evaengineer

Armor Project, Sewing, And A Big Buy; Could Use Suggestions!

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(I was told this was the right area to post this in, so sorry for those who see this as a doublepost.)

Hello! So, this is my first post on leatherworker.net, and I have quite a few questions regarding leather weight, purchase inquiries, leather types, and copper rivets. But first, some background...

My name is Caracal Keithrafferty, and I'm located right by Milwaukee, WI. I made my first large purchase of leather tools, dyes, and hardware late last summer. The tools I have are:

Knives

V-Gouge

Awl

Edge Beveler (Sz. 3)

Parallel Stitch Groover

2 Overstitch Wheels (Sz. 5 + 6)

Bone Folder

Edge Slicker

Wood Hammer (I was considering an epoxy or rubber hammer; can't afford a good rawhide one)

2 cutting mats

Dyes and liquids (and related items) I have are:

Wool Daubers

EvoStik Time Bond Contact Adhesive (haven't used it; not really sure when, how, or where one would use it)

Carnauba Creme

Gum Tragacanth

Tan-Kote

Neatsfoot Oil (Never used it, not quite sure what it's for)

Leather Sheen

8 different dyes

Hardware (and related items) I have are:

Lots of scrap leather from Hobby Lobby; mostly small pieces.

A couple different hammering tools

2 small anvils (one is damaged)

O-Rings

D-Rings

TIny buckles

Various rivets

*Note: To describe the rivets and other hardware further might be challenging. I know I have some snaps, and I can set those properly. I have many tiny eyelets (the ones that mushroom out; one piece). I have a couple of grommets (2 pieces, brass look to them), but I don't believe I have any of the necessary setting tools. I have some single cap rivets I believe, but they are missing the male end I believe. I used all my copper rivets; even with improper tools, I made use of them (and I plan to purchase many more in the future. Any suggestions on what I'd want?). Aside from those, I have some other ones I'll call mystery rivets... I've got some that are long tubes (7/16 inch or so) that are unthreaded on the inside. I'm not sure how they're used. I've got other ones that look like grommets, but are non-flowering like the eyelets, and have a short shaft. I don't know if they're part of something. There's another kind that seems similar in for to the snaps, but is missing a 4th piece. They are definitely different from the standard ones; one cap has a little piece of metal lifted up, another part has tiny holes and grooves on it, maybe implying that it's supposed to change shape when tooled. Another kind I have are only few in number, but they're flat-bottomed, have a moderate/small sized shaft, and have a tiny hole at the end of the shaft. Lastly, I've got some solid ones that I have no idea how to set. They have long shafts, end in a dome on one end, and about 2/3 of the way down from the dome have a disc solidly on the item. It may be related to a Sam Brown rivet, but I am unsure. I also have several split pins, but I don't know if they're related to leatherworking at all.

Those are all the leatherworking related items I have at my disposal currently. I do not know how to sew leather, and I am not quite sure where to start. All the items I've seen sewn so far have been with very thin leather, and I hardly to never work with thin leather. Can anyone suggest some hand tools for me to use? I did some brief research and though about buying, but I have no idea where to start. I cannot afford machinery, but hand tools might work.

I have dyed some leather a fair amount, and I've learned how to smooth edges and backs of leather well enough. So, as far as that goes, I have down the technique, just not the perfection. I can hammer rivets well, and I can cut leather just fine. But what I need now is information on leather weight, proper leather types, and other items needed for making basic armor for LARPing. I've got a friend who wants me to make him some armor. It doesn't need to protect much, and he's seeking form over function. I also want to sell at other LARPing conventions.

More details on armor:

My friend Geoff has commissioned me to make him a set of armor consisting of: pauldrons (shoulder armor) that go from arm-to-arm over the shoulders, covering the arms up to the elbows; greaves (shin armor) that go up to the knees, but don't cover them too much (I have this part mostly done, should I post photos?); sabatons (foot armor) that cover the instep of the foot, and covers the ankle bone on either side; and that largest part being the breastplate (front body armor), which only needs to cover the chest, the belly, part of the sides, the collarbone, and little to none of the lower back. He also told me that a long term project I could do with him would be a plumed helmet. Another one would be a Romanesque skirt. The overall look he's going for would be somewhat similar to a roman soldier with a mix of some medieval aspects. It does not need to be historically correct, just similar in its look. What I'm not worried about is making the whole project aesthetically pleasing. Geoff said he doesn't mind nicks and damages to the leather, as long as the overall product is good. It can be made of lots of straps and things on it without much worry. What matters is that it looks good, fits semi-comfortably, and is thick enough to protect against foam swords (they can actually hit fairly hard, should I get 7-8, 8-9, or 9-10 oz leather?) For reference, Geoff is a pretty big guy; he's about 6' 2" and weighs around 230 lbs.

