Intro: Leather Lamellar(scale) Bracer
I would like to take the time before I begin this Instructable to say that this is my very first Instructable so I apologize upfront If I have missed any detail or not explained any instruction properly. Now after stating that I do hope you find my Instructable fun and easy to follow along with and more importantly I would love to see what you yourself make from this.
I am a HEMA/WMA fighter and as such need to wear protective equipment for training and bouting (fighting), I love the Medieval era ad I love making things (with any media/material) so I thought I would have a go at making my own Bracers.
Bracers are a piece of equipment that protect the user from serious injury from objects that hit you, they are worn on the forearm and are sometimes joined to a Gauntlet/Glove and/or elbow crop (and other upper arm armour) and are traditionally made from leather or metal.
Step 1: Step 1: Making the Template
There are a couple of different styes when making Lamellar or scale armour and these can be found easily on the internet. I chose this style as it reminds me of dragon scales and I love dragons. As to the dimensions these can be whatever you like. This particular template is 32mm W x 64mm L with a rounding of the lower corners to give it the "scale" look
Step 2: Step 2: Marking Out the Pattern
Once you have cut out and smoothed the template you will then need to grab yourself some leather I am using 3mm leather (thicker the better) as I am using it as a bracer over a greave (gauntlet or glove). Be sure to align the template so you can maximize the amount of scales you can get out of the leather.
Step 3: Step 3: Cutting Out the Scales
Once you have filled the piece of leather with the traced template (the more the merrier) you then need to cut them out and place them aside ready for the next step
Step 4: Step 4: Hole Punching
While you could find a random hole out in the wild and begin punching it I would not recommend it nor is it what I mean here when I say this. What I do in fact mean is to punch holes into the leather scales, this is done using a leather hole punch, which can be found from any saddlery store or craft/leather store) the size of the hole depends on the cording you are using, I made my own leather cording and it was 3mm in width. the holes themselves for this particular project are 5mm in from the sides top and each other. You can see in the photo one has the letter "T" drawn on it this is my hole template so I did not have to keep measuring out all the holes to be punched. Then once this is done it is time to start creating those holes.
As a word of caution PLEASE take a break every now and then as it can really hurt the wrist.
Step 5: Step 5: Lacing
Unfortunately I did not take a photo of the patter I used to lace them together so I will try and explain it the best I can.
Beginning with the first lamellar scale I knot one end of my leather cording and sew it through (as per photo) the top left hole into another lamellar scale on it's bottom right hole.
Then pass to the left and enter the bottom left hole of the 3rd lamellar scale and back through the top right of the first lamellar scale, Then knot the leather cording as close the the lamellar scale as possible and trim the excess.
It may sound a bit confusing but if you look at the photo it should become clear.
This same pattern is repeated over and over following along the pattern you wish to develop with the bracer.
Once you have achieved your desired length and patter/design it is then time to use more leather cording and lace up the bracer using the "spare" exterior holes.
Step 6: Step 6: Lacing Up the Bracer
This step can be done a number of ways I chose to make it as simple as possible for this photo and I was really keen to try it on !
Step 7: Step 7: Wear Your New Scale Bracer!
This is the most important and enjoyable part, loosen the lacing slide your hand and forearm through the opening adjust if necessary and tighten the cord, I used my teeth to help tie the bow as it is a bit tricky ding that part one handed.