Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


About PlasmaFields

  • Rank
  • Birthday 10/12/1980

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Meridian, ID
  • Interests
    All sorts of things that mostly went out of fashion at least 500 years ago.
  1. PlasmaFields

    attaching armor

    I had this problem when I made my own jack chains. I eventually solved it by making a leather yoke that went across the back of my shoulders attaching one cop to the one on the other side. It means you have to put them both on at once, but also means you can get them on yourself rather than having someone else tie them for you.
  2. PlasmaFields

    working with Mild steel

    Mild steel is _marginally_ more workable than stainless, but that same softness also makes it more vulnerable to scratching. You may find you need pliers with teeth. Then again, you may not. Try it, seeing as it costs you nothing _not_ to buy something, and see how you get on.
  3. PlasmaFields

    Made a coif in one week.

    We had this discussion before, I believe. Let me check my notes... That's right, it was in the "Malleability of Stainless Steel" thread. I can't seem to link to it correctly, but it's in there. To reprise my contribution, I have fingerless shooting gloves when my hands need them, and wrap a non-adhesive padded latex tape around my tool handles, but I also started with pretty comfortable handles. Other people have different approaches. It's all down to personal preference, one of the largest professional armourers I know (and that's "large" as in "works long hours and makes a shedload of stuff") works almost exclusively in heavyweight stainless steel and neither customises his tools nor wears gloves. Although sometimes I think he could open and close rings with his bare hands, but that's just my opinion.
  4. PlasmaFields

    Telling apart different metals

    How sensitive is your multimeter? TRL uses C510 grade phosphor-bronze, which has a conductivity of 15% IACS. I use conductivity a lot for metal determination (it's a portable, non-destructive test), trouble is it doesn't work so well for small rings, the relative conductivity of each is fairly low. You could melt them, too, but that probably wouldn't help much.
  5. PlasmaFields

    My newly finished Horseman's Hauberk (pic heavy)

    I think I've been in that talk before... A historian friend from college was given a "give a lecture not of your usual period/field" and chose <drumroll> Combat in the Middle Ages. Half an hour of having history students lay into me with my own weapons to see if my "collection of holes I can stick my pencil through" armour could actually stand up to being hit "for real." When they started to get a little over-enthusiastic, I took my 'berk off and hung it on a stand, and let them batter that instead. That's how I proof my armour, anyway. My cats used to scratch at my chests until I rivetted some big iron bands around them. Now they just curl up on top, especially since they don't get opened very often these days. Thanks for sharing!
  6. PlasmaFields

    My newly finished Horseman's Hauberk (pic heavy)

    Someone else has a sword rack in the corner and cats curled up on oak chests? That makes me feel much better, somehow. Looks to be a very well-made 'berk. It is intended for combat? I can't quite tell from the pics if it has the split front and back, although I'm rather assuming it does. And this is your second 'berk?
  7. PlasmaFields

    Chainmail Shirt attempt - are we crazy?

    Not much I can add to the above, but I would like to just add a reminder to leave one row out from each piece so it's the right size when you stitch it all together. I'm not sure if that makes sense outside my own head, so here's an example. If you are each weaving half (for simplicities' sake) of a more-or-less square section 100 rows long, your piece will be 50 rows, hers will be 49, so when you stitch the two pieces together, it's still 100 rows long. Otherwise it'll either be 101 rows when you add the joining row, or you'll have to open all the rings at the bottom of your piece to weave in hers. Hope that made sense. If anyone wants to chime in with a better explanation, feel free!
  8. The girl in the desk behind me is selling beaded bracelets for the football game tomorrow. Ever wished you could make a few hundred blue-and-orange AA appear out of thin air?

    1. calisandra


      almost everyday, not necessarily in those colors, around here the demand is more for black and red or (shudders) orange and brown

    2. Chaosity


      What area are you from Plasma? The local High school here is Blue and Orange.

    3. PlasmaFields


      ID. BSU Broncos are Blue and Orange. Just look at the grass in the stadium.

  9. PlasmaFields

    Ever have those days where you just can't decide on what to make?

