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If you want to make any simple shield from a round piece of plywood, then a boss is easy to attach and will instantly make your creation scream “shield” to all and sundry! Even if you are going to use straps (enarmes) a boss will still considerably improve your work’s overall visage. Our bosses are super heavy duty 14 gauge steel, they weigh 558g each, and measure 20.1 cm across. The dome protrudes a fraction over 5cm. They are an appealing subdued grey colour (rather than silvery and polished) and have six holes for mounting.
A shield boss (or umbo) is a cup that covers the wielder’s hand. It is placed over a circular hole in the centre of a shield. A simple flat vertical piece of wood placed over the reverse side, will then serve as a handle (bar grip). This produces a superior centre of gravity than if the wielder simply grasped a regular protruding handle on the reverse. In effect the shield will balance upon the wielder’s fist, and will be less top-heavy. Such shields usually had a sturdy guigue: an adjustable carrying strap (for the shoulder), so that most of the time the weight of the shield would not have to be supported by a single arm. A boss was also useful to deflect blows from the centre of a shield, but this could not have been their main purpose (in my opinion) as the older type of shields were not that manoeuvrable, and mainly served as an almost inert barrier to protect the torso . They could not have been wielded with sufficient dexterity to regularly catch blows upon the centre.
By the early Middle Ages, new designs of shield found favour, and a boss’s main function of cupping the hand became obsolete, but the umbo itself infrequently remained, as it added a certain aesthetic quality to a shield, furthermore, having a central steel dome on a shield face could only add to its strength.
This shield-boss was just what I needed to complete my viking shield project. I hit it with metal primer and then "Flat Soft Iron" color metallic spray paint (Rust-oleum brand from Bunnings).
I am very happy with the end result and just need to put leather around the edge to complete. Unknown on 30th Mar 2018
I had to make our group some shields, as I wanted them all to look different, I purchased 4 different styled bosses from 4 different Australian Suppliers. While I am not unhappy with any of them, this was by far the best, it's came with six equally spaced mounting holes (some of the others were a bit hit & miss), it has a shallow appearance but it is very strong & deep enough to protect the hand without looking bulbous, unlike some the mounting plate is flat so it does not dent when tightened down, overall it has a good look & feel, it's symmetrical, has a black forged appearance which looks far better than those which appear to be modern machine pressed products. The end product can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/pg/inverellreenactmentsociety/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1501738109946299 . Cearl Baecere on 20th Feb 2018
I am very happy with this product, it is going to look great when I finish my shield. I will be purchasing more in the future, when i finish this shield i will post it on your Facebook site.
Your postage was nice and quick aswell.
Thank you. Anthony J Innes on 5th Feb 2018
Very happy with the boss I purchased
Goes great on the sheild I made
And looks awesome
Will be ordering some more soon
Thank you Lyle on 9th Jan 2018
Exactly as described, excellent quality! Thank you!! Tiff on 17th Dec 2017