ANST - barrel armour

Rhonda & Chuck Leggett leggettr at
Mon May 8 18:49:26 PDT 2000

Greetings, my fellow subject.  Please allow me to introduce myself.
I am known as Marion du Massue   (pronounced "Massey"), and I may
be able to help with some of your questions.  I have helped some few
new fighters to build armour out of those big industrial plastic drums, and
they are fairly simple, very sturdy, and easily maintained.
First item: Make sure you know what they were used for.  Car washes
sometimes can be talked out of them (these are usually white), and
you can feel fairly confident that whatever was in them was probably
not a hazardous substance -- just rinse it out 'till there are no suds.
If you buy them from a recycle place, you may want to make sure to
find one with a contents label that is legible & understandable.
Second item: Let's build something.  I generally cut the ends off with a
circular (power) saw, then cut it roughly in half lengthwise (end-to-end).
Then I can cut some strips  "crosswise" and some strips "lengthwise."
This way, when I cut the panels, or plates, I have some curved in either
direction to fit the shapes & contours of the body.  The plates for the
torso (kidney belt) are about 8-9 inches high by 4-5 inches wide; the
upper chest and upper back plates are about 5 inches square, and the
shoulders are about the same.  Tassets (skirting) is a good idea, especially
for inexperianced fighters, and can reduce the demand for leg armor (much
more complex to make).
Third item: Let's assemble it.  My favorite means of assembly is to use
round workboot laces, preferably long ones.  They are tough, strong, readily
available, and pre-threaded.  A bootlace in the armor box IS your repair
kit.  Just remember when you drill the (pairs of) holes in your plates to
drill them large enough to lace easily, but small enough that the knots (on
the outside)  can't pull through. Don't worry- the holes can't stretch.
Now for the hard part: Although I have made knees & elbows out of this, it
really isn't worth the effort.  Cheap steel ones can be had, better &
easier.  However, if you wish, send me a fax  # or a mailing address and
I'll send you a pattern that can work with a heat gun & welding gloves.
Since this material is a similar thickness to leather. then you can use a
leather vambrace pattern and a heat gun (or oven), but be sure to allow room
for padding.
I will use this as a seguey to the last item: PAD it. This material has many
advantages, one of which is NOT shock absorbancy.
Helmets will have to addressed elsewhere.  Sorry 'bout that.
Hope this helps.  It really is that simple.

        Yours in service,
                        Marion du Massue
                                (leggettr at

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