Mattyd's Society for Creative Anachronism page


My EK Wiki

...Essays/ Making a shield for SCA combat
There are many ways to cover a shield for SCA combat. This is the one I use and it works for me. Feel free to 'season to taste'.

Making a shield for SCA combat

Step 1, prep the surface:

- Sand the front and back of the shield blank so that the glue will have a good surface to grip to. I use an aluminum shield as all my wood blanks failed catastrophically after a short time.

- Clean all the dust off the shield blank.

Step 2, cover shield:

- Cut your canvas to shape (cut it big so it overlaps).

- Water down the glue (1/3 - 1/2 water to glue). I use an Elmers-esque wood glue product (it said "33% free" and I said "come to daddy!").

- Take a paint brush and liberally coated the surface with the glue (do the inside of the shield first). Note: YOU WILL MAKE A MESS, it drips, a lot!

- Then, layer the precut canvas on top and apply more glue with the brush. Full saturation of canvas is the goal. Spread the canvas flat with your hands or a "bondo spreader". Do not scrape the glue away, you are ensuring that the glue is evenly spread.

- Fold the canvas over the shield edges. Make cuts into the canvas where it wraps over the edge so it lays flat. Use clothespins to secure.

- When it is dry, repeat on the other side.

Step 3, surface and edge:

- Prime with a glue enhanced primer. Let dry.

- Attach nylon strapping to the edge with liquid-nails or another building adhesive. Use clothespins to secure. If you're using plywood for the shield, replace the nylon strap with 1/2 inch rope.

Step 4, finish:

- Drill holes for straps, and strap the shield.

- Paint to taste. Clear coat.
I use Polycrilic for the clear coat. I like the flat finish.

- Drill holes for lacing.

- Take a hose (I use vinyl tubing) and cut a slit down the length.

- Place hose on the shield and add lacing to secure.
For the lacing, I take parachute cord, and remove the white strands from the inside, leaving the cord shell. I find that this makes the cord get cut less and last longer.

Step 5, Take a pic!:

* All of my sanding and painting are done outside and I use a mask. Safety 1st!

A shield I painted for my Duchy-mate, Damon von Drachenklaue. The Russian is roughly "In the name of Christ, I pray to you God, protect my honor and keep me and my opponent safe. Amen."

More shield art on the Shield page.

Here are other tutorials on making a shield for SCA combat.

- Corby de la Flamme's Shield tutorial
- Bartholomew's SCA shield tutorial
- Caladin Ironhearth's SCA shield tutorial

Or, buy one of Vitus von Atzinger's shields at Atzinger Shieldworks