Anyways I tried to clean them up a bit with the dremel, with mixed success. I am still learning what a dremel can do so this is a slow process. No pictures of this process since the results aren't great, and I didn't use historically correct patterns for these hinges because I wanted to start with something simpler. You'll see them in the next few pictures anyways.
Attaching hinges - Take 1
Note: I have not polished or cleaned up my hinges at this point. If this wasn't a prototype, I would probably have cleaned them up a bit before moving to this stage -- although nothing is final until riveted. Also -- these hinge shapes are not historically accurate.
In order to attach your hinges, you will first need to put holes in them. Time to break out your metal punch or drill! I used a center punch to lay out starting divots before punching. This turned out to be somewhat of a waste of time -- when I went to punch the actual holes I found that on the ones near the hinge tube were a little bit too close to allow the jaws of my metal punch to close. After fooling around with things for a while, I gave up and just started (carefully!) freehanding the hole placement. This turned out to be faster than trying to key the punch tooth into the divot, and hinges are small enough that accuracy was not a real problem. I think on my next set of hinges I will skip the center punch entirely and just freehand it from the start.
Anyways, I took my new "hole-y" hinge and taped it onto the central upper should plate, as seen below. I later discovered I had in fact placed it too low -- more on that in a minute. You can see below that I have used painter's tape to hold the hinge in position. This is because I need to make sure it holds very still while I mark the hole locations with the center punch. One issue I had to watch out for -- the diameter of my center punch is less than my rivet diameter (1/8"), so I had to be careful to center the punch tip inside the hole before striking.
No matter how consistent you might think you are being, chances are pretty good that the holes in your hinges won't be interchangeable. It's not a bad idea to mark which hinge face will go with which plate to simplify your life later -- since I was going to do an immediate test assembly with screws, I just left the tape on the face of the hinge as seen below. Note that I have also marked my shoulder plate with "(B)ack" and "(F)ront".
After attaching the hinge to one plate, it's time to mark the holes for the other plate. This is where it's important to have some appropriately sized screws and nuts - the only way to make sure that the central plate lines up correctly with the front and back plates is to have the hinge already attached on one side when positioning the holes on the other plate. Seen below -- I am using my stump to support the work while taping down the hinge. To be honest, I could have used more tape on this stage since the weight of the central plate tended to pull on the hinge quite a bit depending on the position I put it in. I think I'll use more tape in the future to make sure things turn out OK.
After some punching and threading, I have attached my first hinge! Huzzah!
But wait! What's this? Something isn't right with my new hinge install!
While I was careful to make sure that the long plate would be under the central plate, it seems that I wasn't careful enough. The long plate is overlapping so much that it is catching on my "rivet heads" and can't flex far enough. While this might go away when I replace the screws with rivets, it will be much safer to avoid the issue completely. The pink arrows illustrate where the hinge would have to be moved on each plate to correct the problem. Since this is a prototype I'll just ignore it for now and do a better job on the next hinge.
Attaching hinges - Take 2
Same basic steps as before - except this time I got the overlap right!
Coming soon -- assembly and leathering of a complete shoulder unit! This will be a bit of a hybrid between Corbridge shoulder plates and my Newstead breast/back plates. Note that for historical accuracy, vegetable tanned leather should be used instead of second-hand belts. :)