how to make aiglets

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how to make aiglets

Postby Arenaldiel » Mon May 26, 2008 5:34 pm

Hello
I've searched for this topic on the forum but it seems to have never been discussed! (of course it can be that I've searched in the wrong way).
Does anyone know, and would like to share how to make those nice brass (or any other metal) lace tips-chapes called agilets-aiglets-agilettes?
thank you in advance.
also links, books suggestions are welcome.

Ciao

Giovanni
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Postby The Iron Dwarf » Mon May 26, 2008 5:39 pm

I have been asked in the last few days to supply tools for making them and am just waiting to hear if the tools I have designed are right before I go ahead and make them
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Postby The Iron Dwarf » Mon May 26, 2008 5:44 pm

here is what I was asked by email.
********************************************************

Another tool I've been considering is for making aiglets (the brass points on the end of medieval ties and laces). It would need to be a simple plate with a conical groove cut in it and a matching 'spike'. You then place a bit peice of brass sheet over the groove, place the 'spike' to match and hammer the plate into the groove, move the plate over a little and repeat this. Eventually this should produce a cone of brass, which you can glue on to the end of the lace.


*********************************************************
I am waiting to hear if the size I have in mind is correct
forges, fireboxes tools and more.
http://uk.ebid.net/buddy/52487
new stuff inc chainshot + grenadoes.
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Aiglets...

Postby lucy the tudor » Mon May 26, 2008 6:07 pm

Well, that does sound like an easier way, but it is not too hard to do with pliers and a hand drill.
It is not that they are hard to make that makes folk buy them from me, just that it is a lot of faffing about when they are so cheap to buy from someone who has already worked out the size and shape and sourced the brass. Got to keep us artisans employed you know :wink:
Mine are £2.50 for a card of six aiglets, postage is not much £1.20 for up to four cards then £2.00 for more.
Just trying to make your lives easier folks, honest...
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Postby John Waller » Mon May 26, 2008 6:53 pm

Cut a truncated triangle about 5mm x 25mm x 10mm from 0.25mm brass sheet. I then anneal the blanks and use a small punch to mark where to drill the rivet hole. I form mine using a light hammer around a small pointed file using a groove in a piece wood made with the file - sounds like a similar idea to that proposed by Iron Dwarf. Drill the holes then tidy up with a file. If you want to make then nice and bright again, soak in vinegar for a while then rinse with water. It took me a little while to work out the technique but can now turn them out quite quickly.
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Postby Colin Middleton » Wed May 28, 2008 12:30 pm

The Iron Dwarf wrote:I have been asked in the last few days to supply tools for making them and am just waiting to hear if the tools I have designed are right before I go ahead and make them


I guess that means I'd better check my e-mail tonight then. :oops:

Lucy, that's a wonderful price for aiglets. Do you do ones suitable for medieval as well as ones suitable for Tudor (I cabn't remember the difference, is it length that changes?
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Postby John Waller » Wed May 28, 2008 12:48 pm

[quote="Colin Middleton
Lucy, that's a wonderful price for aiglets. Do you do ones suitable for medieval as well as ones suitable for Tudor (I cabn't remember the difference, is it length that changes?[/quote]

Mine are 30p each.
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Postby Colin Middleton » Fri May 30, 2008 12:34 pm

Okay, so we've got a price war going on between Lucy and John and I've never seen EITHER OF THEIR STALLS! I'm off to sulk! :evil:

I'll keep an eye out for both of you this year.

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Postby The Iron Dwarf » Fri May 30, 2008 6:57 pm

you could have looked at the boot camp, lucy was next to me.
forges, fireboxes tools and more.
http://uk.ebid.net/buddy/52487
new stuff inc chainshot + grenadoes.
go to the EMA training weekend or midfest and have a go on the forge

soon to be seen, the new 'IRON DWARF POWER HAMMER'
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Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:03 pm

I was too buisy being distracted by her saws. If I'd know she did aiglets, I'd have looked closer, as it was I left my wife to the fluffy bits and paid my attention to the wonderful variety of sharp things on display. :oops:
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Postby gregory23b » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:08 pm

I have a set of Waller's, and they are spot on, nice and thin, nicely finished and even pickled, lightweight, looks like some sort of brass shim.

John, do you now supply them with iron rivets?

If so, can I have some of them, the rivets that it.
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Postby lucy the tudor » Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:20 pm

Gosh I've been distracted and missed a business question! SHAME ON ME!
Mine can be slightly conical (standard) or plain straight ones , both with plain ends. I don't do them with rivets though. Lots of people just sew them on, me included I confess.
I am told that the very straight ones are more Tudor and the conical more muddyevil, but as the opinions vary on this I do tend to let you decide if they suit your period. Straight ones were found on the Mary Rose, and shorter than people usually want them now.
They are nice and shiny, and I will be bringing some to Tatton this weekend.
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Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:40 pm

I use Wickes Panel Pins for rivits, just push it through, snip the point (and possibly some of the head) off and peen it over.

Luck, the MoL book seems to list most (if not all) of their chapes as narrow (only a few mm wide at that top) and tapered and no longer than about 4.5 cm. They're upto 1450. I'm not sure beyond that date...
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Postby John Waller » Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:54 pm

gregory23b wrote:I have a set of Waller's, and they are spot on, nice and thin, nicely finished and even pickled, lightweight, looks like some sort of brass shim.

John, do you now supply them with iron rivets?

If so, can I have some of them, the rivets that it.


I have been unable to source iron rivets in the 1-2mm range. If anyone knows of a source I woud be interested. I do have some brass ones that I got from Tods Stuff.

