Started my steel armorSubscribe
  1. future9er24's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2008
    Feb 16, 2008, 1:56 AM - Started my steel armor #1

    Hey everyone.

    Well, I went out today, bought some powertools, a sheet of steel and other assorted bits so I could start making my armor. Unfortunately it got a little late, and I wasn't able to start cutting, but I'll start right away in the morn.

    I got a 24"x36" sheet of 16GA weldable steel for $40. I already used the Jango templates and printed out/traced the template onto the steel. For some odd reason, the percentages to set the print size to were a little off for me, so I experimented until it felt/looked right.

    All I have drawn out are the chest plates and shoulder pads. Thats pretty much all I could fit on the steel. Maybe I can use the leftover for some custom greeblies later, who knows.

    anyhow, I managed to snap one pic of the sheet with my phone before going inside to watch super troopers with my buddy, who is helping me on this project

    I can't wait to get some more work done! More pics tomorrow, I promise

    EDIT: didn't realize my friend erased the original picture from my phone, and drew all over the armor plates. *sigh* friends. whatcha gonna do?
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  3. I helped at SDCC '08 Silver Fett's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2007
    Feb 16, 2008, 2:19 AM - Re: Started my steel armor #2

    WOW, steel armor?!?!? Thats gonna be very cool bro. That looks like its going to be one big project.

    Be sure to post some progress pics dude.
  4. future9er24's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2008
    Feb 16, 2008, 2:32 AM - Re: Started my steel armor #3

    Don't you worry, there will be plenty of updating in this thread. I'll see if I can get some video of the cutting tomorrow too. why not right?
  5. MandoMan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2005
    Feb 16, 2008, 2:47 AM - Re: Started my steel armor #4

    Looks like a good start! One thing though, are you making a Boba suit? Reason I ask is that if I'm not mistaken, the templates you used are for Jango. Just wanted to let you know before you started cutting it out.

    If you can get a video, I'd really appreciate that! I've been contemplating making some metal armor, but not sure of the best way to go about cutting it out.
  6. future9er24's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2008
    Feb 16, 2008, 3:06 AM - Re: Started my steel armor #5

    I'm making a custom, so which template I use isn't too much of an issue. The reason I chose Jango though, was in case I decide to do more of the leg armor, then I have all the templates downloaded for future reference. I'm not sure how gauntlets are going to turn out, and I don't have the cash right now for the backplate lol...

    Yeah, I know I'm going to spend a rather large sum of money on this. So much for budget build.

    As for cutting it, MandoMan, I have an angle grinder and some cutting wheels for it. That was good enough for overhauling a rusty horse trailer a few years ago, so hopefully it will be good enough for this. We'll all see how effective it is tomorrow, that's for sure

    For bending, I have a propane torch somewhere in the garage, but before I start digging for that I'm going to give old school blacksmithing a try. I took out the grills from our BBQ and I'll see how helpful charcoal is for heating up steel to desired bending temperature. Even got a new hammer with a rounded backside and a mini anvil
  7. I helped at SDCC '08 Jimmy BufFETT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2006
    Feb 16, 2008, 3:16 AM - Re: Started my steel armor #6

    Steel armor?! Dude, that is sweet!
  8. future9er24's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2008
    Feb 16, 2008, 1:29 PM - Re: Started my steel armor #7

    So.... A regular angle grinder with a 4.5" cutting wheel rips through 16 GA steel like a lightsaber through gungan flesh. It's a little hard to control lol. I've decided after cutting out my first piece, to wait for my friend to come over so we can keep the steel steady while we cut.

    I got the gut piece cut, its a little rough on one side (i forgot, and then quickly remembered i need to give myself a good bit of room around the lines...) but there is enough "leway" on the rest of the piece for me to make it work. This is not going to be a quick and easy process, there is going to be alot of cutting and alot more sanding and "adjusting" of the metal before its even remotely good enough to work with. The pictures below can demonstrate the roughness of everything

    now I know this is what you all are really interested in:

    Heres what the rest of the sheet looks like as of now

    If you're thinking about this and have never worked with metal, or power tools like the grinder, I recommend you practice on a few sheets of garbage metal first. I've done this before, and I still made a few mistakes. This thing spews sparks everwhere, so naturally make sure theres nothing flammable around and that your clothing isnt hanging loose, hair tied back, etc. The gorram thing is pretty strong too (That, or I'm weak :P) so be careful.

    That being said I think anyone can do this, if they practice enough first and become comfortable with the tools, etc.

