A buckler (pronounced 'buckler') is a medieval shield, designed solely for fighting with a sword, typically in duels.
Yep, that's right people, the shields are back. We builders just can't seem to get enough of them.
Anyway, the buckler was found in manuscripts that date back to the 1100-1600 centuries, such as the MS I.33, a manual which taught swordplay. A shield was often heavy, making it impractical for the average Joe to have, when he was going to the supercenter to get milk. And we all know what happens when you go to the supercenter to get milk. That's right, you get beat up and all your milk money gets stolen.
Most people would equip themselves with a taser or pepper spray. But in a world of bustling machines (which often break), I've decided to take a more sophisticated approach.
Bucklers were used by merchants and tradesmen of all sorts, because they're cheap, light, and manageable in a fight. I could ramble on and on about why I made this and what sorts of pros and cons and possible techniques could be used with this device (particularly in combination with a sword) and the general humbug about why this is a great tutorial and why you should totally subscribe and WOW you're still with me?
Step 1: Starting the Build.
Oh, good, you made it to the first step. Let's take this in baby steps, all right?
Just kidding, here's a part's list.
Jigsaw: sort of the sewing machine of wood, but it's not very good for putting things together. And you hold it. So never mind, that was a bad comparison.
Plywood: sturdier than average wood and is resistant to splitting.
Drill: for screws and a hole or two.
Leather or canvas (or both, in my case)
A marker, some nails/screws, and some string.
Shield boss: The thing your fist fits in. I used a popcorn bowl. Believe it folks.
I think that's it for the major stuff, so let's build this Popsicle stand.
Step 2: There'll by Some Sort of Title in Here Later...
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I've got to thank Algebra. It's hard, I know. It's not the sort of thing any man (or woman, as far as I know) wants to admit, but it's true.
The truth is so painful, I'm going to skim over the whole sassy-builder thing and give you the cold hard facts: put a nail in the center of the board. Mark out a string that's about half the length you want your buckler to be (you wanna fourteen-inch buckler? Measure out 7 inches of string).
Tie one end of the string to the nail, and the other to a sharpie (sorry, 'permanent marker').
Drag the string around, keeping it tight. For some reason, it's never as perfect as it's supposed to be, but hey, that's life.
Cut it out with a jigsaw. Fun fact (not for me, though): the jigsaw has this funky securing switch, which holds the blade steady. Make sure you push that, otherwise your cuts are going to be all kinds of messy.
Step 3: Whoo-hoo! Step 3, Already!
The pictures are about perfect on this step. Make sure your boss is in the center and trace around it. Now draw a smaller circle inside it. This way, the shield boss has something to screw into.
Now drill a hole inside the line, fit your jigsaw blade in it, and cut that circle out.
Next, refine those lines with a rasp, making it more circle-ish.
Step 4: Makin' a Boss Like a Boss.
Sue me, all the pictures of the painting were upside down.
Now you might be thinking; Brokk, if I tilt my head and squint a little, those pictures look an awful lot like Jake's method of rounding a shield boss.
To which I say...well, yeah, it is. I don't have anything else to round a boss out with, give me a break. Put the boss on some soft earth, and hammer away at it until its round. The bowl I was using was pretty soft metal, so it folded pretty easily.
Round out the boss, till you're satisfied with it. For this particular boss, the rim of the shield was curved into itself, so I used a hammer to flatten it out. This made it easier to screw it into the wood.
Next, paint it with some stylish hammered Rusto-leum Metallic.
I also used this time to paint the shield. One side black, the other brown. I tried to go light, so the grain would still show. It worked better on the black then on the brown side.
Sorry about the upside-down pics.
Step 5: Handlin' a Handle.
I drew out a basic shape of a handle onto paper, then cut it out and used it to trace out the handle onto some more plywood. Cool thing is, you only need half of the template, especially if you want both sides to look exactly the same.
Cut it out with a jigsaw, sand it down to your liking (make sure its smooth!).
I wrapped the handle with some squishy leather and glued it to the handle. Then stick it on the shield, and make sure the handle part is exactly where you want it on the handle.
When you're holding the handle, your hand is going to go inside that big hole in the middle, which the shield boss will cover. That way, you have a lot of versatility, and the shield is theoretically easier to wield.
Drill pilot holes (not all the way through the shield part, just through the handle), then screw it all up.
Step 6: Fittin' the World Together.
Again, center the boss and drill some holes through that thar boss. I used these itty-bitty screws to fix it to the shield. If I said anything else, it could be taken as rude.
Next, take your fashionably painted canvas and start fixing it to the edge. I wanted a nice overlap on both sides (yeah, overlaps are my thing). I actually didn't have enough thumbtacks to hold it to the shield (yeah, I use thumbtacks, sue me).
^ dang, that's the second time I've done that, I need to stop...
Anyway, I used some glue to hold the canvas to the shield (turned out hecka cool), and added some remaining thumbtacks for 'aesthetic'.
Yep, I've graduated to big words now, everybody, hold onto your seats.
Step 7: Well, Dang, That Looks Purty Cool...
Well, there you go, it's a buckler. Not only is it fully-functional and aesthetically pleasing, but it also comes with safety features, such as...
Oh wait, this is starting to sound like a commercial...
Anyway, my buckler's pretty large (fifteen inches), which is a little big for a buckler, but that just means I have extra protection.
Big thanks to my sister for taking some of the pictures, and to Jake_Makes for helping with the thumbnail.
Let me know if you guys want me to show you how to make the sword in the above pictures. Thanks for reading, I'll see ya'll later, Brokk out.