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Peter Messent




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Location: Texas
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Tue 07 May, 2013 8:11 pm    Post subject: Built a new shield         Reply with quote

Howdy folks!

Some may recall that a while back I made a Viking shield out of half-inch plywood with thick rawhide edging. It was my first shield and I thought it was ok. Then I reconsidered! This one takes a step closer to historical accuracy - it is built out of 3/8" pine planks (the Gokstad shield I believe were pine - otherwise I probably would have used poplar, just because I like working with it) and I used metal bands on the back. The bands were used mainly because I was really, really paranoid - I had never simply butted and glued planks this thin into something this large before, so I felt sure that it would break if I didn't add reinforcement - but I feel slightly justified as metal bands are, at least, mentioned in law. In hindsight, I should have just used the handle as the only rigid reinforcement, and faced it with parchment, thin leather or rawhide. Since I used the banding, I did not face the shield, but did stitch on rawhide edging with twine. The whole shield, rawhide and all (save for the back of the planks) was painted red and blue. The metal strips and handle are all held on with common nails - I cut them to size, ground the tips, annealed them and clinched them - no riveting.




This shield is much lighter than the last one, and I'm pretty happy with it. Next time, though, I'm going to taper the shield at the edges and properly face it.

Thanks for looking!

Pete
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Jim Adelsen




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Industry Professionals

Location: WI
Posts: 137
PostPosted: Tue 07 May, 2013 8:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks nice. What is the diameter? Weight?
www.viking-shield.com
www.thevikingmuseum.com
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Peter Anderson




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Location: Holland, USA
Posts: 38
PostPosted: Tue 07 May, 2013 9:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's lovely that is. I need to make some more Viking shields myself, and I'm strongly considering going about it properly with the planks this time. Little unsure of it myself; glad it went well for you. Anything you'd like to share on your process?

I like the colouring, by the way. The red and blue are nice together and look great wrapping around on the rawhide edge as well.
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Peter Messent




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Location: Texas
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Tue 07 May, 2013 9:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Jim! The diameter is about 32" and my scale puts it at 7.8lbs.

Thanks Peter - the best tip I can give was an idea my old man had for clamping the planks. i didn't want to use a 36" clamp, as I wanted to be able to clamp it onto a flat surface to prevent the mass bowing out. So, I cleared off my workbench (a major task in itself!) and screwed down a 2" wide strip of 1/2" plywood at one end. I took another piece of the same and cut it diagonally to form a stop and a moveable wedge. The 'stop' was screwed down right where the planks ended so the wedge could be tapped in, forcing the planks together. To Hold the planks down, I used spring clamps at either end of each plank - these allowed the planks to move while preventing them from moving away from the bench.



Purple are the shield planks, red are the two stops that are screwed down, the orange dots are the spring clamps and the blue is the wedge that is tapped in. This worked really well, though the line for my wedge wasn't quite straight, so I had to tap in another wedge from the other side. After the glue had dried, I just ran the screws out of one stop to release the board. I did do a little bit of planing to even up the surface but it was pretty minor.

I would also say that it helps to line up the boards beforehand and number them to try and get the best fitting lineup - when I bought the wood I opted for 'select pine' as it had better grain, fewer knots and less warpage. Even then, I had a big reject pile as I was looking for the straight pieces!

Pete
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Peter Anderson




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Location: Holland, USA
Posts: 38
PostPosted: Sat 11 May, 2013 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent! Thanks Peter. Happy I'm feeling really dumb right now; I only just realised one can cut out the round shape after the planks are pressed together. Sometimes the obvious concepts are the most elusive... ahem.

That press is a great idea, though. I'll have to see if I can make room for that somewhere.
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Peter Messent




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Location: Texas
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Sat 11 May, 2013 4:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Isn't it? I was pretty skeptical at first, but it did work out well! Now that I'm done, I have removed it (except the piece at the end, I like to have a strip of wood on the left side and back edge of my workbench as a stop when planing, etc) and it's only left a few screw holes, so it's not too invasive if you only need it occasionally! if I were going to make a bunch, I think I would make those 'stops' the same thickness as the planks and have two heavier (possibly even angle-iron) pieces going perpendicular to the planks, so they could be tightened down and truly stop the planks shifting up and down - if that were done, I think that finishing work on the surface of the wood would be practically nonexistent.

I have to say, cutting out the circle was thrilling, to say the least, with this planked construction - I used a jigsaw and every time I went against the grain I expected the planks to snap apart! I damn near resorted to using a coping saw just to put my mind at ease Big Grin
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Jeremy V. Krause




PostPosted: Sun 12 May, 2013 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love your shields Peter. They look really authentic.

Bravo on your skills!
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Peter Messent




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Location: Texas
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Sun 12 May, 2013 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Jeremy!

Pete
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A Kenneth




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Location: Sydney
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Thu 23 May, 2013 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That shield looks great! The only suggestion that I would make to you is that you change the clinched nails holding the boss on for rivets if you plan on using the shield for any re-enactment. I too tried clinched nails to hold on the boss of my first shield and within half a dozen fights, the vibrations and flex from being hit had pulled the clinches out of the nails and left the boss to hang from one lonely nail...
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Mart Shearer




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Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Posts: 622
PostPosted: Thu 23 May, 2013 7:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
There is a good and bad way of clenching nails. The careless workman gives each nail one blow, and is satisfied; but he thus breaks many, or turns them down at best, so that they are apt to start up again, and present their points to catch any thing that is put into the box. The good workman is not content with such slovenly work, but by one or two skillful blows coaxes the point a little downwards, and then by one other harder knock sends it down deep into the wood, out of ever body's way, and holding the two pieces firmly together.
-- The Joiner and Cabinetmaker, 1839


That is to say that after clenching, or clinching, the nail should not be L-shaped, but U-shaped.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Peter Messent




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Location: Texas
Posts: 183
PostPosted: Fri 24 May, 2013 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the heads up on clinching nails - they are somewhat pointed down, but I'll use a center punch to tap the points down more!
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