The vambrace

The vambrace forms the plate armour for the lower part of the arm. Essentially it is comprised of two curved pieces, hinged along the outer seam and secured along the inner with a catch or a strap. Fig. 69 shows the two plates cut out and ready to be curved around the wooden stake -

Fig. 69

- and in Fig. 70 the pieces have been curved to shape. It is important to ensure that the pieces do not develope a twist in the shaping process and when placed on a flat surface they must sit evenly with both edges in contact with the surface along their whole length. They must also each be curved to the same arc so that they fit together accurately.

Fig. 70

A turned out lip is next formed at the wrist end of both pieces and a similar turned edge is produced at the top end of the piece that will form the inner section of the vambrace to prevent the cut edge of the steel chafing the arm. In 'Project 1' a cut-out was made in both pieces to accommodate the hinges, but this makes for extra work as it is really only necessary to make a cut-out in one of the sections - and so this is what I have done here. Fig. 71 shows the work on both pieces complete prior to polishing and assembly.

Fig. 71

Fig. 72 shows assembly of the hinges along the outer seam and in Fig. 73 the strap-work is in place along the inner seam and the lames that will form the lower section of the elbow articulation are being fitted.

Fig. 72Fig. 73

Whereas the vambrace forms the plate armour for the lower arm, the rerebrace protects the upper arm. It articulates below with the top of the elbow section, which is comprised of two lames and the couter. The rerebrace, being much wider than the vambrace to accommodate the upper arm, doesn't need to be hinged to allow the hand to pass through it when donning the armour and is therefore cylindrical in shape. It is made with a diameter the same as that of the arc described by the lowest lame of the spaulder, beneath which it fits, the latter being held closely to it by a strap.

In Fig. 74 the rerebrace is being curved around the wooden stake and in Fig. 75 the cylindrical shape is almost complete ready to be riveted closed.

Fig. 74Fig. 75

Finally the piece is polished ready to be articulated as the arm harness is assembled. Fig. 76 shows the rerebrace and vambrace with the patterns for the elbow - which is the next stage in the construction.

Fig. 76

On to the next page the elbow cop or couter.

Back to start of this project.