Sunday, June 1, 2014

A New Beginning

It's just a new blog post...nothing too exciting.  :)

Ok, it HAS been a while.  Soon after my last post I got a new job with a 1-hour each way commute that cut seriously into my blogging time, not to mention sleeping and other recreational activities.  In August of 2013 I moved to Copperas Cove which reduced the commute but I just haven't gotten back into the habit of blogging my projects or the group efforts at Open Shop. We have lots of new fighters up here and Open Shop has typically attracted from 15-30 participants each week.

My wife is encouraging me to keep better notes on my projects and this is a handy way to accomplish that purpose while possibly inspiring/encouraging/goading others, so I will try this again and see how it goes.

So, my beloved lady enjoys both 11th century Scottish/Saxon culture and learing about rapier fighting.  I got her a shiny new mail shirt for Christmas (see RingMesh ) so clearly she needs a nice 11th century rapier-legal helm to go with it.  Right?

I started by adapting a spangenhelm pattern to fit her and be a bit more conical in profile.  I made it out of 18g. stainless to minimize maintenance and be sufficiently durable for both rapier and possible cut-and-thrust use.

Then I ordered some stainless perf-plate from Online Metal Supply through Amazon . I got a 12x24 sheet of 16g. 304 stainlesss with 3/16 holes, which should be enough for several projects. I trimmed a rectangle of perf plate to give a slightly rounded look and then gave it a 2-dimensional curve to tuck in nicely behind the nasal of the helm.  Then I coated it with vegetable oil and baked it at 550 degrees to give a dark brown finish.

Next I shaped a piece of chrome-tanned leather to attach to the bottom of the faceplate and tuck under the chin  to eliminate any possible shot path.  While I was at it I made a couple of leather pieces to wrap around the sides of the perf plate to make it more human-friendly.  Willoc prepared a batch of leather dye using tannin, cutch and fustic and we dyed it to resemble the color of the faceplate.  These pieces will be attached to the perf plate with copper rivets before the faceplate gets riveted to the helm.

I made a leather piece for the back of the head and on the second try got it to fit correctly and overlap the faceplate on the sides.  Since we had previously made a hardened leather gorget (see earlier post) we tooled and dyed this piece to match.  Next it will need to be soaked in glue and baked to harden and seal it, before riveting it to the helm.

Here it is with the pieces set together as if they were actually assembled.

There is still more work needed but I'm making progress.  I hope you enjoyed the update.