Brigandine Thicknesses

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The Methley Archer
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Brigandine Thicknesses

Post by The Methley Archer »

Has anyone got an info regarding thicknesses of the plates used in 15th C Briggs. I do remember a previous discussion but that involved what people thought the thickness of armour should be that is worn on the battlefield now.

Any pointers in the right direction would be grand.

Thanks
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jelayemprins
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Post by jelayemprins »

Each plate on average about 1.5mm , though it can be thinner if hardened. all should be tinned too!
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Post by Laffin Jon Terris »

Since theory has it that brigandines were made from re-cycled armour the thickness could vary quite a lot.

The Beeston article* tentatively estimates the thickness of those plates as 1.5mm including the tinning.

I have handled some 16th century brigandine sections and would have estimated them as being around 1mm thick, again including tinning. Bear in mind that these were considerably smaller plates than the normal 15th century brigandine, allowing for much more overlap (meaning you wouldn't need such thick metal)

If you're planning to make one, I'm making one using 16 gauge mild for the lungplates and 18 gauge mild for the rest. I have seen a re-enactment one made using 20 gauge, the owner felt quite safe in it but the plates seemed to dent and deform a little too easily for my liking (more maintenance).

Best of luck!

JonT

*"On the remains of a jack of plate excavated from Beeston Castle in Cheshire", from the Arms and Armour Journal, Vol XIII, no2, Sept 1989
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Post by The Methley Archer »

Thanks very much to the both of you.

LJT have you seen this http://www.eskimo.com/~cwn/armour.html
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Post by Fair Lady Aside »

The brigs in the link above were made by Craig Nadler and Bob Reed. The Green, Silk Velvet one my husbands, Bob Reed.

ImageImage

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Base: Hemp Canvas
Cover: Antique Silk Velvet
Plates: Tempered and Tinned
Rivets: patterned from a mould taken of extant rivets from a brig plate in the Higgins Armory Museum.


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Post by Thomas Hayman »

For those interested, i and a couple of others are looking at building a few brigs from those instructions soon.

The plan is to have the pattern cut by waterjet. I am in the process of getting a quote for 3 sets of plates made, welcome to add others to the bunch if it means we all make a saving.

The material of choice will be the UK equivelant of 1050 spring steel. 1mm thick, if that.

The plan is still in its early stages so bear with me.
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Post by Laffin Jon Terris »

I've got a nice bench shear (and access to a guilotine too) so cutting the steel is fine. Its all the holes that are worrying me! (I need a punch to do all three holes in one go).

Methley Archer, try this site:

http://www.reliquary.co.uk/brig/brig1.htm

I've got maybe a third of the plates cut and a source for tin. I'm still looking for good rivets and I've now used up the leather I had saved for this!

One day I'll get this done! In the mean-time, I look forward to seeing other peoples efforts!

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Post by The Methley Archer »

Yep, I've seen this site. In fact was going to post the link myself this morning.

I'm gethering info at the moment as there is no way the wife will let me start this until after we've had some building work done. Steel source and cutting sorted, holes will be drilled but what to use for rivets is making me think.
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Post by Billman »

There's a discussion here http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB2/ ... hp?t=91482
about the possibilty of getting another batch of the replica nails used by Craig and Bob.

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Post by Skevmeister »

Laffin Jon Terris wrote: Its all the holes that are worrying me! (I need a punch to do all three holes in one go).
JonT
Jon,

You know what I will get on to my mate, he thinks his place is getting rid of some fly presses. And last time I dsicussed it with him they would jsut be dumping them.

You could actually use one of these and make a die for it to your plates. I will chase it up as if all it costs me is the price of the die being made. I know that I would have to do some of the others by hand but thats what the Whitney's for.

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Brigandines

Post by jelayemprins »

Cheapest and simplest nails are carpet tacks - get the ones about 1" long. And being ultra sharp they push through the fabric quite well [after making pilot hole with awl. I cut off the shanks with sharp pincers and peined the heads across - although I seem to recall the originals are just bent over in many cases, being thin wire shanks...

For a cheap munitions brig these can be reshaped easily in a vice, with a ball pein hammer head and then quick polished to give a good hand-forged- head 'look' .

For my attempt at the Burgundian one in Basle, which has 18 rivets per plate and no lung plates, each nail head was hand punched with a die, or filed to give a simple star pattern. Well over 2000 nails so far...

