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Forge a Medieval Great Helm

This is a tutorial on how to make a medieval great helm. I show you the whole process from start to finish. And a great helm is a sturdy and durable helmet that is not too complicated to construct. And once assembled it has no moving parts which makes it a pretty good beginner helmet if you are inclined to be an armorer!

I have a template for this project right here.

Video Tutorial: I also have a vid tutorial on this project. It is at the bottom of this page.



Hand made medieval great helm

What you need for this project:

  • (SAFETY WARNING: Do not use any type of galvanized steel for this project. not for the sheet steel or the rivets! When heated it gives off a dangerous toxic fume. Always be sure your metal is not galvanized)
  • A piece of sheet steel (I use 16 gauge steel) go with 14 if you want a stronger helmet and go with 18 gauge if you don't need the strength. Note that the thicker the steel the more difficult it is to work with! (Here is the exact piece of sheet steel I bought for this helmet: (A36 Steel Sheet, Unpolished (Mill) Finish, Hot Rolled, ASTM A36, 0.06" Thickness, 12" Width, 48" Length, 16 Gauge )
  • Some type of forging or heating setup to heat and shape the steel.
  • Hand tools both to cut and to shape the steel, I used a sheet metal shear, hand shears, jigsaw, drill
  • Rivets for riveting the parts together (I will take another look at the rivets and show you more)
  • Wire brush, wire brush attachment for a drill
  • Lots of emory paper
  • The template (optional)


Let's start by making the steel pieces


The paper template

I first made the paper helmet. Experiment with this. Mine is three pieces which will make it easy for the later metal work.








The paper pieces

Here are the three pieces.






Try it on for sizeOf course, try that helmet on. Doesn't do any good to have a nice helmet that doesn't fit!!! This is an important part of the process.








The sheet steelHere is the piece of sheet steel. It is laid out on the floor. It is 16 gauge thick, 12 inches wide and 48 inches long. I actually waited before ordering this until I had the poster board helmet done so I could see the lengths needed.






trace the shapes onto the steel

Take apart the paper helmet and lay the pieces out on your steel. Tape them down and trace them with a sharpie.





Add tabsThe top of the helmet needs to attach to the helmet with rivets. For that we need tabs that will fold over. I added these tabs by cutting a piece of cardboard to size then tracing it eight times at spots around the helmet.

I will show you more of this.






Cut the shapes outNow we cut those pieces out. I used a variety of tools including a sheet metal shear which is the easiest.







File the edges

There are a lot of sharp edges on all that cut steel so file everything carefully so it is safe and you don't get cut when handling it.

This picture also gives you a good idea of what I mean by tabs on the top piece of the helmet.





All the piecesHere are the three metal pieces just like the paper pieces. It all looks very good.








NextOk, the parts are done. Let's continue making this helmet.

This is the Video Tutorial of this project: (Part 1)

(Part 2)



A36 Steel Sheet,

A36 Steel Sheet, Unpolished (Mill) Finish, Hot Rolled, ASTM A36, 0.06" Thickness, 12" Width, 48" Length, 16 Gauge



Techniques Of Medieval Armour Reproduction Techniques Of Medieval Armour Reproduction: The 14th Century (Medieval & Renaissance)

Few historical icons can match the evocative power of the medieval suit of armour, and this epic new book is a complete course in the tools and techniques of the modern armourer's art. Through more than 1,000 detailed photos and clear instruction, Brian Price presents a working handbook for aspiring and active armourers who want to develop their skills in the production of medieval armour in the style of the 14th century. The book is divided into four sections: a sweeping history of armour and its production from its medieval roots to its modern revival; a practical introduction to all the tools and supplies necessary to equip a modern workshop; a thorough review of key techniques; and a series of actual courses in constructing armoured defenses for the head, body, arm, hand and leg. Taking the reader through the construction of an authentic medieval harness from conception to completion, Techniques of Medieval Armour Reproduction is a vital addition to the libraries of serious craftsmen, historians, collectors and researchers.


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