I needed some gauntlets for my part in "Macbeth" but no one we knew had any. I looked online, and found mostly junk, and the few that were any good were also very expensive, and much too long of a timeframe. With the deadline fast approaching, I took matters into my own hands. Guided by the trusty Armour Archive and with my employer's gracious donation of scrap sheet metal and the use of the shop, the matter was accomplished in a rough trice.
Total time is estimated at 55 hours, 40 of which was spent shaping and riveting the plates. It was with much prayer that these were made. I thank God, father of Jesus the Christ, for the skill He has lent me.
After floating around in boxes for a few years, the gauntlets (along with the chain mail my brothers and I made years ago) have found a home hanging on the wall in my living room.
Solid stainless steel plate mail gauntlets make sweet motorcycle gloves! However, they are less comfortable than my normal gloves, and harder to don and doff. I'm also told they may a liability in a crash, due to their weight. No test data on that front (fortunately). Several years after completion, these things are still around. I've done some maintenance on the internal bindings, but overall they have proven quite durable.
The razor eyed observer can espy under the index finger, the leather which holds the whole gauntlet together. These strips were riveted to the plates, and then sewn to the gloves. The aforementioned observer may also note that the leather seems too thick. Next time, I'll use something a bit more flexible, and less cramp inducing.
Yes that's right! If you make your own plate gauntlets, you too can manually display the number three both in safety and with ease!
This wrist gave me the most trouble of the whole project. In the original design there was only one wrist plate (bah!). Added to the thick leather strips and rivets, plus an under-estimation in the size of the bell (the part at the arm end), the extra plates made the wrist section un-navigable by my hand. Expanding the bell, re-working the wrist plates, and some improvised brass staples seem to have solved the problem.
Or have they?
The cupped individual fingers protects against sword blows resulting in mashing. If the plates were only along the back of the fingers (as seen in most cinematic armor), combat would result in the gauntlets becoming armored salsa bags. As it is, the inverted 'U' crossection transfers the energy from the armor straight thru to the hilt, leaving your fingers un-crushed to continue the fight!
Ideally, I would be weilding a sword at this point. Ideally there would be something to weild a sword at. When a sword and plate gauntlets are combined, the set bonuses require slaughter. That is a risk I can not, in good concience, take.
At this point I am really glad that the gauntlets are finished. You can see the individual articulation at work here in these useful hand gestures.
The plate gauntlets on my desk, with a tasteful Morning Glory vine. This is immediately after assembly.
At this point I have spent 20 hours in three days staying late after work, cutting and forming the metal pieces. I haven't tried them out very thoroughly, but I think they will work.
Here is all I should need to complete the gauntlets. Everything but the metal was bought from McMaster Carr, the candyland of engineers. On the right is the leather to hold it all together, next to that are some rivets and a rivet setting tool. In the middle are the gloves, technically "mig welding gloves" but they are padded on the back, and made of sturdy deerskin, and should do nicely. I'm going to have to let out the seam in the left thumb a bit though, as it fits too tight. On the far left are some washers and rings, for the rivets and hand straps respectively.
Here is the back of the hand plate. This is about what all the pieces looked like untill I buffed them out.
This is the back side of the knuckle plate. You can see it's pretty beat up already, and I haven't even used it yet! This piece was formed (like much of the gauntlet) mostly with a ball-peen hammer and a chisel on a block of wood.
A close up of the metal pieces for the gauntlet. I'm surprised at how well it's come out so far, but even so it looks better from a few feet away than it does up close. It also looks better in the picture than it does in real life (IMHO).