Sasha's Articulations with G-jawed Clamps
These are the G-jawed Vise-Grip® (Fixed Point Locking Clamps). Use the genuine brand in this application...they are much stronger and resistant to side-pressure then the cheap copies (which I use as semi-disposable clamps)
Here we have a couple of lames that we will be torturing this fine festive morning.
Notice the Vise-Grip® standard jaw (with the teeth ground down) that I use as a handle when dishing. No Vibration. No mashed fingers.
And here they are. All dished and happy.
The shears were being "special" on the day these were cut out, so there were some burrs. I have smoothed them AFTER the dishing....now that I can use the process to neaten the shape of the curves.
Since one is bound to be happier on the outside then the other, find how the lames sit best. Now is a good time to label them. If you are doing the full set at a time. label left and right as well. Even though it seems obvious which is which right now....it will not be at a time that really matters.
Another use for our wonderful clamps. A point-hold jaw extension for the vise. Good for filing and marking.
I am going to include roped knuckle ridges on these (later) so I want to mark my line while I can still do so cleanly. A sliding square works great like this.
I want to bend round the sides so that the gauntlet will transfer impacts. So I am marking out the space that my hand MUST occupy...and then will allow extra accordingly.
This is a cute stake I have, made from a panel-beating dolly welded to a stick. I have ground it so that it has the same curve as found inside the dishing bowl that I used to shape the lames so far. It is not neccassary to use this....but I have it, and it does help.
You guessed it. The curve supports the lame's shape while we biff the sides down to a 90 degree angle.
The other alternative is to use the edge of the anvil like this. All achieves the same result. Just be carefull not to stuff up the dishing on the top of your lames.
And in no time you get one of these!
Now it is time for the G-jaws again. Remember the G-jaws? This is an article about the G-jaws....
Slide your lames so that they are in the "hand-gripping-a-weapon" position and then apply the clamps to where you think the rivets *should* go.
Now start sliding the lames around. Because this method does not rely on horrible things like rivet tightness, you will get an indication of REAL articulation. Keep adjusting as necessary. Make sure that the slide is even and that it does not skew too much to one side. Get them so that you are happy with them at this stage.
Here is a side view of the "closed hand" position. It is not perfect....but the finger plate locks off against the knuckle plate and not against the rivet. I will eventually blend the curve a bit over a ball-stake and just smooth the lines down for the nicer looks.
Do not worry too much about the excess metal on the sides of the lame. These can be trimmed down once the gauntlet is held together with bolts and you can wear it on your hand, grip a weapon and decide how much you want trimmed off. Having too little metal would be just plain embarrassing.
The wear mark that I have circled comes from the jaw of the Vise-Grip®. You will find its match on the inside of the other lame. Punch or drill a hole through this mark and then fasten together with bolts. Build your gauntlet, trim, test, take apart, polish, rivet back together, pad, rivet in a glove, use, hit, and enjoy.... But that is all another lesson.
Enjoy your G-jaws.
Just as a note. I have had comments that screwing around with the G-Jaws just wastes time and that any armourer worth his salt just KNOWS where to punch the holes and place the rivets.
I would respond that once you are an experienced armourer you KNOW where to place the G-jaws so that you are simply checking to see that it will all go together. It is an invaluable method for hooking up lames that have odd ridging and stepping going on (my swirl worked stuff would not have a hope of coming off without this method). It also gives me a lot of freedom at prototyping new stuff.
So if a PROFFESSIONAL (self proclaimed) armourer sneers at you for trying G-jaws... just smile mysteriously and build something that they cannot even begin to understand.
This Article was first posted by Sasha on The Armour Archive on Dec 22/00, and the amendment was posted on Dec 23/00.
River Forge (Sasha's Armoury)