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Re-enactment style gauntlet

I like making things and I've got myself some basic leather working gear so I thought I'd have a go at making one of those re-enactment style gauntlets you see on the internet (see left). Like, how hard can it be right?

Well the answer is: pretty easy actually. I decided I wasn't going to bother with all that riveting non-sense and I was just going to sew it all together, which cut down on a lot of faff.

After that I made approximations out of cardboard, wrapped them onto my body and cut things off until I had the pattern right. Then I got some thick (4mm?) veg tan leather and soaked it in water until it was soft. Using a normal pair of scissors I cut out all the pattern and sewed it together using an awl and needle.

After that I lightly soaked it again, bent it all into shape with my hands and then popped it in the oven on 100. This hardened it into shape (though I burnt it slightly) and it was looking pretty good at this point:

Finally, because I'd heard that "wax hardening" was the way to go I bought some bees wax and got down to waxing. This is simple, just heat the thing and the wax in the oven and then paint the wax on. Do this over and over until it won't take anymore and you're job is done.

Despite the usual bad photos it's looking pretty good for a first effort. Not sure I'd use this in a full intention steel HEMA fight but it would probably do for synthetics.

Interesting note: the "wax hardening" doesn't really harden it. It more conditions the leather, i.e. colours and makes it more water proof presumably. The heat process first did 99% of the hardening.

I'm quite tempted to take this out and hack at it with my sharps to see how effective it would be as a "real" armor against sharp weapons. Not very effective I would imagine.


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