This Instructable will discuss how I made a fairly large shield. In Dungeons and Dragons terms, it is somewhere between a Large Wooden Shield and a Medium-creature Tower Shield. Heavy and large enough to offer near-complete protection, but light enough to still be able to bash with it. (I think it totaled out to being ~29 lbs).
I'm using some hardware from an old shield (read: tabletop) that was broken when it met the blunt end of a hammer.
This will need:
Wood (1/4" birch and particle board)
Grip and plate.
Foam (closed cell works well)
Tethers (I used old hockey skate laces)
Step 1: Making the Shield Body
Since the shop has a band saw, I cut out a vague shape that I've seen on a shield from somewhere in Persia...I think. Anyway, it's not quite a round-shield and it's not quite a kite-shield, but it manages to cover most of the area of both and still allow for an axe/spear/sword to be held in the off-hand without too much difficulty.
Trace out what you want on your blank piece, in this case it's a piece of 1/4" birch plywood that's roughly 3'x4'.
Cut out said line using the band saw. You could do it by hand with a reciprocating saw, or even a handsaw, but it would take forever.
For the second piece, trace the first cutout and then repeat the process of cutting out said piece.
For weight, strength and durability, I added a particle board piece between that's roughly 1' x 1.25' that way everything can be bolted together and add durability.