Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

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ericbryanwiggins
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Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

Postby ericbryanwiggins » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:48 pm

I know this probably should be filed under R&D, but that thread seems pretty dedicated to messer blunts at the moment, so I'm starting this one. Please feel free to move it.

From what I can tell, there doesn't seem to be much affordable rigid hand protection currently available. I have some ideas for all plastic and composite leather/metal gauntlets that I think might be doable for a reasonable price, but I need some community feedback on a couple of things.

1.) What is the more desirable material? Metal is going to protect better than plastic or leather in many cases, but is plastic or leather more desirable because they are less likely to damage people and wasters?

2.) Are finger gaunts the ideal? Between mittens, bifurcated, and finger gaunts, does anyone have a preference?

3.) Is a long, near elbow-length cuff preferred to a short cuff + additional forearm protection?

Any other considerations?
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Michael-Forest
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Re: Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

Postby Michael-Forest » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:50 pm

I personally prefer non-metal, finger gauntlets.
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Jonathan Mayshar
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Re: Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

Postby Jonathan Mayshar » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:14 pm

Eric, if you pull off affordable rigid hand protection then we may have to fashion you a crown.

Mittens or bifurcated mittens are only acceptable for harnessfechten, and then only if the gauntlets fit the style of armor you are learning to fight in. The nice thing about blossfechten is that we can assume that all fencers everywhere wanted to be able to move freely, so athletic clothes are athletic clothes.

So if we're talking finger-gauntlets for the paradox of "blossfechten armor," I vote metal because you can get the most protection in the least thickness and technique-interfering obtrusiveness. Safety and waster-wear is a matter of how the edges are handled.

Are you thinking of separate plates or overlapping and impact-spreading plates?

Do you plan to curve the plates around the sides of the fingers to create a U that can transfer force to the hilt or haft? Though I think this is only critical for polearms it would certainly help with swords, and I'd think you only need a horseshoe-like piece rather than the whole plate to wrap. If we're just talking about finger shields, then I think it's important not to leave off the outer sides of the index finger and little finger.
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Jason Taylor
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Re: Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

Postby Jason Taylor » Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:19 am

Yeah, I vote for fingered because I'm really trying to simulate blossfechten without getting my fingers snapped off by a waster. I don't think I can do thumb and finger grips in mittens or bifurcated gauntlets.

Seriously, though, if you pull this off and can help us do it, too, we're seriously going to owe you dinner every time you come out this way or we go out that way. And a beer at every event. Seriously. :)

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Re: Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

Postby Steven Reich » Fri Feb 05, 2010 4:08 am

For me, fingered gauntlets are a must as the system I practice uses complex hilted swords in which I finger the ricasso. I know you guys are mostly German practitioners, but I thought I'd throw in another viewpoint.

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Jake Norwood
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Re: Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

Postby Jake Norwood » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:11 am

That we need better hand protection for certain uses is pretty clear to me.

However.

The biggest threat to the hands percentage-wise is, IMO, waster play. Wasters just hit hands. My hand injuries have nearly vanished since moving to steel and changing my cutting mechanics. When I break out the wasters, e.g. for sword and buckler, I get thumped in the hand. I believe this is the experience of others that use quality steel blunts as well, though I don't have anything better than anecdote to support it.

For the longsword, it's worth noting that in the days of King Henry VIII, Henry wanted to use longswords in sport on the Field of Cloth and Gold. The king of France (Francis, I think), vetoed it, noting that there were no gauntlets available that could protect the hands from a longsword blow.* This was during the height of Armor-science, I think.

(I'm not an armor history expert, nor do I play one on the Internet...)

Anyway, let's talk about what features we're looking for. A possible list:

- You can grapple in it
- It has at least one articulated finger, for fingered ricasso grips
- inexpensive
- covers those areas which are most likely to be inured with a hard shell (subtopic: what are those areas?)
- looks like sports gear not reenactment/costume wear (this is a personal requirement, YMMV)

What else?

Jake


* This comes from Hutton's "Old Sword Play," which clearly isn't a primary source.
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Re: Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

Postby Ben Michels » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:01 am

Jake Norwood wrote:- covers those areas which are most likely to be inured with a hard shell (subtopic: what are those areas?)

* This comes from Hutton's "Old Sword Play," which clearly isn't a primary source.


Although my hand injuries have gone done quite a lot as well since moving to steel, I remember quite well most of the hard hits to my hands. The most commonly hit areas, for right handers on a longsword, are:

- The right thumb
- The middle knuckle area of the right hand and just below it
- The first knuckle area of the left hand
- Backs of both hands
- Wrists

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Re: Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

Postby Michael-Forest » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:36 am

To add to what Ben has said:

The pinkies, and for the right thumb, it absolutely needs lateral protection; the way I usually hold my sword, at least, the side of the thumb is very exposed.
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Re: Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

Postby Will Adamson » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:24 pm

I use these.

http://revival.us/kevlar-reinforcedligh ... loves.aspx

They took a long time to get broken in, but I think I've finally gotten them there. The biggest problem has been that with the big cuff I sometimes have problems getting my arm into proper position for some grappling techniques. I used to have trouble grabbing things and the palm was kinda slick, but the leather has gotten softer as they've been sweated in and are okay now.

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Jake Norwood
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Re: Project Proposal - Rigid Hand Protection

Postby Jake Norwood » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:57 pm

Could you provide a review? Are any parts of the glove hard?
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