Thursday, December 7, 2006

pressing up the rope

Once the edge is properly rolled, you discover that it is actually curled over onto the inside. Often a piece of wire is inserted into the rolled edge. That wire gives no extra strength, but it does keep the armour from kinking under severe stress. If this is done right, the wire will move fairly freely within the rolled edge. Find an edge of the anvil which is "relieved" (rounded) and press the rolled edge of the workpiece down over the rounded edge of your anvil so that it is proud all around the outside. It should be quite flat on the shown in the picture.

The shape of the rope is adjusted at this time. Real medieval armour often had the "rope" thicker in the centre and tapering out at the ends. The picture of the original armour shows this quite well. It is a surprisingly easy to do, and surprisingly easy to mess up!

When I am happy with the edge, I can then take some blunt chisels and make dents in the rope in a diagonal fashion. These diagonal dents push the metal down and make it look soft. Like a rope. The top picture shows this effect quite clearly, the middle picture shows how many variations there can be on even the most straightforward design, and the bottom picture shows how flat the armour is where it touches the person...the square is on the inside of the armour. Please click on the pictures to see them full size.

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