Tips on Making the Lorica Segmentata
This is not a complete HOW-TO, rather a place to share some experiance that I've had
updating and repairing my lorica segmentata.  I started out by purchasing a size large
lorica segmentata from
Albion Armourers.  While it fit my shoulders ok, the torso
section left a bit to be desired.  I'm 6'2" tall and the lorica was definitely built for
someone much shorter.  It was also much too big around.  What I finally did was to
construct a brand new torso section from scratch, keeping the shoulder sections.

Before starting get a copy of
Mike Bishop's two volume set on the lorica segmentata.
You'll need these books when questions arise as to how the orignal lorica went together.

Construction begins with a cardboard mockup.  Making the seg full size in cardboard
first is definitely necessary so that you get the size right.  Even so, I spent a better part
of a year fine tuning the metal to correct for mistakes.  For my shape I found that a
slight upward taper was appropriate.  I also needed wider plates.  Keeping the Corbridge
A design, having eight girth plates, for my torso each plate needed to be 2.5 inches
wide.  I also made new lacing loops and buckles:
Patterns for the plates and fittings may be found at the legionaire's handbook.  I made
the lacing loops following the instructions there.  To prevent the lacing loops from
unwinding when tied together they should be heat treated.  Remember that brass heat
treats opposite to how ferous metals heat treat.  To make the rolling easier you heat the
brass to red hot and quickly quench.  Harden the brass by heating to red hot and let the
brass slowly cool.  The buckles are made from brass sheet.  Florentius has
on making buckles.  You'll want to scale down his dimensions for a lorica seg.  Rivets
should be copper.  You'll need both 1/8 inch round head and flat head and 3/16 inch
round head rivets.  Here is a view of a repair made to one of the shoudler sections:
A set of copper burrs, washers by another name, are also a good thing to get (Ok, I
haven't been too careful keeping the inside clean.  I have been very good about keeping
the outside corrosion free.)


Below is a basic set of tools for the required metal working:
From left to right, top to bottom, is a hand punch for punching holes in the steel sheet.  
Punches of size 1/8 and 3/16 inch will be used.  Along the bottom is a pair of glass
pliers and a hand seamer.  You'll need these to make the folded over edges on the both
the bottom girth plate and on the top girth plate olong the arm pits.  What I do is to
employ both the glass pliers and the hand seamer to fold over the metal followed by
hammering it flat.  Next is a pair of nippers used to trim the lenghts of rivets and a set of
ball peen hammers.  For riveting I tend to used the smallest size hammer, 8oz.  For
marking out a pencil is preferred.  Squares and rulers are also needed.  Not shown is a
jeweler's saw used to cut the brass for the buckles.  It is best to lay out the work flat.  I
did not do this.  Instead I did things the hard way: I curved the plates and then marked
them out using a cloth tape measure.  Things came out ok nevertheless.  You'll also
need an anvil to rivet on:
This is a cheap cast steel anvil.  I made a small depression at one corner to hold the
rivet head in place.  For cutting the 18 gauge steel the best choice is the Beverly B1
shear.  It is expensive, but worth it:
Here is a view of the inside construction: