LR - Sheild musings (was true fighter experience, (was I shoulda known))

Sluggy slugmusk at
Fri Jul 28 13:32:08 PDT 2000

Padraig Ruad O'Maolagain wrote:

> This is why I have gone to the 24x42 inch shield - you wouldn't 
> think a lousy six inches of shield could make that much of a 
> difference, but it does, especially for those of us over 6 feet tall.

The biggest complaint I have about shields in general (and mine in
particular) is carrying weight. Once a shield reaches a certain minimum
weight for safety, every unnecessary ounce adds to my discomfort in
weilding it.

According to the online version of the sheild standards,
a shield should weight a minimum of 1 pound per square foot of area.
This is considered a guideline rather than a hard rule, but I would
certainly treat it as a rule. The idea is that the shield have enough
inertia to absorb the force of the blow.

Thus, a 24x36 shield would have to weigh at least 6 pounds to be legal.
A 24x42 shield needs to weigh 7 pounds. (The easiest way to calculate
the area of the shield is to multiply shield width times height in
inches and divide by 144. This gives you the square footage of the

My shield, made of 3/8" plywood with aluminum channel and garden hose
edging, a steel basket and a leather strap with a buckle, weighs in a
little over 8 pounds, 33% heavier than it legally needs to be.

If I were to add 6 inches to the bottom of it without changing the
construction, it would probably gain another pound or so and still be
about 28% over the requirement.

Now, if I were to narrow it some to compensate with the added
length....  A 22x40 would only add .11 square feet to the size, thus
only a couple of ounces, but I would gain 4 extra inches of vertical

What would be the real effect of narrowing the shield by only 2 inches? 

I could also lighten my shield several ways. I could replace the leather
strap and buckle with nylon. I could use aluminum or suitable plastic
instead of steel for the basket. I could lose the aluminum at the edges,
but that extends the life of a shield significantly. I could pad the
edges with something lighter than garden hose, maybe rawhide (would
probably look a little less mundane, too). 

The 3/8" plywood mine is made of is just about as thin as I feel would
be safe for plywood, at least of the cheap grades. Maybe marine grade
plywood could still be strong but run a little thinner? Marine plywood
might be significantly less prone to warping in the seemingly inevitable
dampness of the springtime events...

Then I could take and old bowsaw blade and put it on the edges of the
shield to grab swords and put in a window covered with plexiglas to see
through, aluminum foil covering and maybe a photo strobe to blind my
opponents and a stun gun wired to the bolt heads on the outside...

Well, maybe not all that, but I think playing with the dimensions is
still a good idea....




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