Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Building a greave part 3 of 3

The above is the attachment method from 1608. A centre pin, probably with a cotter pin. This is very popular since it allows for some lateral movement. A very useful thing, especially when riding a horse. The downside is that it will scar the blazes out of a gym floor, so is rarely used in re-enactment nowadays.

Above is the way the Dutch do it....keyhole fastenings. But sideways. Don't see THAT every day. Not very common. Note the small hinges on the outside.

The famous "lion armour" in Leeds from the back. You so rarely ever see an armour from the back. You can so clearly see the buckles on the inside (towards the back so that they don't dig into the horse's flank.) The armour is three quarters, open at the inside, with a little flap on the outside for comfort.
A slight variation on this armour....the man who commissioned the Lion Armour did not like articulated sabatons, rather he preferred buskins. Perhaps with fine chain mail over the top of his foot.

This is the same armour from the side. There is so much that is interesting about this armour, but I will confine myself to noting that there is a little articulated plate on the bottom, helping to protect the ankle from lances. My suspicion is that the stirrup has a nice big plate which will protect the top of the foot. It is hard to imagine any other reason why there would be such a glaring opening in the armour.

But I am here to show how the fast way to make those really cool greaves. Up until now, we had quite a lumpy mess. Now we bring in the iron, to iron all those wrinkles out. Enter the English Wheel.
You can do all this work without the wheel, of course. You would have to work it over a flat "burnishing plate" with hammers. A collection of snarling hammers is well worth the trouble if you don't want to use the wheel. However, what can be done in fifteen minutes with a wheel will take you two hours with a snarling iron. (google "snarling iron")

Insert the two inch ball. This is a pretty tight circle, and you don't want to use much pressure or you will track grooves into the work piece.

A few minutes wheeling back and forth will knock down all the high spots.

Leaving you with a rather fat greave. But the centre line is still there, and all you need to do is to fold it on the centre line to narrow it down.

Which I have done in the above picture. But now it is too tight! No problem...

A couple of hits with a hammer on a convenient pipe will pull the calf muscles and foot out. I wrapped a belt around the narrow part to KEEP it narrow while I did this. And forgot to take a picture of that clever little kink.

The last part of the job is to draw the flare. It is in two parts, the first part brings the flare to about forty five degrees, the second is another forty five degrees to make it horizontal to the foot.

The hashing hammer will stretch the metal out neatly, and a round ball pein hammer will flatten out the hash marks.

Check to see if they are the same....

And there they are, ready to mount onto the articulated legs in back. Note that there has been zero sanding or polishing....a polishing job would add to the time.

Elapsed time....about ten or twelve hours for both. Thereabouts. Maybe a bit more for the leathering, which has not been done yet.

If I was to do the back of the leg, we would be looking at about the same amount of time. Not because it is very complicated and more difficult, but rather because I would have to fuss with lining the pieces up, as well as making and installing hinges. These are designed to cover the sides and front of the lower leg. And they do that just fine.

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