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How to Build a Spangen Helm.

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Step 8: The Lower Half

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Now that your top is all worked out it's time for the bottom.
Start out by checking your patterns for the nasal and cheek plates to make sure they work with the metal helm top. I needed to go back and re-pattern my nasal.

Once your happy with how your patterns look with the top cut them all out.

Now, take your cheek plates and give them a pass or 2 in the shallow dish. Look st the pictures to see about how much curvature you're looking for. Once you've dished the cheek plates you'll need to put a flare along the back edge. Well, you don't need to, but it looks good, is easy, strengthens the plates and will help deflect weapons away from the opening at the back of the cheep plate. So really there isn't any reason not to.

To flare the edge start by marking the line you want to flare it on. Next place the line on a soft edge (in this case the edge of the dish, the edge of a stump or even a 2x4 clamped in a vice will work too.) and start to hammer the edge down. Just do it a little bit at a time, I used 2 passes to set the flare on these plates.

Once your cheek plates are all formed mark and punch the holes where they'll attach to the top and bolt or cleco them in place.

Next we'll do the slat back. Start by giving them a quick pass in the shallow dish, that will add a bit of compound curve to them and make them a little stronger, plus it looks better IMHO. For a bit of extra flare I embossed little bosses into them the same way I did for the top plate. next drill a pair of holes in the top corners of each slat and mark and drill matching holes in your helmet top. I just spaced the slats evenly around the back between the cheek plates, it worked out to be a little less than an inch between each slat.

The slats by themselves are still fairly easily bent, so to beef them up I put a reinforcing bar across them. To make it I eyeballed out a length of 3/4" bar stock and used a modified machinists hammer to stretch one side, causing it to curve into more of a cone shape. the pictures explain it better than i can.
Once you have the right amount of curvature in it mark and drill your holes, then bolt or cleco it in place.
I ended up having to add as second bar underneath the first, just above the bosses to make it SCA legal. i don't have any pics, but it was done exactly the same as the first.

Lastly We'll do the nasal. I started by creasing the nasal. To do that I marked my center line as far up as i wanted the crease to go, then clamped it into the vice and hammed it over a little. It's that simple. Next I dished top portion of the nasal a little in the shallow dish, that makes it sit nicely against the top of the helm.
Once i was happy with the fit I marked the existing holes in the brow band on it, drilled them, then while the nasal was held in place with clecos I marked and drilled the other rivet holes.

That's it, all that's left to do at this point is your finishing and assembly.

 
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