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I was invited to a fancy dress party where each costume had to begin with the letter S. I went for samurai, my name is Ryan and I liked the play on the name,samu-ry!
I had a look at a few Instructables for samurai armour, there are some amazing pieces of work but I was looking for something a little more casual so I opted for one made by stunami
I didn't think that the cardboard would stand up to the elemental force that is my 18 month old son so I decided to make it out of some hardboard sheets I had going spare.
I used the measurements and design specified by stunami which works out great if like me you have a similar body size to him, so I wont go into detail on those. What this instructable will focus on is forming (or bending) the hardboard to the desired shape as I couldn't find that much information on how to do this.
Step 1: Cutting the Plates
I marked out all the pieces I needed onto the hardboard and cut them out with a jig saw. Then i marked all the holes required for the para cord lacing, taped them into corresponding stacks and used a pillar drill to make the holes.
There was a little tear through from the drill but it was easy enough to clean up. I sanded all the edges and lightly keyed the surfaces I would spray paint later on.
I laced it all up (I ordered a 300 foot roll of 3mm para cord and had plenty left) to make sure it was good to go and to figure out how much I needed to bend the hardboard around my body.
Step 2: Forming the Plates
I made a prototype former for the smaller shoulder plates from some scrap timber I made the curve I I would have expected it to be when finished. I put the test plates into a sink of warm water for about a minute and then used some spring clamps to hold them in place.
After a day I took them off. I soon realised that you really have to over exaggerate the bend and the water had not been hot enough and that they needed to soak for longer.
So new formers knocked up and a really hot sink full of water and I was on it. I left them in the water for over 5 minutes and clamped them up, you can give the plates a gentle flex to so see if they are ready, watch out for any resistance that might cause tearing. After 24 hours, with a rotation of the plates after 12 hours to help them dry, the difference was very noticeable.
Step 3: Painting the Plates and Lacing Up and Party Time!
I sprayed the plates using plastikote gloss spray paint (1 and 1/4 cans) and re-laced it all up. I sealed the ends of the cord after I cut it and melted the knots together.
I worked a treat and was very comfortable at the party. I declined an offer to test its stab resistance! Its been two months since i wore it and the plates have all held shape.
Thanks to Stunami for the inspiration!
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