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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Practice "Boffer" Spears

At Conferention 2005 we witnessed single handed spear practice by other re-enactors, most notably the Stoccata School of Defense and decided to bring it back to Adelaide. Therefore the first step is making the spear!

Difficulty: Easy
Total Time: 2 hours

Inside the leather cover is several layers of felt. We cut a rectangle of felt then glued it in a cylinder around the staff building up about 2-3 layers. We cut a smaller amount of felt to plug the top where the spear goes through and then cut a circular shape for the end.

The cover was made by sewing a rectangle and a circle of leather together. The cover is quite tight and was worked over the felt. It fits quite snuggly. At the bottom of the felt the leather was bound tightly with string to prevent the leather or felt from moving, especially while the glue on the felt set.

Saturday, August 6, 2005

Centre Grip Shield

This centre-grip war shield was tried in battle, found to be a little heavy and transformed into a sign for our club. The principles and materials in making this sort of shield are the same no matter the size.

Difficulty: Medium
Total Time: 10 hours

Take your circle of wood and affix an old sheet to one side using PVA glue. While this is drying take a length of hose and cut a slit along the length of it. When the glue is dry cut the excess sheet away and then work the hose around the circumference of the shield. This is hidden by leather in one of the next steps and gives the shield a longer lifetime.
shield shield

Usually a centre grip shield requires a boss in the centre. This is easy to make with the right equipment. We used a wooden stump which has a dish in the centre - a depression or hollow that is used for forming the shape into metal. You can use a sander to create a hollow in your stump which is usually around 4-5 inches in diameter and about an inch deep. We used a ball pein hammer which was modified by my partner for the task. Hammer's should be kept highly polished because any flaw in the hammer is transferred to the metal surface every time the hammer strikes.

Working in spiral courses, start from the outside and work inwards. Space the blows as evenly as possible to prevent malforming and stress on the metal. Each hammer stroke should overlap slightly with those around it. There are many good books you can get for more information on metalwork and armour making.

shield shield

With all the pieces now ready, we cur a circular hole to fit the boss into the shield. The handle is a shaft of wood with notches cut in either end so that it sits flush against the shield into the inside of the hole. This was riveted first, then the boss was also attached with rivets. If you have a rivet former it is even easier to crete and maintain the nice curved finish of a rivet.
shield shield

The shield was initially painted red and then the protective layer of leather was riveted around the outside. Later the black artwork was added and this particular shield is now used as our sign at events.
shield shield