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Re: [medieval-leather] Water-hardening

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  • Khailil the Sarclander
    The only tip I can add to this method. Is that in the south Texas summer, I put leather pieces to be water hardened in the cab of my truck. I call it the
    Message 1 of 24 , May 5, 2010
      The only tip I can add to this method. Is that in the south Texas summer, I put leather pieces to be water hardened in the cab of my truck. I call it the solarizing process.





      dening leather by hot water is almost undoubtedly the technique used
      to produce "cuir-bouilli," the hardened leather used for innumerable
      objects in the medieval (and later) periods. Cariadoc's pages are a good
      place to start, but Marc Carlson summarized a lot of discussion and
      experimentation here:
      http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/leather/hl.html

      I think we had a detailed discussion on this List some years ago, with
      several people's personal experiences (including mine). Here's what I
      remember:

      1. It only works with veg-tanned leather, and different hides respond
      differently - so times and temperatures vary.

      2. Best results are obtained in the temperature range of 160F - 180F.
      Hotter than that, the reaction tends to proceed irregularly and can
      leave the leather brittle.

      3. Small pieces can be submerged in hot water; larger pieces can be
      soaked and then baked in an oven, but controlling the temp is more
      difficult.

      4. The hardening process is accompanied by shrinkage of about 20% to
      30% depending on thickness and probably other variables. It also makes
      the edges curl if not restrained.

      5. I think Marc Carlson reported that real oak-tanned (pit-tanned)
      leather will harden by soaking and drying, without heat. It is also far
      more plastic when wet, so it can be shaped on a form.

      I made a few pieces of armor, and a nifty little scabbard for SCA rattan
      swords, which held up for many years of use.

      Cheers,
      Tim
      (Colin deBray)

      hasscoc wrote:

      > Also has anyone found a method of water or baking hardening leather?



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • ren_junkie
      You can always fully immerse your leather bits and let the dye soak thru. That ll be expensive., and you ll need a fairly big bucket if you want to dye a
      Message 2 of 24 , May 6, 2010
        You can always fully immerse your leather bits and let the dye soak thru. That'll be expensive., and you'll need a fairly big bucket if you want to dye a cuirass or something.

        You can also just use a foam brush to apply the dye and saturate the crap out of it. Not a very time efficient method, but it can work.

        There's also more water-based dyes out there these days. On cased/slightly damp leather you should get good penetrating that way. Theoretically. I don't have a lot of experience with them. I'm not using them till I'm forced to ...lol

        I shouldn't think that dyed-thru would be weaker. If you have concerns about the spirit-based dyes drying out the leather too much, hit it with some conditioner like Lexol. Puts the moisture back in.

        What color are you using? You can get drum-dyed black veg tan. Black all the way thru. Sometimes there's a bit in the center where it doesn't penetrate, but you can hit that with dye easy enough, as it's just the edges. It's regular veg, just black. Same tooling, shaping, and hardening qualities.

        For hardening, I use the bake method. There's been a lot of debate on which was used in period, boiling or baking. Probably both. Cuir bouille is boiled leather. Cuir cuit is baked. Don't hold me to the spellings. I prefer the bake method because I have more control. And I don't have to worry about handling hot water. Same temp range 160-180. 180 is generally considered ideal. It must be at least 160 for the proper reactions to happen in the leather. The water is merely how the temperature is transferred more or less evenly thru the piece. One of the reasons I find it easier to control. The water should already be totally saturated thru when you start baking. In the immersion method, you may not get the water 100% thru the piece, especially if you're using something like a sole bend.

        Basic steps:

        1. Immerse the leather in room temperature-ish (not hot!) water for several hours. If you want to get real exact, test out some bigger pieces of scrap, and cut them open to see if your soak time is sufficient.

        2. Let the leather case. If you do carving/stamping/tooling, you already know how to identify when. If not, it's when the leather is almost back to it's original color, you can still feel the cool damp on it, and it's not floppy any more. Bend into a couple curves. if those curves stay put, it's cased.

        3. Preheat oven to 180. You should use a thermometer because oven thermostats aren't necessarily accurate.

        4. Put the piece into the oven, as centered as possible. DO NOT PLACE DIRECTLY ON RACK! If you do, the points at which the leather touches the rack will harden very fast, and get crispy. This means chuck it out, start over. I've used a lot of aluminum foil layers (enough that it was stiff enough for me to carry the piece on the foil), and I've used wood. The oven doesn't get near the flash point of the wood, so that's safe. You may draw sap out of the wood, tho. But the wood insulates well, and you avoid crisping on the contacted points.

        5. Check every 10, 15 or 20 minutes. Whichever you're more comfortable with. Just don't leave it too long. This is mostly so you can adjust any shifts in the shape of your piece. If something sags, or warps a bit, it gives you a chance to fix it.

        6. Once it's as rigid as you want, or feels dry, take it out. Also, if you see burnt or beef jerky looking spots, take it out.

        7. Give 24 hours air-drying to make sure it's dry.

        As for dying it, I usually do it after hardening and drying, but I know guys who dye it before hand.

        There's something else you can do in conjunction with baking it, or even without baking. I use a mixture of either 1 part Titebond 3 glue to 5 parts or 10 parts water. Titebond 3 is great. It's water soluble while it's liquid, but once it dries, it's not longer water soluble. It creates a good strong matrix in the leather. Same thing wax does, but this won't soften in heat or excessive wet. You can brush the mixture on, but I prefer to immerse it in the solution. That way it penetrates deeper with less of me brushing it on.

