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Making an Aspis - Ring Method (Visual Aids)
I have not been offended by anyone or feel like anyone was attacking me. I just don't want to insult anyone's intelligence by making this too basic. In the first post, I asked for others to contribute. Go ahead. I just didn't want to waste time writing this much detail if noone found it helpful or necessary.
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie
Now that the putty has dried, I took a square palm vibrating sander with 100 grit dry sandpaper and lightly sanded the whole aspis to a nice smooth finish.

[Image: 024a.jpg]

[Image: 025a.jpg]

Next, we will add the inner layer.
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie
First, decide on what material you will use for your inner layer. My Corinthian aspis is leather, but I opted with canvas for this second aspis. I have used leather, linen, and canvas on various shields depending on how authentic I really want them. I figure it doesn't matter to me at this point since it will be painted, and I personally like the look of painted heavy duck canvas.

I have used tacky glue, wood glue, and pva to coat the entire inner surface of the aspis EXCEPT THE RIM. This time I used run of the mill pva glue as I have found it works fine for bonding canvas or linen to wood. Coat the entire inside and let it start to get slightly tacky.

[Image: 026a.jpg]

[Image: 027a.jpg]
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie
The first thing you need to understand is that no matter what you use by way of adhesive or materal, the inside of the shield is a pain. The material will have a tendency to pull way from the walls on the inside of any bowl shape. I am quite sure you have seen this when lining helmets too.

I start by cutting a piece of material large enough to cover the surface and drop it to the center area. I take a plastic putty knife and start drawing the material into the shield pulling it from the inside to the outside edge staying perpendicular to the edge. Then I start pulling it in concentric circles from the inside out.

[Image: 028a.jpg]

Then I cut of the obvious excess from the outside and keep working the material to the outside edges of the shield without touching the walls perpendicular to the face yet.

[Image: 029a.jpg]
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie
Next I cut slits from the outside edge of the material to approximately where the material takes a 90 degrees turn down from the rim. Then I slowly start working the walls of the part of the shield perpendicular to the rim. Don't be afraid to pull the material off the shield and keep working the folds to the outside edge.

I get out 95% of the creases and folds, but a few very small ones always are sneak their way past. Add glue to the areas your working if it starts to dry and work one area to the next until you get 360 degrees around the shield.

[Image: 030a.jpg]

You will have to continually go over the entire surface repeatedly while it begins to tack down in order to be absolutely sure you do not end up with large bubbles where the material does not take hold. I also place a large fan blowing over my work to speed this up some. I spend about 1 1/2 hours constantly going over the surface with the different size putty knives until I can see that the glue is holding strong.

After the inside edge tacks well, I glue down the flaps to the rim only going about half way to the outer edge. I will fill the other area not covered when I wrap the front material to the back in a few days. I personally will add a second layer of linen in the form of a solid ring of material in the dimensions of ring 10 to cover all the gaps, points where the material meet, and flaws so that it looks like a solid piece of fabric.

This is where I will leave it tonight.

[Image: 031a.jpg]

We will paint the inside of the bowl tomorrow with black enamel paint. It is not historically accurate, but I like that it will be waterproof and stiffen the fabric. I only paint the bowl because of what I mentioned above. We will cover the rim with another layer of material in later steps.

You DO NOT want to cover the front until ALL your metal work is attached to the back so we will tackle the porpax, etc. after the back has been coated twice.
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie
Black inside paint is historically accurate from pottery in National Museum Athens and British Museum. I cannot recall other examples right now.
Red paint was more popular but not the only one.
A houshold daiety or any daiety could also be depicted in upon the black background.
So please do not worry about balck paint.

Kind regards
No. I meant using enamel based paint as opposed to color, but thanks for the information Stefanos.

Okay. Today's step is really, really exciting! :roll:

In all seriousness, all I did was paint the inside of the bowl with two coats of red, and I will let it dry until tomorrow when I will make the porpax and do the metalwork. I may have to wait a few days until the next update because I ordered very basic, solid brass, rosette cabinet knob backings to use for the base of the rings. I have not gotten them yet so I will be at a stand still until I get them. They shipped and should be here in the next few days.

Note that it doesn't matter if you get paint on the rim because you will cover it with more cloth using this method anyway. My rim will be yellow on both sides with a black key design on the front and a pattern seen on vases for the back.

[Image: 032a.jpg]
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie
Nice! I prefer red to black.It does seem exciting. So you won't make a brass rim? Big Grin ?
Waiting for the update
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Fantastic work and very informative thread Chris - cannot wait to see the finished job!
Sulla Felix

AKA Barry Coomber

Okay. If you have gotten this far, the porpax is really not a problem.

First make a pattern that fits your arm in a shape you like and trace it to metal. I am using 18 gauge bronze left over from making greaves.

[Image: 033a.jpg]

Then cut it out using your jigsaw. 36 teeth per square inch gives a nice smooth edge. Then file the edge even smoother.

[Image: 034a.jpg]

Next I drill the holes where the nails will go and start to round the edge much like you would for turning the edge on a cuirass. I place the edge of the oval section that wraps around the arm and lightly hammer the edge down on both edges. You can do this by holding it about 1/2" from the edge of a hard surface and hammer it slowly always keeping 1/2" from the edge. This will turn the part that wraps around the arm away from the skin and open it up some more.

