Instructables

How to make a plywood shield with a leather wrapped edge

In this instuctable you will learn how to make a leather wrapped shield. You can use it for LARP, boffering, or whatever other re-enactment activity you prefer, of course it can also be used as a costume element or just for fun!

Tool-wise you will need:
Pneumatic stapler
Air Compresser
1/2" long, 18 gauge, 1/4 inch crown staples
Utility knife (box cutter, razor, somthing sharp)
plywood (slightly bigger than the shield you plan to make, B/C is fine)
Jigsaw 

Leather, enough to cover the edge with 4 inch strips (under 1/8 thickness is advisable)
Padding (anything soft but strong enough to be stapled)

Yardstick
A black regular sized sharpie
A place to work
Sandpaper


Optional:
wood dye
leather dye

"Measure twice, cut once."




 
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Step 1: Design, Plywood and a jigsaw



First get your design in mind before you get your plywood.
A word on designs. When choosing a design keep in mind two things:
1. First and most important, what you want the finished shield to look like. What you personally think is awesome.
2. Functionality. However awesome it might be, plywood shields, when cut into designs with long thin pieces, will break. So don't go making the spiky tower shield of doom because it will soon be missing some spikes. Also, when you're sword fighting a good fighter blocks with the edges of their shield, NOT the middle. so unless you are totally bent on making a round shield, don't. Squares with rounded corners, good. Triangles, fine. Just make sure you've got some edges.
Now because I was making this shield for someone else he had a preset design in mind so all I had to do was round the corners. However you may have to measure out your design.
I have a love/hate relationship with eyeballing it so i usually get out the yardstick, sharpie, a piece of paper and a pencil and measure it out.

Always write down your measurements on a piece of paper BEFORE drawing the pattern on the board.

That said, I recomend that your shield be 2-3 inches larger than your shoulders on either side. Also I will say to always try for a symmetrical shield.
Once you've got your wood on a pair of sawhorses, and the design is drawn on you can start cutting. So take out your jigsaw and go at it, but be careful on the curves. Also when cutting the curves if you want the same curves on bothe sides just take the srap piece and line it up with the other side. Voila, the same incline on both sides.

"Measure twice, cut once."


Interesting... Typically a heater would have an angled handle unless designated for cavalry... The angle provided support and utilized the shield's shape for combat. Here's some pics of a heater I have built after much research. It has a rawhide edge and is fit for steel combat. I'm guessing I'm about your age though... More people need to get into stuff like this. Not enough young fighters.

IMG_9227.JPGIMG_9192.JPGIMG_9225.JPG
When you say "Go find a Mirror" Do you mean Look in a mirror? Or Attach a Mirror to the Shield to make a Mirror Shield?