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13th Century Helm

Military helmets date from ancient times. Their basic function was to protect the head, face, and sometimes the neck from the cutting blows of swords, spears, arrows, and other weapons. About the year 1200 the helm, or heaume, emerged. It was a flat-topped cylinder that was put on over the skullcap just before an engagement; experience soon dictated rounded contours that would cause blows to glance off.

13th Century HelmThe helm is designed to cut from sheet metal. Any good, thin sheet metal can be used. It is suggested that stove pipe be used. A single 3 foot section of stove pipe will be enough to construct the Helm.

The helm is to be constructed fro five separate pieces of metal: A,B,C,D and E. Pieces C and D are cut the same size and shape. The only difference is that a 5"x 1/4" notch is to be cut in piece C. Drill holes in piece B, as well as along the top and ends of piece C, and the sides and bottom of piece D, along the bottom of piece C, and along the sides of piece e only when the overlapping pieces have been positioned so that the holes line up.

The pieces are to be attached with pop rivets. Push rivets in from the outside. Crease the center of section B as it is put into place. It is recommended that 1/8" x 1/4" rivets be used.

Because the interior of the helmate contains the ends of rivets and may contain sharp edges of sheet metal, the helm should never be worn without an internal piece of padding. A piece of cloth may be placed over the head or a gray hooded sweat shirt may be worn to simulate chain mail.

The figures below illustrate the manner in which the helm was worn. A padded, chain mail hood was worn below the helm. In some cases, the padding below the chain mail consisted of a separate coif, or tight cap, over which the chain mail hood was then placed.

13th Century Helm Wear
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