Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

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Reiver
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Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby Reiver » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:50 pm

Afternoon all,
My next project is to make a CoP or Armoured surcoat type affair to wear over my maille & Gambie. I was going to use a reasonably heavy canvas (12oz??)and then fasten the plates straight to that. I was wondering if anyone could recomend the best way to fasten the plates to the cloth, am obviously looking at rivets but which would be the best type to use? The plates will be 1.4mm thick so not a great deal of width to play with their.
Any advice on where to go with this, would snap rivets be too heavy for something like this?
Any advice greatl;y recieved.


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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby zauberdachs » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:36 am

I had a COP made from canvas. It was good and it looked more convincing than the "normal" type made from leather.

Some recommendations:

1. Base it on a historical design such as Wisby designs.
2. Don't use pop rivets. Not only will you end up looking like a film extra from Braveheart but they're not up to the job.
3. Use some kind of washers, perhaps leather, to help stop the rivets ripping the fabric over time.


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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby Lindsay » Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:44 am

I would have thought some sort of nail would be better than rivets, they can push through the fabric more easily then you can clip the point off and peen down the rest.


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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby zauberdachs » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:10 pm

Lindsay wrote:I would have thought some sort of nail would be better than rivets, they can push through the fabric more easily then you can clip the point off and peen down the rest.


Nail / Rivet pretty much the same thing out of the forge :)


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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby Reiver » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:30 pm

Thanks for the relies folks.
I wasn't aiming for something as late on as the Wisby style (mid 14th irrc??)

I was looking at something more like in this article http://www.armourarchive.org/essays/armoured_surcoat/
Except not a full sorcaot, a lot shorter one to wear under a surcoat as i wear different coloured surcoats depending on where and what we are doing.

The article mentions Tinner's rivets but a search on good ole ebay found nothing, but hey the article is American and they do have funny names for things out in the Colonies these days :)


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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby Colin Middleton » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:40 pm

I think that I'd be inclined to fasten the plates to a separate sheet of canvas, then sew that to the surcoat. That will give you the flexibility to have the surcoat in a different weight and reduce the amount of fabric that you have to replace, should one of them become damaged.

As Zauberdachs says, nails and rivits are interchangeable. Many medieval manuscripts call rivits nails. I'd also take the advice about the washer VERY seriously. They'll dramatically prolong the life of that garment.

Best of luck.


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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby zauberdachs » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:38 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:As Zauberdachs says, nails and rivits are interchangeable. Many medieval manuscripts call rivits nails.


They are often called "arming nails" in the manuscripts which slightly confused me when I first started reading them...


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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby sirmac » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:49 pm

The plates currently attached to my leather-based CoP (Wisby stylee) were originally attached to a heavy canvas base. Heed the washer advice, I didn't use them. Needless to say in very short time the rivets/nails ripped through. My knowledge of the base material used for these armours is minimal, but I would suggest using leather base whatever the period. The current incarnation is still going very strong.



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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby deBrownhill » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:11 am

my current cop uses two layers of canvas for the structural layers. Upholstery tacks have broad heads and thin shanks which is what I used for mine and they are holding up well.
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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby Chris T » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:00 am

Leather has a lot of advantages for this type of job (I can't help it, I'm a leatherworker!). If you use canvas etc, try to make your holes by pushing between the threads rather than cutting them: each thread you avoid cutting is one less to unravel later.
Take the advice about washers (probably technically 'roves' when used in this context): unless your rivet heads are large use one on the head side as well: these could be in the form of decorative plates.

Use solid rivets: modern cheats such as bifurcated, two part and pot are unauthentic (and dont half look it), and not normally strong enough. Keep the rivets as short as possible: the longer the shaft is the more they will tend to fold over at an angle rather than staying straight. Sharp edges should be removed from the inside of the plates / rivets /roves as well as the outside, especially when using cloth. Like most things, a bit of care and attention to detail may take a bit longer but will tend to produce a much better and longer lasting product. As an example, do some test riveting before you start on the work itself, using exactly the same combination of plates, backing, roves etc. Yes, it takes time and materials, but believe me it will be worth it, as it is difficult and time consuming to remove a badly set rivet, and normally causes at least some damage to the work.



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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby Chris T » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:08 am

And..........In the context I think the chap means solid rivets. What were traditionally known as tinmans rivets were actually small cones made from offcuts of the tinplate, rolled and used as rivets by the itinerent tinmen who used to go door to door repairing pots and kettles. Obviously, not only were these for fairly light duty repairs, but they also wanted some trade when they came back that way, so there was a certain advantage in not doing too good a repair.



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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:41 pm

Chris T wrote:Leather has a lot of advantages for this type of job (I can't help it, I'm a leatherworker!).


While I agree with all your other advice on this point, what advantages does leather offer?

Many thanks


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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby Chris T » Mon May 09, 2011 11:49 am

Leather (and I am talking decent leather, not pseudosuede split to within an inch of its life) does not unravel like cloth does if some threads are cut. Tears and holes made by weapons or the plates/ fixings, abrasion etc are less liable to occur, and if they do occur they do not tend to spread in the same way as cloth does. Basically, a leather/ plate garment IMO will last better than a cloth one, and provide better protection.



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Re: Advice on making an Early CoP/Armoured Surcoat

Postby Dingo8MyBaby » Mon May 09, 2011 8:01 pm

The early reinforced surcoats were nothing like the cop's most are relating to.

Basically make a two layer surcoat out of thick linen and sew pockets into it to contain the metal plates (there is no overlap) straps on the sides to close it to the body and the proper surcoat over the top.




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