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Re: [E_Rapier] Hardened Leather Advice

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  • Cat FitzGerald
    ... parts can be cut and pierced, but they WILL deform. It become plastic and you can try and force it back, but it changes based on the underlying structure
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 17, 2012
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      On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 2:58 PM, Bob Roberts <maskkasm@...> wrote:

      > **
      > My plan is to make a full size helmet bowl form and then increase the
      > paper pattern by 25-30% prior to measuring and cutting the leather (in
      > order to compensate for leather shrinkage).
      >
      > Can holes be drilled in the leather, prior to boiling (I plan to use 16
      > plates for the helmet bowl)?
      >
      parts can be cut and pierced, but they WILL deform. It become plastic and
      you can try and force it back, but it changes based on the underlying
      structure of the individual leather.

      > How fast does the boiled leather harden? Do I have time to boil all 16
      > pieces and then rivet them together?
      >

      It hardens INSTANTLY. the higher the temp of water, the greater the
      alteration into plastic. the further you go, the more brittle it gets. the
      hardness happens in contact with boiling water. Soaking in warm water has a
      different effect - depends on how thick the leather is. Make small test
      bits, lash leather to a dowel and see how it dries. it dries on the top
      surface first.

      > I plan to place the completed helmet bowl onto the pre-made form and then
      > let it dry. Does the leather warp?
      >
      yes. and shrinks unevenly in its two dimensions, depends on grain. Is this
      belly? Scars also impact this.

      > Should a second, slightly larger form be placed over the leather, thus
      > sandwiching the hardened leather between the two forms?
      >
      yes, this will slow your dry and create a more uniform product.

      > Has anyone attempted something similar? Could you share your experiences
      > with me?
      > Finally, how difficult is it to stain the leather, post-hardening?
      >
      the leather will be SEALED. it will not take dye, it would run off. you can
      paint with cova colors - this is just another layer of plastic and works
      well. The leather will be much darker from the water. how much darker is
      also on the continuum of how hot the water was. you can wax it, buff it, or
      polish it quite well. boot polish man, or for extra period points, look up
      'jack' as in 'jackboots' a mix of pine tar, turps, linseed oil, and wax.
      there are many many many variations in ratio, depends on what you want as
      your final result.

      > Will it �weaken� the hardened leather, thus making it unusable for fencing?
      >

      it CAN become brittle instead of tough, depends on if you run warm water
      over, or immerse in boiling water.

      > Finally, how durable is the hardened leather? Does it have a tendency to
      > tear if hit edge on?
      >

      it take a lot of abuse, but the most tough stuff is not boiled like
      potatoes - that makes for a brittle plastic.

      this guy is THE go-to guy and period maven extraordinaire from my old
      barony - Marc Carlson is MUSEUM grade good.
      http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/leather/hl.html


      > Your help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
      > Cheers!
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Bob Roberts
      Thanks for the quick response.   Would it be better to cut out, drill and rivet the leather plates first, and then immerse it in water (follwoed by placing
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 17, 2012
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        Thanks for the quick response.
         
        Would it be better to cut out, drill and rivet the leather plates first, and then immerse it in water (follwoed by placing the hardened leather bowl in the form sandwich)?


        ________________________________
        From: Cat FitzGerald <c4tf1tz@...>
        To: E_Rapier@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:33:38 PM
        Subject: Re: [E_Rapier] Hardened Leather Advice

        On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 2:58 PM, Bob Roberts <maskkasm@...> wrote:

        > **
        > My plan is to make a full size helmet bowl form and then increase the
        > paper pattern by 25-30% prior to measuring and cutting the leather (in
        > order to compensate for leather shrinkage).
        >
        > Can holes be drilled in the leather, prior to boiling (I plan to use 16
        > plates for the helmet bowl)?
        >
        parts can be cut and pierced, but they WILL deform.  It become plastic and
        you can try and force it back, but it changes based on the underlying
        structure of the individual leather.

        > How fast does the boiled leather harden? Do I have time to boil all 16
        > pieces and then rivet them together?
        >

        It hardens INSTANTLY. the higher the temp of water, the greater the
        alteration into plastic. the further you go, the more brittle it gets. the
        hardness happens in contact with boiling water. Soaking in warm water has a
        different effect - depends on how thick the leather is.  Make small test
        bits, lash leather to a dowel and see how it dries.  it dries on the top
        surface first.