        Hope this helps some.
        Chistopher

        --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "hasscoc" <hasscoc@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi
        > I do a lot of hardened leather by a wax method. I have noticed that when I recieved a cut into the leather, the dye only lyes on the serface for the leather, even if I have dyed both sides of it. I tend to soak the leather between 15 mins - 2hours.
        >
        > How do you dye through the leather? Would I weaken it by doing so?
        >
        >
        > Also has anyone found a method of water or baking hardening leather?
        >
      • hasscoc
        Thanks that is very usefull now for the trails. Also I know the Leather shrinks quite a bit, but how do you, say; make a vambrace and predict the shrinkage.
        Message 3 of 24 , May 6, 2010
          Thanks that is very usefull now for the trails. Also I know the Leather shrinks quite a bit, but how do you, say; make a vambrace and predict the shrinkage. How do keep the shape once it has shrinked.

          If I tool or carve a design into the leather before submerging in water prior to bakin or boiling will it come out un even?

          Fraser

          --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "ren_junkie" <ren_junkie@...> wrote:
          >
          > You can always fully immerse your leather bits and let the dye soak thru. That'll be expensive., and you'll need a fairly big bucket if you want to dye a cuirass or something.
          >
          > You can also just use a foam brush to apply the dye and saturate the crap out of it. Not a very time efficient method, but it can work.
          >
          > There's also more water-based dyes out there these days. On cased/slightly damp leather you should get good penetrating that way. Theoretically. I don't have a lot of experience with them. I'm not using them till I'm forced to ...lol
          >
          > I shouldn't think that dyed-thru would be weaker. If you have concerns about the spirit-based dyes drying out the leather too much, hit it with some conditioner like Lexol. Puts the moisture back in.
          >
          > What color are you using? You can get drum-dyed black veg tan. Black all the way thru. Sometimes there's a bit in the center where it doesn't penetrate, but you can hit that with dye easy enough, as it's just the edges. It's regular veg, just black. Same tooling, shaping, and hardening qualities.
          >
          > For hardening, I use the bake method. There's been a lot of debate on which was used in period, boiling or baking. Probably both. Cuir bouille is boiled leather. Cuir cuit is baked. Don't hold me to the spellings. I prefer the bake method because I have more control. And I don't have to worry about handling hot water. Same temp range 160-180. 180 is generally considered ideal. It must be at least 160 for the proper reactions to happen in the leather. The water is merely how the temperature is transferred more or less evenly thru the piece. One of the reasons I find it easier to control. The water should already be totally saturated thru when you start baking. In the immersion method, you may not get the water 100% thru the piece, especially if you're using something like a sole bend.
          >
          > Basic steps:
          >
          > 1. Immerse the leather in room temperature-ish (not hot!) water for several hours. If you want to get real exact, test out some bigger pieces of scrap, and cut them open to see if your soak time is sufficient.
          >
          > 2. Let the leather case. If you do carving/stamping/tooling, you already know how to identify when. If not, it's when the leather is almost back to it's original color, you can still feel the cool damp on it, and it's not floppy any more. Bend into a couple curves. if those curves stay put, it's cased.
          >
          > 3. Preheat oven to 180. You should use a thermometer because oven thermostats aren't necessarily accurate.
          >
          > 4. Put the piece into the oven, as centered as possible. DO NOT PLACE DIRECTLY ON RACK! If you do, the points at which the leather touches the rack will harden very fast, and get crispy. This means chuck it out, start over. I've used a lot of aluminum foil layers (enough that it was stiff enough for me to carry the piece on the foil), and I've used wood. The oven doesn't get near the flash point of the wood, so that's safe. You may draw sap out of the wood, tho. But the wood insulates well, and you avoid crisping on the contacted points.
          >
          > 5. Check every 10, 15 or 20 minutes. Whichever you're more comfortable with. Just don't leave it too long. This is mostly so you can adjust any shifts in the shape of your piece. If something sags, or warps a bit, it gives you a chance to fix it.
          >
          > 6. Once it's as rigid as you want, or feels dry, take it out. Also, if you see burnt or beef jerky looking spots, take it out.
          >
          > 7. Give 24 hours air-drying to make sure it's dry.
          >
          > As for dying it, I usually do it after hardening and drying, but I know guys who dye it before hand.
          >
          > There's something else you can do in conjunction with baking it, or even without baking. I use a mixture of either 1 part Titebond 3 glue to 5 parts or 10 parts water. Titebond 3 is great. It's water soluble while it's liquid, but once it dries, it's not longer water soluble. It creates a good strong matrix in the leather. Same thing wax does, but this won't soften in heat or excessive wet. You can brush the mixture on, but I prefer to immerse it in the solution. That way it penetrates deeper with less of me brushing it on.
          >
          > Hope this helps some.
          > Chistopher
          >
          > --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "hasscoc" <hasscoc@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi
          > > I do a lot of hardened leather by a wax method. I have noticed that when I recieved a cut into the leather, the dye only lyes on the serface for the leather, even if I have dyed both sides of it. I tend to soak the leather between 15 mins - 2hours.
          > >
          > > How do you dye through the leather? Would I weaken it by doing so?
          > >
          > >
          > > Also has anyone found a method of water or baking hardening leather?
          > >
          >
        • AlbionWood
          Tooling and (especially) carving before hardening adds another level of complexity. People who have tried it report mixed results; my own attempts were only
          Message 4 of 24 , May 6, 2010
            Tooling and (especially) carving before hardening adds another level of
            complexity. People who have tried it report mixed results; my own
            attempts were only partly successful. Cutting into the surface before
            hardening is generally a bad idea, as the cut edges will pull apart and
            curl, unless you're very good or very lucky. But you can sometimes tool
            it without cutting, and get the tooling to persist through the hardening
            process.

