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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Norman Kite Shield Construction Reply to topic
 
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Dave Stephan




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Location: Australia
Posts: 25
PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 8:06 am    Post subject: Norman Kite Shield Construction         Reply with quote

Hello ladies and gentlemen. I'm new here. My name's Dave and I'm 17. This is my second shield. I'm excited!

I'm constructing a Norman Kite Shield based off the 11th c depictions in the Bayeux Tapestry and artifacts of various dates. I spent all day until 3 am last night researching but I need help. My goal is to create a brick wall. I'm not going to be at war but my project is to create an incredibly powerful shield which could survive a nuclear strike. It doesn't have to be made of historical materials but it has to look accurate and be as masochistic as possible.

Don't worry about any time period in particular, but please give me the points of view from each century. I'm not going for a museum replica from (insert century here) necessarily but a defensive weapon of the highest order that LOOKS like a museum replica. Big Grin

So I bought a sheet of plywood, 12mm, 5 layers. I'm sure there are stronger things to use off the bat so please let me know of inexpensive and powerful woods. I've already got my pattern and cut out the shield with a jigsaw. It came out very well, I don't like many kite shields because they're either too pointy, the point is too short and there's too much on top or its too rounded at the peak. My blank looks like a later kite shield, its rounded at the top but very wide so its the best of both worlds.

My blank is about 45 inches long and 20 inches wide (in the middle before the point). My questions are related to historical construction and reinforcement.

Shield Blank:

Let's start with the blank. What can you do with plywood to make it stronger by its own right? You can curve it to give it a deflecting ability but I discovered how to do that after I bought the timber so I'll do that next project then. There's one tiny crack in the first layer on one side, what should I put in that to strengthen it at all?

Padding:

What do you pad it with? Would you use only a layer of rawhide and nothing else to strengthen it? I think of the wood like me as the knight and the rawhide as the maile, shouldn't there be something in the middle?

Do you glue the rawhide on with anything or do you simply wet, stretch it over and let it dry and then staple it on the edge? How do you put it on exactly really? My first shield (the last one I did now) was padded with thick fluffy fluff and then covered in cotton. Not very tough against anything but blunt weapons. I want something that takes blunt and sharp AND power.

Painting:

To paint the shield, do you apply anything over the rawhide or just paint on it?

If you do put another layer of material, what does paint stick well to?

After painting, what do you put on it to preserve the job (avoid chipping and deterioration).

What heraldry was there in the 11 - 13th century, before the age of the fancy stuff? I can examine the tapestry but I'd prefer if somebody had pictures so I don't have to work.

http://www.seiyaku.com/puzzle/mystery07.php I found this, you'll find it fascinating if you like Normans. Is the cross design actually just metal ribs curving around the shield? If so the ladies who embroided the tapestry didn't get the effect.

Boss:

Would a boss ever be used as a handle like the center grips of round shields, or was it purely decoration as I've found so far? What size would the boss be? They seem to be small compared.

http://www.medieval-fightclub.com/products/Do...bo%29.html

Go back and look at the dimensions of my shield further up. Would this 20 cm one be too large for the size of my shield for a typical kite shield?

Rim:

Would a metal rim be historically accurate or viable? Is it easier to use rawhide? I'd rather use metal because it's look BOSS with studs all along it. See my pun? Boss? I'm good. I assume a metal rim would last better than a rawhide one too, especially if its good steel.

How do you make a steel rim? I can drill holes and nail it no problem but if you have strips of steel how do you bend it round into a channel?

Strapping:

Thanks to art, it seems we know the Normans held the shield along it vertically, but some had square strap configurations to hold it either way. Apparently riveting is the historically accurate way to put them on but I want to be able to replace them if required, can I bolt them on so I can undo nuts and get at the straps?

How did the guige rest on the knight's shoulders? Can someone explain where it went exactly?


THANK YOU. I'll add moar if I think of anything. Cool

I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight.
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Josh MacNeil




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 9:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These threads may be of interest to you...