        > I plan to place the completed helmet bowl onto the pre-made form and then
        > let it dry. Does the leather warp?
        >
        yes. and shrinks unevenly in its two dimensions, depends on grain. Is this
        belly?  Scars also impact this.

        > Should a second, slightly larger form be placed over the leather, thus
        > sandwiching the hardened leather between the two forms?
        >
        yes, this will slow your dry and create a more uniform product.

        > Has anyone attempted something similar? Could you share your experiences
        > with me?
        > Finally, how difficult is it to stain the leather, post-hardening?
        >
        the leather will be SEALED. it will not take dye, it would run off. you can
        paint with cova colors - this is just another layer of plastic and works
        well.  The leather will be much darker from the water. how much darker is
        also on the continuum of how hot the water was. you can wax it, buff it, or
        polish it quite well. boot polish man, or for extra period points, look up
        'jack' as in 'jackboots'  a mix of pine tar, turps, linseed oil, and wax.
        there are many many many variations in ratio, depends on what you want as
        your final result.

        > Will it “weaken” the hardened leather, thus making it unusable for fencing?
        >

        it CAN become brittle instead of tough, depends on if you run warm water
        over, or immerse in boiling water.

        > Finally, how durable is the hardened leather? Does it have a tendency to
        > tear if hit edge on?
        >

        it take  a lot of abuse, but the most tough stuff is not boiled like
        potatoes - that makes for a brittle plastic.

        this guy is THE go-to guy and period maven extraordinaire from my old
        barony - Marc Carlson is MUSEUM grade good.
        http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/leather/hl.html


        > Your help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
        > Cheers!
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >

        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



        ------------------------------------

        Yahoo! Groups Links



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Yvonne
        Might I suggest you speak with a local rapier marshall about your plans prior to construction. It s truly an interesting idea, but it would be a shame to
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 17, 2012
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          Might I suggest you speak with a local rapier marshall about your plans prior to construction. It's truly an interesting idea, but it would be a shame to perform the process and have your local marshall say no to the helm.

          My two cents,
          Jocelyn Cranewall,
          Deputy KRM Ealdormere


          --- In E_Rapier@yahoogroups.com, Bob Roberts <maskkasm@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >
          > Hello fencing community!
          > I have a lengthy set of questions to pose to individuals who have worked with hardened leather.
          > I recently completed a helmet for my son and I am quite impressed with the results (I made it with poster card that is approximately 25-30 mm thick, J-clothe/glue as a pseudo fiberglass, and enamel paint). I think that it would not be that more difficult (I may be naïve) to do something similar with water hardened 10 ounce leather (using immersion in boiled water rather than the beeswax technique). I hope to marry the leather helmet with a fencing mask and have a decent cut and thrust helmet.
          > My questions are around the drying process of the leather. My plan is to make a full size helmet bowl form and then increase the paper pattern by 25-30% prior to measuring and cutting the leather (in order to compensate for leather shrinkage).
          > Can holes be drilled in the leather, prior to boiling (I plan to use 16 plates for the helmet bowl)? How fast does the boiled leather harden? Do I have time to boil all 16 pieces and then rivet them together?
          > I plan to place the completed helmet bowl onto the pre-made form and then let it dry. Does the leather warp? Should a second, slightly larger form be placed over the leather, thus sandwiching the hardened leather between the two forms?
          > Has anyone attempted something similar? Could you share your experiences with me?
          > Finally, how difficult is it to stain the leather, post-hardening? Will it “weaken” the hardened leather, thus making it unusable for fencing?
          > Finally, how durable is the hardened leather? Does it have a tendency to tear if hit edge on?
          > Your help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
          > Cheers!
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Kelly Wyatt
          I would not rivet before treating the leather...there are just SO many variables you can t account for in shrinkage and warping when you re water hardening
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 17, 2012
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            I would not rivet before treating the leather...there are just SO many variables you can't account for in shrinkage and warping when you're water hardening leather. I also second the advice to try a one or two inch square of leather in water just to see if you can get a gauge on the deformity that's going to result.

            My fencing gorget is water hardened leather (and likely one of the largest honking gorgets in Ealdormere) and I cut the pieces a bit oversized, treated them in hot water (only a 15 second or so dip), let them dry on a form, then trimmed them to size and drilled holes then riveted them together.