            Try a test piece. Case it, tool it, and let dry completely; then
            re-soak it, case it again, and harden it. Experiment with temperatures;
            in general, lower temps cause less shrinkage/warping, but also result in
            less hardening.

            Then be sure to come back here and tell us how it worked!

            Cheers,
            Colin


            hasscoc wrote:
            > Thanks that is very usefull now for the trails. Also I know the Leather shrinks quite a bit, but how do you, say; make a vambrace and predict the shrinkage. How do keep the shape once it has shrinked.
            >
            > If I tool or carve a design into the leather before submerging in water prior to bakin or boiling will it come out un even?
            >
            > Fraser
            >
            >
          • Leslie Cox
            My husband, who does water hardening of armor pieces that I have carved and tooled tells me that to prevent the problem you mention, he wraps the cased leather
            Message 5 of 24 , May 6, 2010
              My husband, who does water hardening of armor pieces that I have carved and
              tooled tells me that to prevent the problem you mention, he wraps the cased
              leather pieces with damp muslin before they go in the oven. This keeps the
              surface from drying out sooner than the inside of the leather, at least, to
              some degree. We have had no trouble with dying and carving before hardening
              (except when the leather itself decides to have problems with the
              hardening...)

              Also, doing the muslin wrapping is doubly useful when making pieces that you
              are shaping, as it helps to hold the leather to the form (such as a wooden
              form or last) while it dries in the oven.

              Leather is a natural material, and as such, is naturally unpredictable -
              your mileage, in essence, will pretty much always vary, and a wonderfully
              carved, tooled and dyed piece could simply have invisible defects in the
              leather that mean that you could lose the entire work because it dries out
              funny during the hardening process.

              That's the breaks! But it's still a pretty easy technique in general, and
              worth trying if you're thinking of it.

              --Lady Lucy Rose Falconer



              On Thu, May 6, 2010 at 8:03 AM, AlbionWood <albionwood@...> wrote:

              >
              >
              > Tooling and (especially) carving before hardening adds another level of
              > complexity. People who have tried it report mixed results; my own
              > attempts were only partly successful. Cutting into the surface before
              > hardening is generally a bad idea, as the cut edges will pull apart and
              > curl, unless you're very good or very lucky. But you can sometimes tool
              > it without cutting, and get the tooling to persist through the hardening
              > process.
              >
              > Try a test piece. Case it, tool it, and let dry completely; then
              > re-soak it, case it again, and harden it. Experiment with temperatures;
              > in general, lower temps cause less shrinkage/warping, but also result in
              > less hardening.
              >
              > Then be sure to come back here and tell us how it worked!
              >
              > Cheers,
              > Colin
              >
              >
              > hasscoc wrote:
              > > Thanks that is very usefull now for the trails. Also I know the Leather
              > shrinks quite a bit, but how do you, say; make a vambrace and predict the
              > shrinkage. How do keep the shape once it has shrinked.
              > >
              > > If I tool or carve a design into the leather before submerging in water
              > prior to bakin or boiling will it come out un even?
              > >
              > > Fraser
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • AlbionWood
              GREAT tips - thanks! I gotta try that. Colin
              Message 6 of 24 , May 6, 2010
                GREAT tips - thanks! I gotta try that.

                Colin

                Leslie Cox wrote:
                > My husband, who does water hardening of armor pieces that I have carved and
                > tooled tells me that to prevent the problem you mention, he wraps the cased
                > leather pieces with damp muslin before they go in the oven. This keeps the
                > surface from drying out sooner than the inside of the leather, at least, to
                > some degree. We have had no trouble with dying and carving before hardening
                > (except when the leather itself decides to have problems with the
                > hardening...)
                >
                > Also, doing the muslin wrapping is doubly useful when making pieces that you
                > are shaping, as it helps to hold the leather to the form (such as a wooden
                > form or last) while it dries in the oven.
                >
              • ren_junkie
                Damp muslin? Never thought of that one. Sounds killer useful. Thanks for that! You don t always have to carve the leather, either. You can just tool or tool
                Message 7 of 24 , May 7, 2010
                  Damp muslin? Never thought of that one. Sounds killer useful. Thanks for that!

                  You don't always have to carve the leather, either. You can just tool or tool and stamp. If I'm painting the design on a piece, I almost never carve the leather unless I just feel like carving it. Especially if it's an armorial device. Mostly because if I'm painting the design it just looks more natural and normal if I tool it shallow. Guess because painting registers in my brain as a 2-d activity, as opposed to 3-d.

                  The biggest thing I think you gotta worry about is losing the crispness of the tooling/carving when you shape it into armour. If you want nice crisp carving, go deep. Especially if you do any hammer forming.

