Armor Tips

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General Tips

Sizing and Fitting

  • It cannot be stressed enough: Get used to wearing your armor BEFORE your first fight. You should NOT be pointing and fiddling with armor on the day of your first fight.
  • This goes for any new piece of modification as well.
  • Do a shakedown a week in advance of any fight if you can. Repeat the day before.
    1. Check your weapon(s)
    2. Armor up.
    3. Walk around.
    4. Hit a pell a few times.
  • Make sure you can armor up and armor down with minimal help. Sometimes squires are scarce. Plan ahead.

Arming Points tips

  • Some people (Jaye) like to use paracord with the core removed.
  • Some people (Brian Chabot) like to use full core paracord with melted ends.
  • Brian Chabot also likes to use 4mm tarred hemp marline with brass aiglets from The Practical Goose (at Pennsic) or via various other vendors.
  • Many people like heavy leather lacing
  • In the fabric of your arming clothes, *work* the holes rather than punching them. Use an awl or other tapered tool like a marlin spike to work the fibers apart. Brian Chabot thinks Sewn eyelets are pretty solid, but most fighters sew a leather patch and punch holes in that for the lacing points.
  • If you need patches, Nadler Metalcrafts carries them.
  • Historically, points should be made of quality hemp or linen cord ("as used in crossbow strings") pulled through cordwainers' wax (cordwainers' "code" or "cood", possibly made from rosin and pine tar and maybe not even containing any actual wax... Sadly the oldest resipe easily found is 19th c.)
  • Possibly the strongest point mounting is with worked holes and leather reenforcement inside the gambeson.
  • Later sources (15-16c) show points that look like shoe lace ribbons and can be quite decorative.

Anti-Rust Tips

  • Wipe the sweat and dirt off the armor first then wipe on a rust protecting product.
  • Jaye recommends 3-in-1 machine oil.
  • WD-40 is NOT recommended as it will evaporate. You can use it to repel water, but it isn't good for storage.
  • Brian Chabot recommends Fluid Film as it is lanolin based and good for both steel and leather
  • A historical method is a mix of olive oil and bees wax. Wipe it on and polish like a car wax. This is available from Darkwood Armory under the brand of "Max Wax" This can be used as lip and skin balm in a pinch, too.
  • A variation of the above that is historically plausible and works better is to mix a paste of beeswax and boiled linseed oil. This oxidizes into a rubbery seal. It is also excellent for wood and leather.
  • Put desiccant bags in your armor box. Put a big one inside your helm when you store it.

Wearing, Using, and Fine Tuning

  1. Visor won't stay up? "Liquid rosin" on the pivots will make it stick.
  2. Arming up alone? Tie on your arms before donning your gambeson. In a hurry? Tie on as much as you can before arming up.

Brian's armor maintenance anti-rust tips:

Wipe off sweat and dirt with a rag. Add preservative (rust preventative). Wipe with a second rag. Store in Husky mobile job box.

Preservatives I've used that actually work, in order of my preference, favorite to least:

  1. Fluid Film. Works great. Protection lasts. Lanolin based, so good for leather, too.
  2. Home made paste made from beeswax and boiled linseed oil. Damned fine protection. Pain in the ass to mix and apply. Oxidizes into rubbery film.
  3. Home made paste of beeswax and olive oil. Also a pain to apply. Doesn't last as long. Can be used as lip balm.
  4. Lemon Fresh Pledge. Not kidding. It works. Smells great.
  5. Blaster PB with penetrating catalyst. Smells HORRID. Works OK. Great for unsticking rusted articulations.

Oh - and do NOT put sweaty padded stuff in with the metal stuff. Wait till the sweat is thoroughly dry (and preferably washed). Always use moisture control bags.

Here is a link to some great experiments showing more scientific results from various rust preventatives:

-- Brian 15:51, 13 August 2019 (UTC)