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ite+shield

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ite+shield

And here are some links on construction methods...

http://www.yeoldegaffers.com/project_shield.asp

http://www.yeoldegaffers.com/project_shieldpress.asp

And finally, a page showing historical construction of Viking Age shields...

http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manu...hields.htm

Hope this helps. Happy I'd also like to point out that it's almost impossible to make something (especially a shield) that is indestructible. If it's made out of polypropylene or some other space age carbon fiber, you may get something unbreakable. But something made of wood or even metal can and will be broken with enough abuse. But you said yourself that you won't be going into battle; so my question is, why worry about it being indestructible? Happy The links I provided show how to make a shield that is extremely tough shield that will hold up to serious punishment. And even if the get banged up and ugly, can still be a VERY effective defense. One of the reproduction shield stood up to repeated blows from an axe and still maintained its functionality.

One final note: I've found that modern solutions to historical questions such as this tend to come up short. People of antiquity had to figure these things out when they were current and relevant, so they came up with the best solutions they could with the materials and methods they had. Modern solutions tend to miss the mark because they lack the context in which the original questions were asked. We also have a tendency to impose modern biases onto the subject when coming up with a solution to a historical problem. Hence, we like things that are build to last forever because we have the technology and materials in many cases. The ancients did not, so they built things to either be disposable, or that were able to be repaired when damaged. Shields tended to be of the former. Wink Sorry for the long winded-ness, but I felt it was relevant to your topic and something to ponder. Good luck with your project!
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Matthew Amt




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Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Posts: 790
PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome to the board! I expect the moderators will move this to Off-Topic, just be a little careful about the section definitions before you post next time. Not a big crime!

About your questions, um, wow. You seem to have some conflicting requirements! I will try not to lapse into facetiousness by suggesting "6 feet of concrete and lead", and maintain the decorum of the board.

Medieval shields were typically constructed of thin planks of soft, lightweight wood, glued together edge-to-edge, often faced with leather, rawhide, parchment, felt, or fabric. Note that documented evidence for shield facings is a little scarce and ambiguous, so many details are still debated. Gesso and paint were used for decoration. Metal rims seem to have been quite rare. The result was supposed to be lightweight but tough enough to do the job, but shields were NOT meant to be indestructible! There are probably several threads on this board and others with more details, if you do some searching. Here's an excellent site on Viking shields:

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~chrisandpeter/shield/shield.html

Here's my own humble page on making shields for reenactment combat with steel weapons:

http://www.larp.com/midgard/shield.htm

Regular plywood should be strong enough. Yes, you can get hardwood plywood for more cost and weight. But my first kite shield was pine plywood a little thicker than yours with nothing but a coat of paint, and took a decade of abuse before I glued upholstery leather over the front, and it's still going strong another decade after that. (Well, not much use for the last few years!)

If you use leather or fabric to cover the front and/or back, you can use most any kind of regular glue, though of course in the middle ages something like hide glue would have been most common. Use a piece a little bigger than the shield, smooth it down over the glue-covered wood, and trim the edges when it's dry. While my website says to use tacks to secure the folded edge of the fabric, I don't really recommend that any more since they have a tendency to come loose. Far better is to glue everything down securely, then (when it's dry!) drill a couple hundred small holes around the edge and stitch a continuous line with heavy thread or thin cord. Ah, my page on *Roman* shields may help:

http://www.larp.com/legioxx/scutum.html

A good rim can be made from strips of rawhide, glued on and stitched. You can use rawhide for the facing, too, but be aware that rawhide shrinks with tremendous force when it dries, and it can warp your shield literally to destruction! I've seen it happen. If you can keep that from happening, though, rawhide is VERY tough stuff and will get you closer to "brick wall" than anything short of sheet steel.

If you insist on a steel rim, well, nothing you do will really be historical so do it however you like. Trying to make a channel or gutter and then curve it to shape will be nearly impossible unless you are an accomplished armorer. Easier just to use a strip with a width equaling the thickness of the wood, bend to shape, and secure it with short strips folded around the edge. I've also seen a flat strip laid on the front face, cut to match the shape of the shield, held with nails or rivets.