                  There's usually less shrinkage on my baked goods than if I use water immersion. So Long as I keep an eye on it. If you're not careful you can get serious shrink. But as Lady Lucy said, you're mileage will vary with every piece. You may be doing a pair of vambraces from the same section of the same top-quality leather, and get one beauty, and one that just went all the way wrong.

                  Leather....ecstasy and agony. Usually all at the same time.

                  Christopher


                  --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Leslie Cox <lucyrosefalconer@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > My husband, who does water hardening of armor pieces that I have carved and
                  > tooled tells me that to prevent the problem you mention, he wraps the cased
                  > leather pieces with damp muslin before they go in the oven. This keeps the
                  > surface from drying out sooner than the inside of the leather, at least, to
                  > some degree. We have had no trouble with dying and carving before hardening
                  > (except when the leather itself decides to have problems with the
                  > hardening...)
                  >
                  > Also, doing the muslin wrapping is doubly useful when making pieces that you
                  > are shaping, as it helps to hold the leather to the form (such as a wooden
                  > form or last) while it dries in the oven.
                  >
                  > Leather is a natural material, and as such, is naturally unpredictable -
                  > your mileage, in essence, will pretty much always vary, and a wonderfully
                  > carved, tooled and dyed piece could simply have invisible defects in the
                  > leather that mean that you could lose the entire work because it dries out
                  > funny during the hardening process.
                  >
                  > That's the breaks! But it's still a pretty easy technique in general, and
                  > worth trying if you're thinking of it.
                  >
                  > --Lady Lucy Rose Falconer
                • Fuersty@aol.com
                  Greetings All, ? I ve been lurking for sometime now, enjoying all the information and tips.?Now to add an extra level of complexity onto what has already been
                  Message 8 of 24 , May 7, 2010
                    Greetings All,
                    ?
                    I've been lurking for sometime now, enjoying all the information and tips.?Now to add an extra level of complexity onto what has already been discussed in the "Dying depth" thread.?I'm looking to recreate these archery bracers?that are in the British Museum. (http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_mla/a/archers_bracer.aspx)?From the description they were also colored and gilded.?Any thoughts on how to make gilding?work on a cuir bouilli piece of leather. The carving detail is very crisp on this bracer, so it makes me wonder how much heat they actually used to get them hard.
                    ?
                    Tim


                    ?
                    Leslie Cox wrote:
                    > My husband, who does water hardening of armor pieces that I have carved and
                    > tooled tells me that to prevent the problem you mention, he wraps the cased
                    > leather pieces with damp muslin before they go in the oven.? This keeps the
                    > surface from drying out sooner than the inside of the leather, at least, to
                    > some degree. We have had no trouble with dying and carving before hardening
                    > (except when the leather itself decides to have problems with the
                    > hardening...)
                    >?
                    > Also, doing the muslin wrapping is doubly useful when making pieces that you
                    > are shaping, as it helps to hold the leather to the form (such as a wooden
                    > form or last) while it dries in the oven.
                    >?



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Leslie Cox
                    Yes, we ve seen these (well, the link at least, not in person, *sigh*; they re lovely. The relief is high, IMHO, because they were well carved, not just
                    Message 9 of 24 , May 7, 2010
                      Yes, we've seen these (well, the link at least, not in person, *sigh*;
                      they're lovely. The relief is high, IMHO, because they were well carved,
                      not just stamped - that's how I get that much relief, anyway. The heat has
                      nothing to do with it, in my experience.

                      We used something like that shape to create bracers for a new member of the
                      Archery Guild in the SCA, but put requested heraldry on them. We didn't
                      harden these; if we had, I would have hardened them, then painted them, then
                      coated them with acrylic to try to seal the color as much as possible

                      I was requested to make them in white, and for a long time I refused - white
                      leather is difficult with veg tan; nothing seems to last very long and I
                      don't like to do things that aren't up to my quality standards. But they
                      insisted; and I eventually created them, with the caveat that they would
                      need refreshing of both the white and likely the "gilding" as most gold
                      paints I've used eventually turn green because they are brass or copper
                      based. I used a good quality gold paint on these, I hope they last for a
                      while at least...

                      I'd be happy to hear if anyone has good advice on the "gilding" short of
                      actual gold leaf myself.

                      -- Lucy Rose

                      On Fri, May 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM, <Fuersty@...> wrote:

                      >
                      >
                      > Greetings All,
                      > ?
                      > I've been lurking for sometime now, enjoying all the information and
                      > tips.?Now to add an extra level of complexity onto what has already been
                      > discussed in the "Dying depth" thread.?I'm looking to recreate these archery
                      > bracers?that are in the British Museum. (
                      > http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_mla/a/archers_bracer.aspx)?From
                      > the description they were also colored and gilded.?Any thoughts on how to
                      > make gilding?work on a cuir bouilli piece of leather. The carving detail is
                      > very crisp on this bracer, so it makes me wonder how much heat they actually
                      > used to get them hard.
                      > ?
                      > Tim
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Fuersty@aol.com
                      From the previous thread, I was a little concerned about the shrinking factor and distorting of the carved, water hardened leather. I guess that s why I
                      Message 10 of 24 , May 8, 2010
                        From the previous thread, I was a little concerned about the shrinking
                        factor and distorting of the carved, water hardened leather. I guess
                        that's why I brought up the heat concerns. Ultimately my plan is to
                        make two of these bracers; one I'm trying to recreate and document, so
                        I want to get as close to the original in technique, color, and gilding
                        (with gold leaf). The second will be used as an award scroll for the
                        SCA. So if anyone has any further details on this bracer, I would
                        greatly appreciate the information.

