Introduction: HEMA Training Guards

Picture of HEMA Training Guards

In this tutorial I'll teach you how to forge a pair of elbow / knee protection for your HEMA practice.

It's not particularly difficult, and the only cost of the project (apart from the tools) is a sheet of steel, which you can easily obtain in a hardware store! They allow you to move freely the arm / leg, and offer a fair amount of protection!

Step 1: Cut and Sand

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The first choice is between the inox road or the regular steel. Both have their advantages, in TL;DR:

  • Inox doesn't rust.
  • Regular steel is easier to work with. And cheaper.

In my build I've used a sheet of regular steel, 0.6 mm thick. This is suited for practice and light fighting. Surprisingly, I found that even this thin protection (always combined with the gambeson underneath) was able to protect from even the most powerful blow with a feder, the standard practice longsword.

Obviously it is NOT fit if instead your goal is, let's say, Battle of the Nations xD

In regard to rust, I have yet to see it, after more than an year using it. A minimal maintenance is required (thanks WD40 xD)

So, let's start by cutting 5 pieces from the sheet, following the pattern above. You can use a small jigsaw (with a saw suited for metal) or just a tin snip (if you're manly enough xD)

Next sand all the edges. Pay attention to this step: if you leave an edge sharp you may end up injuring yourself or your opponent!

Step 2: Assemble

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Now it's time to assemble the pieces!

Nothing too difficult here: three small strips of leather holds the pieces in place and allow them to move enough in order to follow your arm.

Step 3: Strips

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Now build a set of strips for holding the protection in place around your elbow / knee, and one to attach it to the gambeson.

Step 4: Rinse and Repeat

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Forge two protection for the elbow and two for the knee. For the knee I've simply used slightly larger pieces.

(I've tried a different supplier for the iron sheet... Aaaaand you can see the results. At least the resistance is the same xD)

Step 5: If You Don't Fancy Metal

Picture of If You Don't Fancy Metal

If you don't like metal (... what kind of monster are you?!) you can also do the same with plastic.

Take a pvc tube large enough, cut your pieces, sand them, and give them the proper shape with an heat gun and a large log (larger than your actual elbow / knee, as the plastic will slightly shrink back).


brianhunt (author)2016-05-27

As another HEMA practitioner and amateur armour maker I would like to suggest that if you dished and planished your pieces they would be stronger and would have less gaps for a blade to get through on a thrust. Just a thought for a future project. You can also make a similar setup for basic knee protection as well. All the best.

LoSkana (author)brianhunt2016-05-27

Thanks for the suggestion! I'm working on a new pair of combat-ready protection (battle of the nation style xD). I will definitely try that ;)

Lorddrake (author)2016-05-26

very cool write up. what is HEMA?

LoSkana (author)Lorddrake2016-05-26

"Historical European martial arts" ( ^^)

Lorddrake (author)LoSkana2016-05-26

very cool. what are your favorite / least favorite weapons to use?

LoSkana (author)Lorddrake2016-05-26

For the favorite i would say, definitively, the longsword xD For the least I think polearms and such

LoSkana (author)Lorddrake2016-05-26

For the favorite i would say, definitively, the longsword xD For the least I think polearms and such

bkemps31 made it! (author)2016-05-26

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About This Instructable




Bio: Wow! Such science! Very lab! So research! Many awesome!
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