That’s right, ladies and gentlemen: Both knee cops have been completed! And, even better, they both look like each other (I was a bit concerned that they might not, worrying that measurements might be off). I plan on putting the pattern I used for this up on the blog as soon as I can scan it. But let me explain a little bit about how these are assembled (and how this is done with limited resources in an apartment):
1) I created all of the pieces that I needed. Like I said, I’ll put the pattern up at a later time. But each knee cop is made of four plates which gradually reduce in size. I realized the reason for the size reduction during an earlier attempt at making a pattern for this, because metal is thicker than paper and doesn’t bend the same way. I labeled each plate as I cut them out with plate 1 being the largest and plate 4 being the smallest. This is why you see numbers in the pictures.
2) I made the outward bend in the plates by eyeballing it and bending each plate uniformly around the handle of my hammer. After all, knees are round, not flat.
3) Next, I taped the plates together so I could measure for where the rivets would go. When laid “flat”, the plates are .5″ inches away from each other. Once I taped them together, I made a line down the edge of them with a permanent marker .5″ from the edge.
4) Then, I needed my leather straps. I cut .5″ strips from my leather and used the permanent marker to mark where I wanted a row of holes to go (four holes, .5″ from each other, since the plates are .5″ from each other!)
5) I don’t have a leather punch, so I had to make the holes myself. I used a little nail to make a pilot hole, then I used a screw to widen the hole by screwing it through. Make sure that the rivet will go through this!
6) To make the holes in the plates, I used the same technique as with the leather. Nail to make a pilot hole then screw to widen the hole. This takes a little bit of trial and error, though. Remember, if the hole has any burrs on it (or metal that sticks up) this will mess up the riveting process. But with a combination of hammering and screwing from the other side, you eventually get it flat. Again, make sure that the rivet will fit through. In this case, I mean the “pin” side of the rivet (which will face outwards).
7) Now it’s time to rivet! When you think of how the plates fit together, think of the Sidney Opera House or a lobster tail. Start with plate 4 (the bottom) and work your way up. Also, make sure that you have a hard surface to work on (I work on a piece of scrap steel).
8) Load the rivets into the setter (in my case, it’s a little plastic anvil kit from Dritz). Place the pin head rivet from the outside in. First, go through the plate, then the leather strap. Rivet this with a good, firm smack from a hammer! Repeat this process on the other side.
8) Next, add plate 3 using the same method as plate 4.