And for the plates, a hardened sharp punch through the plate into a lead block works really well. There really is no subsitute for time spent.

Its faded over the 13 years, and shrunk a bit in the cupboard, but still going strong!

Hope this works...
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Post by Laffin Jon Terris »

Skev, I have a flypress but no tooling unfortunately, (I had a friendly engineer who was quite keen on making some stuff for me but unfortunately he died a little while ago before we got stuff sorted.)

Ideally I need a triple punch and die for the press with a variable stop for positioning (probably exactly what you have in mind?) If you find an engineer who would make such a set do let me know!

I have a whitney No8 and a bunch of size punches/dies for "normal" holes, I guess I'm just being lazy when it comes down to it!

Ian, nice work on those nails, for some reason I'd thought those heads would be too small but they do look good!

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Post by jelayemprins »

Cheers Jon.

The plates are smaller than most people use, max 2"width and 16 plates from waist to rear of neck, then a row of tiny pates forming a flexible neck opening.

Agree that plates can really be any conceievable thickness. If worn with jack & mail [and poss plackart as well] then 1mm would be ample.

Theres 18 nails per plate instead of the usual 9. Pro rata the nails needed to be smaller! And they match the one in Basle. My only regret is that I didn't hand tin them. They went a bit rusty in Valencia.....

And with the punching of the holes, if you get a machine die to do this you will get 100% machine uniformity- an exactitude unknown to the brig maker. What makes them so unique is the workmanship of the originals

Glad there are more brig-fanciers out there!
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Re: brig

Post by Laffin Jon Terris »

jelayemprins wrote: And with the punching of the holes, if you get a machine die to do this you will get 100% machine uniformity- an exactitude unknown to the brig maker. What makes them so unique is the workmanship of the originals
Now I hadn't thought of that - oh well, at least I have a mechanical punch and I won't have to do each one by hammering!

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Post by Colin Middleton »

I know that this is a bit of a CUBA on the thread and I'm sorry, but with all this talk of punching holes, can anyone sugest a way to put really small holes in brass sheet, about the size of a pin?

Many thanks
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Post by Thomas Hayman »

Depending on how many and how thick the brass is, i'd suggest using an archimidean drill.
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Post by Medicus Matt »

Dremel (or a pin vice) and a 0.8mm bit.
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Post by guthrie »

Medicus Matt wrote:Dremel (or a pin vice) and a 0.8m bit.
0.8 metres? Surely a saw would be better for that?

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Post by gregory23b »

Jelly

"For a cheap munitions"

What evidence do we have that munition was less good than non-munition?

Why do we use that term as a way of describing items that may be less good than otherwise?

Just out of curiosity.
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Post by John Waller »

Colin Middleton wrote:I know that this is a bit of a CUBA on the thread and I'm sorry, but with all this talk of punching holes, can anyone sugest a way to put really small holes in brass sheet, about the size of a pin?

Many thanks
As stated a dremel but use a sharp point as a punch to make a starter or the drill will skip.
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Brigandine Thicknesses

Post by I Dev »

We are in the process of making Brigs,
We got the plates cut by plasma cutter we didn't get the holes put in (although we could have :cry: ) as we didn't really know what the positioning was going to be. we are going to use roofing nails that have been tined they also come in copper. hopefully have them done by Tewksbury.

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Post by Medicus Matt »

guthrie wrote: 0.8 metres? Surely a saw would be better for that?
Dunno what you mean.

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Post by Colin Middleton »

Thanks guys; archimidean drill (a dremmel's a bit overkill for the thickness I'm working with), 0.8mm drill bit (I feel a trip to MeadowHell comming on) and punch before you drill. That's wonderful.
gregory23b wrote:Jelly

"For a cheap munitions"

What evidence do we have that munition was less good than non-munition?

Why do we use that term as a way of describing items that may be less good than otherwise?

Just out of curiosity.
What does 'munitions' mean? My understanding (from other re-enactors) was that it was 'mass produced' and proably 'off the peg' armour and hence not so well fitted or heat treated as the more costly stuff. My understanding was also that it was worn piece-meal rather than as a full harness.

