Making a Viking Shield

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RyanA
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Making a Viking Shield

Postby RyanA » Sun Jul 20, 2014 11:18 am

Hi!

I'm looking to start a new project, a viking round shield, but I'm on a bit of a budget. I have about £40 to spend on making the shield, including paint. So far, I've singled out some materials and costs, but looking for advice from someone who's made one of these before.

Update!!

The materials I ended up using were...

4x8x6mm plywood
1.5m Linen Cloth
1m Leather sheet
Shield Boss

Ended up having more than enough linen and wood for two shields and enough leather for 3 or 4.

Pics soon!

Cheers,
Ryan
Last edited by RyanA on Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:24 pm

Go for the ply-wood rather than the boards. Boards will cost more and are tricky to get to fit nicely together unless you use tounge and groove which is not authentic.
Get undyed linen instead of white cotton canvas - it will look better. Use lots of water-proof PVA glue and smother the shield (before you cut it out) and float the fabric onto the wood. This means that, when you cut out the shield, you won't be left with any frayed edges of fabric to deal with. When I cut out a shield, I cut out two 'D' shapes where the boss will be so that I have an integral handle already in place, other people cut out the full circle then add a separate handle. Either way, remember to cut out the hole so it matches the inside hole of the boss - leaving you room to rivet the flange in place.
If you are buying a shield boss for £9, assume that this shield will never be hit. If you want one for use, buy a better shield boss. You can get bomb-proof ones from a variety of traders (especially Polish ones) for £18.#
Do not use pop rivets. Get some six inch nails (washers are optional), a decent ball pean hammer and something to use as an anvil (anther hammer or a good lump of rock will do). Cut the nails so that they protrude around 1/4 inch beyond wood and boss flange and ball pean them into rivets. If you put the nail head on the 'inside', the boss flange will act as a washer for your rivets. If you want more authentic washers, the ought to be square shaped, not round.
As for attaching the raw-hide rim, either use carpet tacks or, if you have the patience, sew the raw-hide to the rim. Avoid a metal edge, it just adds weight without giving a huge amount of extra protection.
Paintin - it might be chepaer to get some 'tester pots' in the colours you want rather than spray paint and remember, the more complicated the design, the longer it will take to paint and the more upset you will be when someone puts an axe through it.


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RyanA
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby RyanA » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:25 pm

Plywood it is! :D I was thinking about doing something like this on the back http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2010/ ... arkko1.jpg so it doesn't look so plain. Think that would still work with the plywood sheet?

Why use PVA glue? Wouldn't wood glue be better? And for the cover, I was thinking of cutting out the shield first, then sticking the fabric on and folding it around the back, then glueing it and putting the rawhide on top. Your way would definately be a lot less work though!! Also a good idea on the D shapes, but without a board going across the back, doesn't the back look a bit plain?

This is the shield boss I was planning to use http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/ ... -2606.html

How do you ball peen the nails? I've never used one of those hammers before. Was thinking the pop rivets as I thought rivets were used in shields back in the day! Are modern rivets too weak or just not look authentic?

As for the sewing, would you just drill holes and then weave a leather strip inbetween each hole, then tying it at the end? Wouldn't the knot come undone?

I like the idea of the tester pots though, I don't think I'd use a whole can of paint on the shield so it'd just be lying around afterwards!



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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:17 am

If you apply fabric to both sides of the shield, you nwould never see the 'planking' effect anyway. If you only put fabric on the front then you can score in fake 'planking' with a red hot skewer, possibly making it more obvious by going over your planking lines with a black permanent marker.

Water-proof if the key word here. PVA or wood glue, it doesn't mater which, just so long as it's the water proof variety. The D-shape holes or the single holes are purely a matter of choice, I have small hands so can use the D-shapes without any problems. People with larger hands tend to prefer a single hole with a handle added. There is no reason you cannot do both. If you're unsure if the D-shapes will work for you, try them before you attache the boss, you can always cut out the offending strip if it doesn't work for you!

That shield boss - http://www.theknightshop.co.uk/catalog/ ... -2606.html - looks like the small ones that go on the front of some Kite shields, you'll never get your hand into it. All my bosses are at least eight or nine inch external diameter with with a seven inch internal diameter for the 'cup' of the boss (i.e. 7 inch hole with 1.5 - 2 inch flange). Look for a bigger boss! (Top one here would be ideal - http://www.wulflund.com/armour/shields/ ... ?vp-page=1)

Pop rivets are aluminium - therefore inauthentic, too small and not strong enough to do the job. To rivet a nail; once you have the nail cut to the right size (around quarter of an inch longer than the total depth of wood and metal), place the head of the nail on your 'anvil' and use the ball end of the ball pean hammer to hit the middle of the cut-off end of the nail sticking through. This will cause the metal to deform and spread to make an I shaped rivet. (You can use any type of hammer to do this, I just find using a ball pean easier.) Make sure you keep on smacking the rivet until it is holding the the shield boss (or handle) tightly to the body opf the shield. Then hit it some more - just to make sure.

