Tips on Budget Early Medieval Round Shield?
Hey everyone!

I've just signed up for myArmoury after reading a fair bit of forum posts and topics, and am really excited to be a part of such a great community of historians and all around great people.

I've always been quite interested in becoming a living historian, but am currently a very broke college student working on a History degree. I've been putting off getting involved with any kind of groups until I graduate, however, I've gotten fed up with not being able to begin accumulating the necessary gear for it/practicing. Therefore, I was curious if anyone knew of some cheap ways to build Early Medieval style Scandinavian/"Viking" style shields? I've gone ahead and bought an ash pole to use as a spear, but I haven't really figured out a great way to build or a buy a shield for less than $100 or so, and I'm not even sure if that's possible.

If anyone could give me any advice, I would appreciate it greatly!


Some clever scrounging will yield plywood for free, though obviously you don't want the piece that's been rotting under a junked car for 10 years. But even a new piece, 3x3 feet for a roundshield or 2x4 feet for a teardrop shape, won't cost all that much. The advantage of the teardrop is that you don't need a boss. But with a scrap of steel from from a trash pile or dumpster and a ballpeen hammer, you can make a boss for free, too. Canvas from a thrift shop for the coverings. I *have* used thrift shop belts for straps, but honestly don't recommend them since they can't be trusted not to break. Some actual leather is better--a single heavy belly will be more than you'll need.

That get you started? Have fun!

Welcome David!

As Matthew stated "Some clever scrounging will yield plywood for free..." The commercial dumpster can be your best friend. Don't be afraid to get a little dirty. This is the time to make friends with the facilities maintenance department at your university, or better yet, get a student work study job with them.

Have fun and be creative!
Thanks a lot guys! I'll try to head out tomorrow to scrounge up some stuff.
Try construction sites they often toss plywood you mite be able to scrounge.And rawhide dog chews make excellent shield edging.I use calico or cotton canvas to face the shield.I've also seen steel pet water bowls turned into decent shield bosses.

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