Making a Germanic shield boss

Making a Germanic shield boss

Postby Dan_Dalby on November 29th, 2010, 7:32 pm

Hi everyone!

I was hoping to make a Germanic shield boss, and I have all the equipment, but I was wondering where i could find the mechanics on actually making one.

thanks

Dan
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Re: Making a Germanic shield boss

Postby Maginhard on January 12th, 2011, 11:13 am

Metal our wood?
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Re: Making a Germanic shield boss

Postby J Meijer on February 1st, 2011, 11:56 am

Dan_Dalby wrote:Hi everyone!

I was hoping to make a Germanic shield boss, and I have all the equipment, but I was wondering where i could find the mechanics on actually making one.

thanks

Dan



What kind of boss do you have in mind? As Maginhard asked above, will it be one of metal or wood? If you're thinking about making one of metal, are you thinking about a conical or spiked one or something else?


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Re: Making a Germanic shield boss

Postby Joe E on March 3rd, 2011, 10:41 pm

Depends on the time period and/or the class of warrior you are recreating the shield for. One of the cheaper/ common type in the Roman Republican/early Empire period would be the wooden, pecan-shell/football shaped boss, a la Hortspring. I have one of those roughed out for a Germanic square shield and Framea combo I will get to someday. If you want a more expensive shield, you might try a hexagonal type with round iron boss like those found on Trajan's column and elsewhere. Personally I like wooden bosses, with or without umbo, simply because they are more artistic.

To answer your original qiestion...if its to be wood that is...I make mine starting with a whole log "in the round," approx 5-6 inches in diameter. I split the log down the center using a large bandsaw and then rough cut the remaining contours on the bandsaw as well. I use a chainsaw with a custom carving tip to hawg out the concave boss, and grinders/sanders to finish shaping. Not traditional, but I'm addicted to power tools, and the effect is nice.

Below is a shot I found of a wooden Germanic shield boss.

http://www.tollundman.dk/gifs/skjold-vaaben.jpg
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Re: Making a Germanic shield boss

Postby Colin McGarry on April 19th, 2015, 9:08 pm

Not quite on topic, but this is the only boss thread I could find. Are there specific time frames where the more rounded bosses or the pointier coned bosses are more dominant?
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Re: Making a Germanic shield boss

Postby Joe E on June 25th, 2017, 7:49 pm

Yes, there are. In general, the progression went from the very simple wooden 'football' shaped boss, a la Hjortspring finds, to the longer, more elaborate spindle boss, which began to be sheathed with a metal umbo. Over time, the spindle ends became shorter, and by around the first century, these had declined in some areas in favor of the all-metal domed umbo. I don't believe any of these changes had hard chronological or geographical boundaries, though. You can clearly see spindle bosses depicted along side circular umbos on the Arc de Orange relief.
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