Making a Norman Helm
Table of Contents

Being a narrative of the adventures of E. Thing, esq., as he strives to make a reproduction of an 11th century head defense the old-fashioned way -- by hitting a single piece of steel many hundreds of times, until it looks helmet-like. Descriptions of work methods, alternating with digressions on the authenticity -- and sanity -- of certain techniques. A liberal salting of photographs, showing graphically to what lengths some people will go to get a little attention.

Part 1: Introduction, Design Considerations, Material Preparation
Musings on Why I Do This Kind Of Thing. Choosing a style and size of helmet to reproduce. Choice of materials. Sizing, cutting out, and preparing blank for work.
Part 2: Initial Sinking of the Bowl
Why sink at all? Tools: sheet metal forge and sinking blocks. Doing the first sinking pass.

Part 3: Finishing the Sinking of the Bowl
Finishing shallow sinking. Checking dimensions. Knocking in the "proto-peak".

Part 4: Initial Raising
Raising tools. Measuring and marking the bowl. Doing the first raising pass. Thoughts on how to hold, and how to hit, the work.

Part 5: Raising, Continued
The first raising course, completed. The careful dance around the helmet's edge. Dealing with crimps. Starting to raise the "true peak".
Part 6: Raising, Concluded
More raising, and still more. The making and use of little stakes, and templates. We achieve design dimensions.

Part 7: Rough Trimming and Bouging
Paying for our fun with exacting work. Rough-trimming the helmet, and tapping it many times with a small hammer until ready to grind.

Part 8: Grinding, and Making a Decorated Nasal
Grinding the helmet skull until smooth. Commencing work on a nasal, of large cruciform shape, and accented with a simple silver inlay.

Part 9: Final Finishing, Assembly, and Installation of a Liner
Buffing to high lustre. Nailing on the nasal. Preparing and nailing in brow band. Cutting out and sewing in leather lining.

The Finished Helmet -- Large Picture
Along with a few final thoughts.


Copyright © 2000 Eric Thing

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