Introduction: How to Build Leg Armor Using Recycled Cans or Sheet Metal

Picture of How to Build Leg Armor Using Recycled Cans or Sheet Metal

This is the finished Product I had to put light artificially so you could see the textures(I painted it Black ) , this is a full metal leg armor made out of tin sheet metal and recycles cans , you just need a minimum of tools and pretty much anyone can make this , I will upload the template when I fix my scanner , I used as a reference Guts armor (from Berserk ) picking another design would be easier for starters (this is my second time working with sheet metal) last picture is the photo of the full cosplay !

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

I wanted to make this very basic and wanted it to be made with standard tools
this is the list : Scissors , Pliers , screwdriver , pen, marker, drill bit and drill ( not in pic ).

sand paper ,duck tape ,screws ( this is up to you but I would recommend Metric machine screws, Phillips pan head, Stainless steel 18-8, 4mm x 0.7mm ) drill bit must be a bit bigger then the screw you choose also use gloves and eye protection .

Optional : Dremel (for edges ) , Hammer , Brace , spay paint ,puncture tool and silicon gun .

IMPORTANT : you would only need a hammer if you are going to use recycled cans ( this step is at the end as an optional route ).

Step 2: Materials and Screws

Picture of Materials and Screws

I used tin a low gauge sheet metal 11* thickness 0.1196in 3.038mm I used a few cans for the smaller parts
I also used a Phillips pan head, Stainless steel 18-8, 4mm x 0.7mm ( 36 for this build ) .
For the straps I took them form an old book bag and purchased the buckles online I pick these because I dont know how to sew very well and this one is easy to install

Step 3: Template

Picture of Template

For me this is was the hardest part , and its not even that hard.I plan on putting these templates online when I fix my scanner,I started at the base , but looking back the best place to start is the knee , and this is because of the articulation at that point ,plus it is easier to adjust for your size at the base or the top ,this Build ,had a lot of parts due to the design , some are practical others or just for show and support .
make each part and cut and adjust accordingly .
1. Put numbers on your Template
2.Make the holes on only one side and adjust to your leg before making the other holes on the other side ,this is so you can get the curve of your leg a lot easier and it makes it look better overall
3. Adjust the knee and make sure you can move test fit it !

Step 4: Put Together Your Template

Picture of Put Together Your Template

I divided it in 3 parts because of the size
Calf /Knee / Thigh

The Knee was put together rather fast it had 3 parts
The Calf had 5 parts and the Thigh had 8
I would recommend test-fitting with the screws and not just tape, If you are using cardboard just drill or make the holes with a puncture tool.

Step 5: Draw Your Template on the Sheet Metal and Cut It

Picture of Draw Your Template on the Sheet Metal and Cut It

Some people prefer not to use marker because of the thick edges , but if you do remember to cut inside the lines I find it better if you tape the template and cut directly. It is important that you drill the holes on one side only , because it is better to mark the hole after you pre fit the armor (the design changes slightly when you make it in sheet metal and when you are adjusting its better to test fist .Always wear protection the curve parts tend to have a sharp edge, sand it down or use a Dremel. For the bending use an edge ( I used the wall and my desk ) Pretty easy if you pick a thin sheet metal .

Step 6: Time to Drill !

Picture of Time to Drill  !

This piece I made for the tutorial .Mark each hole , and drill on a hard surface , because if you don't you get a bad edge and need to sand it down.

Step 7: Knee

Picture of Knee

I screwed and put the knee together ( this part is not obligatory ) ,I wanted to give it a better looking finish so I used car filler and molded it to its intended shape , please note this will require at least 30 min of sanding , and before you do so let it dry at least 2 hours,mark with a marker and sand in the same direction , the more you sand the better ,You can spay paint directly on it and it will blend.

Step 8: Putting the Calf Together

Picture of Putting the Calf Together

After you assemble the knee , and drill all the holes ,start from from the bottom up because these parts overlap each other I made these straps by sewing a bit and then wrapping it with duck tape to make it stronger.

