saxon style shield/axe?

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Trading-Dragon
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Postby Trading-Dragon » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:06 pm

I do profoundly apologize if that comment of mine has caused anyone distress!


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Postby Trading-Dragon » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:11 pm

About stiffening leather - have heard somewhere that paraffin can be dissolved in white spirit. Is that true? Can't try it out atm. If it works, could one possibly saturate the veg-tan with that solution prior to stitching it onto the shield rim and would it do any good to harden the leather?

Kinda like wax-boiling it, but cold.
No idea if the science is sound. Just speculating.


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Postby Tuppence » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:31 pm

In theory any ind of boiling would work, although I'm not a leather worker, fabric being much nicer :D



Incidentally - good advice for dbob.culley would be something I just added to the 'advice for newbies' bit in f&g :

"It is better to be patient and get a few good pieces of good, simple kit for a humble soldier or follower than to rush to portray a knight in armour that looks like tin - or a noble lady in gaudy man-made fibres, which will look nothing like fine period fabrics (and will go up like a torch if you get to close to the campfire)."

G Embleton, Medieval Military Costume.



Now obviously, that's about the later medieval periods covered by the Co of St George, (Gerry Embleton being a founder member), but it holds good for pretty much any period.


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Medicus Matt
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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:33 am

Trading-Dragon wrote:
Don't like tacks either, that's why I used to quickly staple on the rawhide so it never EVER comes off again, then cover everything in thinner leather for a slightly more 'A' look.


Don't know about your chosen period but in mine the rim's supposed to be on the outside.

Trading-Dragon wrote:I'm actually rather curious about stitching on the rawhide. I tried it on my heater shield but the thread just keeps snapping. I used really thick waxed linen thread, the kind you make bowstrings out of. Haven't tried artificial sinew yet.

How is that actually holding up in combat? I'm a little worried that if the rawhide eventually gets cut, it's all going to unravel. How exactly do you stitch it on? And might it be a good idea to treat the thread with glue afterwards to help ward against it all unraveling if it snaps?


Firstly, with the stuff I'm using for edging now, it doesn't get cut. You'd have to be using a sharp to make an impression on the 3-4mm ox hide edging.

When I stitch mine on I use two needles so the stitching is locked as you go along. Even if one bit snaps in combat, the rest doesn't unravel and it's a simple job to tie another bit in and repair it.

I've found that even the strongest linen thread, waxed or otherwise, will snap if you use too long a piece when stitching because it rubs as you pull it through the holes. Better to use shorter pieces and splice them together as you go along.

Trading-Dragon wrote:BY the way - a bit earlier I thought about finding a way to toughen up veg-tan leather and make it a bit more durable. Discovered something neat: if you take some PVA (the kind that is waterproof when dry) and thin it down half and half with water, then soak your leather in it for a few hours it becomes super hard and stiff when dry. The only drawback is that it can't be waxed or dyed anymore and feels and looks noticeably 'shiny' and plastic like...


Or just soak it in hot water, form it and then dry it off with applied heat? Toughens it up nicely and doesn't leave it looking like cheap plastic.


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Medicus Matt
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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:35 am

BTW, boiling leather in anything makes it shrink and makes it brittle. Don't do it.


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Postby Thrud » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:04 am

Medicus Matt wrote:BTW, boiling leather in anything makes it shrink and makes it brittle. Don't do it.


Yup, too hot to put your hand into comfortably but not boiling. And leave the leather in until it stops bubbling on the surface.


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Postby Trading-Dragon » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:39 am

Medicus Matt wrote:
Don't know about your chosen period but in mine the rim's supposed to be on the outside.


It depends. Heater shields aren't often depicted with any kind of edge reinforcement, as far as I'm aware. As for vike shields - my main inspiration was a shield they'd found (web source escapes me now) with a wooden boss entirely covered in leather. I made the boss out of a big lump of ash, carved and cut with jigsaw and chisels. The shield got clad into two halves of pigskin, glued down with wood glue and stitched together in the middle. Apparently the original had some organic material stuffed under the leather for padding. I tried replicating the effect of that with a big piece cut out of a cheap IKEA rug. It actually worked very nicely except that i ought to have painted the rug in an inconspicuous colour before gluing the leather on. It shines through then the leather gets cut...
...ah well, it was a fun project all the same.

With all my later shields I did away with the rug entirely and i replaced the wooden boss with a metal one, which is far easier to install in quantity. But I kept the leather.



Firstly, with the stuff I'm using for edging now, it doesn't get cut. You'd have to be using a sharp to make an impression on the 3-4mm ox hide edging.

When I stitch mine on I use two needles so the stitching is locked as you go along. Even if one bit snaps in combat, the rest doesn't unravel and it's a simple job to tie another bit in and repair it.

I've found that even the strongest linen thread, waxed or otherwise, will snap if you use too long a piece when stitching because it rubs as you pull it through the holes. Better to use shorter pieces and splice them together as you go along.


Brilliant! I shall try this on my little buckler. Decided I don't like the metal rim - it rattles ever so slightly. :( But i suppose i can use the holes already there to facilitate stitching. I'm gonna keep the steel reinforcement on the face of the buckler though!

Do Le Prevo normally stock that rawhide? They're only selling strips for about 27 quid right now but it doesn't say how thick the hide is.


...and by the way, sorry about hijacking the thread! What were we actually talking about to start with...?


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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:54 am

Trading-Dragon wrote:As for vike shields - my main inspiration was a shield they'd found (web source escapes me now) with a wooden boss entirely covered in leather.



That's the Tira Bog shield from Latvia, either that or the Slavic one from Gross Raden, not very 'Viking'.
:wink:
The boss wasn't covered by leather...unless that's not what you meant. It's a nice shield to reconstruct though, spruce planks, leather front and back and stuffed with grass.


Trading-Dragon wrote:Do Le Prevo normally stock that rawhide? They're only selling strips for about 27 quid right now but it doesn't say how thick the hide is.



That's the stuff. Needs a good couple of days soaking, good stuff. Pricey buying it that way. Now I know that it's worth the money I'm buying a side from my local leather factors.


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Postby Tuppence » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:08 am

When I stitch mine on I use two needles so the stitching is locked as you go along. Even if one bit snaps in combat, the rest doesn't unravel and it's a simple job to tie another bit in and repair it.



Saddle stitch?


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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:38 am

Tuppence wrote:
When I stitch mine on I use two needles so the stitching is locked as you go along. Even if one bit snaps in combat, the rest doesn't unravel and it's a simple job to tie another bit in and repair it.



Saddle stitch?


Yup.


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