I built the hinge for the left vambrace in 0.025 4130 with 1/8 mild steel rod for the pin. I really wanted something higher in carbon for the pin so I could make it a bit thinner and stronger, but couldn't find any masonry nails which were long enough, yet thin. I did find some 3.5inch masonry nails which I bought. They'll probably make great tools for repouse and engraving, and the whole box was $3.50. I just have to turn some handles for the engravers and form a useful point.

The hinges aren't hard, but I probably spend an hour and a half doing one of them, and the pin isn't peined yet, there's still a bit of filing to do, and I haven't punched the slot to install it yet. There's a lot to recommend a prefabbed hinge, though I'm probably cutting the hinge weight in half or better by doing it in 4130.

I weighed the right arm prototype. It wasn't strapped, but it did have a fairly large flange of extra steel on the upper vambrace. It's a few ounces lighter than my stainless and plastic arms. With the strapping I'll probably just about break even with their weight.

I'm playing with the idea of sort of a mass production arm. All of it would be the same as what I'm doing, but the vambrace design would be a single piece of spring steel based on the design of my plastic arms. It would mean minimal shaping, and no hinge, so it would be very quick to put together. It would probably have more mass appeal and be less likely to pinch with rolled edges, though the cuff could probably be flared. It might be feasable to do it in 0.025 to save some weight.


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