A boss is fine, if you want one, though the one you posted a link for seems a little big to me. I don't know what evidence there is for a kite shield with a central handgrip, such as was used on round shields.

If the straps are secured with nuts and bolts, they'll be easy to replace. The downside (apart from a modern appearance) is that they tend to loosen when you don't want them to.

Some padding at the back for the arm is pretty common on modern fighting shields, but I don't know how common it was originally. There is also a surviving shield that had a layer of grass padding under the leather front facing, but I think that was pretty rare. Padding isn't really essential for a shield, as far as I know.

I've never tried gesso, but it may have been pretty common on shields, to form a painting surface. Paint may have been casein based (from milk protein), and there are links on my Roman site for places to buy casein paint. Caveat Emptor: there are also modern latex paints sold as "milk paint", apparently because of their color selection! Check the ingredients. I don't know anything about medieval paints, so it's possible that things like egg tempera and wax encaustic were used as well. I will say that a couple good coats of modern latex enamel paint will make your shield very waterproof!

If you want to get into more modern or exotic materials to make your shield stronger, such as fiberglass, I just don't have any experience with those. But really, you don't need them. If you just aren't happy with something that's already stronger and vastly heavier than a real medieval shield, heck, just add more layers of something.

Most of us here are pretty history-oriented, and generally very helpful along those lines. I don't think you'll get flamed for some of your comments sounding a little silly, but be prepared for a little ribbing.

And good luck!

Matthew

Edit for PS: Josh, great answer! I took to long to compose my own thesis.
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Scott Woodruff




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My experience is that modern plywood shields are just about indestructible if they have a good rawhide rim. I have found that leather-faced shields greatly benefit from a layer of thin cotton batting under the leather. Especially when hit with rebated steel weapons, the thin layer of padding keeps the leather from getting "pinched" between the weapon and the board. Ultimately, you will need to find what you consider to be a comfortable balance between durability and carryability/mobility. Some people I know prefer a heavy tank of a shield, but these people usually weigh over 100kg. At 70kg and with occasional back problems, I prefer a lighter shield, but I have found that a well made, light, flexible shield need not sacrifice much in the way of durability. Kind of a "bend like a willow in the wind" philosophy.
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Dave Stephan




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 8:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies everyone!

You're completely right Josh. Not only did the ancients (or even recent civilizations) have limited access to resources or ability to use them, but as we have access to these things we expect far more than is both required and possible. I'll bet in the future they'll have more impressively accurate and strong medieval shields though.

I was just joking I said I wanted a brick wall. But I do see some fellas reenacting and their shields get destroyed in the matter of seconds, they look like nothing more than wood and a handle. I'd like something that can take burglars and the natural environment more or less, not a display piece. I'm not that big or strong anyway so I don't need a pavise on my arm.

But I am very interested on historical authenticity. I want it to look as if it existed back then, but the tools and supplies don't have to be exactly what they used back then. My emphasis is on construction not history here because I have little experience, I need to know how to make it before I fine check it for authenticity. In the 21st century its impossible unless you're have specialized training and supplies. Due to the lack of historical evidence even the most information savvy of us can't know for sure and what we make will be influenced by personal preference as well.

Anyway let me do some more research and I'll see what happens. Thanks again!

I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight.


Last edited by Dave Stephan on Fri 16 Mar, 2012 10:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dave Stephan




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Mar, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've drilled holes in the square four way set up as seen in many Bayeux Tapestry soldiers. Could somebody give me feedback about their position?

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/707/kitee.png/

What you're looking at here is the front. The four holes are 10 inches apart from one another and more or less centered (except for one which I messed up). It isn't too bad. The boss circle is off center as you can see, it was just to get an idea of how big the one further up the page is, 20cm is too big so I need to find a smaller one.

Once you add strapping, will it be too high or too low? I'm worried they're too close to the edges so that when you hold it, obviously your forearm will rise above where its bolted in a little, but what if it ends up being too close to the edge when you hold it?

