Hey, back with another armour themed ible! this one is cutting infront of another one because there is a metal working contest going on and this was on my wishlist;) alright here we go!
Thigh / upper leg armour(cuisses) are meant to protect the upper legs by deflecting blows more than actually stopping them, thus I used a really thin piece of sheet metal from the back of a washing machine. Some belts came from my father who was about to throw them out. So all I needed to get was a few nails and washers! Just a sidenote, this ible is for one of the pair (so just one leg) not both, if you want the whole pair just double the materials.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
drillbit(same size as nails/rivets)
boltcutters / hacksaw
tinsnips or jigsaw
anvil like object ( I use a cobblers last )
*optional* bolts and (wing)nuts (I used 6 pairs)
belt (wont be damaged)
sheet metal (mine was on the thin side (0.8mm) but its ok for the deflecting parts of armour)
old belt (will be cut up)
10 large nails (to be rivets)
4 washers(same inner diameter as the nails)
Step 2: Cardboard Template
Alright so you got the stuff you need to make some armour! Start out by cutting out the basic shapes, I went for a 3 segmented design to allow for mobility and to get that lovely metallic armour sound;)
Cut your cardboard in shapes and fold them in half to get them as symmetrical as possible. Make sure you leave some room for mobility(for men especially around the groin area). Just shape them over your leg to make sure the dimentions check out. With my design the bottom two segments are identical.
Step 3: Transfer Your Design
Now its time to transfer your design onto the sheetmetal. Just place your cardboard template on the metal sheet so that there is the least amount of scraps and trace them with a marker.
It might be a good idea to trace the longer lines with a ruler to make sure they are straight ( it helped me alot).
Step 4: *OPTIONAL* Straigthen the Metal
Because my sheet metal came from an old washing machine there were a lot of indentations so I had to hammer them out. Just take an old towel / dishcloth put it over your anvil like object, put the metal and another layer of towel on top and hammer out the bumps!(the towel is used so you dont scratch the surface to much)
Step 5: Cutting Out and Filing the Parts
Now you just cut out the parts with some tinsnips or a jigsaw. When you have all the parts cut out just hammer the edges flat and file / sand them down so they aren't sharp anymore.
Step 6: Making the Straps
Now that the metal parts are cut you can start on the straps. Put on the belt that you intend to use and cut the buckel / clasp off the old belt so you have one strip of leather. Now take one end of the cut belt and wrap it around the belt you're wearing so that it overlaps about 3-4cm (room for the rivets).
My belt was long enough to cut in half to get two straps, so I found the center and cut it in half. Next punch two holes on the end of the strap, wrap it arount the belt again and mark the other layer through the holes, punch these holes.
Now you can put a nail through the holes and add a washer to the nail and mark the nail at the height of the washer. Take your boltcutter / hacksaw and cut the nails to the marked length. With your rivets(nails) cut to length you can put them through the strap holes and add the washer, now use you hammer and anvil to rivet the belt to itself.
Step 7: Shaping and Drilling
Ok so all the parts are cut out and cleaned, now its time to shape them according to your legs (with or without underarmour / aketon). Since I am building this armour piece to fit over my aketon (will be my next ible!) I left mine a little wider.
Just place the part over your leg(with or without padding) and curve it to fit using your hands. Do this with all the parts so you have a good image of the end result.
Once all the parts are shaped put on the belt and the strap(s) and place the plates ontop, mark out the places you want the straps and rivets to be. I chose to use 2 straps and 1 rivet per strap per segment(so 2 straps x 3 segments = 6 rivets). I just marked the holes on the top segment while wearing the straps and then marked the bottom segment at the bottom of the straps. The middle one I just place in between and figured out the best place by sight.
Lay them out on the straps(while wearing them) and mark the holes onto the straps. Punch out the marked holes and secure the segment with the nuts and bolts. Now you can find the best placement for the next segment. Once you got all three done go on to the next step!
Step 8: *OPTIONAL* Trimming the Armour
When all the parts are done you have the option to trim the edged of the armour to give it a little extra ridgidity, depth and a better look. Take your part and place it on the edge of your anvil and tap the edges down. Keep going around the edge untill it looks good. (You can see the difference in picture 2)
Step 9: Putting It All Together
Alright, you got all the parts cut, drilled, sanded and filed (and trimmed), you got your straps cut to length riveted and punched all the holes. Now its time to put everything together!
Start out by marking and cutting the remaining nails to length (same method as with the straps except no washers this time)
Place the bottom plate on the strap and line up the correct hole, put a rivet through and rivet it together! Next do the middle segment and last do the top one.
(You could always try and make it more fancy using a previous ible!)
Add a bit of grease to protect your armour and you can wear your fancy new leggear for the first time!