Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Too many rivets

Started off by riveting the shoulder lames that I rounded yesterday.

Also used baby oil to clean some old tape goop off the breastplate sections of this shoulder.  This works wonderfully although you have to be careful about scratching the metal.  The scrubber pad pictured here wasn't too bad, but on the next plate I tried soaking it for longer and just using my fingernail.  I guess there was some grit in there (or else my fingernail is harder than I thought) since even that approach left some scratches.  Anyways, the goop is gone.

Anyways, I was getting a bit tired of rounding corners so instead of working on the next shoulder section I spent some time riveting hinges.

Now, you can buy dome-headed copper rivets in a store (assuming you can find them, I certainly couldn't the last time I looked), but I think that's sort of cheating since it makes all your rivets look unnaturally perfect. What I'm about to show you certainly isn't a great method (you're better off making a plate and riveting tool) but it will get the job done when you can't find (or be bothered to find) the other stuff.

We'll need a pair of those ubiquitous made-in-every-chinese-factory wire strippers, some cutters, a ball pein hammer, a flat surface, a nail, and some 10 or 12 gauge copper wire.

It just so happens that these end nippers have the perfect jaw depth for making the rivet length that I need, so I'm saved the hassle of measuring.

Stick a piece of copper in the smallest set of pass-throughs that it will fit into and set it on the anvil.  (Yes I know that's not what that part of the tool is for)

Peen the protruding end as best you can.  This piece will go inside, so don't worry about looks.  The rivet shank will also bend a bit since the hole isn't the right size, but that doesn't matter too much.

Now flip the tool over and use that nail to pop out your new rivet.

Doesn't look like much at this point, does it?

But once you actually put them in place and peen them they look fine.

Just to put the amount of work in perspective, there are six hinges in this armour, each with 12 of these hand-made copper rivets.  There are also 5 girdle bands with 2 slotted plates requiring 4 rivets each (one set of girdle bands used folded flaps instead of rivets).

That's a total of 112 of the handmade wire rivets that I just described.  Good grief, no wonder so many people cheat with store-bought ones!

Shoulder section is mostly riveted together.  I still need to rivet the hinges on the breast and mid-collar plates, peen the hinge pins, and maybe add some decorative panels to the holes where the girdle bands hook in.  Until all that's done I won't rivet the shoulder onto the breastplate as it would be obnoxious to work with otherwise.

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