Colin what diameter are the panel pins you have used?
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Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:20 pm

:oops: Don't know. :oops:

I'd have said 1 or 2 mm, but I've not measured them. I'll try to check tonight.

In the mean-time, they're on Wickes' website. Pins.
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Postby Thomas Hayman » Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:53 pm

You could use wire quite easily for rivets.
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Postby The Iron Dwarf » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:38 pm

I can get brass pins of just over 1mm and have a kilo of copper nails of between 2.5 and 3mm diameter that would make good rivets.
brass and copper rod or wire is avaliable in any size you want too and maybe I coulkd do a riveting block for my stake plate with loads of different indentations for any size you may need.
if you want a round head on them I would have to use a ball nose cutter but if you were not so particular I could just drill to varying depths with a conventional drill to get it conical with a flat top ( due to the chiesel point on the tip of drills )
forges, fireboxes tools and more.
http://uk.ebid.net/buddy/52487
new stuff inc chainshot + grenadoes.
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Postby Neibelungen » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:48 pm

Round heads tend to be available in about 1/16" thickness (1.6mm)
Flatter (boiler, mushroom and trapezopid) heads are available in 1/32/ 3/64th and 1/16 sizes. (0.8, 1.2 and 1.6mm)

Usual minumum order is around the 5,000 unit mark though.
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Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:01 am

John Waller wrote:Colin what diameter are the panel pins you have used?


The one that I measured this morning was about 1.5mm. Unfortunately I don't have any way to measure them acurately.

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Postby gregory23b » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:11 pm

Isn't iron the main holding method?
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Postby Colin Middleton » Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:38 pm

Those few example in the MoL book where they can work out what the rivit is are made from iron. On the other hand I defy you to find a MoP who pulls you up using steel not iron rivits to hold your points on. :shock:
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Postby gregory23b » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:48 am

"On the other hand I defy you to find a MoP who pulls you up using steel not iron rivits to hold your points on"

Sorry Colin, I was referring to the brass.

Also, were they domed or were they peined over in the making? The few Gary Smedlee points I possess are wired in and appear to be a ferrous bar/rod/wire that are simply tapped over and I know he has done a fair bit of first hand research on them, hence his replicas being so good.

Incidentally, the iron pins give an interesting patina around the hole, an interesting talking point about wear and decay.
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Postby Neibelungen » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:55 am

Generally from the MoL books they take two forms.

A simple tube, generally tapered, and open ended

A more precise tube, tapered, with the bottom rounded over to close it and a degree of filed fluting on the top. This then seems to be crimped close onto the cord.

Most of them do seem to be rivited, or at least have rivit holes, bit a few have evidence of stitching through them. Hard to say if that's original or a repair though.

A few of the undrilled ones have evidence of some sort of cement in them or else may have been crimped.

Tthe crimping is suggested to be a shaped whole in a hard block with a channel slot for the cord. Slide the cord and point into the chanel up to the shaped hole.. Tap down with a hammer and you crimp the top of the point closed round the cord. The fluted filling onthe top may be there to thin out the metal in order to make the crimp easier.

I tend to make mine that way, simply because it makes them slightly different to everybody elses, as well as rounding the bottom off in a dapping block.

Construction wise, I'm similar to the others.
A fine hard steel rod the size of the points internal dimension. A half taper channel filed into a steel block to half fold the brass around. I use a shaped punch to punch down the stock point sheet into the channel. This forms it up into a U shape in the middle
I differ in my closing, as I made a top plate for my lower steel block, practically the same as the bottom, but with a slightly wider opening.
I take the 'U' shaped half made point, place it in the bottom block with the steel internal pin over it. Then close down the top block over it which rolls the upright sides of the U over and closes the point. The inner steel pin closes down any burs on the inside of the drilled hole.
Finally I tap the point tip down into a half sphere to round the end and close it. The top is then filled round giving it 6 or 8 hexagonal fluted edges for crimping it closed or just a decorative effect. Final task is a quick reaming of the rivet hole to deburr. it. Usually I'll tumble them afterwards to polish them up.

The only advantage of my approach, using a top and bottom die, is that there's no need to anneal the metal and you can work with any guage of metal you require.

It's disadvantage is it requires a seperate set of die plates to do different size points and you need to take care cutting the raw stock for the point to get the sizes right. Top and botton die plates. A half shaped punch and a steel internal pin.

Historically it's basically the same approach as was used for coining and could easily be made the same way.
I cheat and use a fly press as well as piercing die to cut the stock point shapes out. iIcould cheat and make a punch and die for the rivet holes, but at that size (1/16") it's easier to just drill them.
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Postby John Waller » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:53 pm

Andrew,
Are you sure about the authenticity of the
6 or 8 hexagonal fluted edges for crimping it closed or just a decorative effect[b]? I have not seen this on museum examples nor is it illustrated in the MOL book. I agree it looks good and makes crimping them on easy but I have not seen an historic example.

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Postby Neibelungen » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:33 pm

"several ends have been finished - that is, they seem to have been neatly bent inwards, ..... and several others show faceting at one or both ends. Although filing (as opposed to champher cutting, as claimed by Oakley - 1979, 263) is a possible explanation for the faceting at the free end..... the sharper facets may be the result at the free end of filing, or at both ends of crimping with a pincer like tool)

MOL Dress Accessories p281-282.

Illustration 182

Items 1406, 1413, 1414, 1416, 1417, 1426, 1427, 1428,1429,1430,1431,1432,1435.

It may be my description was unclear as to the effect I was aiming at.
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