Step 9: Now Knee With Calf

Picture of Now Knee With Calf

Same as before fasten all the parts on one side then the other.
*Optional I made a strap holder with a small piece of sheet metal , but I would recommend you directly fasten the strap with a screw It is much easier and looks better .

Step 10: Thigh and Knee

Picture of Thigh and Knee

Basically the same process over again , if you did a good template it will come together really well , this part has upper thigh strap , 2 straps in total , one that goes around the thigh and another that is for your belt , so it can have more stability .

Step 11: Finish Up

Picture of Finish Up

Use a silicon gun and put a bit at the end of each screw so they don't unfasten

Step 12: If You Want to Use Recycled Materials

Picture of If You Want to Use Recycled Materials

If you want to use recycled cans here are some tips

1. Use protection.
2. Clean first .
3. Pick cans with smooth surfaces.
4. Pre paint it to see if the paint has the same finish as your other cans .
5. Use paper templates so you can check easy if the can is big enough.
6. only lightly use the hammer at the edges and not on the main surface .

Step 13: Finish Product

Picture of Finish Product

This was very fun to do , and easy ,It articulates very well is light and feels stable .Sorry for the lack of quality pics taking pictures with one hand is hard on a cell phone, I will upload the templates when I fix my scanner so you guys can make your own , If you like this build tell me so I can put the other parts up too .any questions or suggestions please ask !


rainingfiction (author)2017-03-06

How much did this weigh? Also what did you use to cut the metal? Great job it looks amaxing btw.

DELTA_117 (author)2017-01-18

Has anyone tried this in Australia? if so, where have you purchased your sheet metal? Can't seem to find quite the right ones in Bunnings

jonathant6 (author)DELTA_1172017-01-19

you can always use , used cans and hammer them down , remember to wear proper protection if you want to take this route

DELTA_117 (author)jonathant62017-01-19

wow, didn't expect the author himself to comment, thanks! Great instructable by the way!

Yeah definitely was going to do if I couldn't get any other responses on finding the material =) But I'm trying to save cost because this is for my LARP group. I can't recall if you mentioned it on the instructable, but what was the material cost of this project overall?

jonathant6 (author)DELTA_1172017-01-19

Fairly cheap, I did not spend more then 20 US on everything , Paint Sheet metal ect , I still need to update this Indestructible and put the templates on but overall I would recommend buying good sheet metal scissors to help you with the hardest part which is the cutting to be honest .I used around 2X4 feet of sheet metal on this one leg

DELTA_117 (author)jonathant62017-01-22

ah okay great! yeah would live to see that. Do you think this would work with aluminum too? say, 1.2 mm thickness (0.0472441 inches) ?

sanctuspiox (author)2017-01-14

Thank you for the fast response my email is. Really looking forward to building a pair for my Witch King outfit! Again cheers mate ?

sanctuspiox (author)2015-10-05

Fantastic job! This looks
like the Witch King's armor! Have you had time to download tempts??

jonathant6 (author)sanctuspiox2016-06-24

I Can make the templates , working on a youtube Chanel and site to upload the templates for free give me a month or so

sanctuspiox (author)jonathant62017-01-12

Did you have time to
Post your templates on YouTube yet? If you did what is your channel called

sanctuspiox (author)jonathant62016-06-25

Thank you! I will look forward to seeing this on YouTube!! If you remember, please drop me a very small msg to let me know that you have it up and running!

SwiperF (author)2015-08-03

How about using the same technique to build a whole armor? Like Iron Man's armor

jonathant6 (author)SwiperF2015-08-20

oh I did end up making most of the armor will post pic!

