Plate Armouring Journal
This is an ongoing project to document my attempts at making plate armor. Some of it is just random peices, but a good deal of it will be used together as one harness. It's not meant to be a set of instructions for plate armor construction because I'm not that good at writing, I'm not all that good of keeping patterns for what I do (working mostly from pictures of period work), and I don't think I'll be going into alot of detail.. It's just to give a general idea of what I'm doing each night I work on it. Master Gregory Finche (mundanely known as Adam Williams), to whom I have been apprenticed since about 1998, lives across town from me, and has a wonderful shop filled with most of the tools needed for making armour. When he does not have some strange tool for a specific armouring task we can make one using the tools that he does have. My time spent in the shop is sparadic at best. I try to make it over at least once a week and if I'm feeling really inspired by a project I'll try to make it over every chance I can get.

Just about all of this armour is not being made for SCA use... aside from the SCA, I'm also part of a group that does sword combat stuff with rebated steel blades. We do freestyle non-competative combat and spend a lot of time studying interpretations of period manuals on various styles of sword combat. Its not choreographed but we pull the blows so we don't break each other, at least not to badly. I think our only armor requirement is some form of head and face protection, most of us use fencing masks and some of us have helms... I know I'm getting a little off subject here but some of you may be interested in this... the only other armour requirement is to wear whatever you feel comfortable with. Athletic cups, knee and elbow pads, neck protection, and some kind of good hand protection are also recomended.

Now, onto the journal part...

I think it was late september of '98 that I started on my gauntlet which has come to be known here as "the Gauntlet of Doom". I started by searching around the web for good pictures of gauntlets I liked. I decided on a pair of gothic finger gauntlets that I saw at Valentine Armoury, then I remembered I had a photo of one I saw at Pennsic a few years ago. I found the photo and along with the pictures I'd found online, I was able to make a pattern of the wrist, arm, and metacarpul plates with thick cardboard and put it together. then I traced them out on an old 20 gauge furnace door, slightly modified the size, cut it out, took the paint off , shaped, reshaped, drilled, filed, sanded, rivited, blued, straped, and waxed it... and sometime in january 1999 it was done... the "Gauntlet of Doom" name came from when I brought it up from the shop to show to Master Gregory when it was done.. he was on the telephone with someone and said something like "...Matt just came up from the shop with his ummm... gauntlet of doom.." and the name sort of stuck, at least on this website. What follows is a journal kept as work progresses on my plate armor projects I've been working on since then. Prior to making my first gauntlet, sometime between 1994 and 1996, I also tried a few other plate projects.. such as knee cops, a great helm, and a roman style helm. I'll just say that my success with those attempts was slightly less than encouraging. I put down the hammers for a while and played with a little leather and maille. for some reason when I tried plate again a couple years later I fealt much more comfortable with it. anyways, here we go...

Here are some pictures of armor I saw in '98 or '99 at Pennsic... something to help out with future projects, maybe.

Simple helm made for
a theater rental.

made in September 2002
~Plate Legs/Greaves/Sabatons~
march 2002 - Present
~1500's Half Armor~
April 2001 - Present
~Finger Gauntlet, offhand~
aka Gauntlet of Doom
March 1999 - July 2001
~16th Century Gorget~
March 2001
~Late Kettle Hat/Early Morion~
(w/removable face mask for rapier combat) January 2001
~Early Great Helm~
Nov. 1999 - May 2000