What's the correct definition?
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Post by Colin Middleton »

Forgot to add, you can get copper saddler's rivits from lePrevo leather suppliers if you don't want to go the nail rout. Personally I like the nail idea.
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Post by jelayemprins »

JK

Munitions

Another term that we can probably discuss til the cows come home to roost.

For me, its a throwaway term implying that it is not bespoke and is of the industry 'standard', rather than the gold plated, perfect fit harness type.

With brigs for instance, a munitions brig would
a / be covered in plain inexpensive fabric or leather
b/ have plain or simple nails, possibly not hand tinned/silvered etc
c/ have simple buckles

Just my thoughts...
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Post by gregory23b »

Yeah, I know all that, we all do, but why do we use the term and has anyone looked at what it meant then, it might have meant something else which might in turn alter our way of viewing such things.

It is an oft bandied term with no seeming frame of reference, and is one used with authority and regularity, but why and how have we come to use it?
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Post by The Methley Archer »

What style of rivet pattern is suitable for mid 15th C. All the images of extant brigs i,ve come across show the 3 rivets together in a triangle like Jelyemps has done with his. Whiterose apparel have the archers brig in a straight 4 in a row pattern and no lung plates.

Any guidance helpful.
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brig nail patterns

Post by jelayemprins »

There are 3 distinct rivet arrangements in use during the mid 15th century
and combinations thereof

1/ the most popular trefoil type .'.

2/ straight row of nails at the top of each plate ' ' ' ' '

3/ straight rows of nails with one extra nail exactly below each end of the upper row.

There are also artistic representations of one row trefoil, one row continuous rivets, plus odd 'artistic interpretations' open to guesswork as to their credibility.

From extant surviving brigs and period artwork, here is a breakdown:

ART

'The Profanation of the Host', Paolo Uccello, 1467 [Galleria Nazionale delle Marche], Urbino 2 brigs shown, both type 2

'St Michael' by Bernardo Martorell, 1435-40, [Museu Diocesa, Tarragona]
2 brigs, both have type 1 body with type 2 skirts

'The Murder of Phillip II of Macedonia' [prep drawing] Giovani di Niccolo Castaldo de Fanta, 1460, [Vatican library]. type 1

Cueur fighting Wrath, Rene d'Anjou french 1465-70 [Ostereichisches National Bibliotek, Vienna] type 2 with lung plates

David kneeling in Penitence, Jean Fouquet, 1470, [British Library]
type 1

Memling :) Mystic marriage of St Catherine and the Martyrdom of St Ursula paintings [Hospital of St John, Bruges]
Seven joys of the Virgin, [Alte Pinakothek, Munich],
All type 1, two have short brig sleeves as well

The Resurrection, Oslo Master, Aragonese 1490 [Philadelphia Museum of Art] type 3

The Resurrection, Juan de Borgona, [Toledo cathedral], type 3

The Caesar Tapestries, [Historic Museum Berne] lots of type 1, some type 2, and loads of odd stuff. Enjoy!


EXTANT

Geneva 1460, type 1
Basle 1476-7, type 1,
Paris, 1470-80, type 1
Madrid, 1480, type 2
Madrid 1450, type 2 with big lung plates.
Vienna, 1460, type 1, lung plates, lance rest
Royal Armouries, type 1, lung plates
Madrid, 1480, type 3
Geneva, type 2 with 3 occasionally

Hope that helps a bit...
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Post by Derek Newman »

With regard to the phrase "munitions grade"
gregory23b wrote:Yeah, I know all that, we all do, but why do we use the term and has anyone looked at what it meant then, it might have meant something else which might in turn alter our way of viewing such things.

It is an oft bandied term with no seeming frame of reference, and is one used with authority and regularity, but why and how have we come to use it?
I'm lead to believe that the term is in fact quite modern and stems from specifications laid down by the American "Munitions Board" for the quality required for the items it would (and still does) purchase for use by the American armed forces.

In the pre-WW2 era this standard was often higher than that normally churned out by manufacturers and proclaiming your arms to be of "munition grade" was a badge of pride and quality.

With the outbreak of WW2 the standard quickly deteriorated to a "the minimum we can get away with and sell it to the government" formula and munition grade weapons were considered inferior to those lovingly made for consumer use.

I could of course be completely wrong as I have no sources to back this information up. If anyone knows better please tell.

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Post by The Methley Archer »

Thanks very much Jel, planning is in progress!!!
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