Steel for armour

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Julia
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Steel for armour

Postby Julia » Fri Sep 28, 2012 6:01 pm

For those of you who make your own Armour. What grade of steel do you use ? I'm guessing your normal mild doesn't suit the task. Could EN45 do the job?

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J



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby chrisanson » Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:19 am

en 45 is blade steel



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Joolz » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:05 am

Why not normal mild steel sheet? It's just as inauthentic as any other material currently available, it's inexpensive, and easy to work. I would suggest going to the Armour Archive. The answers to all your armouring questions will be found there.....

http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/index.php

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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Mark Griffin » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:10 pm

I'd love to say 'the same grade as they did'. But they've used it all... its not only the material its how its worked/treated that counts. and anything produced post 1945 has elevated radiation levels which makes fakes a bit easier to spot. The current craze for spring steel/stainless is of course very modern, not helped that until the mid 19th cent one mans mild steel was another mans slightly different mild steel of course, no standardisation.

more info here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_steel

and here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel


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Re: Steel for armour

Postby chidokan » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:33 pm

do you intend to 'use it ' or just walk around in it/display only??? That would make a lot of difference as you could go really thin(and light) if not in use... I am almost tempted to say you could use aluminium or plastic and spray paint it black for instance... If for 'proper use' you cannot take shortcuts of any description.
This is an interesting site for articles... http://www.armourarchive.org/essays/



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Julia » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:30 am

Joolz wrote:Why not normal mild steel sheet? It's just as inauthentic as any other material currently available, it's inexpensive, and easy to work. I would suggest going to the Armour Archive. The answers to all your armouring questions will be found there.....

http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/index.php

Joolz


My reasoning for believing mild steel to not be suitable for the task of making armour is that the low carbon content makes it very difficult to heat treat in a way that would allow the armour to work. Hence my thinking that a higher carbon steel would be more appropriate. As for mentioning en45? being a good blade steel for the reenactor, it's also the sort after mild I'm most likely to have laying around...

I will check out the various links people have shared.

Thanks

J



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Hobbitstomper » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:59 am

If you are working any heat treatable steel to make armour you will have to do it hot. Do it cold then it will work harden and crack. That is why most reenactment armour is mild steel. It is just made thicker.

Heat treating armour is very difficult. The curves go in various directons so the metal deforns in different directions when it cools. The metal is big sheets which is dfficult to heat and cool evenly. Once the armour is defrmed you can't do anything about it without removing the heat treatment. Original armours had holes in them that were used to fix the metal in shape and stop it from deforming.



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Mark Griffin » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:39 am

You can make armour out of absolutely anything. But what is it for and what does it have to do?


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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Julia » Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:51 am

Mark Griffin wrote:You can make armour out of absolutely anything. But what is it for and what does it have to do?


In the first instance I was going to have a go at making myself a set of splinted Vambraces, to protect my forearms during sparing. I could use all sorts of modern items to protect my arms, and seeing as splinted armour is technically out of the period I do (850-1217AD), I was going to wear them under my tunic anyway. However, I feel that if I am going to do it, I may as do it properly, and get something that is made right.

Eventually I quite like the idea of making a set of Brigandine at some point if the Vambraces work, again out of my core period, but I quite like the idea of having the setup for something a bit later anyway.

So in short: I want the armour to do what armour was originally intended to do, to protect me during combat.

J



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Mark Griffin » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:04 am

well in the period you mention you are pretty limited. Mail is the primary defence, coupled with fabric armour. After that there is limited evidence for other forms of defence.

After that, get some metal and have a go, but having been in many armourers workshops I can say you need a heck of a lot of tools and time and patience. Have fun and best of luck


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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Julia » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:18 am

Mark Griffin wrote:well in the period you mention you are pretty limited. Mail is the primary defence, coupled with fabric armour. After that there is limited evidence for other forms of defence.


Funny, that's what I had found from my research. A side from covering of more of the body with maille towards the end of my core period, the armour doesn't really change.

But, after that you start to get rapid (well over a couple of hundred years) development of funky interesting stuff like full plate.

After that, get some metal and have a go, but having been in many armourers workshops I can say you need a heck of a lot of tools and time and patience. Have fun and best of luck


tools? time? patience? engineering? sounds like my idea of a relaxing way to spend some time...

But before I go out and buy the wrong metal, I wanted to see if I could track down some information on what sort of steel is good to make armour with, hence my original question.

J



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Mark Griffin » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:28 am

I think I'd concentrate on thickness rather than metallurgical content. You can make armour from any sheet metal but the weight:protection ratio is pretty important. Have you made anything like this before?


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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Graham Ashford » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:03 am

Julia

My advice for the splinted armour would be to get hold of some small sheets of 18g and 16g mild steel and have a play about with it. Mild still is relatively inexpensive and can be moved about relatively easily.

There is a bit of a 'thing' at the moment in the belief of the now near mythic properties of higher carbon steels over mild steels, but I would move into higher carbon steels slowly. They aren't impossible to get used to, just cost a bit more and take a bit more work which can seem daunting if you are new to things.

If you have any sheet metal workers near you, they would usually have enough off cuts that are too small to them but perfect for you lying about the place for a case of beer or a few pounds.

The shaping of the mild steel prior to fixing would be enough to protect againt what you are doing by the sounds of things and you want struggle with 18g (or even 16g mild steel splints). You leather will add increased protection and then if you shape and treat the leather you'll be golden (but that's another sory altogether :) )

Here's a pictures of the Estonia vambraces found in the a latrine (iirc) recently; to get you started.

Image



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Mark Griffin » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:10 am

And if you are going to attempt the leather ones and attain the 'golden' level Graham mentioned with the right leather, shaping and treatment then you need to hunt down a copy of Chris Dobsons fine essay on shaping leather armour, its one of the few decent articles on the subject.

Full reference to the title at the bottom of his page here

http://www.chrisdobson.net/chris_dobson.html


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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Tod » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:45 am

If you have any questions about hardening leather armour or leather in general just ask.



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Graham Ashford » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:10 am

Here's a lovely reconstruction of the Lithuania one .. just for reference :)

http://www.masterarmourer.com/vambrace.html



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Mark Griffin » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:53 am

as always from Chris, a lovely bit of work.


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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Mark Griffin » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:14 pm

And if you looks at that and read Chris articles on making it you will understand the importance of the right kind of leather and the use of a wooden last to shape the leather plus the process of hardening it. Steel armour is shaped to the body and so is leather.

Otherwise you get a studded wristlet thing much beloved of larpers and Blakes 7 villains. And heroes come to that!


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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Tod » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:49 pm

I think it also worth noting that what might be right for one part of the world isn't necessarily right for here (before we get stacks of leather armour all over the place). If you are going to make it for British re-enactment do the research first.



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Re: Steel for armour

Postby Mark Griffin » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:05 pm

uite right! Or we'll be getting all sirts of weird stuff hanging about. Like doggy chew edging on shields, perish the thought.


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