            It's actually a fun project! Good luck!

            Kelly Wyatt
            SCA: Cainder ingen hui Chatharnaig
            k.wyatt59@...





            To: E_Rapier@yahoogroups.com
            From: maskkasm@...
            Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2012 12:40:04 -0700
            Subject: Re: [E_Rapier] Hardened Leather Advice





            Thanks for the quick response.

            Would it be better to cut out, drill and rivet the leather plates first, and then immerse it in water (follwoed by placing the hardened leather bowl in the form sandwich)?

            ________________________________
            From: Cat FitzGerald <c4tf1tz@...>
            To: E_Rapier@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:33:38 PM
            Subject: Re: [E_Rapier] Hardened Leather Advice

            On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 2:58 PM, Bob Roberts <maskkasm@...> wrote:

            > **
            > My plan is to make a full size helmet bowl form and then increase the
            > paper pattern by 25-30% prior to measuring and cutting the leather (in
            > order to compensate for leather shrinkage).
            >
            > Can holes be drilled in the leather, prior to boiling (I plan to use 16
            > plates for the helmet bowl)?
            >
            parts can be cut and pierced, but they WILL deform. It become plastic and
            you can try and force it back, but it changes based on the underlying
            structure of the individual leather.

            > How fast does the boiled leather harden? Do I have time to boil all 16
            > pieces and then rivet them together?
            >

            It hardens INSTANTLY. the higher the temp of water, the greater the
            alteration into plastic. the further you go, the more brittle it gets. the
            hardness happens in contact with boiling water. Soaking in warm water has a
            different effect - depends on how thick the leather is. Make small test
            bits, lash leather to a dowel and see how it dries. it dries on the top
            surface first.

            > I plan to place the completed helmet bowl onto the pre-made form and then
            > let it dry. Does the leather warp?
            >
            yes. and shrinks unevenly in its two dimensions, depends on grain. Is this
            belly? Scars also impact this.

            > Should a second, slightly larger form be placed over the leather, thus
            > sandwiching the hardened leather between the two forms?
            >
            yes, this will slow your dry and create a more uniform product.

            > Has anyone attempted something similar? Could you share your experiences
            > with me?
            > Finally, how difficult is it to stain the leather, post-hardening?
            >
            the leather will be SEALED. it will not take dye, it would run off. you can
            paint with cova colors - this is just another layer of plastic and works
            well. The leather will be much darker from the water. how much darker is
            also on the continuum of how hot the water was. you can wax it, buff it, or
            polish it quite well. boot polish man, or for extra period points, look up
            'jack' as in 'jackboots' a mix of pine tar, turps, linseed oil, and wax.
            there are many many many variations in ratio, depends on what you want as
            your final result.

            > Will it �weaken� the hardened leather, thus making it unusable for fencing?
            >

            it CAN become brittle instead of tough, depends on if you run warm water
            over, or immerse in boiling water.

            > Finally, how durable is the hardened leather? Does it have a tendency to
            > tear if hit edge on?
            >

            it take a lot of abuse, but the most tough stuff is not boiled like
            potatoes - that makes for a brittle plastic.

            this guy is THE go-to guy and period maven extraordinaire from my old
            barony - Marc Carlson is MUSEUM grade good.
            http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/leather/hl.html

            > Your help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
            > Cheers!
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

            ------------------------------------

            Yahoo! Groups Links

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • L. Tremblay
            We have indeed talked about this :) Lars ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 17, 2012
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              We have indeed talked about this :)

              Lars

              On 10/17/2012 3:46 PM, Yvonne wrote:
              >
              > Might I suggest you speak with a local rapier marshall about your
              > plans prior to construction. It's truly an interesting idea, but it
              > would be a shame to perform the process and have your local marshall
              > say no to the helm.
              >
              > My two cents,
              > Jocelyn Cranewall,
              > Deputy KRM Ealdormere
              >



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Cat FitzGerald
              It might be more feasible to assemble a helm from the formed plates. It would be easier to rivet 2 stiff plate than to try and rivet floppy wet leather bits.
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 17, 2012
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                It might be more feasible to assemble a helm from the formed plates. It
                would be easier to rivet 2 stiff plate than to try and rivet floppy wet
                leather bits. The problem with assembling the cut outs and riveting thm is
                shrinkage. you do not know where your holes will end up if you punch them
                first, then shrink/harden the leather. they could just tear themselves out,
                if the assembled helm shrinks a lot. if you cut out oversized plates, wet
                them, put them into a mold and let them dry, you can then trim them to size
                and rivet. the hardened leather will still punch, as long as it is not so
                brittle as to crack, and that is too hard for a fencing helm anyway. This
                also allows you to fail on a plate or two without wrecking the whole
                project.