Especially with the vertical arrangement if you're holding the shield horizontally. Should I move the holes closer in, putty the ones there and make new ones closer together?

Thank you everyone! Happy Big Grin

I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Mar, 2012 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ave!

Yeah, your holes may be a little too far apart. On my first kite shield they are about 9-1/2" (24cm) apart, but on my second they are 8 to 8-1/2". You can putty the old holes or glue in a peg or piece of dowel (pencil might work!). Once the front and back are covered they won't be visible, and they are hardly structural problems.

Getting the straps the right length can be tricky. They should be just loose enough that you can get your arm in without much fuss. Remember to allow for whatever clothing and gloves you'll be wearing, pus any padding (on the shield or on your arm). On at least one shield I did the armband in 2 pieces with a buckle, so I could tighten it or release it easily.

Oh, also remember a guige strap. I just attach it with the two upper strap bolts, but you can use separate bolts/rivets/nails as well:

http://www.larp.com/midgard/shield2.jpg

For years I carried my shield with my arm horizontal, but I found that I wasn't holding it high enough. So I switched to a vertical grip and really like it better.

Carry on!

Matthew
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

PostPosted: Sat 17 Mar, 2012 12:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
Welcome to the board! I expect the moderators will move this to Off-Topic, just be a little careful about the section definitions before you post next time. Not a big crime!


Matthew,
There are 8 or 9 other threads about constructing shields in the Historical Arms Talk Forum. The only shield construction-titled thread I could find in Off-Topic is there because the thread was asking how long rawhide edging had to be soaked before application.

This thread is fine where it is. Further, please leave moderating to the moderators. If you feel something is out of place, let us know directly. That's our job and we're happy to have our readers leave that to us so they can can focus on things that are much more fun than thread location. Happy

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Dave Stephan




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Posts: 25
PostPosted: Sat 17 Mar, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
http://www.larp.com/midgard/shield2.jpg


That's a pretty impressive looking shield Matthew! Please put up some pictures of the front when you have the chance, I'd be interested to see.

I've fixed the holes. They're no longer in a square formation but more like a rectangle. Horizontally they're all 8 inches apart now, but vertically they're 10 inches. This way if I hold it across the length of the shield I've got more support. My holes were choppy the first time, I've made sure to line them up. I'll get a long belt and attach it to various holes and see if I need to drill anymore for the guige or if I can use the ones I've got already.

Anyway, now that I've got my holes I suppose the next step is to cover it, so my next question might sound stupid. When you put leather or rawhide in water and dry, then it shrinks right? If you use rawhide around the edges it'll strength the plywood layers.

Should I therefore only cover the front and back in leather in order to tighten the wood, or does it only matter on the edges? Would putting cotton fluff or some other padding underneath it stop it from compacting the wood?

If it doesn't matter, what would you use to pad the shield? Is canvas better than linen? Would you use only canvas or only leather? Is rawhide better than full grain tanned leather?

I read somewhere on the forums that when they examined a later period shield they found several layers of canvas and then the leather. Would you put several layers of canvas or cotton stuffing underneath, as many as you can before it gets too heavy?

http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/hom...=Product_1
Is this the sort of thing I oughta use? I found it on another thread.
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Rawhide-Dog-and-Pu...43ae27d6fe
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Tandy-Leathercraft...2c61f3daa5
Would these work just as well for an edging too? I don't know about import laws so if I could have these shipped to Australia is unknown. They don't like leather products, not sure about rawhide.

Lastly, I suppose you'd let the rawhide or leather edge dry on and then nail it in (or stitch it together and tie it on), but if you put it on the front and back would it be better to use glue or staple it around the edges? Or both. Big Grin When I did my first shield I stretched cotton over the front and stapled it on, I didn't use glue because the cotton foam underneath would go hard and not pad it anymore. I assume if I used layers of canvas it wouldn't matter if the glue got on it, you'd be strengthening the fibres.


Quote:
This thread is fine where it is. Further, please leave moderating to the moderators. If you feel something is out of place, let us know directly.


