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
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
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
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
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
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).