I'll be attending a Hallowe'en party tonight. As most of the crowd is "a little bit country, and a little bit rock 'n' roll," I'll be throwing a curveball by going very European. And that has nothing whatsoever to do with the remainder of this post.
I finally got off my dead ass and finished the bucklers I've been threatening to make since spring.
These will be used in practice, which means they'll be subject to wear and tear. The greatest annoyance I've experienced in the past is that of attaching serviceable grips, which are the weakest points. Even the best leather, and even suppported by washers at that, tends stretch and rip when bolted directly to the body. At first, I thought of drilling and sawing (or routing, if ever I manage to find the friggin' router) four slots into the wood, and slipping the straps through them. The obvious drawback to that approach was the fact that the leather is exposed on the shield-face. and a few solid blows -- even from an edgeless "beater" -- will greatly decrease its lifespan.
This time, I decided to attach the straps (which I cut from an inexpensive belt-blank) to a pair of $0.99 drawer-pulls, fold them under, and rivet them to themselves. The drawer-pulls are bolted to the body, supported by six washers each. If this doesn't go far enough towards extending the buckers' lifespans (even with washers, the holes will eventually expand through wear and tear), I'm going to try drilling the holes a fraction of an inch larger, and lining them with brass or steel tubing, cut and ground to an exact fit and secured with J-B Weld or "Gorilla Snot."
I'll let y'all know how it works.