Intro: Bazubands-or Armour for Your Forearms
In this instructable i"ll be trying to go over how i built my bazubands.
I'm afraid I am missing a bunch of pictures, i had to use 3 different cameras while i was doing this, and one of them got lost. I'm pretty sure the missing pics are for things that I'll be covering in separate instructables anyways, so it shouldn't be the end of the world.
you will need...
16 or 18 gauge steel.
something to cut it with (i used a jigsaw)
a dead blow mallet(recommended)
a dishing hammer and dish
some form of ball stake
some form of T stake
welding or riveting supplies
a fabric measuring tape(ideal a regular one will work)
Step 1: Designing Your Pattern
Here is a picture of the pattern i used. odds are it wont work for you unless your almost the same size as me.
to make your own pattern you will need to...
1] measure from the point of your elbow to just where the bump on either side of your wrist starts.
draw a line this long on a piece of poster board. add 1/2" or so to the end
2] measure the circumference of your wrist just back from where it bumps out draw a line about 2/3 of that length across your first line.
3] measure the circumference of your forearm at the thickest point. draw a line about 2/3 that length across the same point on your first line.
4] draw another line an inch or so back from your third line, it should be the circumferance of your forearm less an inch or 2.
5] play connect the dots to come up with the rough outline of the front 2/3 of your pattern.
6] eyeball in the 2 points on the back and then experiment with tape and paper untill you get it working how you like.
your finished result should still look fairly close to what i have here, just proportioned a little different.
once you have a pattern your happy with trace it out onto your metal and cut it out.
This pattern is meant to be welded, if you are going to rivet it add a 1/2 inch or so tab up the inside edge of one point for the rivets.
Time for the next step
Step 2: Deburring and Dishing.
Ok, here is where I start missing pictures.
First thing you are going to need to do is deburr your pieces. Just run a file down the edges until they are free of anything sharp or pointy and beveled just a little. when you feel you can slide it across your wrist without getting a scratch the edges are smooth enough.
now for dishing. you'll need a shallow dish and a dishing hammer.
dish the points a little more than the center section then blend the 3 together. remember to overlap your hammer strokes and spiral from the outside to the center of each section.
since I'm missing pretty much all the pictures for this step it's kinda tough to get into more detail about what you need to do. I'll do a separate instructable on how to dish soon. That should clarify everything.
Step 3: Making It Arm Shaped.
Now to make it arm shaped you'll need a T stake or something similar.
in the pictures i'm using a chunk of pipe passed through some random stands i dug up at work.
you'll also need a non marring hammer (meaning not steel) since you don't want to mess up the outside surface of your bazubands. I use a dead blow mallet, you could also use a rubber mallet, a brass hammer or a weighted rawhide hammer. if you have to use a regular hammer put a bunch of duct tape over the end, especially over the corners of the face so you don't mess up the outside surface of your bazuband.
on to actually curving it.
1] if your new to armouring i;d recommend drawing a few lines along where you want to curve your piece. make sure they are further apart the near to the elbow you get. you want to be making something shaped like a cone, not a cylinder.
2] place the area you want curved over an arm of your T stake or whatever. line up your workpiece so that it is centered and start to hammer just off to one side of center, down the length of the piece to begin your curve.
3]assuming your right handed, you'll need to slide your piece to the left and rotate it slightly as you do so to prevent it from rolling into a cylinder. DO NOT try and curve it completely in the first pass.
4] repeat the process on the left side and you are done the first curving pass. the 3rd picure shows the curvature after my first pass.
5] pick up your other bazuband, do your first curving pass on it, then move onto the second pass. keep repeating 1 pass on each piece until they are both curved how you like them.
it is WAY easier to keep both bazubands symmetrical if you work on them both at the same time than it is if you make one, then the other.
Step 4: Welding the Elbow and Final Shaping
were almost finished now.
for this step you'll need a ball stake, a non marring hammer, and welding or riveting supplys.
1] to close up the points on the elbow i just put it over the ball stake and worked them down and around the ball, tweaking it a little pass after pass until they were closed. I'm afraid i cant think of any better way to explain it than that.
2] I used a vice grip to hold it totally shut while i tacked it in place with the welder. If you're riveting, now is when you'd be marking and drilling holes for your rivets. I'd use 3 rivets on each elbow if it was me.
3] weld up the seam and grind down your welds. alternately rivet it shut
4] hammer out any remaining ripples and and tweak the fit untill your happy.
5] you'll probably need to trim a little off the cuff, i did, once you've done that either flare the edge a little or roll it. i;m afraid i lost the pictured for that part as well, again, i'll cover that in a instructable of it's own.
Step 5: Finishing
Now that you have everything shaped and fitting right just polish, paint, powder coat or whatever you want, and strap it. i use a strap across the elbow and 2 across the forearm.
voila you now have a nifty set of bazubands. i don't know about you, but they kind of make me want to smash things. with my elbows.