that) armour is what I go for. It still ends up costing a few grand, all told - not the least of which is due to poor planning on my part, or rather trial-and-error. Besides, it will all get bashed up - what's the point in making it overly pretty? Well fitting - agreed. Functional - agreed. As much as can be afforded, at least. Pretty? Yes, but only for my ego! Happy In the end, once it's all done, it will be to start over. The goal is to get a decent kit, that's usable, functional, safe and yes, pretty, and eventually (as in when re$ources permit) move up. It's like buying a house... Big Grin

And thank you for your help and experience - I am the richer for it.
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 8:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason G. Smith wrote:
I understand your point, but not everyone has the luxury of having a personal high-end armourer do custom work. I do have a limited budget - as my wife will attest Wink - and munitions-grade (high-end at that) armour is what I go for. It still ends up costing a few grand, all told - not the least of which is due to poor planning on my part, or rather trial-and-error. Besides, it will all get bashed up - what's the point in making it overly pretty? Well fitting - agreed. Functional - agreed. As much as can be afforded, at least. Pretty? Yes, but only for my ego! Happy In the end, once it's all done, it will be to start over. The goal is to get a decent kit, that's usable, functional, safe and yes, pretty, and eventually (as in when re$ources permit) move up. It's like buying a house...


If cost is a big issue then choices have to be geared toward budget. When a budget is tight you need to develop a harness that is less technically challenging regardless if your heart is set on looking like Sigisimund of Tyrol. It sounds as if you're doing exactly that, so don't take that as a pointed comment, it's just that this is one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to equip themselves.

On the "pretty" issue, however: High-end armorers' stuff is usually more attractive, yes, but that's not actually the point (well, unless you're an armor slut as I am, then it's *part* of the point). The real point is fit and function. The vast majority of low-end armor I've seen has been fit incorrectly (such as the strap being below the calf muscle) so that it doesn't work correctly. (As an aside, the biggest area for this is breastplates that ride too low--almost no one seems to udnerstand that breastplates end at the bottom of your short ribs, not at your waist. But I digress.) Making your armor fit correctly and be shaped correctly and therefore *function* correctly is the biggest issue, and the sights I've seen on the internet and at reenactment events... well, it hurts my soul. No *wonder* people think armor doesn't work properly!

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Jason G. Smith




Location: Quebec
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 130

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 9:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now - please don't anyone slap me for this - I got this out of an SCA armouring manual - ouch! but did the type of suspension system depicted in the attached image exist in extant pieces, or is this a modern invention? By suspension I mean the slots in the greave for the straps of the cop to pass though. I'm assuming it would work fairly well, I'm just concerned with the historical correctness. While I tolerate a certain degree of anachronism (I'm not a reenactor/living history buff) I do want to remain as faithful as possible in form and function.

Image from Paul Blackwell's primer.



 Attachment: 46.39 KB
greave.jpg

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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 10:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason G. Smith wrote:
Now - please don't anyone slap me for this - I got this out of an SCA armouring manual - ouch! but did the type of suspension system depicted in the attached image exist in extant pieces, or is this a modern invention? By suspension I mean the slots in the greave for the straps of the cop to pass though. I'm assuming it would work fairly well, I'm just concerned with the historical correctness. While I tolerate a certain degree of anachronism (I'm not a reenactor/living history buff) I do want to remain as faithful as possible in form and function.


Hi Jason,

No, it's not historically accurate, but I *promise* you that if you simply strap your front greaves correctly you will *not* need to do this.

I have a knockabout pair of legs for more casual wear (which, OK, sounds weird, but never mind...), and with them I wear front greaves. They have a strap above the calf muscle and a strap around the lower leg and they don't go *anywhere*. The bottom lame of the cuisse has a strap that's not connected with the greave in any way and there's a strap around the back of the knee. The greaves don't rest on my foot and the cuisses are supported with points and the strap behind the knee.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Wed 25 Apr, 2007 10:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You will find cased greaves that connect either at the front alone, or two studs on the sides. Not sure I have seen a strap used on both sides though. Might have been done with full greaves but not splinted. Besides, you really want the greaves to sit right. If it does not you will always be having all weight on one place. Done right it is spread over a wide area.

Like Hugh said the greaves need just fit and should not need be held up by the rest of the leg harness. I am sure with a center punch, a drill and straps you could raise the greaves upper straps. It is something that you need be able to do anyway as straps will eventually get old and need replacement. Not much harder to place them in a new place. Find a drill with a low setting and use it. The faster rotation often will just melt your bit edge.

if you need a walk through let us know,

RPM
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Jason G. Smith




Location: Quebec
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
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Posts: 130

PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 5:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Like Hugh said the greaves need just fit and should not need be held up by the rest of the leg harness. I am sure with a center punch, a drill and straps you could raise the greaves upper straps. It is something that you need be able to do anyway as straps will eventually get old and need replacement. Not much harder to place them in a new place. Find a drill with a low setting and use it. The faster rotation often will just melt your bit edge.

if you need a walk through let us know,


Thanks - I think I can handle it. I'm a professional mechanic, so drilling out bolts (hardened ones at that) and rivets is what I do. What I lack from an armourer's perspective is an 'eye', or basically the artistic aspect. I'm technically proficient, but artistically numb, and I think we can all agree that the proportions of skill to artist are what make a skilled artisan. I can whack it, but I can't make it pretty! Of course, had I not two young children, a fencing school and a full time teaching job, I might have time for developing my technique. Alas, it will wait a few years. Happy

I'll switch the straps and try it again. Your reassurances that it works that way, is well, reassuring. Thanks again.
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Thu 26 Apr, 2007 5:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will try getting a picture of my splinted greaves and send it to you.

I am sure you can handle it but I always offer to help.

RPM
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