The cuirass

In the previous project the breastplate was made in two sections, which helped in forming the globose shape that was typical of the period. In the 16th. Century the breastplate assumed a more plain line with a central keel becoming more prominent as it pointed down at the waist. To achieve this a section is cut out of the lower part of the metal in the centre so that the piece can be curved inwards. Fig. 5 shows the outline of the pattern being drawn on the steel sheet ( although most of the armour is made using 0.9mm. steel, this section is cut from 1.2mm. steel sheet, as the intention is to weld the lower part of the central seam ).

Fig. 5

The piece is then curved to shape and the lower cut edges of the central seam approximated inwards until they meet. Fig. 6 shows the piece ready for welding with twisted picture wire holding the lower edge of the seam together - and in Fig. 7 the seam is welded and the first stage of finishing is under way.

Fig. 6Fig. 7

It is quite easy to solder this seam if one does not have welding facilities, in the same way the toe caps of the original sabatons were soldered in the previous project. However, welding does have the advantage that the transition from crease to weld is much smoother after finishing.

The cut-outs for the arms in the breastplate have deliberately been made oversize to accommodate reinforcing plates. These have a turned out edge which would act to deflect blows from an edged weapon. In Fig. 8 the right re-inforcing plate is in position - and Fig. 9 shows the turned out flange being imparted to the outer edge of the left piece.

Fig. 8Fig. 9

The final image on this page, Fig. 10, shows the completed cuirass on the mannequin.

Fig. 10

On to the next stage - making the skirt.

Back to start page of this project.