Don't worry about it Chad, I'm sure he didn't make that comment with the intent to mini-mod, I think he might of been pointing out that it either may or may not be moved due to the topic. This thread, however, despite being more construction than history based, is relevant to the sub forum because I'm trying to construct a historically plausible, though not perfectly so, kite shield. That's why I put it here instead of Off-Topic so I think its in the right place. Also my knowledge in shield construction is low so I need to learn the techniques before I apply historical context! Wink

I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight.
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Chad Arnow
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 5:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dave Stephan wrote:
Don't worry about it Chad, I'm sure he didn't make that comment with the intent to mini-mod, I think he might of been pointing out that it either may or may not be moved due to the topic. This thread, however, despite being more construction than history based, is relevant to the sub forum because I'm trying to construct a historically plausible, though not perfectly so, kite shield. That's why I put it here instead of Off-Topic so I think its in the right place. Also my knowledge in shield construction is low so I need to learn the techniques before I apply historical context! Wink


Dave and everyone,
It doesn't matter what someone's motivation is. Our rules are what they are. In this case, don't try to moderate other people. Another rule is to not discuss/debate moderator actions in the forums. It's off-topic to the thread and unproductive.

Back to the thread, please.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Dave Stephan




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PostPosted: Sun 18 Mar, 2012 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fair enough then, however, I didn't question or debate yours actions, I was stating why my thread is in fact in the right place as you said yourself. Furthermore, I made no claim you were wrong, I only said he didn't try to minimod purposely. That doesn't mean he didn't 'technically'. However, this is straying off topic and I'd like to get back to the shield as well. I just didn't want to be the bad guy for agreeing with you and giving Matthew a fair go/ benefit of the doubt.

I used a product called 'plasti bond' to fill in the holes and imperfections in the wood along with some dowel. I've found some nice rawhide pieces on the internet so I can use these for my shield. I don't think I can get enough locally for the covering but I'll use some nice leather.

I've ordered a 16g boss to put on the front, but I need to drill more holes in it because there's only 4. I need to make some enarmes too.

I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight.
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Kurt Scholz




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Mar, 2012 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dave Stephan wrote:
Thanks for the replies everyone!

You're completely right Josh. Not only did the ancients (or even recent civilizations) have limited access to resources or ability to use them, but as we have access to these things we expect far more than is both required and possible. I'll bet in the future they'll have more impressively accurate and strong medieval shields though.

I was just joking I said I wanted a brick wall. But I do see some fellas reenacting and their shields get destroyed in the matter of seconds, they look like nothing more than wood and a handle. I'd like something that can take burglars and the natural environment more or less, not a display piece. I'm not that big or strong anyway so I don't need a pavise on my arm.

But I am very interested on historical authenticity. I want it to look as if it existed back then, but the tools and supplies don't have to be exactly what they used back then. My emphasis is on construction not history here because I have little experience, I need to know how to make it before I fine check it for authenticity. In the 21st century its impossible unless you're have specialized training and supplies. Due to the lack of historical evidence even the most information savvy of us can't know for sure and what we make will be influenced by personal preference as well.

Anyway let me do some more research and I'll see what happens. Thanks again!


Take a duroplast and cover it in leather. It's the same as modern police shields.
You can take a different approach to shields. Look at the adarga http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adarga
It's a shield that won't break and is very light. Now improve it with some cotton underneath and a springy body to make it a harder spring in order to better deflect blows. Now you've understood shield construction basics. The problem is making the wood core springy. One solution could be to use a special wood that sometimes grows on tree stumps and that has no lines because it is disordered wood growth (like a tumor). It's a very rare wood and was used for example in the Hallstatt salt mines for high endurance wooden junctions.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Mar, 2012 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dave Stephan wrote:
That's a pretty impressive looking shield Matthew! Please put up some pictures of the front when you have the chance, I'd be interested to see.


Thanks, but it's not my shield! Wracking my brains trying to remember who owns it--a fellow Marklander from a few years back. The front is shown in the photo at the top of that page, along with the roundshield.

