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Making a metal Helm? Answered

I think I may be looking to spend a few month making a suit of armor by hand.  This site had ibles for just about every peice except a helm.  Anyone know of a relatively easy way to make one out of metal without the need for a bunch of heavy machinery?


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8 years ago

it mainly depends on ur budget and how u want to make ur helm. if u want to make it from scratch and use a forge, i suggest first making one out of aluminum to get some practice. aluminum is tough and sturdy so is not easily broken or dented in (also cheap and easy to get incase u screw up. i know cause i have a firepit and im working on a helm as well).

there are a few ways to make the mold for such cases, such as making the helm design (out of clay or other heat resistant material) and pouring in the heated metal. however this method is only to be used if u want to make it peice by piece, or if u want to make a simple helm like for footman or biking.

the only other way i can think that wont involve "heavy" machinery is to stock cut various pieces of the helm from relativily thin metal. this can be done with tin snips, angle grinder or bolt cutters...depends on the thickness and hardness of the metal ur making it from.

once all the pieces of the helm are cut out and the edges filed down so as not to cut, you can piece them together however you designed it. (optional, if this is for more than decoration then after u have each piece cut out and prepared for the bolts, u should heat treat the pieces.

this involves placing the metal in a fire or other high heat source to heat the metal to the point of changing its color (so for steel heat it to orange-yellow levels). at this point it is easiest to bend and change the shape if u have not already done so, but once u have attaind this change u must quench it in either warm water or oil.

warm water to lessen the chances of the metal from cracking or weaking from the quench or oil to do the same. much debate over which is better but ull have to decide for urself, all ive used is water and its worked pretty well so far.
this will strengthen the metal further and make it harder to dent and crack.


10 years ago

I have made many helmets, most were designed to stand up to repeated blows with the equivalent of a baseball bat. It all depends on what basic shape you want. The pail types are the easiest of course, and look quite dramatic. Awesome if its just for the look, If you want to go a little curvier then your stuck smacking metal with a hammer. The fastest way to dish a piece of metal by hand is to get a 5lb cast iron weight, the kind uses on a weight lifting curling bar or dumb-bell. Jam it the end of a sturdy stick and start hammering the metal. Either you have a sandbag under it or find a stump and gouge out the rough shape you need. Use the hammer to burnish the wood and it will be smooth concave in no time. If you have access to a small mig welder then you can bend the metal till just a few points meet, tack weld it, then bend the rest of the metal in place and finish welding. (cheap non gas mig type welders are very forgiving and work like a glue gun almost, Canada - princess auto 69-99$, USA - harbour freight same model same price about) We have made a few though just using pop rivets, especially the pail type, and it looked awesome. Just don't use it in a full on fight! You can message me here and I can post some pics to make it easier to understand the process. Until then look up SCA armor building in Google, lots of simple ideas there. In the pictures the one on the left was pop riveted from thin tin and was for a costume, the one on the right was welded and used for actual fighting. I have made others simply from buying a kids paper-craft book on a nights helmet. Crazy detail with working visor. We simply traced it out onto shiny Duct-work tin, cut it out with tin-snips and pop riveted it together. That look sweet and was crazy light.