Monday, February 28, 2011


This is a close up of the roping. Not too shabby I think.

These complicated and big items weigh in at a whopping zero point nine pounds each. Ahhh...the magic of aluminum!!!

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These were kind of fun. They are in two parts, the heel is completely separate from the shoe. It is held on with the strap. I built those over an existing shoe. The shoe part is laced onto the top laces and is pretty much only a shell. There are two laces which fit between the treads on the bottom of the running shoe in front. You can just see the eyelets.

This is the buckle side. The outside. Well, he has a squire to buckle him up right?

The only really tricky part to this job was making the toe caps identical.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

And now the armour fixed up

New elbows. Curve all the way around. Very much difficult to do!

Belts in back to cinch the armour nice and tight.

New cuisses. Lots of outside rolling. Roping was really interesting. But not "interesting" in a good way!

I painted a bit of the roping to see how it would look after it was all painted black. Not so bad all in all.

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Friday, February 18, 2011

More aluminum armour

From behind, it looks pretty nice. As you can see by the picture below, it meets up pretty well. The back is a "three piece" back plate, purely for the comfort consideration.
Here is the model, trying on the armour. There were several issues....we found that the armour was hanging a little low...about an inch. The breast plate was good, and fit well under the arms. But the faulds, even though they were perfectly period and correct for this armour, were just too long.
It is too bad actually, because the tassets were sitting just fine, but they did not "look right" from a distance.

Below, the thigh armour was again, just a little too high. I could not even fit him perfectly until I cut it away at the mark.

The shin pads are just fine. They will fit over the sabatons.

As you can see in the above picture, I am inordiately proud of those shin pads!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Aluminum armour.

This is a slightly unusual armour in that it is made entirely out of aluminum. The white colour is primer paint which protects the surface, and not surprisingly, shows the dirt! Eventually, it will be painted black, so dirt streaks won't matter. (thank goodness!)

The top picture shows the inspiration for this armour. It is to be, as much as possible, to look like the armour made by the props department of the 1939 movie of Richard the third, as played by Mr. John Barrymore.
Quite a challenge. Making armour is one thing. Making it look like a picture is quite another. Fortunately, my "two piece" armour is very close to the original, and is particularly good since it allows the wearer some extra mobility.
Come back often...I'll try to post pictures of how this is turning out!

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Antlers and Dirks

This is a dirk which is being re-handled. In the above photo, you can see that I have already cut, pierced and shaped the cross guard. The original dirk has been dis-assembled, the cracked and broken handle has been discarded. A fairly robust piece of antler has been found, and the crown has been cut off. I will be using the crown (the part of the antler closest to the stag's head) for this job.
The first step is to pierce the stag. Here you can see how am drilling the length of the antler from the blade side in towards the back.
side view.
3/4 top view.
Then, using a larger bit, I drill down into the crown. Because of the angle, the hole looks like an oval. Thats good, since I can always find an oval stone to fit!

And the rest of the hole is drilled, and filed out to take the tang. At the bottom is an oval piece dyed abalone shell. I think I may use this to cover the back. Or I may use a more traditional Scottish stone. There are plenty out there!

So what is this going to cost? Well, the dirk is a factory made blade, fairly straight forward, cost about 75 dollars for the battered one that I picked up. The antler is a "found" antler, shed by one of the big deer who infest the highways around here. You can usually get those in the flea markets around here for 20 bucks a side. The brass work is just time took about 4 hours to pierce, cut, groove and polish, so we are looking at about a hun right there. The drilling outlined in the above pictures took a solid two hours, when you include the re-sharpening I had to do to the spade bits. So that adds fifty. So just like that, without even finishing it up, we are looking at about 250 semoleons. To finish will take another full hour and there will be the stone which will be epoxied onto the end. So that is why it runs around $300 bucks!

This is just a taste of what goes into knife making. There is so much more to it than just making a blade. In fact it tends to be a bit of a sore point with me...making a blade is straightforward and takes a while, and you have to know what you are doing. However, one bit of steel is much like another, and you only have to know how one material, steel, behaves. Handle making means you have to know how to select antler, or other handle material, be a wood worker, be an antler worker, how to set stones so how to be a jewler, how to work leather. So a blade maker is a fairly simple trade, the complexity and art is in the hilting. Yet somehow the magic of the smith makes the blade maker a much sexier trade! Go figure.

I dunno...would YOU pay 300 bucks for that dirk?

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Reginald's armour

This was an interesting armour. Kind of unusual, but not so far out of the ordinary. A fantasy piece, made in real battle grade steel.

Above is a close up of the pins which hold the faulds into place.

I think it looks really bad ass.
It really does articulate quite well.

And it is hard to see it in amongst the clutter of the shop!

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