Stages of grief
So I started working on greaves last night. It's just a baby step so far really, but I snagged CAD's pattern for the Chartres greaves from here the Armour Archive's pattern area. So they should end up looking kind of like this picture. Here's the direct link: http://armourarchive.org/patterns/greave_cad/ The pattern is designed to be welded, but I'm hoping I can avoid that, since I don't weld. I made some adjustments to the pattern, and I might be able to stretch the metal a bit. I mostly want to pound out a first rough draft to see how close this comes.
I started drilling a bigger hole in the I-beam Master Iolo gave me so I can use it as a stake plate for the nice kettle stake I bought. The setup I bought has a cylindrical toothed blade and a centered guide drill bit. After drilling maybe 1/4 inch down the teeth of the blade started to catch and caused enough vibration that the guide bit snapped off. I've been hesitant to subject another bit to that torture. I'll probably just use one of the softer bits or drill the pilot hole without the toothed collar on.
I have to rearange the shop a bit to make better use of all the new stumps I have. We'll probably have 5 guys working on spaulders tonight, so space will be tight.
Forgot to mention- At practice on Tuesday I had a nice chat with Master Peter who runs North Star Armoury. He brought a cop he's working on based on the Churburg #13 design. He just dished it, then formed the point after with a couple simple tools. It looked pretty good, and sounds a LOT easier than the raising I've been doing on similar cops. I'd like to give his approach a try. It'll probably take a little work forming a rail road spike to match the shape of that point. He stressed that the fan isn't as long as most SCA fans.
He also had some interesting suggestions about dishing. He uses a steel hammer on a steel die, but doesn't always support the bottom of the form. He dishes into rings sometimes, and says he gets most of the depth from the area between 1/3 and 2/3 from the apex. It makes sense. He also recommended generating the power of the hammer blow with a snap of the fingers. It sounds kind of backwards from how I try to generate power with a sword. I'm concerned about it tiring out my hands, but I figured it's worth trying out. It might be easier on my wrists.
He also emphasized holding the piece firmly against the dishing die. It makes the blow more predictable, safer, and keeps you from wasting hammer energy pushing the whole piece around instead of deforming metal. I think I basically do that intuitively already, but it was nice to hear it articulated clearly.