SwiperF (author)2015-08-03

How about using the same technique to build a whole armor? Like Iron Man's armor

jonathant6 made it! (author)SwiperF2015-08-20

this is the finished Product

jonathant6 (author)SwiperF2015-08-06

:O OMG a full plated armor that would look so cool like this you mean >?

orcarage (author)2015-07-09

WOW!! This is really amazing! Would love to see more! Thanks for putting in the recycled material option as well, great looking and economic!

jonathant6 (author)orcarage2015-07-09

Thankyou ! I want to put a fiber glass option as well in the future , I might do so with another build I am making , I have the other parts of this armor but unfortunaly did not take step by step pictures :(

orcarage (author)jonathant62015-07-09

Dang! Well, that's ok, you can adapt this one into the rest of the pieces with a bit of imagination. Have you ever tried using pieces of leather? It makes it a little heavier, but you can detail it like mad. ;) Just something to think about.

jonathant6 (author)orcarage2015-07-10

:O will try , thanks you for the idea !

orcarage (author)jonathant62015-08-04

Np! If you do end up doing that, please post pics! Would <3 to see it!

jonathant6 (author)orcarage2015-07-31

I am making a more complete one in a few days ! total cost was less then 15 US ,only had to buy the screws and used mostly recycled materials

acoleman3 (author)2015-07-09

i love the idea of using machine screws for testing the cardboard patterns. seems about the best way to ensure that the articulations are represented as accuratly as possible.

jonathant6 (author)acoleman32015-07-09

Yep , but if you use cardboard , then account for the width ,sheet metal and cans are thinner and this will affect your design.

acoleman3 (author)jonathant62015-07-12

oh i can imagine it would! i guess "cardboard" was the wrong word. card stock may have been a better choice.

jonathant6 (author)acoleman32015-07-17

oh , but you can make it in cardbord too

dpatterson13 (author)2015-07-13

Nice work!

Marshwoodbay (author)2015-07-13

And you do realize that you are not taking into account that the armor here might not be for a fighter that may fight mounted as well as on foot. His grieves are fine for both as they overlap in falls downward, but from the knee cop up he would reverse the segmenting if on horseback as what you are suggesting would certainly happen from that angle mounted. The quick fix for both situations would be longer mail that overlaped to the knee or even better, the peice of armor designed to rectify this, called a Tasset.

knutknackebröd (author)2015-07-04

really nice, always great to see an armour ible! how much does it weigh?

1-2 pound at most , and half of it is sheet metal , If you make it of cans it should be even less , this is of course if you pick a low gauge number .

coolblaze19 (author)2015-07-02

When you said you wanted to cut the sheet metal with scissors I started laughing (sees scissors)"OMG THOSE ARE THE BIGGEST FING SCISSORS I HAVE EVER SEEN"

jonathant6 (author)coolblaze192015-07-02

jajajajajaj , yeah for this to work you need to pick a very low number gauge , If you make it out of cans it should be no problem at all :D . This is why many parts overlap , it to give is extra support and stability .

dcada (author)2015-07-02

wouldn't it look better with rivets? also it looks amazing !

jonathant6 (author)dcada2015-07-02

You are right, it would look awesome with rivets , but I wanted to make this an easy install , and if you want to take it apart for transport or to recycle its much easier this way , That said I think I will make a build with rivets to see how I do , Thanks for the Suggestion !

NathanSellers (author)2015-07-01

Awesome project. This project must have been really fun. Great ideas.

jonathant6 (author)NathanSellers2015-07-01

thanks !

Andrew Graham (author)2015-07-01

you should do some impact and cut testing

jonathant6 (author)Andrew Graham2015-07-01

:O I should ,but I dont have a dummy leg , might need to make one to make the test , thanks for the idea :D !

tomatoskins (author)2015-07-01

That turned out looking great! I love how you made your template out of cardboard. Thanks for sharing and welcome to the community!

jonathant6 (author)tomatoskins2015-07-01

Thank you very much ! I will upload the templates , but I want to make them in at leat 3 sizes so people can just print and build !

jonathant6 (author)jonathant62015-07-01

at least *

About This Instructable




Bio: Engineering student Final year , Mechanical Engineering Easy going guy , any questions about me feel free to ask !
More by jonathant6:Genji Cosplay From Overwatch  How and When to Use Cardboard for Cosplay How to make a custom dummy hand using wire and aluminium paper for less then 10 Dollars  How to Build Leg Armor Using recycled cans or sheet metal
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