As for sewing on the raw-hide, measure the circumference of your shield and sew a loop of raw hide that is about about an inch smaller (when wet). Drill lots of little holes all round the edge of your shiled no more than an inch appart. Stretch your loop of raw hide around the rim of your shield and saddle stich (using one thread but a needle on each end) the raw hide in place knotting the thread ever two or three holes - this will stop it all falling off when when some one manages to cut the thread. Use thick linen thread for this!

Hope this helps. Which group are you with? If you are looking for a group, have a look here - http://www.vikingsonline.org.uk/membership/groupdb/ - the people in your nearest group should be able to help you find stuff/get started and advise on current authenticity thinking.


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RyanA
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby RyanA » Sun Aug 03, 2014 7:50 pm

All the bits have arrived and I'm gonna get started. I'm going for the separate handle bar on the back, so I'm just wondering now, shall I nail that bit through the back so the nail sticks out the front of the shield? Through the front? Or get nails just the right length to not go through?



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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Sun Aug 03, 2014 9:29 pm

I usually have the nail head on the inside of the shield and cut off the excess nail leaving around a quarter of an inch proud of the boss flange (or shield wood if at the ends of the handle) to peen over to make the rivet.


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RyanA
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby RyanA » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:36 pm

Progress on the shield today. Ended up on Hurstwic Viking Shields and decided on a 6mm shield, going for a 26" round though, so a bit smaller than the smallest found, thickness still authentic.

Cut out the shield and made a handle by sticking 2 bits of 6mm ply together, then cut into a handle shape. Sanded all the edges down, smothered it in weatherproof wood glue and the handle and shield are being left overnight to be stuck to their respective bits.

Still waiting on leather to arrive, but should be here by next monday. Gonna get some paints tomorrow. Will rivet the handle onto the shield board at the ends, then paint it up. Wait for paint to dry, then attach the handle in the middle through the shield boss, and attach the shield boss.

I gotta say. I'm really freaking enjoying this. :lol:

Shields a bit rough, not perfectly round but eh, not too bad for a first try! Will upload pics when finished, then gonna use some more ply I bought to make some more shields.

I got four bits of 4ftx4ft, and after measuring everything out, I can get either one 26" shield and a 20" shield out of each bit, with a bit of leftover wood for handles and stuff, or, I can get one 26" shield and a norman style kite shield, with enough wood for a shield handle. I have no way of bending the norman shield into shape though. I've seen pics on the net of people using flat ones, is this acceptable for reenactment though?



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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:51 am

Flat kites are perfectly acceptable amongst most groups. If you, however, soak the ply wood, you can strap it around a dustbin and get a bit of a curve on the shield as it dries out again. After that, you can put on the linen covers (if you want them), a small boss, straps etc.


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RyanA
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby RyanA » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:19 am

Ahh, nifty, will give that a try! Will regular elastic straps do or what about those ones with the clicky metal thing?

I have to say, I'm really surprised about this shield. When it was just the 6mm plywood, it was a bit bendy and I wasn't so sure it'd be strong enough, but after checking it this morning after the linen's dried, it's actually really strong. I can hardly bend it anymore! Really amazing! :D

As the handle's made out of plywood though, you can see the ply from the side still, is that OK as it's on the back or shall I sort that out?



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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Thu Aug 28, 2014 12:05 pm

Rachet straps, bungee cords are too stretchy. I assume that this is for bending the wood, not strapping it to your arm.......... :wink: Leather straps riveted onto the shield - there are a variety of different ways of doing it - see http://www.angelfire.com/wy/svenskildbi ... armes.html for examples.


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RyanA
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby RyanA » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:27 pm

What are these things, holding the D rings for the shoulder strap in place called?

http://www.viking-shield.com/content/im ... hield.jpeg

I want to do a shoulder strap, and I know I could just put a square washer on top of the leather strap and rivet it in, but I do kind of want to do a 'proper' strap.



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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:31 pm

I have never seen a shield with D-rings to hold the carrying strap in place. I just rivet mine to either the handle or to the shield itself.


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RyanA
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby RyanA » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:40 pm

Ah well, guess I'l just do that! Would you say 1" wide for the strap, a bit more, or a bit less?



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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:05 am

Half to three quaters is what I usually use - recycled from old belts/straps from broken shields etc. I only bother with a buckle for the strap if I dont have a single piece long enough and have to use two shorter pieces.


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RyanA
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby RyanA » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:39 am

Gotcha. Would 50" be long enough, do you think?



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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Making a Viking Shield

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:12 pm

Attach one end then figure out how much you need to get it over your head (and helmet) easily. Too long and your shield will hang round the backs of you knees tripping you up; too short it will strangle you or make you look like an upturned tortoise when you land backwards when it is on your back.


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