                        I've been doing leather carving as a hobby for almost 25 years, but
                        really never looked at it from a historical view point. I've enjoyed
                        the tips and advice people are willing to share.

                        I did however find some interesting examples of leather carving &
                        stamping in a book called "Dress Accessories" c.1150-c.1450, by
                        GeoffEgan and Frances Pritchard. Most of the leather work examples are
                        of decorative womens belts.

                        Hope to share more in the future,
                        Tim

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Leslie Cox <lucyrosefalconer@...>
                        To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Fri, May 7, 2010 6:39 pm
                        Subject: Re: [medieval-leather] Dying depth cont. - archery bracer

                        Yes, we've seen these (well, the link at least, not in person, *sigh*;
                        they're lovely. The relief is high, IMHO, because they were well
                        carved,
                        not just stamped - that's how I get that much relief, anyway. The heat
                        has
                        nothing to do with it, in my experience.

                        We used something like that shape to create bracers for a new member of
                        the
                        Archery Guild in the SCA, but put requested heraldry on them. We didn't
                        harden these; if we had, I would have hardened them, then painted them,
                        then
                        coated them with acrylic to try to seal the color as much as possible

                        I was requested to make them in white, and for a long time I refused -
                        white
                        leather is difficult with veg tan; nothing seems to last very long and I
                        don't like to do things that aren't up to my quality standards. But
                        they
                        insisted; and I eventually created them, with the caveat that they would
                        need refreshing of both the white and likely the "gilding" as most gold
                        paints I've used eventually turn green because they are brass or copper
                        based. I used a good quality gold paint on these, I hope they last for
                        a
                        while at least...

                        I'd be happy to hear if anyone has good advice on the "gilding" short of
                        actual gold leaf myself.

                        -- Lucy Rose

                        On Fri, May 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM, <Fuersty@...> wrote:

                        >
                        >
                        > Greetings All,
                        >
                        > I've been lurking for sometime now, enjoying all the information and
                        tips. Now to
                        > add an extra level of complexity onto what has already been discussed
                        in the
                        > "Dying depth" thread.?I'm looking to recreate these archery bracers
                        that are in
                        > the British Museum.
                        >
                        >
                        http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_mla/a/archers_bracer.aspx
                        >
                        > From the description they were also colored and gilded. Any thoughts
                        on how to
                        > make gilding work on a cuir bouilli piece of leather. The carving
                        detail is
                        > very crisp on this bracer, so it makes me wonder how much heat they
                        actually
                        > used to get them hard.
                        >
                        > Tim
                        >
                        >
                      • legviiii
                        ... Clive Bartlett s write up was published in Dragon no 8, http://www.companie-of-st-george.ch/cms/sitefiles/dragon-8.pdf The British Museum record gives
                        Message 11 of 24 , May 8, 2010
                          --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Fuersty@... wrote:
                          >
                          > From the previous thread, I was a little concerned about the shrinking
                          > factor and distorting of the carved, water hardened leather. I guess
                          > that's why I brought up the heat concerns. Ultimately my plan is to
                          > make two of these bracers; one I'm trying to recreate and document, so
                          > I want to get as close to the original in technique, color, and gilding
                          > (with gold leaf). The second will be used as an award scroll for the
                          > SCA. So if anyone has any further details on this bracer, I would
                          > greatly appreciate the information.
                          >

                          Clive Bartlett's write up was published in Dragon no 8, http://www.companie-of-st-george.ch/cms/sitefiles/dragon-8.pdf

                          The British Museum record gives dimensions http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/search_object_details.aspx?objectId=79364&partId=1&orig=%2fresearch%2fsearch_the_collection_database%2fmuseum_no__provenance_search.aspx&numpages=10&idNum=1922,0110.1¤tPage=1

                          It was originally written up in The Antiquaries Journal, Volume 2, pages 208-210, I have a pdf copy on my website http://www.coppergate.com.au/downloads/Dalton%20Antiquities%20Journal%202%20208-210.pdf

                          Wayne
                        • Leslie Cox
                          Thank you - some of that was entirely new to me, some had come to me incomplete; always better to see something in entire context. We are still trying to
                          Message 12 of 24 , May 8, 2010
                            Thank you - some of that was entirely new to me, some had come to me
                            incomplete; always better to see something in entire context. We are still
                            trying to figure out the "y" strapping posited for the bracer, as it doesn't
                            seem that there need be anything more complex than 2 straps in the four
                            original holes; nor indeed that there would be enough space to want more
                            than that? Does anyone have references to this method the author of the
                            article says is medievally common?

                            very useful - again, thanks!