What I seek to learn:

What I really need to know now is what kind of leather I should purchase. To cover the pauldrons, sabatons, and breastplate, I hope to spend less than $175 on leather. I'd like to purchase leather that's bleached or white so I can dye it easily to my liking. So, what suggested weight (oz) leather should I grab, what specific type of leather should I grab (rawhide?), and where should I get it? I have a Federal Tax ID #, so I can purchase from wholesale suppliers, but I don't know if I'd be purchasing enough for the venture to be worth it, or if I should just stick with eBay or wherever you guys suggest. I currently have only a catalog from Weaver (thoughts on the company?), and I'm curious where I should go from here.

Overall list of questions:

Important:

What leather weight do I want for making pauldrons, sabatons, and a breastplate?

What type of leather do I want for making pauldrons, sabatons, and a breastplate?

What amount of leather would I want for making pauldrons, sabatons, and a breastplate?

Where should I purchase my leather?

What other leather related items should I purchase?

Not as important, but still curious:

Should I post pictures of my leather progress and various works?

Should I post pictures of the mystery rivets?

What tools should I get for copper rivets?

When is leather adhesive used?

When is stitching used in leatherwork?

Is stitching the same as sewing (if not, when is sewing used in leatherwork?)?

Any ideas on what the mystery rivets were?

(Sorry if some questions seem like they can just be googled; I really prefer to ask people because it allows me to respond for clarification.)

Thanks much for reading all this. If any parts need clarifying, please let me know! This is a large project for me, and I hope to learn a lot from it!

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You will want veg tan leather for just about any kind you could want to make. The weight will depend on the game. Some have rule on the weight. Dag and belegarth both are 12oz or 3/16. Reverse engineer a pic of armor you like on card board and lay it out and see how much you need. Copper rivets can be set with a rivet and burr setter. They are about 15 at tandy.

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To quote:

Please support LarpCraft! Buy your digital or print rulebooks at http://liveactionproducts.com/larpcraft/

Copyright LarpCraft Inc. 2013

Chapter 7 - Armor

Armor helps defend your character so you can outlast your enemy. Our system of armor is quite possibly the simplest system you may ever use. It allows for fast game play without huge number counting.

Depending on class, a character may be able to use all, some, or no armors, including shields. You will want to check out the classes and races pertaining to what a character can wear. Weapons and Armor inspection will make sure your armor cannot impale players via large spikes or will not be a safety issue, etc. You will be told your armor value at the time of weapons check but our system allows players to easily see what their opponent count is without needing game admin help or special credentials. This helps keep the game fair and makes it easy for a character to judge as to whether to fight or not.

You do not have to know how to use 1 type of armor in order to progress to the next. This means if you have a metal breastplate, you can learn heavy armor without the need to first learn medium or light armor sets. Armor is a global system that is applied to your character upon entry. We do not differentiate between limb and critical hits for armor to keep the game moving and for less confusion. When you are hit and you have armor you simply say "Armor" when hit. This can be done for as many armor points your character holds in battle.

How to play in armor

When you get your armor checked at registration, you will get your final armor count from the Elder. To use armor in the game first you must have the skill to wear said armor on your profile here on LarpCraft.com. If anyone is caught using armor they do not have the skill for your account could be suspended or you could be banned from the event... so don't pull that.

Ok so now you have the skill on your profile, you have the armor on (in this example let’s say you have a metal breastplate on worth 3 armor). When you are struck you call out "Armor" and deduct a point from your total. Now if you didn't die and say you destroyed your opponent in battle and only lost 1 armor point, you do not start over with 3 points next battle. You will have damaged armor and will only be able to use the 2 points you have left. If you wish to fix your armor you must visit a blacksmith to regain your points. Death does not fix armor. You can’t respawn with it fixed.

