The vambrace and coudière or elbow articulation

12th. November 2005

The vambrace, the plate armour covering the forearm, is essentially the same as was carried out in Projects 1 & 2 and so I will not bother to show detail of the construction process here. If a recap is necessary this link will take the reader to the relevant page.

Fig. 82 shows the completed right and left vambrace with strapwork in place.

Fig. 82

Similarly the rerebrace that provides defense for the upper arm and lies beneath the spaulders is the same as that in Projects 1 & 2. Fig. 83 shows the finished right vambrace and rerebrace.

Fig. 83

In this armour the vambrace and rerebrace are to be joined by leather straps. This was known as floating articulation as opposed to the shell articulation that was depicted in the previous armour construction. The elbow joint was protected by the coudière which was attached to the strap joining vambrace to rerebrace by leather laces.

The next image, Fig. 84, shows the metal for the coudière cut out with guidelines for the hammer-work marked on the inner aspect.

Fig. 84

Shaping starts with the circular elbow cop, initially doming into the shallowest depression on the stump with the rawhide hammer ( Fig. 85 ) - and then progressing to the mid-depth depression ( Fig. 86 ).

Fig. 85Fig. 86

The final doming is carried out using the heavy ball-ended hammer, the piece being worked into the deepest depression on the stump. Hammer-work commences around the outer rim of the cop moving in concentric rings towards the centre. Any creases that start to form at the edge are corrected as work progresses. The hammer blows are relatively light around the periphery, becoming much heavier towards the centre as the metal is stretched and pushed into the bowl ( Fig. 87 ).

Fig. 87

When doming is complete the cop section has been adapted to follow the contour of the depression and next requires planishing over the steel ball. If care is taken to planish with fairly light hammer blows, each overlapping the other, then less time will need to be spent on applying the final finish. Fig. 88 shows planishing of the cop section complete.

Fig. 88

The wing of the coudière is next curved around to encompass the crook of the elbow joint and the outer section flared so as to allow free movement against the rerebrace and vambrace. Fig. 89 shows the polished right and left coudières before fitting the strapwork and drilling the lacing holes.

Fig. 89

As has been said, articulation at the elbow is to be floating articulation, the vambrace and rerebrace being attached to each other by leather straps with the coudière laced to the outer strap. Fig. 90 shows the leather riveted to the lower border of the rerebrace -

Fig. 90

- and in Fig. 91 the straps have been fixed to the upper border of the back-plate of the vambrace.

Fig. 91

Four holes for the lacing are drilled in the coudière and corresponding holes made in the leather strap forming the outer aspect of the articulation. Fig. 92 shows the inner aspect of the left arm defense with the coudière laced in position.

Fig. 92

The final two images on this page, Figs. 93 & 94 show the completed arm defense attached to the lower end of the spaulders.

Fig. 93Fig. 94

On the next page I start work on the gauntlets.

Back to the start of this Project.