With this buckler, the aim was to better understand the weight to the buckler to see where the weight could be reduced without compromising the structural integrity. This buckler also included lessons learned from both J.1, J.2, and D.1 to improve the overall quality.
I ordered new wood from the same source as the D.1 buckler since it proved to be a reliable source. Unfortunately, there was a clear difference between the last lot of wood and the newest delivered. This would prove to be a design challenge to work around but did not impact the buckler’s construction too significantly.
Like the previous buckler construction, the planks were cut to size and the hole for the hand was cut into four of the planks (two for each layer of the buckler). Some wood filler was added to one of the planks to make up for some of the thickness issues.
Next, hinged nails attached the boss and the handle to the wood. I decided to use a larger buckler than the last buckler, so I had more room for my fencing gloves. Smaller holes were drilled for the nails after the lessons learned from D.1 I also chose to use a flatter and wider handle that did not extend to the rim of the buckler due to issues I had with some techniques while using D.1.
For the liner, I soaked the rawhide bone in brown tie dye. In previous testing, Jerod had confirmed that soaking rawhide in coffee could stain the rawhide. Unfortunately, this left a very potent coffee smell. So instead, I used a brown dye.
Finally, the liner was attached to the buckler. Instead of hinged nails, I secured the liner with tacks like J.1 and J.2 used. The last step was to add the wood resin to darken the wood.
The following measurements were taken during construction to better understand the weight of the buckler:
The final weight of the buckler was 1243 gr.
The buckler has completed its durability and longevity testing. The buckler survived with visible damage to the liner.
Interestingly, the boss started to rattle immediately after using it during sparring. At first I thought it was the hinged nails coming loose. However, it appears that the boss was warped and more raised in some sections than others. I believe this occurred while hinging the nails. I used a wood block to prevent the nails from knocking loose which may have created enough sponging of impact force to warp the boss. For the next buckler, I will use an anvil to brace the nails instead.
Overall, I am very pleased with this buckler. I was able to reduce the weight from my previous design quite a bit while still ensuring structural integrity. While the boss does rattle, it appears to be insignificant and not a risk to the buckler’s structure. The nails also did not split the wood like what was seen in D.1.
Unfortunately, I am not as satisfied with the handle. It feels a little too wide and too thick. I have been disarmed from my buckler a number of times while sparring because I lost my grip. For the next buckler, this will need to be addressed.
Finally, based on the weight analysis, it would appear the only way left to reduce the weight of a wooden buckler is to decrease the thickness of the layers of wood or to use a different wood. I have not been impressed with the performance of softer wood bucklers so the next step is to see how thin I can make the buckler.