                The pressing of the bits is a good idea I think.

                Water hardened is a better bet than wax, really. I inherited some
                vambraces that were actually immersed in very hot paraffin wax. They are
                EXTREMELY tough, but not so useable. They are so tough that when they get
                deformed in the bottom of my armour duffle, it takes a fair amount of time,
                efffort, and heat to re-form them for human forearms. 16 years later, they
                still weep wax in the summer heat. They have the consolation of also being
                fugly. Etienne learned a lot from making them.

                Cheers!
                -Catan ingen Ca�rthinn

                On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 3:40 PM, Bob Roberts <maskkasm@...> wrote:

                > **
                >
                >
                > Thanks for the quick response.
                >
                > Would it be better to cut out, drill and rivet the leather plates first,
                > and then immerse it in water (follwoed by placing the hardened leather bowl
                > in the form sandwich)?
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: Cat FitzGerald <c4tf1tz@...>
                > To: E_Rapier@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:33:38 PM
                > Subject: Re: [E_Rapier] Hardened Leather Advice
                >
                > On Wed, Oct 17, 2012 at 2:58 PM, Bob Roberts <maskkasm@...> wrote:
                >
                > > **
                > > My plan is to make a full size helmet bowl form and then increase the
                > > paper pattern by 25-30% prior to measuring and cutting the leather (in
                > > order to compensate for leather shrinkage).
                > >
                > > Can holes be drilled in the leather, prior to boiling (I plan to use 16
                > > plates for the helmet bowl)?
                > >
                > parts can be cut and pierced, but they WILL deform. It become plastic and
                > you can try and force it back, but it changes based on the underlying
                > structure of the individual leather.
                >
                > > How fast does the boiled leather harden? Do I have time to boil all 16
                > > pieces and then rivet them together?
                > >
                >
                > It hardens INSTANTLY. the higher the temp of water, the greater the
                > alteration into plastic. the further you go, the more brittle it gets. the
                > hardness happens in contact with boiling water. Soaking in warm water has a
                > different effect - depends on how thick the leather is. Make small test
                > bits, lash leather to a dowel and see how it dries. it dries on the top
                > surface first.
                >
                > > I plan to place the completed helmet bowl onto the pre-made form and then
                > > let it dry. Does the leather warp?
                > >
                > yes. and shrinks unevenly in its two dimensions, depends on grain. Is this
                > belly? Scars also impact this.
                >
                > > Should a second, slightly larger form be placed over the leather, thus
                > > sandwiching the hardened leather between the two forms?
                > >
                > yes, this will slow your dry and create a more uniform product.
                >
                > > Has anyone attempted something similar? Could you share your experiences
                > > with me?
                > > Finally, how difficult is it to stain the leather, post-hardening?
                > >
                > the leather will be SEALED. it will not take dye, it would run off. you can
                > paint with cova colors - this is just another layer of plastic and works
                > well. The leather will be much darker from the water. how much darker is
                > also on the continuum of how hot the water was. you can wax it, buff it, or
                > polish it quite well. boot polish man, or for extra period points, look up
                > 'jack' as in 'jackboots' a mix of pine tar, turps, linseed oil, and wax.
                > there are many many many variations in ratio, depends on what you want as
                > your final result.
                >
                > > Will it �weaken� the hardened leather, thus making it unusable for
                > fencing?
                > >
                >
                > it CAN become brittle instead of tough, depends on if you run warm water
                > over, or immerse in boiling water.
                >
                > > Finally, how durable is the hardened leather? Does it have a tendency to
                > > tear if hit edge on?
                > >
                >
                > it take a lot of abuse, but the most tough stuff is not boiled like
                > potatoes - that makes for a brittle plastic.
                >
                > this guy is THE go-to guy and period maven extraordinaire from my old
                > barony - Marc Carlson is MUSEUM grade good.
                > http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/leather/hl.html
                >
                > > Your help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
                > > Cheers!
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                > ------------------------------------
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >


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