I've chosen this style of armour due to the fact that it requires only a couple more tools than maille, goes together fairly fast, is easy to make, and i think it's pretty damn awesome looking.
For this project you will need....
-THIS covers making maille better than i ever would in here.
-fabric measuring tape
-a metal punch
-as much 1 1/4" pallet banding as you can get your hands on.
-something to curve plates with (rubber mallet, soup can, chunk of pipe... it just needs to be round)
and that should about cover everything you need.
Step 1: Making the plates 1
I did that by using a fabric measuring tape to measure my chest at nipple height, make sure you're taking a deep breath for this measurement or it will end up too small.
got that number? great. now divide it by how many columns of plates you will have.
I'm doing 8 in total so i wound up with plates that are just over 4 inches long.
step two will be prepping your pallet banding.
the first thing you'll want to do is cut your banding into manageable size. I usually cut mine down to lengths around 3 or 4 feet. if you want to cut down on waste then cut them to the circumference of your chest plus 1//2 inch.
after you've done that you'll want to bend out any kinks as best you can. this batch of banding was around small bundles of pipe at work, and is in worse shape than i usually find.
Now that you have manageable lengths of banding it's time to clean them. Fortunately I clean metal for a living, so I have access to all sorts of fun machines to do this for me, odds are you'll have to do this by hand.
I'd recommend just hitting them with some emery cloth or sand paper and sanding them to a nice satin finish to remove the rust and paint on them. it's easier to sand a bunch of 3 foot lengths clean than to sand hundreds of 4 inch plates clean.
Ok, so you've got a bunch of shiny strips of metal now, right? Good.
now measure out the length of one plate, mark it, then take your tin snips and cut it as perfectly as you can. this will be your template. now just keep using this to measure and cut your plates until your ready to pull out your hair. i usually make my plates in batches of a hundred or so.