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Re: [SCA-JML] Re: 32 or 62 plate helm's

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  • Donald J. Luby
    ... Actually, An Tir does have one of the highest calibrations (in terms of blow force delivered) in the SCA, on a kingdom-wide scale; but I play with people
    Message 1 of 72 , Sep 7, 2003
      On Sunday, September 7, 2003, at 10:21 PM, Jason Silver wrote:

      > Greetings Sir Koredono-Dono
      > Glad to have your responce.. My responces are intermixed.. :)
      > --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, Donald J. Luby <djl@t...> wrote:
      >> I really think that for a 32-plate kabuto you needn't go any heavier
      >> than 16 ga.; heck, if it were legal, it actually suggest 18 ga. The
      >> reason for the 16 ga. requirement for SCA helms is primarily weight,
      >> not strength
      > I understand what your saying.. Here is my concern... First, In An Tir
      > the minimums is 16 ga., but my concern is for those who do use a 16 ga
      > helm, I have seen them get dented time and again (maybe our fighters
      > just hit harder? ;) LOL )

      Actually, An Tir does have one of the highest calibrations (in terms of
      blow force delivered) in the SCA, on a kingdom-wide scale; but I play
      with people from the East (esp, the NY/NJ area) and Atlantia all the
      time who have comparable, if not higher, blow calibrations; I have a
      friend in NYC who had his squire switch to an 8 ga. raised helmet
      because the 12 ga. one was getting dented too much.

      > , any ways, that does concern me.. If I am making a helm that is
      > multi-plate the last thing I want is that helm getting dented, can you
      > imagine trying to pound out the dent from a multi-plate helm?

      Actually, yes, I can. While my 18-plate bowl has gotten a few dents
      over the years - it was my regular helmet for more than 10 years, and
      is still my practice (as opposed to tourney/event) helmet - because of
      the size of the plates pounding them out really isn't that bad. The
      32-plate bowl, OTOH, because of the size of plates relative to the
      overlap of plates is much smaller (and thus, the percentage of any
      given plate that is overlapped at least once is much higher), has no
      dents, not do I expect any - remember, on average, it's the equivalent
      of perhaps 8 ga steel or more, made out of 16 ga plates.

      So, while I understand your concerns for denting, I do not that think a
      16 ga. 32-palte bowl kabuto will get any significant dents in the bowl
      in any short period of time (<5 yr), unless someone hits it *really*

      >> In the course of my SCA fighting career (17+ yrs) I have worn three
      >> kabuto - one with a spun bowl, with with 18 plates, and one with 32
      >> plates, all made from 16 ga., and the overlap of the plates is the
      >> same (~.5"); for comparison, I also happen to have a 3-plate 14 ga.
      >> kabuto. The spun bowl is obviously going to be the minimum weight of
      >> the bunch, and it comes in around 8 lbs, while the 14 ga. 3-plate is
      >> around 9 lbs.; these two are considered 'safe' by SCA standards, and
      >> about what a 'normal' helmet weighs. Compared to that, the 18-plate
      >> comes in at 12.5 lbs, and the 32-plate weighs a whopping 15+ lbs;
      >> this is because of the amount of overlapping of the plates (at the
      >> top of the bowl, there are places under the hachi where there are
      >> four plates completely overlapping). Many fighters who have picked
      >> up my 32-plate bowl kabuto claim it is the heaviest helmet they've
      >> ever lifted, or at least in the top 1% - 3%.
      > Ok, I have a spun top as well, 14 ga, the only dent I have is in the
      > side of the helm... Have you ever had a dent in the 18 or 32 plate
      > helm?

      See above.
      The only significant dent in the 18-plate bowl is (as you're wearing
      it) the front/left upper quadrant, about where a right-handed flat
      snap, coming down and in at a 45 degree angle to the ground, would hit.
      That happened after I'd been wearing that helm for 8 or 9 years
      regularly (once or twice a week, every week, to practice, plus probably
      20 - 30 fighting events a year), and getting that dent was the impetus
      to ordering my 32-plate bowl kabuto. I should mention that I fought
      with that helm for another 1.5 years before getting the dent pounded
      out, and since then, the dent has not gotten worse again, even with the
      abuse it's gotten since (2 - 3 fighting practices a week, plus 30 - 40
      fighting events a year except for the past year, for 4 years).

