My friend and I had made leather helmets awhile ago and wanted to reenforce them with metal. We based the design on a deviantart elven armor design and used duct metal for the plating. Hope you enjoy making it as much as we did!
Step 1: Materials
These are the materials you will need:
- 10 sq ft Thin sheet metal aprox
- 100 roofing nails
- Tin snips or strong scissors
- Ball peen hammer
- Moveable anvil
- Hacksaw or dermel
- Work gloves
My metal plates are cut from old ducts, so it is really quite thin and easy to bend and shape. If you use a thicker metal you may have to use a hammer to curve it.
I riveted my metal plates together with sawed off roofing nails. If you know of an easier or more efficient method feel to use that instead.
To rivet with my method you do need a solid bace to hammer into; I used my anvil, but any large piece of metal should work, as long as you can move it and raise it up. Some of the riveting angles are very challenging to reach and blocking up my anvil on wood really helped.
Step 2: The Pattern
We designed the metal plates around our preexisting leather helmets, but you can ditch the leather and just make it out of metal.
We decided to using many small plates instead of a few large one, mainly for ease of creation. We are not skilled in metal working and only wanted to have to bend each piece in one direction. The overall aesthetic design was based on a deviantart that we found.
The sides are made of 5 pieces, plus the emblem on the front, which can be in any shape you like.
The crest is a solid piece of metal that we split into 8 sections, to let it curve around the top of the helmet.
Our inspiration for this design came form Fantasy Craft on Deviant Art
Step 3: The Pieces
Once you are certain of your pattern, you can cut the pieces out of your metal. Tin snips work well, along with really strong scissors. It may take a while.
It is important to be precise as you make your cuts, as any mistakes could cause the pieces to not line up.
Once they are all cut out, hold them up to the leather helmet and bend them by hand (or hammer) until they fit. When that is completed tape them together temporary, to confirm that they fit.
We drew lines along the edges of the pieces to help us remember how they overlapped.
Step 4: Drill the Holes
When the pieces of the sides are shaped and securely taped together, mark with a sharpie places for the holes, where the two plates overlap. Mark all the holes you can see, along the edge and on the top overlapping plates.
Drill these holes.
Reattach the pieces together and mark through the holes you already drilled so that your certain they will line up. You may have to repeat this step again if 3 or 4 plates are overlapping.
Step 5: Riveting
With all the holes drilled, place a roofing nail through one of them and with a fine sharpie make a mark about an ⅛ of an in inch above the metal. We put the heads of the nails on the inside of our helmet, because we thought it looked better. It is totally up to you.
Once you have marked the length of several rivets, cut the rest of the nail off with bolt cutters, hacksaw or Dremel.
Now place them back in the holes with all the metal in the right order on top and using the ball peen hammer spread and round off the the top enough to prevent it from slipping out of the hole. For more detailed instructions check out this instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-peen-a-rive...
Step 6: Attaching the Metal to the Leather
Since the metal adds a significant amount of weight I wanted to have a choice, so I got around 20 ¼ inch bolts and used them to attach the base of the metal to the leather.
It is totally your choice, you can rivet if you are certain you like the metal.
Step 7: Your Done!
Good Job! You have finished your metal helmet! Go have an epic, and now safer, sword fight!