Now, let’s say you still have the 2 points and didn't mend your armor. You begin another battle and take 2 more blows of which you call "Armor". You are now out of armor points and will begin taking damage as if you had nothing on at all. For this example let’s say you took the 2 blows but once again took out your adversary. Now that the battle is over and the armor is completely destroyed you should take the armor off and get it fixed. If you cannot fix it for one reason or another you must leave it off and put it away until fixed or the next full game. If you have any additional armor questions, please be sure to contact your Elders.

Armor Safety

Armor must fit your character well and be free of broken straps so that it doesn't fall off in combat. Armor cannot have any points on it that would endanger you or others around you. Armor should not pinch or bind on a character and it is recommended that if you wear any armor that you have a gambeson on. We must inspect your armor before the game starts. If the edges are too sharp, it will not be allowed (think of it as “would this rip a foam weapon if it caught my armor”).Helms must be padded in order to be used.

To learn an armor skill you must use your XP points to gain the ability to wear any specific set of armor. Your chest piece will dictate your main armor count based on type of material used. In addition to your torso armor you can gain additional armor points from wearing items on your arms, head, legs and shoulders. The amount of damage armor can take is "global", meaning it doesn't matter where your hit. To use the above example, you can be struck three times in the same arm before you lose the limb, or once in the chest and twice in the same leg before you start taking real damage.

XP and level requirements are located in chapter 4 and it is based on your class (since many things have cross-class abilities so values will fluctuate). If you don't see the skill listed in your class, then that class can't learn said skill.

Armor Definitions

No Armor, Cloth or Fur

Anyone can wear any of these items at any time. It doesn’t offer you any armor points.

Light Armor

What it does: Gives character a +1 torso armor count while wearing Leather armor.Achievement Code: A1

Medium Armor

What it does: Gives character a +2 torso armor count while wearing Scale mail, Splint mail, Banded mail, Brigandine, Chain mail and all other flexible metal armor. This also includes leather armor reinforced with steel plating that covers a minimum of 50% of the armor. Achievement Code: A2

Heavy Armor

What it does: Gives character a +3 torso armor count while wearing Breastplate, Half-plate, Full plate metal armor. Achievement Code: A3

+ (plus) Armor

What it does: Allows character to wear any and all types of plus Armors. Types of plus armors are armors that cover your arms, legs, shoulders and head. More information about these armors is listed below.

Achievement Code: A4

·Arms: Must have at least light leather armor to get +1 armor. Arms must be covered with bracers and made of at least leather armor. You can also count Chainmaille / Maille if the armor comes down to about the wrist. (Must have both arms covered in order to count, however they do not have to match or be of the same material). Gives characters a +1 armor count that can be used alone or in addition to torso armor.

·Legs: Must have at least light leather armor to get +1 armor. Legs must be covered with greaves that cover most of the shin. Upper leggings also give you the +1 armor. Chainmaille / Maille will not count for leg armor even if it covers the legs. (Must have both legs covered in order to count, however they do not have to match or be of the same material)

·Shoulders: Must be wearing metal or leather pauldrons (must have both shoulders covered in order to count, however they do not have to match or be of the same material). Shoulder armor gives a character +1 armor.

·Helm: +1 armor point for wearing a heavy leather, chain coif or full metal Helm. Metal helm must be padded inside and safe for LARP. This is a global armor point and while you may have protection over your head, intentional head shots are not allowed.

Full Armor

* Must already have the +Armor skill

What it does: This skill gives the character an armor bonus for wearing a full suit of armor equal to the armor given by the worn torso piece: +1 for leather, +2 for chain, +3 for plate. In order for the Full Armor Achievement to take effect, the character must be wearing all + Armor items and breast/back plate. If you take even 1 of these things off, you lose the ability to use this skill. This skill honors those who wear the heaviest armor throughout an entire game. Achievement Code: A5

Additional Armor Rules

Armor is stackable. This means you can wear a chain shirt under plate or leather armor which would give you a torso count of 5 for plate/chain and 3 for chain/leather. Yes, it would stack if you could wear leather armor, chain and plate to a max torso count of 6 but doing so would be really heavy and nearly impossible to fight in. As always realm Elders will give the final armor count at registration of an event.

+ Armors could also see benefits of stacking with chain shirt under bracers etc. Again, your local realm Elders will decide how many points they feel your items are worth.

Armor Destruction & Repair

In the event that your armor is damaged during gameplay, you can regain your armor points by visiting an armorsmith in either the village or via another character who has the ability and materials. Characters who repair armor receive additional XP per item they fix and may require something in trade for doing the work (in game currency, trade item etc.)."

