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).

<p>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.</p>
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 ;)
<p>very cool write up. what is HEMA?</p>
<p>&quot;Historical European martial arts&quot; (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_European_martial_arts ^^)</p>
<p>very cool. what are your favorite / least favorite weapons to use?</p>
<p>For the favorite i would say, definitively, the longsword xD For the least I think polearms and such</p>
<p>For the favorite i would say, definitively, the longsword xD For the least I think polearms and such</p>
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