Douglas Pryor
Sculpting, Raising, Chasing, and Repousse
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Works Blog

Works in progress, updates, studies, new/trail gear

The challenges of raising a helm from a single sheet of steel.

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Where to begin? I've spent about 30-35 hours on this project so far not counting the tools I needed to make for even taking a crack at this. I've raised lots of things up from a single sheet of steel in order to practice for something like this but I've never attempted a armour on this scale using this method.

What an challenge on my endurance and patience, I started with a piece of 3/16th plate (8ga) mild steel and I'm glad I did for the sculpting I need to do will need the material, but it made the whole project very strenuous.

The dome alone was a 5 day job.

The dome alone was a 5 day job.

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Sometimes the collection of tooling marks looks like swells on an ocean to me.

Keeping the piece even was difficult and took lots of attention.

Raise the tail (the back of the helm) gave me the most issue, with so much material acting as a resist to what was heated the steel had an incredible amount of stress built up and I could see tiny stress cracks start to form, so I slowed down, changed my raising angle, and used more heat to manage the problem.

Raise the tail (the back of the helm) gave me the most issue, with so much material acting as a resist to what was heated the steel had an incredible amount of stress built up and I could see tiny stress cracks start to form, so I slowed down, changed my raising angle, and used more heat to manage the problem.

I was limited to working during the day, but working in direct sunlight is terrible for this kind of hot work. It's very difficult to see the colors of the steel and to know when to stop hammering, so I had to go off of what kind vibration, resistance, and sound the steel made.

I was limited to working during the day, but working in direct sunlight is terrible for this kind of hot work. It's very difficult to see the colors of the steel and to know when to stop hammering, so I had to go off of what kind vibration, resistance, and sound the steel made.

Wrapping heavy chains around anvils and big shaping stakes is an old blacksmith trick to reducing some of the noise. The extra vibration bring the pitch of the ring down.

Getting to the point where I could raise the crest up was a very exciting moment for me. It was a critical point where I began to see this as a helm and not a "helm shaped object."

Getting to the point where I could raise the crest up was a very exciting moment for me. It was a critical point where I began to see this as a helm and not a "helm shaped object."

This is where most armourers would start to clean up their lines, planish their work and prepare it for hinges and locking pins. But this is only the beginning, the ground work for our vision. All of that work was just so I could have a blank canvas to paint on. I'm going to take a deep breathe before jumping into the rest of this.

Thanks for following my work!

Douglas PryorComment