I didn't see anything about leather weight requirements. of leather at least.

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They make no mention of weight that I can see. I woul just ask the person how heavy they want it. That way if its not right it's not on you. If they don't list it i would guess they let you go light as its not for real protection like in sca.

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Well, I showed him what I made so far and he said, "Cool, works with me bro!"

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For expert training on hand stitching, search YouTube for "Nigel Armitage leather" videos (he's a poster on this forum). He shows the way it's meant to be done.

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What type of leather do I want for making pauldrons, sabatons, and a breastplate?

It depends--are you tooling it? If so, you'll need to use tooling leather. If you're not tooling the pieces, you can use tooling leather anyway (since you can dye it) or you can use other pre-dyed leather of the right weight.

What amount of leather would I want for making pauldrons, sabatons, and a breastplate?

That's hard to say, without having the patterns on hand. You'll want a complete set of patterns to lay out next to each other, to figure out square footage.

Where should I purchase my leather?

I can't make any clear recommendations for this, whether it is better to handle the leather first or trust to the seller/shipper to send you what you wanted. There are a variety of leather suppliers online, and I suspect that other forum members will be able to make recommendations to you.

What other leather related items should I purchase?

I don't see any kind of dedicated skiving tool in your list, nor a strap maker. You can get by without a strap maker (steady hand, sharp knife, and metal straight edge work fine), but they are nice to have. A skiver, on the other hand, is something you may find useful.

Edited by DJole

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EvoStik Time Bond Contact Adhesive (haven't used it; not really sure when, how, or where one would use it)

My understanding of adhesives is that they are often used to fasten 2 leather pieces together prior to stitching/riveting. Adhesives are also used to glue a lining to a backing piece, and for glueing rolled edges down.

8 different dyes

Who made the dyes, and are they spirit, oil or water-based dyes? If they're water based dyes, you will want to think twice before using them on armor which will be exposed to moisture (rain, sweat, etc.)

Edited by DJole

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Alright, I'll give your questions a shot. Here we go. Please keep in mind I have not made armor specifically. This is general leathercraft advice.

What leather weight do I want for making pauldrons, sabatons, and a breastplate?

The advice I have seen poking around SCA resources is that 8oz to 12oz leather is typical for most armors. A leather weight conversion chart can be found at http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/infoandservices/leatherguide/leatherguide.aspx

What type of leather do I want for making pauldrons, sabatons, and a breastplate?

You will want Vegtable tanned (veg-tan) or what is sometimes called tooling leather. For armor you will likely want to water mold or water harden your projects, and veg-tan is the only leather that does this. For the thicknesses you want, you will want to look for either veg-tan advertised as belt leather on the lower end of that thickness, or saddle skirting on the thicker side.

What amount of leather would I want for making pauldrons, sabatons, and a breastplate?

Once more see http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-usd/home/infoandservices/leatherguide/leatherguide.aspx for square foot information.

Where should I purchase my leather?

Springfield Leather Co. www.http://springfieldleather.com/ Done, and done. Seriously, there are other suppliers, but these people are awsome.

What other leather related items should I purchase?

Skiving knife, and a good stiching awl or stching chisels are all I can think of off hand, You have a pretty good starting set.

Not as important, but still curious:

Should I post pictures of my leather progress and various works?

Yes, everyone here is happy to help along the way.

Should I post pictures of the mystery rivets?

Maybe, maybe not. If you need a name, go ahead, If not, don't worry about it.

What tools should I get for copper rivets?

Copper rivet setters are pretty self explanatory. The only other tool that is helpful are metal snips to trim the rivet post.

When is leather adhesive used?

To stick to pieces of leather together, usually on the edge for stitching.

When is stitching used in leatherwork?

To stich two pieces together. An alternitive is rivieting.

Is stitching the same as sewing (if not, when is sewing used in leatherwork?)?

Same thing, Sewing and stitching are used interchangably by most leatherworkers.

Any ideas on what the mystery rivets were?

They're rivets. There are a few diffrent types on how they secure around the hole in the leather and you can learn the names as you go, but basically they're rivets.

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Ahh, thank you guys so much! Going to a larp event today, Saturday, and Sunday to get a feel on what everybody is going to be wearing, and a potential market!

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