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Dagorhir Gear
'Waffle' Shield Tutorial

by Alric of Drentha

(Special Thanks to Olaf of the Einherjar for posting this method on the boards...all I did was draw the pictures. The credit for the 'waffle' idea that makes this design so cool all goes to him)

ADVANTAGES OF THIS DESIGN:

This shield uses a 'waffle' style of construction for the first two layers of foam on the face of the shield. Why would you want to build your shield this way?

  • Uses less foam. You only use 2/3 as much foam on the face of the shield as you would if you just layered 3 sheets of blue foam on the face of the shield.
  • Lighter. Less foam == less weight. If you're using a plywood core, you deserve a bit less weight! You're carrying a lot more than the guys with all-foam shields.
  • Easier. You don't have to worry about gluing 3 big sheets of blue foam together on the face of the shield... I think it's easier, personally, to not have to try to fight three big sheats of foam into place.
  • Safety. The face of the shield is full of air pockets in this method, making it compress more easily (without compressing so much as to make it *too* soft).

THE TUTORIAL:

Begin with your plywood shield core, with the straps attached. Spread a layer of DAP over the face of the shield and let it soak in. This will help when you begin to attach the foam.

First, run a 1" wide strip of blue foam along each edge of the front of the shield.

Next, glue more 1" wide strips of blue foam to the face of the shield, leaving 1" gaps between them.

Now, glue more 1" wide strips of foam on top of the first strips, running perpendicular to the first strips. This will make a waffle-like pattern on top of your shield. There will be lots of air pockets. Don't worry about them, they will actually make the shield safer.

Next, run a 1.25-1.5" wide strip of foam along each side of the shield.

Add a third layer of foam to the face of the shield. This time, we're going to use a whole sheet instead of thin strips.

Flip the shield over, and add 3-4" wide strips of foam around the edge of the back of the shield.

Flip it back over (or don't, it doesn't really matter) and add another strip of blue foam to each side. Then add a strip of 1.5" wide high-density open cell foam (unifoam, foambymail.com's charcoal foam, or joann fabric's green foam would all work for this). Use 3M super 77 spray adhesive instead of DAP to attach the open cell, if you have it. Finally, add a final layer of blue foam on top of the open cell.

If you don't have any open cell, you *can* use blue foam instead (for four layers of blue foam on each side of the shield), and it still will pass weapons check.

Add a cover, and you're good to go!