Friday, August 3, 2012

Open Shop 7-26-2012

We had a small but dilligent group on the 26th.  I have made arrangements to work with a pair of visiting Barons from Elfsea (Fort Worth and surrounding communities) on a Saturday in August and I wanted to have some spring-stainless vambrace splints ready to rivet on, so I got an early start.  The 20 gauge (.038 inch thick) 410 alloy is a joy to work with, because it forms so nicely and then it hardens so well when you heat treat it.  I don't have a swage block with the right curve for forming splints, so I cut one end of a wood 2x4 and hammered the metal into that.  My heavy dishing hammer left quite a few tool marks in the metal so I needed to do some planishing to smooth it back out.  If these were not intended for hidden armour I would want to use a different technique, like placing a section of pipe over the splint and then hammering on that to keep the curves smooth and even.  Here are the splints before curving or drilling the rivet holes:

 After curving them I took the splints to Gaston's shop for a little forge action.  Heat treating left forge scale on the splints in an odd, almost damascene pattern.  But after a little brass-wire-wheel work they polished up to a smooth black look.  Getting really aggressive with the wire wheel could get this back to shiny silver metal, but why?  For hidden armour or anywhere you want a blackened metal look these will be fine.

Wyllow was focused on preparations for the Steppes Artisan competition.  Here she has laid out a mock-up of her table arrangement.  How much wool CAN you get on one table, in how many different shades of red?

 Josh worked on strapping and assembling his gorget and half-gauntlets.

Wolf got some instruction and borrowed a leather-sewing needle so he can finish his half-gauntlets at home this week.  We also cut out helm liners for both Wolf and Ben.

 Ben cut and beveled a gorget.  Next he will need to burnish and then harden it with glue and baking.

Evie and Gunna avoided the camera but they made delicious medieval French Toast, with a hint of rosewater.

 ...and that was a night well-spent!

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