Clamshell gauntlets, post 1

Greetings all!

I am attempting to make a set of gauntlets for myself so I can begin to learn spear and possibly polearm.  I requested a pattern from a friend who had a set that seemed easy and reduced the size by about 20% because my hands are much smaller.  I cut the pieces (Making sure to flip over the hand and thumb pieces on the second piece for the right and left hand) from a piece of heavy saddle skirting that I had laying around.

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After cleaning up the edges and scraping the flesh side down, soaked the leather for a minute or so in water and then I molded them to my hand roughly and let them dry atop our dehumidifier.  I am sorry but I forgot to take a picture of this stage.

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After they dried, I stained them a flat black color with Tandy professional water based dye.  For hardening, my waxing process is descrbed below:
1. Gently melt canning wax in a junk pot on a stove covered in tin foil to catch the drips.
2. Warm leather on tin foil covered trays in an oven set to the lowest setting it will go.  I think mine is 200 degrees.  Make sure the leather is quite warm all the way through.
3. Take the leather out of the oven and paint the wax on each side of each piece with a junk paint brush.
4.  Put it back in the oven and watch it until all the wax has soaked in.  Repeat the above steps several times until no more wax soaks into the leather.  You can also just dip the pieces into the pot of wax instead of painting.  It is faster this was but you have to be careful not to get too much wax on the pieces or the wax won’t soak in.  It will pool and harden on top of the leather instead of inside it.

Leave the waxed pieces to harden overnight (or at least for a couple hours).  In the morning, your leather should be hard like plastic with a nice waxy, silky sheen to it.

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The leather I used was Tandy crappy leather and was an inconsistant thickness.  I was unhappy with the hardness of my pieces and since I am kind of fond of my hands not smooshed, I recuited my machinist brother to whip out a couple pieces of aluminum to reinforce two of the hand pieces.

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Anyway, the next step is to sew and rivet the pieces together.  First I sewed the cuff to the palm.

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I used the smallest drill bit I had and just drilled a series of wholes in each side to be joined.  Then, using two blunt harness needles and some waxed, braided nylon thread, I sewed the pieces together with a stitch similar to saddle stitch bbut that creates an “x” on one side and straight lines on the inside.  I also had to restain the wholes I drilled with black dye to make them not stand out.

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Next I worked on riveting the moving pieces to the cuff.  I am using copper rivets purchased from Brettun’s Village and a little bit larger drill bit to drill the holes.

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They look pretty good so far!  I am pleased.  Time for bed though.  Thanks all for looking ay my very first post.  I hope to document all my crafting adventures here!  Don’t forget, I am open to commissions, if you need anything made!

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