    Also, you can see just how much cutting I did on the picture of the whole sheet. That much used up the entire cutting wheel, its unusable as of now. Not too big of a deal, they're around $3 each, but just something for everyone to think about. You're gonna need alot of wheels lol

    more updates when I get some more work done. Like I said, waiting for my buddy to come over
  9. stormtrooperguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2004
    Feb 16, 2008, 3:44 PM - Re: Started my steel armor #8

    nice! angle grinders are fun, but i have a really hard time keeping one steady. you should have seen me grinding at the inside of my helmet with one! terrifying to behold!!
  10. future9er24's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2008
    Feb 16, 2008, 7:16 PM - Re: Started my steel armor #9


    Bent the gut plate some

    cutting out right chestplate

    Bending up that chestplate properly (with a hammer!!!)

    thought we'd "cook" the metal for an interesting finish


    Cut out some more pieces, and hammered them as needed

    More time cooking

    I went through FIVE cutting wheels to do all this. One broke, that was my fault, but it was getting close to the end of its life when I did that anyhow.

    My buddy had to drive to UCB to get to work, and I cleaned up and am relaxing now.

    Oh, to explain the process, after cutting along the template lines with the grinder, we smoothed the edges out a bit and rounded the corners with a dremel. The bending was initioally done by hand on the gutplate, but after discovering how well the hammering works with the breastpieces, we switched. Plus, since instead of an anvil, we used bricks, there is a neat imprint on the front of the armor. Looks pretty nicely weathered.

    They aren't perfect yet, but I know I'll be spending plenty of time making them all perrdy in the future.

    I may have left some things out, ask any questions you all want and I'll try to do my best do answer them
  11. formerly LOPERO Scoutleader's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2006
    Feb 16, 2008, 10:32 PM - Re: Started my steel armor #10

    Wow ....I applaude you on your project :thumbup

    I had been considering starting a project like this up at work using my plasma cutter to cut the steel out but I am stuck with a problem that you might have figured out to get around.
    How do you plan on getting your hammer marks out?
    I read that you are heated the metal up to help up with the bends and shapes but it looks like you had to do some hammering.I noticed dimples in the metal before you heated them,well it lookslike dimples in the photos.
    Do you have access to a English Wheel to smooth the metal out?
    I dont and that is the problem I have been trying to work out before I start cutting.
    Much luck with the rest of your project
  12. future9er24's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2008
    Feb 16, 2008, 11:18 PM - Re: Started my steel armor #11

    Thanks for the applause

    That plasma cutter would be much nicer to use than an angle grinder for the cutting. If I had one available, I might have gone that route. I need a grinder for a few other things too though, and its a pretty useful little deal. I'm tired of borrowing powertools :P

    As for the hammer marks, they are all on the inside of the armor, and won't be seen. On the outside though, there are imprints of the cinder block on the face, but I kind of like the look. It looks used and a little weathered, like the armor was old.

    Heated metal will definitely bend more readily, but i have less in the way of equipment for handling scalding hot steel. It was simpler for me to just bend by hand/hammer.

    It seems to me you're going to want a smooth finish to the metal for your armor. That can still be accomplished with a grinder with a sanding attachment, rather than a cutting wheel. After that, spend a few hours buffing and it should be smooth and shiny. I've made some old crappy metal look shiny and new again when restoring cars/horse trailers and those techniques worked there. I don't see why they wouldn't apply here.

    Another thing that occured to me is I could have used a rubber mallet and hammered on a smoother surfacec. Then I could have got the bends in without any crazy imprints. Keep in mind I used a traditional "put a nail in the wall" hammer, not anything specialzed for metal work.

    Of course thats if you plan on leaving it bare metal. If you were going to paint it, a little body filler and sanding and it would be smooth as anything.
  13. future9er24's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2008
    Feb 24, 2008, 5:07 PM - Re: Started my steel armor #12

    The "burnt" finish wasn't looking so swell a week later, so I sanded it down for a bare metal look. Its rather shiny now :P (apologies for the phone pic)

    I also finished filing down the edges to be less sharp.

    What does everyone do for vests? I'm not sure where to go from here. I did buy some industrial strength velcro to attach the armor to whatever vest I get, but like i said, therein lies the issue: What vest?
  14. I helped at SDCC '08 GCNgamer128's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2006
    Feb 24, 2008, 5:16 PM - Re: Started my steel armor #13

    Were you planning to do Boba armour? Because the templates you have selected and used to construct were that of Jango's templates.
  15. future9er24's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2008
    Feb 24, 2008, 5:19 PM - Re: Started my steel armor #14

    I'm doing a custom. I chose the jango templates in case I want to do the full set of armor. I might in time, for now I'm just doing the torso pieces.
  16. I helped at SDCC '08 GCNgamer128's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2006
    Feb 24, 2008, 9:23 PM - Re: Started my steel armor #15

    No problem!! I'm just making sure because I've seen people mix up the templates before.
  17. Feb 25, 2008, 12:12 AM - Re: Started my steel armor #16

    Just from someone who is kicking themselves over the same move, really look at snaps or rivets over velcro. Mine is not working so well.
  18. SWGmandoBF's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2011
    Jun 12, 2011, 3:06 PM - Re: Started my steel armor #17

    Hey man fantastic job im working of suit of steel also yours is coming along greatly !

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