      > The basic idea is to get plates that if stacked 3 on top of each other
      > they would have the thickness of a 16 ga or 14 ga sheet..

      I'm not sure I quite understand - are you planning on making the plates
      initially out of something significantly thinner than 16 ga such that
      three thicknesses would be as thick as 14 - 16 ga, or are you planning
      on making it out of 3 thicknesses of 14 or 16 ga to start with?
      If the first case, it may be legal, assuming you have complete overlap
      to make it at least 14 or 16 ga, but I'm not completely sure.
      If the second, I think that's just complete overkill.

      > Once we have that thickness figured out we can take it from there..
      > The plates will overlap each other by 2/3's so that where ever a rivet
      > is there are 3 plates to go through, sure a little harder but more
      > period I would think and would conform to SCA standards a bit better..
      > If it would helm I can post a copy of the ABC's (An Tir Book of
      > Combat)..

      I downloaded it off the An Tir web page. According to it (and SEM
      policy), under Heavy Rattan VII.A.2.a (Armor Requirements/Armor
      Construction/Helms) (A.1.a under SEM polciy) it says "Helms must be
      constructed of steel of no less than 16 gauge, or of approved
      equivalent material". If you're going with the first plan I mentioned
      above (making the helms out of less than 16 ga. steel but overlapping
      them such that all the layers together are always more than 16 ga.
      thick) I would check with your Earl Marshall before beginning to make
      helms that way - he *may* decide that multiple thickesses of plate that
      sum to greater than 16 ga. are not the equivalent of straight 16 ga.;
      that may depend on the original thickess of the steel you're working
      with, and the net thickness you expect to end up with.
      Personally, I don't have a problem with it *in concept*, though I think
      you'd be better off with two thicknesses of 22 - 24 ga. than three
      thickness of 40 - 50 ga.; but I'd have to do some research before
      allowing myself to being committed on that stance.

      >> So, there are several things which can be learned from this:
      >> 1. a 16 ga. 32-plate bowl kabuto will weigh about twice as much as an
      >> SCA-minimum helmet, and probably about 50% more than 12 ga. helmet
      >> that has little or no overlapping major plates;
      >> 2. a 64-plate bowl kabuto, given the same kinds of construction
      >> parameters (gauge of steel, amount of overlap per plate, and general
      >> size of helmet), I would guess would weigh between 18 and 20 lbs;
      >> 3. a 32-plate bowl *10 ga.* kabuto, made like mine, would weigh, I
      >> would guess, 20 - 25 lbs, and a 64-plate bowl 10 ga. would come in
      >> closer to 30 lbs!
      > Please remember, that in the helms I am looking at doing, each plate
      > is NOT 16 gage, but 3 plates equal out to 16 (or 14) ga.. Will make a
      > difference in weight I would say :)

      Three plates which will sum to 16 ga. ought to weigh exactly the same
      as 16 ga.; in that case, you'll be working with 40 - 50 ga. steel (can
      you even buy that in sheets?), and I can see many marshals having real
      issues with it. I would *definitely* strongly urge that you speak with
      your Earl Marshal before proceeding with actual construction, as he may
      not deem that legal. I know that sounds like a pain and
      rules-lawyering, but if it's not going to considered safe and legal,
      then there's no real use in making it, and it'd be a shame for you to
      put in all that work for nothing.

      Also, I was responding to your post wherein you said you could make
      them up to 10 ga., if so desired; that's where #3 above comes from.

      >> Will all that, I would suggest that for anything more than a 8-plate
      >> bowl, you not make it out of anything heavier than 16 ga - not only
      >> will it be a a real bear to wear, and screw up your center of mass
      >> something terrible, it might even be dangerous (thinking of all that
      >> extra mass on the head when the neck isn't really strong enough for
      >> it gives me a bad feeling).
      >> One more piece of advice I would give, based on opinions of my
      >> favorite local armorers (the ones who've made my kabuto over the
      >> years, who *really* know their stuff) - if you don't want to work
      >> with 'regular' steel, I'd suggest spring steel over stainless. I'm
      >> told that spring steel is far better to work with, more resistant to
      >> dents and other damage, more period, and, if the kabuto is going to
      >> be painted or lacquered, then the 'stainless' aspect is put to waste
      >> (even if it's not painted, unfinished spring steel looks for more
      >> 'real' than unfinished stainless).
      > I will look into spring steel for sure!!!! The only concern I have is
      > that we would have to play with it lots at first to find the correct
      > bend because as soon as it is let out of the die will it not
      > straighten out some what?