                            Lucy Rose



                            On Sat, May 8, 2010 at 6:00 AM, legviiii <legviiii@...> wrote:

                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com<medieval-leather%40yahoogroups.com>,
                            > Fuersty@... wrote:
                            > >
                            > > From the previous thread, I was a little concerned about the shrinking
                            > > factor and distorting of the carved, water hardened leather. I guess
                            > > that's why I brought up the heat concerns. Ultimately my plan is to
                            > > make two of these bracers; one I'm trying to recreate and document, so
                            > > I want to get as close to the original in technique, color, and gilding
                            > > (with gold leaf). The second will be used as an award scroll for the
                            > > SCA. So if anyone has any further details on this bracer, I would
                            > > greatly appreciate the information.
                            > >
                            >
                            > Clive Bartlett's write up was published in Dragon no 8,
                            > http://www.companie-of-st-george.ch/cms/sitefiles/dragon-8.pdf
                            >
                            > The British Museum record gives dimensions
                            > http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/search_object_details.aspx?objectId=79364&partId=1&orig=%2fresearch%2fsearch_the_collection_database%2fmuseum_no__provenance_search.aspx&numpages=10&idNum=1922,0110.1¤tPage=1
                            >
                            > It was originally written up in The Antiquaries Journal, Volume 2, pages
                            > 208-210, I have a pdf copy on my website
                            > http://www.coppergate.com.au/downloads/Dalton%20Antiquities%20Journal%202%20208-210.pdf
                            >
                            > Wayne
                            >
                            >
                            >


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • ren_junkie
                            If you re asking how to guild them, then Liquid Leaf is your friend. I love the stuff. Goes on like paint, but it s real size and real gold flecks. You can
                            Message 13 of 24 , May 8, 2010
                              If you're asking how to guild them, then Liquid Leaf is your friend. I love the stuff. Goes on like paint, but it's real size and real gold flecks. You can clean your brushes in Testors model paint thinner. I guess it's the same base as model paints.

                              Course, you probably already know that. And if you know how to make it nor rub off the leather so badly, I'd love to know how.

                              Is the piece actually carved? Is it possible it was embossed? I can see a bunch of plaques, like movable type in a printing press sorta thing being used. No idea if it was, but I don't think it'd be a big stretch. It would give a bunch of unique bracers in an efficient manner. instead of waiting days on one, you could knock each one out in 10 minutes with dozens of different variations.

                              Whether they did or not, it'd be cool...:D

                              Christopher



                              --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Fuersty@... wrote:
                              >
                              > Greetings All,
                              > ?
                              > I've been lurking for sometime now, enjoying all the information and tips.?Now to add an extra level of complexity onto what has already been discussed in the "Dying depth" thread.?I'm looking to recreate these archery bracers?that are in the British Museum. (http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_mla/a/archers_bracer.aspx)?From the description they were also colored and gilded.?Any thoughts on how to make gilding?work on a cuir bouilli piece of leather. The carving detail is very crisp on this bracer, so it makes me wonder how much heat they actually used to get them hard.
                              > ?
                              > Tim
                            • legviiii
                              ... Some of the Mary Rose finds still have the Y-strap associated with them. I ve made one that way and found it stayed on better than the modern two-strap
                              Message 14 of 24 , May 8, 2010
                                --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Leslie Cox <lucyrosefalconer@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > We are still
                                > trying to figure out the "y" strapping posited for the bracer, as it doesn't
                                > seem that there need be anything more complex than 2 straps in the four
                                > original holes; nor indeed that there would be enough space to want more
                                > than that? Does anyone have references to this method the author of the
                                > article says is medievally common?
                                >

                                Some of the Mary Rose finds still have the Y-strap associated with them. I've made one that way and found it stayed on better than the modern two-strap version I used to use.

                                The write-up is here: http://leatherworkingreverend.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/tudor-commonwealth-archers-arm-guard/

                                The Newport bracer (Strickland & Hardy, The Great Warbow, p380) has the rivet holes little more than an inch apart, and a similar one in the Museum of London has slightly wider spacing, but both would be unusable with more than one strap. I've put my picture of the MoL one at http://leatherworkingreverend.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/leatherwork-at-the-mol/.

                                All these examples are within the medieval period, I suspect some of the depictions of the Hundred Years war also show bracers attaching this way when the artict only shows a single strap around the back of the arm.

                                Wayne

                                Wayne
                              • Leslie Cox
                                Ah, thank you - so the arms of the y are actually very short, and seem to be a split end of the strap... hmm. It does look like a nice arrangement that
                                Message 15 of 24 , May 8, 2010
                                  Ah, thank you - so the arms of the "y" are actually very short, and seem to
                                  be a split end of the strap... hmm. It does look like a nice arrangement
                                  that would be more stable than one and less trouble than 2 straps.

                                  -- Lucy Rose


                                  On Sat, May 8, 2010 at 6:44 PM, legviiii <legviiii@...> wrote:

                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com<medieval-leather%40yahoogroups.com>,
                                  > Leslie Cox <lucyrosefalconer@...> wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > We are still
                                  > > trying to figure out the "y" strapping posited for the bracer, as it
                                  > doesn't
                                  > > seem that there need be anything more complex than 2 straps in the four
                                  > > original holes; nor indeed that there would be enough space to want more
                                  > > than that? Does anyone have references to this method the author of the
                                  > > article says is medievally common?
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  > Some of the Mary Rose finds still have the Y-strap associated with them.
                                  > I've made one that way and found it stayed on better than the modern
                                  > two-strap version I used to use.
                                  >
                                  > The write-up is here:
                                  > http://leatherworkingreverend.wordpress.com/2009/09/05/tudor-commonwealth-archers-arm-guard/
                                  >
                                  > The Newport bracer (Strickland & Hardy, The Great Warbow, p380) has the
                                  > rivet holes little more than an inch apart, and a similar one in the Museum
                                  > of London has slightly wider spacing, but both would be unusable with more
                                  > than one strap. I've put my picture of the MoL one at
                                  > http://leatherworkingreverend.wordpress.com/2009/09/19/leatherwork-at-the-mol/.
                                  >
                                  > All these examples are within the medieval period, I suspect some of the
                                  > depictions of the Hundred Years war also show bracers attaching this way
                                  > when the artict only shows a single strap around the back of the arm.
                                  >
                                  > Wayne
                                  >
                                  > Wayne
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Diane Sawyer Dooley
                                  I love Liquid Leaf, but durable it is not, even after a coating of Super Shene. I like Golden Liquid Acrylics Deep Gold for a metallic gold. Nice metallic
                                  Message 16 of 24 , May 9, 2010
                                    I love Liquid Leaf, but durable it is not, even after a coating of Super Shene.

