Need Advice on Tools

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Need Advice on Tools

Post  Diabolus Vile on Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:02 pm

What kind of tools would one use to cut something like 16 gauge steel sheets? I took a look at the armor patterns Izec posted and found a couple of designs that I really liked. One is the 15th century brigandine, but because that looks very complex it'll probably be a long term project. The other two are the leather helm and splinted arms. I realize you can use a drill on the sheets, or a punch of some kind, but I can't think of what you'd use to cut them. The only thing that comes to mind would be some kind of cutting torch but that seems excessive for a thin sheet of metal.

I don't know if anyone here works with metal much, but are the many smithing hammers and tools needed to make basic designs or could you just use a ball-peen hammer?
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Re: Need Advice on Tools

Post  Alex on Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:18 pm

I'd highly recommend investing in a good set of aircraft shears. You can find them at Sears, Home Depot, Harbor Freight, or any other serious tool store.

They're like tin snips/shears, but are better built, and come in straight, left-curve, and right-curve to make cleaner cuts. Be careful though - cutting sheet metal yields some VERY sharp edges.

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Re: Need Advice on Tools

Post  Izec on Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:13 pm

Obelisk, I haven't worked metal much, but luckily there are plenty of others who have and are more than willing to share their information. I came across this page a while back, and it explains the usefulness of everything from hammer+chisel all the way to super nifty water jet cutting machines:
http://www.armourarchive.org/essays/sasha_metal_cutting/

I personally have use a Harbor Freight brand throatless shear,and it worked great, but from what I understand they are real hit or miss in terms of quality. Good luck!

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Re: Need Advice on Tools

Post  Diabolus Vile on Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:05 am

I took a look at the page and my budget would allow me to get the hammer and chisel, the aviation cutters, or the hacksaws. I'm thinking about the aviation shears and may have to take a look at the store later on.

I saw the HF one Izec were talking about and it keeps telling me it's horrible lol. *shrug* For now I'm just going to work on a leather helm and buy some chainmail links till I can figure out what to do.
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Re: Need Advice on Tools

Post  Casimir on Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:14 am

It is cheaper to just wind 18 guage wire around a dowel rod and cut your own rings, if you are looking to save a little more green. I could send you some info on the setup when I either, A) get around to it, or B) stop being lazy.
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Re: Need Advice on Tools

Post  Alex on Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:13 am

Chainmail is quite labor intensive, but the end effect is quite cool.

If you use 18 guage, remember that your maximum link size is 1/4" unless you find a way to seal the rings shut (which is quite a hassle).

If you come to the sword making class and finish early (or stay late), I have the tools and supplies to wind and cut 17 guage galvanized rings. My experience is extremely limited, but I'm happy to share.

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