Armour Archive Faq Version 1.3
Q: What is the Armour Archive?
A: The Armour Archive is a resource for everyone who has an interest
in armour and arms of all types.
Q: Who runs the Armour Archive?
A: The Armour Archive is an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to
act as a sort of executive officer ...
Sorry... the people responsible for writing the FAQ have been sacked.
The Archive is currently "run" by 2 editors,
Lisa -- with assistance from
Matt (the creator of the Archive)
J.T. handles the day-to-day operations, bill paying, and tech support. Lisa
is a research guru. Matt is coming back into some editorial duties after
a sabbatical. Most of the real content on the Archive, though, comes
from a lot of generous souls on the discussion boards, and contributors to
the essay pages, patterns, and other areas. With the editors and posters,
we feel we have a system where people are able to ask questions
and get good solid answers quickly.
Q: Armourer So and So screwed me over in a purchase and I want help getting him/or her back!
A: While we can all understand how you would feel, we remind everyone that
the Archive is neutral ground, and we do not take well to anyone abusing the
hospitality that everyone has worked so hard to build here. Everyone also has
an equal voice, so you can say what ever you wish to about anything here on
the archive. But we remind you that you are also responsible for what ever you
Q. Where do I get rivets? What kind, what size?
and there are more...Solid round head or truss head are the most
useful for metal-to-metal. Flat head if you like the look. 3/16"
dia. x 3/8" length, for the vast majority of jobs. #8 x 5/8"
copper belt rivets give the most durable connection/most
versatile size for attaching leather to steel.
For rivets in exotic metals, or sizes no one else carries [otherwise
Jay-Cee Sales and Rivet
32861 Chesley Dr
Farmington, MI 48336
Q: What size bowl to make in dishing stump?
A: This varies -- anywhere from 3" to 8" wide to 1" to 3" deep.
Normally close to the size of the piece you are dishing. You will
find that smaller ones sometimes work better than big ones. As a
general starter: 6" wide and 2" deep.
Q: How do I cut the sheet metal?
A: Preferred method is a B-2 Beverly Shear. Electric shears and even nibblers will
also work. Cheaper methods include: a jigsaw with metal-cutting
blade [look for at least 18tpi blades, and cut patiently, not
forcing it]; hacksaw or jeweler's/coping saw; chisel.
Q: How do I make holes in the metal for rivets?
A: Most common tool is a drill [use 135-degree split-point bits;
avoid *gimmick* bits like bullet-points, but cobalt and TiN-coated
bits work well], but a whitney punch is much handier for making a
lot of identical holes.
Q: How do I [name any basic technique, like dish a kneecop, planish,
or articulate an elbow joint]
A: Please check the essays section of the Archive.
If you don't find the answer, then ask on the Armor Design and Construction
board on the discussion forums.
Q: What is a spun bowl and why am I condemned to Archive Hell if
I want to buy one. Insert plastic here too.
A: A spun top(top not bowl) is a modern innovation (we might be wrong
on this, and are open to authoritative correction) that has become
common place in helm construction. Worse than not being a period
method, it has this funky hole in the top from the spinning process,
it has circular "streaks" that scream I was spun, it's round
rather than oval, and for the same cost of a spun top one can
purchase a much better looking and more authentic helm.
[i]Side bar:the use of plastic - Members of the archive are some what
divided on the use of plastic, they are the "steel rules"
and the "plastic is okay, if no one can see it". Both sides
can be quite loud about their particular opinions, but all seem to
agree that if, in the end the person using plastic is able to maintain
a more authentic looking kit, then it is at least acceptable.
Q: I have hurt myself, by being stupid and am losing blood. What now?!?
A: Stop surfing the web! Apply direct pressure to the wound, and call 911.
Direct pressure will help prevent blood loss and give you a better
chance of survival. Always keep a well stocked first aid kit around.
Make sure you have your insurance cards handy if you go to the emergency room.
If it was something really stupid you did, DONT DO IT AGAIN!
If it was incredibly stupid, please tell us about it after you're better.
We like to laugh at stupidity, so long as everyone ends up okay in the end.
Q: What dishing stump is the right size for the actual armour piece
I'm working on?
A: When I have a new pattern I use to draw a circle on it as large as
possible without leaving the pattern. This is the size for my dishing
depression I chisel into a wooden stump.
I made a picture to show what I mean. The red line is the size for the
Dishing stump. The dish in a dishing stump should be basically slightly
bigger then your dishing hammer head. This will get you every
size and shape of dish you want. If you use powertools to make it
read the first aid instructions before starting.
I've seen an interesting way to make a dishing stump. Michah (known on
the archive as the_damned_dane) did a little experiment a while back.
He made a dishing stump by cutting out the bowl with a die
grinder. It made lots of smoke but he ended up with a real nice
Q: What type of armour should I get/use?
A: Be more specific. Tell us what year/era, region and what it is for.
Tell us what style you are interested in. Then we can help you. Also
go to your local libray and look it up; there are usually some
books in both juvenile and adult that should help you find a
direction or at least give you some history or idea about the
culture/people you are asking about. And finally ask Norman.
Q: Most generic "how do I..." questions?
A: Do a subject search on the Archive and check the FAQ sheet,
then narrow your question down to something a little more specific if
it was not covered well enough in the FAQs or archived posts.
Q: I'd like to make armor but I don't have a forge. Where do I get
one or how can I make one.
A: Actually most modern armor reproductions are worked cold.
Which means you really don't need a forge to make armor. However
a forge is necessary for some the most difficult aspects of making very
accurate reproductions of some types of armor. If you decide that
you do need a forge to make armor then you would have asked how
do I make a forge. This question is one that is asked by new
people. If you already know a bit about making armor then talk to
Armadillo. Just be sure to bring your dictionary, thesaurus,
translator etc. Or just ask him for the translation and he'll
explain all those wierd terms he uses.
Q: How do I use a grinder safely with out losing a finger?
Q: What's a rivet, and how do I set it?
A: If you are looking here for answers to something that can be found in
the Essays section, you should be warned
that you are a candidate for being beaten with the silly stick.
Q: I want to be William Wallace and be the next 'Braveheart', or where
do I find information about kilts?
A: You want to be William Wallace?!?
that's for offending my intelligence.
Q: How do I post pictures on the Archive or links on the Archive?
A: The discussion board supports HTML tags. To post an image, you have to
Note that many free sites (e.g. GeoCities) do not allow you to access images
from their site, unless the page is also on their site.
- Get the image onto a publicly accessible web site somewhere
- Make a post
- Include the text <IMG src="http://the-web-site/path/to/your/image.jpg">
in your post (obviously, substitute your web address and path in there)
To post a link to your site in a message, use the standard HTML tag
<A href="http://your-web-site/path/to/your/page.html"> in your post.
Alternatively, click on the UBBcode link that's off on the left-hand
side of the screen when you make a post, and find out other ways to do this.
Q: What are the headers that I have seen used on the beginnings of posts?
A: What the headers are is an attempt to address the complexities of questions.
They are as follows:
BEG or Beginner - For Basic or Beginner quesions
INT or Intermediate - For Intermediate level questions
ADV or Advanced - For Advanced Level Questions
AUCT or Auction - To notify people of an auction on EBAY or our own auction
SALE or Specials - Any sales that are not via an auction service
Q: Where did the old stuff from the old version of the FAQ go?
A: In the process of updating, I decided to remove some of the other stuff.