Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pouncing Armor!

Lining up the splints on my leg armor.   They have now been sized and ground smooth

When we last left my leg armor, I was getting the splints together.  After cutting them out on the Beverly shears, I handed them off to Master Jovian.  He was kind enough to grind the edges smooth for me.  Above you can see the now not-jagged splints ready to go.

Contact cement to hold things together while I do the riveting

I hate getting rivet holes to line up and dealing with plastic and leather shifting about, so I have decided to eliminate the problem with copius amounts of contact cement.  The contact cement probably wouldn't survive fighter practice, but it will hold things together long enough for me to drill and rivet with minimal fuss.  Here is my sticky, gooey progress.

All glued together!

Once the contact cement cured, I placed all the splints in their proper position.  This felt a bit like a surgical procedure, since one false move and the plate is stuck forever.  Well, probably not forever, but there is no wiggle room with dropping the plates.  Contact cement does it's job well and the one splint that I tried to re-position would not budge even the slightest.

Some of my projects have extensive plans that go into great details.  Many have "the magic happens here" steps that lead to creativity, innovation, and occasionally weeping.  For some reason, my magic step here was "do the other leg".  Since I had done all the plate positioning directly on the first leg I didn't really have a pattern to work with.  What to do?  The answer was prick and pounce - armor style!

Sidewalk chalk for copying pattern

I borrowed my son's sidewalk chalk and used it to make maximum mess on the splint plates.  The plates with the texture side up did a much better job of being chalky, but the smooth plates did adequate.  When all the splints were thoroughly dusted, I carefully lined up the two pieces, flipped them over, pressed down carefully (no shifting!), and then removed the chalked piece.

Copying success!

The result was a magnificent success!  I was hoping for it to work well enough for a fiddly approximation, but the copy was perfect!  After the surprisingly effective pattern transfer gluing the second leg was a breeze.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Acts of random dye-ness

{Wool, nice spun silk, cheap silk} dyed with red cabbage

 I was making myself a nice cabbage dish the other day and couldn't bring myself to throw out the pot of bright purple water.  So, instead I added some thread.   Perfectly logical.  Anyway, here's the results of the test run.  Above is are the three samples {wool, nice spun silk, cheap silk} dyed with purple cabbage using a cream of tartar mordant and a bit of vinegar on the rinse.  I like that all three of the pinks come from the same batch.  The cheap silk made the brightest pink.  Also, since purple cabbage makes a nice litmus test (literally) you can see the clothespins with their nice basic wood (pink) and apparently something acidic going on with the metal (green).  You can use your excess cabbage to make litmus strips and test all the things for fun!  Science! Yay!

I liked the result and then got to thinging "Now what am I going to do with this?"  Obviously I needed another color, so I found another skein of the cheap silk and let it stew in the left-over coffee from yesterday.  After drying I got a really nice yellow out of it.  So there you have it - random project complete.  I'm really not sure what I'm going to do with it yet.  The colors on these threads will be more delicate, so I won't make anything that must be washed frequently or with gusto.

Dyed another skein of the cheap silk.  I used left over coffe :)