[Image: 035a.jpg]
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie
Next, I curve the edges that will lay flat on the aspis at 90 degree angles from the middle section. Basically, the porpax turns out at 90 degree angles where the oval starts to form a triangle. Then I bend the oval section into a nice smooth shape by hand. 18 or 16 gauge metal can be easily bent by hand to fit around the arm.

[Image: 036a.jpg]

Then I polish it on the outside and glue a leather liner to the inside of the porpax. I will attach it tomorrow or when I get the rosettes I am waiting for in the mail.

[Image: 037a.jpg]

I am going to use nails with ribbing through the shield. Then I will use 22 gauge brass to make very thin washers like for Roman belts and rivet the nails on the face of the shield. I will hammer them very flat and they will not show through the cloth front. They will also not pull out when used.

I am using very plain solid brass cabinet handles shown on the above picture to the far right as the attachments where you will grip the rope. I will use rosettes to back the rings and to hide how they are attached.

The simplest way to get rings are to take solid brass hooks with screws, screw them into the rosettes, and close them into a circle (as shown above in the picture far left). They are strong and will not pull out of the shield. This time I am going to use thin brass rods to make attachments for each ring, drill small holes through the shield, and rivet them to the front side.
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie
Hi Chris!

What measures are needed for a good porpax? If you use a brass sheet to do it instead of bronze, would the thicknes of the sheet be greater than 16 or 18 gauges?

Please, take some pics when you put the nails and the brass hooks to attach the porpax, and how do you do to avoid it could shown through the front part of the shield. It look a bit difficult.

And sorry for impatient :oops:
Javier Sánchez

"A tomb now suffices him for whom the whole world was not sufficient"
[Image: 76946975ce3.png]
Okay. So we are at the inside metal work today.

First, place your porpax into the middle of your shield and take measurements from various hard points on your porpax to make sure its position in the shield is exactly where you want it. I center mine perfectly inside. Then mark your holes with a pencil where you will drill. Place the aspis on top of scrap wood and drill with the outer surface pressed firmly into the scrap wood, and it won't splinter out. Drill the holes slightly smaller than your nails so the nails will still grip inside the wood.

Next, take dome top brass nails or nails of your choice and hammer them through the shield from the back. Once again, keep the shield firm against the scrap wood to support your glued rings. This will keep them from separating at all and also keep the wood from splintering. When you pull the shield away from the scrap wood, it will have slightly stuck if you only use nails slightly longer than the shield's thickness.

[Image: 038a.jpg]

Once you pull the shield away, make sure the nails are firmly seated in the wood. Next, you will make small, thin, square washers out of the metal of your choice. Mine are made from brass. Drill holes in the metal slightly larger than the nail in thin gauge metal. Use a dremel or a file to smooth the surfaces of the hole after drilling. Then cut out the individual washers.

[Image: 040a.jpg]

Place the washer over the nail on the front surface and cut the nail to only slightly longer than the washer. Place something metal under the dome head on the inside and make sure it is secure on the metal. Take a small ball peen hammer and flatten the nail's recently cut side down over the washer with GENTLE small strikes UNTIL THE WASHER SLIGHTLY PULLS INTO THE WOOD. The washer should only barely bite into the wood and you will see that running your hand over the front of the shield is very smooth.

[Image: 039a.jpg]
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie
Repeat this for all attachment points on your porpax.

Next take the metal work that you either bought or made for the part of the ancillary that you will grip with your hand and the portion mirrored on the other side. Place them toward the outside of the shield's bowl near the rim sizing it to make sure it is wider than your hand with your arm through the porpax and mark all your holes with a pencil.

Attach these brass/bronze parts the exact same way as the porpax. You can use brass, bronze, or any metal you want. I would still use 16 or 18 gauge metal regardless. This is what it looks like finished.

[Image: 042a.jpg]

[Image: 041a.jpg]

I STILL do not not have the rosettes yet so I am at a dead stop until they arrive. That should be any day now and then I will attach four rings above and below the porpax in the empty space between what you already see on the shield.

I will cut thin leather strips. Then I will punch holes in both ends of the rectangular piece of leather and fold it over a solid brass ring. I will place another brass nail through the two punched holes and then put the nail through the rosette and through the wood. Then I will rivet them on the exact same way as shown above. I will add pictures of this as soon as they come. I expect this to only take 30 minutes or so once I get them, and then I will cover the front.

If you are going to leave a wooden face, I would just sink the rivets slightly deeper and putty over them. I personally would rather put at least a cloth face on the shield which will completely cover them.
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie
As soon as I finished the above post, the rosettes were delivered. As mentioned above, I attached them exactly as described.

[Image: 043a.jpg]

You'll notice that there is a nail, washer, leather wrapped around brass ring, rosette, shield, washer, and then the nail is riveted to the washer. This is what the finished metal work on the inside looks like.

[Image: 044a.jpg]
"A wise man learns from his mistakes, but the truly wise man learns from the mistakes of others."
Chris Boatcallie

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