      That I'm uncertain of; I know that my armorer who's been playing with
      it a lot in the past couple of years has made some amazing pieces out
      of it (including a set of list-legal finger gauntlets), without any
      tendency for it to 'spring' back into a flat sheet, and another friend
      of mine had this armor made


      for his knighting 5 years ago, out of hardened spring steel; AFAIK, he
      has not had any issues with it deforming in any way whatsoever, nor was
      there any during the construction process.

      > The idea is that we can just put a plate in, stamp it and BINGO a
      > plate is done, almost that fast!! Our goal is to at some point have it
      > so that a 32 or 64 plate helm can be
      > produced in a day.. If we have to do more work to continue the bend
      > then it will slow the time and raise the cost, we honestly hope to
      > produce helms for costs close to what normal helms are selling for..
      > Of course we will offer additions to the helm, each for a small
      > additional price, but by the time we are done a fully completed helm
      > might cost as much as $300.00 or $400.00 but that could possibly
      > include having the helm poweder coated along looking like a full
      > fledged japanese helm with underlying SCA influence ( all it will need
      > is the padding on the inside)..

      That would certainly be *most* excellent - I hate having to repaint my
      helmet every year or so.

      > Also we are looking at having leather bags available for each helmet
      > for additional costs of course.. Lots of little things we are figuring
      > out..
      >> My new kabuto, which will probably be done in about 2 years (an
      >> excellent armorer is worth waiting through his backlog) will be an
      >> 8-plate bowl made of 16 ga. spring steel.
      > OH MOST AGREED! I can only hope that in the future this will be where
      > I am at..
      > I look forward to further conversation on this matter :)


      > Imakawa Shirou Yoshitaka

    • Jason Silver
      Greetings Date-Dono Just a little note.. The helmet in question is not a multiplate helmet, it is a spun top bowl.. 1 solid plate run through a lathe and made
      Message 72 of 72 , Sep 9, 2003
        Greetings Date-Dono

        Just a little note.. The helmet in question is not a multiplate
        helmet, it is a spun top bowl.. 1 solid plate run through a lathe and
        made into a perfect dome.. If squished it should not effect the over
        all strength of the helm.. :)

        Just thought you should know :)

        Imakawa Shirou Yoshitaka

        --- In sca-jml@yahoogroups.com, "Yama Kaminari no Date Saburou
        Yukiie" <kabuto@c...> wrote:
        > <snip>
        > I havent tried it yet, BUT some one told me to take the helm and put
        > it in a press.. Squish it a little so that it is a tad bit oval and
        > that will remove the ringing.. Just was some one told me to do..
        > Sounds good, but does it really work? :)
        > Greetings,
        > With regards to the above, only very early Kabuto Hachi had a
        > footprint. These are Marubachi. - latter kabuto hachi tended to
        > an oval shape built in to it. I don't know if the squash method
        > work to aleviate ringing, but I do know another method...
        > I make my padding in wedge shapes that fit up into the bowl. I take
        > the foam, and make a lining out of red cotton towel...thick and
        > absorbant. I cover the padding so it makes a neat appearance, and
        > barge cement the padding in place.
        > It makes the kabuto easy to get in and out of, and does a lot to
        > dissipate any shot you may take.
        > Some people put minimal padding in the helm...others stuff the
        > in and duct tape it, but I have found my method to be worry-free.
        > After fighting in it, and between bouts, I turn the bowl out to let
        > the towel/foam dry.
        > My menpo is lined in a similar way, and between the padding and the
        > compound curves, it will stop a truck...the dissipation of shots is
        > very reassuring.
        > I have found that if I leave about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap between
        > wedges in the bowl, some air can circulate to and out the
        > this stops the ringing. The sound of the shikoro getting smacked is
        > something that one has to live with, of course, but it is not so bad
        > with the ringing deadened by the bowl padding.
        > From an armoring standpoint, I worry a little about the squish
        > above, since it may put odd stresses on the rivit work...the plates
        > might get torqued slightly out of alignment and not sit flat against
        > each other.
        > I hope this is of some use...
        > Date Saburou Yukiie
        > Yama Kaminari Ryu
        > http://www.kabutographics.com
        > Shi wa hei to de aru - all are equal in the grave...
        > kabuto@c...
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