This tutorial will run through the steps of making an arm-strap style Jugger shield. This is a common design used in Australia and results in a lightweight but tough shield, with arm straps designed for quick and easy adjustment, and a secure grip for good shield control.
A popular variant is the punch-grip style shield, which differ slightly from the design described in this tutorial. Punch grips trade blocking strength for superior maneuverability. Much of the same construction techniques are common in both designs, however a tutorial specific to punch grips can be found in the link below.
This tutorial was originally posted in the Australian Jugger League tutorials forums. For more information about Jugger in Australia, please have a look at our website.
Step 1: Specifications and Materials
The Australian rules as of 22 June 2015 have the following specifications for shields:
Maximum diameter: 600mm
20mm of padding around the rim.
Light padding on the face so as to avoid injury under normal play.
1. 5mm Coreflute. This will form the basic structure of the shield, you will need enough for two or three circles, measuring about 550mm in diameter. This tutorial will use two circles.
2. 10mm Foam. Yoga mats work well for this. You will need enough for one circle measuring about 550mm in diameter and a strip measuring about 140mm x 380mm. This photo shows the pieces already cut.
3. approx 1750mm of Self Adhesive Foam Tape - 24mm x 9.5mm or 24mm x 12.7mm (Or similar size. 24mmm wide tape fits nicely over two sheets of coreflute (5mm x 2) and the front foam padding (10mm)).
ALTERNATIVE: Self Adhesive Foam Tape can be expensive, alternatively, use a third tube of piping insulation foam (below) and cut it into strips.
4. Piping Insulation Foam. 2 tubes, 13mm x 13mm or 13mm x 19mm. This shield ended up using 13x19, but I have used 13x13 in the past, it just fits tighter around the rim.
5. approximately 1500mm of 50mm nylon webbing
6. approximately 500mm of 25mm nylon webbing
7. 25mm plastic buckle (ensure the interior dimensions fit the 25mm nylon webbing). Alternatively, buy a strap with the buckle already attached.
8. 2x 60mm Quick Links or equivalent. (Large enough to fit the 50mm webbing). Despite the image, this shield tutorial will use carabiners, which are cheaper.
9. 50mm x 100mm valcro strips (pack of two).
12. approximately 120mm of plastic tube/hose/etc or something else to be used as a handle.
Step 2: Prepare the Arm Straps
Take the the 50mm nylon webbing and cut it in half to make two arms straps. Use a lighter to melt the ends to prevent fraying.
Sew a loop in one end of each strap and feed the quick links/carabiners through.
Likewise, sew the plastic buckle to one end of the 25mm webbing.
Step 3: Cut Out the Coreflute and Face Padding
Coreflute (also known as corrugated sign board) is much lighter than wood, but weak and can bend easily. Stacking two or three sheets makes for a good balance of strength vs weight.
On the coreflute, mark out two circles of 540mm to 550mm diameter. 540mm will leave 3cm around the rim for padding, which will often sit wider than you expect.
Cut out the circles, and mark and cut out a circle of the same size from the 10mm foam.
ALTERNATIVE: Use three sheets of coreflute for greater strength. Note however this will add significantly more weight, and you will need to ensure whatever foam you use for the rim is large enough to fit over the extra width.
ALTERNATIVE 2: Wait until after step 8 to cut out the foam circle, using the constructed coreflute base as a guide (this is useful in case you have to trim the coreflute if your circles don't sit flush).
Place the coreflute circles on top of one another, offsetting the corrugation (at right angles if you are using two sheets, at 60 degrees if using three, etc). This will ensure greater strength than if the corrugation is all running the same direction. I now place marks on each piece of corflute so I can line them up easily again during subsequent steps. Note we are not securing them together yet, just marking how they will sit on each other.
Step 4: Mark the Coreflute for Straps
On each sheet of coreflute, mark holes for the arm straps. My sizes are shown in the image below, but I recommend placing your arm on the shield and measuring out sizes that you think will work best for you.
Cut the holes, making sure they are wide enough to easily slide the straps through.
