Monthly Archives: April 2021

Creating a spacing punch for Gothic edgework

A big part of making gothic edge decoration, which are typically repeating fleur-de-lis or heart motifs (or both) is punching the holes in exactly the right spot. It’s fairly easy to get the distance from the edge consistent (by using a set of dividers) but getting the parallel spacing can be much more of a challenge. Since I was spending a lot of time doing this (I’ve been working on a number of gothic gauntlets trying to prove out a pattern and a build methodology) I thought that it was time to make this easier on myself. This is a pretty simple project, and presents 2 ways of making spacing punches from drill bits. One set of punches gives me the appropriate spacing for 3/32″ holes, the second gives appropriate spacing for 1/8″ holes.

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April 2021 Gauntlet Progress

A quick snapshot of the gauntlets that I have heat treated: the first ones required a rebuild of the main plate on the right hand, but are otherwise heat treated and polished, the current (black) set are somewhat more elaborate and modelled off a set by Lorenz Helmschmidt (Maximillian’s A 62 suit in Vienna)

2 pairs of gauntlets under construction

I’ll need to update the gauntlet pattern to reflect some minor changes (like an extra few millimeters of overlap so that the pierced borders overlap onto steel) but I think that these are quite close to “good” patterns.

A bit of Progress on Gauntlets

So I’ve been working off and on getting the pattern for these gauntlets, as well as the decorative elements. It’s been a bit of a slog, but I thought that I should share some progress pics of the latest set ready for heat treating. The knuckle plates are a real pain to get right, and I am in awe of the medieval masters who will often get these within a fraction of a millimeter tolerance. I’m below a mm, but not through the entire range of motion.

1480 gothic gauntlets before heat treatment

Photo quality isn’t awesome, but I think that I have the hang of the fleur-de-lis: note the change in style from the cuff to the knuckle pivot. While both of these are “correct’ the points on the pivot are more elegant.

Why hearts on the majority of the gauntlet and “ellipses” on the knuckle plates? Because the “points” of the hearts line up with the ridge plates. There is a pair of Maximillian’s gauntlets with the elegant “point” decoration that was on display in “The Last Knight” which was cracked almost all the way through, so I decided to go with rounded rather than pointed terminations. I was also fairly tight on space for the overlap, so the saved 1/8″ keeps metal coverage to full extension, while hearts would have exposed a number of small areas.

I’m aware that I need to get the full build instructions up, and I will be updating the pattern to reflect the (minor) changes made for this iteration. I should have the fingers on this weekend, and will provide dimensions in case folks want to start building these (other than Ilkka, who has already started). I anticipate at least one more iteration on the pattern (for the full “Helmschmidt” decoration including the extra overlap plates) but after ~20 years of tweaking I think that this pattern is almost ready.