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  1. I've been working on augmenting my existing arm protection, which is adequate for nylon sword simulators, but I want more for steel. Plus, armor is cool! This is the whole shebang together: Leather: unknown source -- I have a variety of veg-tan leather, and these pieces are from the bellies I got last year. Dye: Angelus Burgundy, and gold Acrylic paint. The arm guard is meant for motorcyle use, but it covers all the bone points of the elbow and has a nice 90 degree articulation. But that 90 degree caused problems in this design -- originally there was just one piece riveted to the plastic plate. But I found that I need the arm to close to a more acute angle than 90 (30 or 40 degrees), so the elbow kept popping open and locking. Oops... So this is my solution-- I cut the piece in half, and added an articulating lame at the back. So now I get this: Note the lugs just under the circular pivot joint -- those are meant to only go 90 degrees, yet they can pop out under stress. The articulated lame lets the arm bend more: You can see the cracks in the cuir boulli leather -- there are just so many variables that make it a risky proposition. The surface here is rigid, but the leather underneath is not. The lame is water hardened a different way-- I got it wet, shaped it and dished it (onto the plastic here) and then let it dry in the sun. I am lot more satisfied with that method (I've used a wall heater in the winter to do the same thing). I used split rivets to fasten the lower leather piece to the plastic (easier to remove them in the future) after drilling three holes in the plastic. The rerebrace is closed using cotter pins -- eventually I may have additional holes so that I can close it tighter if I want. And inside, held on by the bronze covered rivets, is a Kydex plate (.080 thickness), heated into a nice U shape with a heat gun, adding a layer of plastic rigidity to the leather. Here's a shot of the backside: The cutout over the split rivet will make removal a lot easier. The articulating lame is sewn to the lower plate, and riveted to the upper plate. After I put the articulating rivets in, I'll test this Wednesday night and see how it goes. I may also take the heat gun to the plastic "dish" pieces and flare them out so they'll "catch" on each other, preventing any pop-open.
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