                                    I like Golden Liquid Acrylics Deep Gold for a metallic gold. Nice metallic look, and it doesn't rub off.

                                    Tasha


                                    >
                                    >From: ren_junkie <ren_junkie@...>
                                    >To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
                                    >Sent: Sat, May 8, 2010 4:28:32 PM
                                    >Subject: [medieval-leather] Re: Dying depth cont. - archery bracer
                                    >
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > >
                                    >>
                                    >
                                    >If you're asking how to guild them, then Liquid Leaf is your friend. I love the stuff. Goes on like paint, but it's real size and real gold flecks. You can clean your brushes in Testors model paint thinner. I guess it's the same base as model paints.
                                    >
                                    >>Course, you probably already know that. And if you know how to make it nor rub off the leather so badly, I'd love to know how.
                                    >




                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • hasscoc
                                    Hi I have done some tests with little results with the baking method. When you say 180 degrees, do you mean celsius or fahrenheit. Also when you have baked the
                                    Message 17 of 24 , May 16, 2010
                                      Hi
                                      I have done some tests with little results with the baking method. When you say 180 degrees, do you mean celsius or fahrenheit. Also when you have baked the leather dry, you take it out then? Do you re-soak the leather once its dry and redo the prosses?

                                      Fraser


                                      > For hardening, I use the bake method. There's been a lot of debate on which was used in period, boiling or baking. Probably both. Cuir bouille is boiled leather. Cuir cuit is baked. Don't hold me to the spellings. I prefer the bake method because I have more control. And I don't have to worry about handling hot water. Same temp range 160-180. 180 is generally considered ideal. It must be at least 160 for the proper reactions to happen in the leather. The water is merely how the temperature is transferred more or less evenly thru the piece. One of the reasons I find it easier to control. The water should already be totally saturated thru when you start baking. In the immersion method, you may not get the water 100% thru the piece, especially if you're using something like a sole bend.
                                      >
                                      > Basic steps:
                                      >
                                      > 1. Immerse the leather in room temperature-ish (not hot!) water for several hours. If you want to get real exact, test out some bigger pieces of scrap, and cut them open to see if your soak time is sufficient.
                                      >
                                      > 2. Let the leather case. If you do carving/stamping/tooling, you already know how to identify when. If not, it's when the leather is almost back to it's original color, you can still feel the cool damp on it, and it's not floppy any more. Bend into a couple curves. if those curves stay put, it's cased.
                                      >
                                      > 3. Preheat oven to 180. You should use a thermometer because oven thermostats aren't necessarily accurate.
                                      >
                                      > 4. Put the piece into the oven, as centered as possible. DO NOT PLACE DIRECTLY ON RACK! If you do, the points at which the leather touches the rack will harden very fast, and get crispy. This means chuck it out, start over. I've used a lot of aluminum foil layers (enough that it was stiff enough for me to carry the piece on the foil), and I've used wood. The oven doesn't get near the flash point of the wood, so that's safe. You may draw sap out of the wood, tho. But the wood insulates well, and you avoid crisping on the contacted points.
                                      >
                                      > 5. Check every 10, 15 or 20 minutes. Whichever you're more comfortable with. Just don't leave it too long. This is mostly so you can adjust any shifts in the shape of your piece. If something sags, or warps a bit, it gives you a chance to fix it.
                                      >
                                      > 6. Once it's as rigid as you want, or feels dry, take it out. Also, if you see burnt or beef jerky looking spots, take it out.
                                      >
                                      > 7. Give 24 hours air-drying to make sure it's dry.
                                      >
                                      > As for dying it, I usually do it after hardening and drying, but I know guys who dye it before hand.
                                      >
                                      > There's something else you can do in conjunction with baking it, or even without baking. I use a mixture of either 1 part Titebond 3 glue to 5 parts or 10 parts water. Titebond 3 is great. It's water soluble while it's liquid, but once it dries, it's not longer water soluble. It creates a good strong matrix in the leather. Same thing wax does, but this won't soften in heat or excessive wet. You can brush the mixture on, but I prefer to immerse it in the solution. That way it penetrates deeper with less of me brushing it on.
                                      >
                                      > Hope this helps some.
                                      > Chistopher
                                      >
                                      > --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "hasscoc" <hasscoc@> wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > Hi
                                      > > I do a lot of hardened leather by a wax method. I have noticed that when I recieved a cut into the leather, the dye only lyes on the serface for the leather, even if I have dyed both sides of it. I tend to soak the leather between 15 mins - 2hours.
                                      > >
                                      > > How do you dye through the leather? Would I weaken it by doing so?
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > Also has anyone found a method of water or baking hardening leather?
                                      > >
                                      >
                                    • ren_junkie
                                      Fahrenheit. If you go over 212 Fahrenheit,it boils inside the piece, and you get shrunken jerky. Yep, take it out when dry. Or maybe a hair before that if
                                      Message 18 of 24 , May 17, 2010
                                        Fahrenheit. If you go over 212 Fahrenheit,it boils inside the piece, and you get shrunken jerky.