Quote:
When you put leather or rawhide in water and dry, then it shrinks right? If you use rawhide around the edges it'll strength the plywood layers.

Should I therefore only cover the front and back in leather in order to tighten the wood, or does it only matter on the edges? Would putting cotton fluff or some other padding underneath it stop it from compacting the wood?


Since rawhide is so rigid when dry, you need to soak it to soften it and fit it to the shield. And yes, it will shrink, but it not "tighten" the wood, it will WARP it. Into a potato chip. Or fold it in half. That might not happen to such an extreme degree, depending on your wood and how much you actually stretch the hide while applying it. But it can be VERY annoying! I doubt that padding will make any difference at all, except that it will hold moisture and result in a drying time of several weeks, possibly. Here's a Mycenaean shield I made, poplar planks laboriously chiseled out to be slightly convex, warped by the rawhide facing to a very noticeable concave shape:

http://www.larp.com/hoplite/WVshld11.jpg

After several attempts to resoak the face and warp it back in the proper direction, it still has a good 3" depth in the wrong direction...

Leather won't be nearly so much trouble. If it's nice and thin you should be able to apply it dry, in fact, and glue it to the wood. (Gluing wet rawhide is kind of problematic.)

Quote:
If it doesn't matter, what would you use to pad the shield? Is canvas better than linen? Would you use only canvas or only leather? Is rawhide better than full grain tanned leather?


What is "best" depends on your needs, abilities, budget, etc. Linen is more historically accurate than cotton canvas, but it's a lot easier to find heavy canvas. Leather is easier to work with than rawhide, but rawhide is MUCH tougher. I would not pad the *face* of the shield at all, though you can certainly do so if you like. For the pad for my arm I use several layers of thick wool, with an outer layer of linen or canvas, tacked straight to the back of the shield. Old blankets are great for that sort of thing (army blankets or that sort of wool texture). One disadvantage of padding, I think, would be that the facing material could not be glued and bonded securely to the wood. So it would be easier, I think, to damage the facing, and any chops or rips could get worse or allow the padding to "leak". But if it's all securely glued to the wood, everything holds together much more securely. The ultimate facing might be rawhide soaked and shaped to the wood, then removed after *thorough* drying and reapplied (dry!) with glue. If you lay the shield blank face up on a larger backing of *heavy* plywood,etc., with whatever underlayer you want on it in place, you could (gently) stretch wet rawhide over it and tack/staple it down to the backing wood, not directly to the shield. Once it's VERY dry, pry it off and trim off the edge, and you'll have a piece of rawhide shaped to fit the shield, and you should be able to glue it in place dry. I think.

Quote:
http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/department/Leather/Rawhide/9067-312.aspx?feature=Product_1
Is this the sort of thing I oughta use? I found it on another thread.
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Rawhide-Dog-and-Pu...43ae27d6fe
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Tandy-Leathercraft...2c61f3daa5
Would these work just as well for an edging too?


The rawhide side is fine, and I think the strips in the last link are good. But dog-chew rawhide has been boiled, so it's opaque and white, and not as smooth and strong as regular rawhide. It also varies a lot in thickness. It will work, and ends up looking fine if you paint it, and it can be much cheaper just to buy a couple dog chews than to buy a full side!

Quote:
I don't know about import laws so if I could have these shipped to Australia is unknown. They don't like leather products, not sure about rawhide.


There should be plenty of Australian leather and hide retailers online. Save yourself shipping and agony!

Quote:
Lastly, I suppose you'd let the rawhide or leather edge dry on and then nail it in (or stitch it together and tie it on), but if you put it on the front and back would it be better to use glue or staple it around the edges? Or both.