ALTERNATIVE: Mark and cut one sheet, and use the holes as a guide to mark the other sheet(s). This will ensure the holes line up but can cause the perimeter of the shield to not sit flush if you're not careful.
ALTERNATIVE 2: If you have a cutting tool strong enough, mark and cut the holes during step 5 once the sheets are secured together.
Step 5: Attaching the Straps
Secure the coreflute sheets together. Place the sheets on top of one another, ensuring they are correctly lined up, and glue them together. If you have already cut holes for the arm straps, feeding the straps through loosely before adding the glue makes this step very easy. Otherwise if you have waited until now to cut the holes, do so and feed through the straps. Feed them through as shown in the image.
I generally have the links/carabiners sitting above the arm, and the plastic buckle below, but this comes down to personal preference.
If the coreflute sheets do not line up perfectly around the diameter, now is the time to take a blade to them clean them up. The better they line up, the easier it will be to add the padding.
Step 6: Tape Up the Rim
Tape around the rim of the coreflute. This is done to cover the sharp edges of the coreflute and stop it cutting into the foam. Since it can be quite sharp, you will probably want two layers of tape. If using two sheets of coreflute, 25mm wide tape is wide enough, so I cut my 50mm tap down the middle.
If you haven't already done so, cut out a circle from the 10mm foam for the front of the shield. Glue it to the front of the coreflute. Add a ring of tape around the coreflute and foam. This ensures the edge of the circle is secure, and provides a solid surface for the adhesive foam to stick to.
Step 7: Rim Padding Layer 1
Stick the adhesive foam around the rim of the shield. A 540mm diameter base will require a 1696mm strip. 550mm diameter will require 1727mm.
If you are using piping insulation foam instead, slice it down the length to size and secure it to the shield with glue or double-sided tape.
Adhesive foam is more expensive but I find it worth the convenience. It is a lot easier to secure to the shield, fits the width perfectly, and is a lot less messy than using glue.
Step 8: Rim Padding Layer 2
Cut down the length of the piping insulation foam tubes so that they can be opened up and run them around the perimeter of the shield as shown. Taping it down in places as you go will make this easier. Try not to compress the foam when taping it down, a bit of space between the adhesive foam and the piping foam is fine. Cut the excess off the second tube and if necessarily, use some extra tape to pull the gaps between the two tubes together. The thickness of the adhesive foam plus the piping foam should give at least the 20mm padding required by the Australian rules.
Get out your tape measure and double check the diameter of the shield in several places. If you cut everything correctly it should be at or just less than 600mm.
Tape over the remainder of the foam to secure it to the shield and protect if from damage. Be sure to overlap each strip of tape slightly. Placing the tape tape adjacent to one another but not overlapping will allow the foam to tare between the strips during use.
Step 9: Completing the Rear of the Shield
Cut a strip from the 10mm foam measuring about 140mm x 350mm and glue it to the rear of the shield between the arm straps. This will serve as padding for your arm.
Lay your arm on the padding and do up the arm straps as if you were putting on the shield. Mark where you feel the valcro would most comfortably sit given the size and shape of your arm. Add the valcro strips. The ones I buy have their own adhesive (though I add stronger glue as well), or they can be sewed on as well for extra strength.
Cut the plastic tube to a comfortable length for a handle (mine is about 110mm), feed the handle strap through the tube and then through the buckle, securing it in place. If you play wearing gloves, I recommend putting them on as you do this so that you can make the handle strap suitably tight for your hand size.
Cut any excess length off the ends of the straps and melt the ends with a lighter to prevent fraying.
Step 10: Conclusion
You shield is now ready for use! May your battles be plentiful and your foes fall before you.
Step 11: Optional: Cloth Covers
Get creative and add a design to the front, or better yet: sew a cloth cover! Cloth covers help protect the shield from wear and tear, but most importantly they look awesome! Covers can be made simply by sewing a draw string (I use elastic cord for easy, stretchy removal) into a circle of material about 900mm in diameter.