    Pretty much. You get a piece of wood as wide as your work, bang a handful of nails in at the top (sides too, if you need tension in two dimensions) and hang your work on that. Obviously, you have to be careful as to how you space your nails, but when I was just starting to make big stuff and was just daunted by the sheer scale of making a complete 'berk, it was a great way to keep everything laid out so it made logical sense. Mike Willoughby of Armchair Armouries (we all love our uncle Mike!) was a great one for this, it's what he taught everyone who bought stuff from him. I'd say I didn't get that worried about things any more, but having just admitted that I'm nervous about starting the flag, I'd be lying. Does anyone else look at their notes and designs and think "oh my giddy aunt, what did I just agree to make?"
  10. PlasmaFields

    Ever have those days where you just can't decide on what to make?

    BM - Don't have much time (busy at work today), but have you tried the pin board method? Means only weaving one ring at a time, but does keep everything flat and sorted. Also, while I'm here, I love your dice project-choosing method. Trouble is, if I do that, I'll end up making the flag for my WMA group, which means bucketloads very fine inlay work, which quite frankly I'm terrified of!
  11. PlasmaFields

    Awesome modular containers

    Just have him park it outside, if it can't get rained on once or twice it won't be much use in the field, will it? All these organised people! I don't have a permanent place to work in, so all my stock is in semi-disposable plastic tubs packed in a cardboard box) actually, the one my first TRL order came in. Except for the <mumble mumble> thousand 3/8" SS for my next 'berk, which are in a sealed bucket in the garage awaiting the day I summon enough courage to start it. My tools are with the rest of my tools, in the garage in the big wheely craftsman tool chest, so my girls can't reach them. In my defence, they do have their own drawer.
  12. PlasmaFields

    Dragon Helm Side

    The "Girl's Camp 2007" jumper makes it even more scary... Fantastic work, though.
  13. PlasmaFields

    Latest Shipment

    So, my latest delivery arrived yesterday while I was at work (of course). My wife recently left hospital, so oddly enough mail wasn't very high on my list of priorities the past week or so. Small order this time. I don't have any major projects planned, and I'm waiting for the EPDM to be restocked. Delivery came two days earlier than expected (which, of course, has nothing to do with TRL). UPS may have bizarre routes, but they get there eventually. Credit, as usual, to TRL for speedy picking and packing. My little girls found the small scale flower kit (I worked it out on paper, and unless I want one specific colour, it's the best way to get flower-making supplies), and immediately ran off with it shouting "yay! Flowers! Make me a flower, daddy!" so I think I made the right choice there. My wife found a large copper scale while rummaging through the bag of floor sweepings, and took it off to be a bookmark (after insisitng I go and clean it), so I think I'll get a bookmark from TRL's new findings, weave a short chain, and make a real one for her. I might even see if I can engrave a leaf pattern on it, if I can find an engraving set. Anyway, the usual assortment of rings of various shapes and sizes. Tried a beginners kit with the different sizes of rings (but no pliers, I have plenty of those) as an experimental measure, not sure what I'll make out of that yet, I mostly just wanted to add a bunch of different sizes in one click, and that was a good way of doing it. So, I haven't made anything yet, but did have a good look around, and everything seems fine, barring a few scuffed scales and the odd flaky AA. A lot more galvy in the floor sweepings than there was last time, but no complaints, some of my WMA group's kit is galvy, I'll use it somewhere. Oh, speaking of floor sweepings, there was a 4" SS loop (I hesitate to call it a ring), I don't know where it came from, but it's going to be damned useful to attach the loose end of chains to, so thank you TRL. As always, thank you and well done, another virtually flawless order, and a special thank you for making my hobby possible once more!
  14. PlasmaFields

    colored scales

    Dammit, you're quite right, I have my processess confused. This is usually the point my instructors smack me over the head with something heavy. Anyway, I stand corrected. Don't cool the hot scales (in water, for example) or you'll make them too soft and liable to bend as you work them.
  15. PlasmaFields

    colored scales

    That's heat treated stainless steel, the easiest way to make them is simply to take a blow lamp to a bunch of scales (hang them from a wire or something, obviously). Unless you're willing to put ridiculous amounts of work into air flow, oxygen levels, temperature monitoring and material content, the colours and patterns you get will be totally random. Remember you're not trying to heat the whole scale to any significant temperature or they'll deform, and don't cool them with anything other than air, or you'll anneal them and make them brittle. I don't know if anybody makes heat treated scales, but what I've done in the past (for some scale-backed leather vams) was make an 8"x6" sheet of scale, hang it from a fence, and torch the whole thing in one piece, which made an continuous pattern across all the scales. I then attached it to the leather with some more SS rings. Might not be the effect you're looking for, but there it is.