There are various ways to do it. I would only use staples if they are going to be covered by another layer. For a leather rim, I glue dry strips to the front face, let dry, then fold around and glue them to the edge and back. If I need to clamp, I always use wood and cardboard shims to avoid clamp marks in the leather, VERY important if it's wet! If you are using nails or tacks, you can tack as you glue, and not worry about letting everything dry. If you are going to stitch, just let it dry, drill all your holes and sew. (A simple running stitch is fine.) For rawhide, I guess I would drill the holes in the wood first, and just stitch the wet rawhide strips in place. (Only soak the strips as much as needed to put them in place, that will help avoid over-shrinking.) I have heard one trick of sewing wet rawhide strips end-to-end to make a circle or ring slightly smaller than the circumference of the shield. Then just stretch that into place, make sure the edges are held flat down (tack, stitch, weight, whatever) and let dry.

Quote:
When I did my first shield I stretched cotton over the front and stapled it on, I didn't use glue because the cotton foam underneath would go hard and not pad it anymore. I assume if I used layers of canvas it wouldn't matter if the glue got on it, you'd be strengthening the fibres.


Sure, glue-soaked fabric will work! That can be very tough stuff. For the top layer, though, you'll have to decide if you want glue soaked through it or not. Depends on what you want, what paint you plan to use, etc.

Gotta run, supper time!

Matthew
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Mat Ashman




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Mar, 2012 3:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Dave, I make shields for a living. If I can help you with suppliers of anything you need let me know. I would prefer if you message me.
Mat
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Dave Stephan




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PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2012 1:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alright I've been doing a lot of work on my shield and its almost ready to go another stage.

So far there's one layer of thick awning canvas on the back and two on the front. I have one more piece, but I wonder if whether I should put it on the front or the back. How does the relationship between the front and the back work after a blow is struck? Does it spread around the entire thing, or does it spread over the front? If the answer is the latter, I'd put the last bit on the face.

My idea is to make this thing a combat dummy and an archery target. You can put canvas over it and rawhide to make it an archery target, but that doesn't mean it can take brute force as well. It'd be a hard surface, no give, so I figure I'll use some of this hard insulation foam over the canvas, then a layer of rawhide or leather over that. If the covering tears the foam won't bleed out the front like cotton fluff would. If I could do it again I probably would've put the foam on the bottom, then the canvas, then the rawhide, but whatever. Razz

I've recieved my boss and what a beautiful piece of metal it is. This might be a stupid question, but do I paint the inside? Any chance of it rusting on the inside? I doubt it, but you never know. Another stupid question, would you put anything at all under the boss? Probably a really stupid question, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

It was too hard to glue the canvas around the edges, so I cut it off and I wonder if I should use some tough rubber pool lining around the edge, which would then be covered with rawhide and then a metal channel if I can get one. Only worried that hot glue for the rubber might damage the edges of the plywood, that possible?

Thanks for all your support everyone! I'll show pictures of my progress after the canvas is done.

I have no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2012 3:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes bosses can rust on the inside if the shield is left out in the rain or on the ground for extended periods without any care.
IMO they don't have to be painted over to prevent rust, you can simply oil the surfaces, or oil burn them for a more lasting protection. Or you can keep them polished and shiny.
Some of my friends just paint over everything, others paint the inside and keep the outside buffed. All down to personal preference.

About whether to put the extra layer on the front or back., both have their own virtues but since the front takes more hits from, what, arrows and blunt blades or perhaps rattan or wood trainers? Then the front will keep looking fresh longer if you put it on the front.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Leo Todeschini




PostPosted: Wed 04 Apr, 2012 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David Stepan Wrote
Quote:
I've drilled holes in the square four way set up as seen in many Bayeux Tapestry soldiers. Could somebody give me feedback about their position?


Have a look at the pictures toward the bottom of this page, they show a few harnessing set ups for Kite shields.

The straps are leather, the pads are linen canvas stuffed with fleece and nailed on.

Good luck with your build, I have total respect for people who get up and do it.

http://www.todsstuff.co.uk/shields.htm

Tod

www.todsstuff.co.uk
www.theenglishcutler.co.uk
www.todsfoundry.co.uk
www.todmedia.co.uk
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William P




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PostPosted: Thu 12 Jul, 2012 12:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i like the look of the adarga, the shield of the jinete.
you guys mention springy wood.. would rattan bamboo or cane do the trick if i didnt really care about precise historical details?
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