                                        Yep, take it out when dry. Or maybe a hair before that if you're getting dark spots. Don't resoak it, that undoes what you've just done.

                                        It takes a while to tweak. Make sure you are starting with leather that the water has soaked all the way thru. And it shouldn't be soaking wet when it goes in the oven. Soak it for some hours, and let it air dry for a few hours. You want it cased (damp but able to hold its shape), not sopping when it goes in. If it's like a wet noodle, it's not ready for baking yet.

                                        And you have to be using sufficiently thick leather. 4/5 oz leather doesn't get real hard. A sole bend turns very hard. Feels and sounds a bit like wood. I wouldn't go below 8 oz. And that will be very tough stuff, but it will retain surprising flex. This is no bad thing (in armour terms), as it helps dissipate the force of a blow. I prefer the sole bends, myself. A lot of people feel they're too much, as they are actually compressed leather, making them much more dense than other 1/4" thick leathers. They're tough to cut (I use a jigsaw), but I find them wonderfully consistent. I wish I could find a good source of them in 9/10 oz (sole bends, not just regular bends).

                                        Hope this helps some. Keep at it. At some point it will all come together for you.

                                        Christopher

                                        --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "hasscoc" <hasscoc@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Hi
                                        > I have done some tests with little results with the baking method. When you say 180 degrees, do you mean celsius or fahrenheit. Also when you have baked the leather dry, you take it out then? Do you re-soak the leather once its dry and redo the prosses?
                                        >
                                        > Fraser
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > > For hardening, I use the bake method. There's been a lot of debate on which was used in period, boiling or baking. Probably both. Cuir bouille is boiled leather. Cuir cuit is baked. Don't hold me to the spellings. I prefer the bake method because I have more control. And I don't have to worry about handling hot water. Same temp range 160-180. 180 is generally considered ideal. It must be at least 160 for the proper reactions to happen in the leather. The water is merely how the temperature is transferred more or less evenly thru the piece. One of the reasons I find it easier to control. The water should already be totally saturated thru when you start baking. In the immersion method, you may not get the water 100% thru the piece, especially if you're using something like a sole bend.
                                        > >
                                        > > Basic steps:
                                        > >
                                        > > 1. Immerse the leather in room temperature-ish (not hot!) water for several hours. If you want to get real exact, test out some bigger pieces of scrap, and cut them open to see if your soak time is sufficient.
                                        > >
                                        > > 2. Let the leather case. If you do carving/stamping/tooling, you already know how to identify when. If not, it's when the leather is almost back to it's original color, you can still feel the cool damp on it, and it's not floppy any more. Bend into a couple curves. if those curves stay put, it's cased.
                                        > >
                                        > > 3. Preheat oven to 180. You should use a thermometer because oven thermostats aren't necessarily accurate.
                                        > >
                                        > > 4. Put the piece into the oven, as centered as possible. DO NOT PLACE DIRECTLY ON RACK! If you do, the points at which the leather touches the rack will harden very fast, and get crispy. This means chuck it out, start over. I've used a lot of aluminum foil layers (enough that it was stiff enough for me to carry the piece on the foil), and I've used wood. The oven doesn't get near the flash point of the wood, so that's safe. You may draw sap out of the wood, tho. But the wood insulates well, and you avoid crisping on the contacted points.
                                        > >
                                        > > 5. Check every 10, 15 or 20 minutes. Whichever you're more comfortable with. Just don't leave it too long. This is mostly so you can adjust any shifts in the shape of your piece. If something sags, or warps a bit, it gives you a chance to fix it.
                                        > >
                                        > > 6. Once it's as rigid as you want, or feels dry, take it out. Also, if you see burnt or beef jerky looking spots, take it out.
                                        > >
                                        > > 7. Give 24 hours air-drying to make sure it's dry.
                                        > >
                                        > > As for dying it, I usually do it after hardening and drying, but I know guys who dye it before hand.
                                        > >
                                        > > There's something else you can do in conjunction with baking it, or even without baking. I use a mixture of either 1 part Titebond 3 glue to 5 parts or 10 parts water. Titebond 3 is great. It's water soluble while it's liquid, but once it dries, it's not longer water soluble. It creates a good strong matrix in the leather. Same thing wax does, but this won't soften in heat or excessive wet. You can brush the mixture on, but I prefer to immerse it in the solution. That way it penetrates deeper with less of me brushing it on.
                                        > >
                                        > > Hope this helps some.
                                        > > Chistopher
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "hasscoc" <hasscoc@> wrote:
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Hi
                                        > > > I do a lot of hardened leather by a wax method. I have noticed that when I recieved a cut into the leather, the dye only lyes on the serface for the leather, even if I have dyed both sides of it. I tend to soak the leather between 15 mins - 2hours.
                                        > > >
                                        > > > How do you dye through the leather? Would I weaken it by doing so?
                                        > > >
                                        > > >
                                        > > > Also has anyone found a method of water or baking hardening leather?
                                        > > >
                                        > >
                                        >
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