Fencing Masks


These are the designs perfected by Terry Tindill, as That Guy Products. They are popular with fencing clubs such as Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) and Society for Creative Anachronism. These masks offer greater freedom of motion, more protection, and much more rugged than the common woven wire fencing masks that we are familiar with, and all fencers have used.

Terry has been making these masks from 18 ga. 304 stainless steel. The perforations are .125" (1/8") in a staggered pattern with a 3/16" offset which leaves 40% of the surface open. The pieces are hand riveted together using 1/8" 18-8 stainless steel rivets (that ought to satisfy the geekier of you).

This has a perforated (perf) steel "body" with two different chin designs (pointed or squared) and two different brow designs (large and medium). These all are adapted to your head. I can make a mask made entirely of perf steel. It is based on the medium brow plate design. Pictures of the variations below.

The chin variations are stylistic and I haven't noticed any advantage to one or the other. There are differences with the brow plates. The large plate adds a bit more rigidity to the mask but also decreases the field of vision while the medium plate gives a slightly better field of vision and a little more flex. You can also have a mask made entirely of Perforated plate. lighter, cooler, more protection than a wire mask. I find these a bit too flexible for high speed competition with 2 handed sword.

Pointed Chin Square Chin

Mask Shells

Priced at $250.00 in stainless sheet and perforated stainless steel.

Priced at $170 for a mask shell made of mild steel sheet and mild steel perforated. Structural strength is nominally less than stainless steel, not enough to be noticed while in use. The mild steel is much easier for me to form. I have made such masks that are still protecting their owner after 10 years of weekly use. There are several ways to keep rust at bay if you use them consistently.

The mask shell consists of the basic metal mask shell with no leather trim, no bib and no suspension.

Paper pattern for the standard suspension and bib come with the shell upon request.

Mask Shell

Trim and Bib

Leather trim and brigandine bib can be added for an additional $100.00.

Leather edging and bib are 2-3 ounce chrome tanned leather. Bib consists of two layers of 2-3 oz. chrome tanned leather with 20 ga. stainless steel fender washers riveted between. These colors of leather are available on a regular basis:

  • Black
  • Dark Blue
  • Dark Green
  • Medium Brown
  • Dark Brown

Other colors may be available, email me for my current on hand supply.

Edging is a strip of leather folded over and riveted to the back edge of the mask. This edge of the perf plate is rolled to strengthen and give a smooth finished edge.

Trim and Bib

Suspensions

Suspensions are the leather straps holding the mask on to the head. Since they will get soaked with your sweat, they are made of vegetable/oak tanned leather. This is for two reasons: 1) To avoid the irritation some people's skin get from the chrome tanning chemicals; 2) Allow the leather to "wet form". When wet, the leather will tend to change shape and it becomes form-fitted to your skull. Suspensions are fastened to the mask with screw rivets (Chicago rivets). These allow you to adjust the suspension in pretty much any dimension. I suggest you lock these closed with "lock tite" or similar glue. Or pack a few spares in your mask bag as they will eventually unscrew themselves, probably in the bag.

Basic: A standard suspension is $25.00

The basic suspension system consists of an adjustable inverted "T" strap across the brow and similar one across the back of the head. There is also a "stabilizing" strap across the neck (similar to the elastic strap on a standard fencing mask). Padding is necessary between the suspension and the skull. The mask will come with 1/2" of foam padding in the top of the mask. Additional padding will probably be desirable/necessary and is left to the purchaser to allow for the optimal fit to the infinite variety of the human skull. These straps are 6 - 7 ounce to 8- 9 ounce veg tanned leather. It comes with several holes, like a belt, to accommodate your preferences.

Basic Suspension

Basic suspension - $25

Elaborate: A more enclosing suspension is $50.00

Consists of 4 wide straps riveted to the front, back, and sides of the mask and then tied together at the top of the skull. This tie is adjustable. It holds the mask away from the skull and you can decide if padding is useful for your skull. These straps are 4 -5 ounce milled leather – vegetable-tanned.

Elaborate Suspension

Elaborate suspension - $50

Protection for the back of the head

A back plate is available in three versions.

Most fencers do not need one. If you practice a style that needs one - you know it. Usually two handed-sword, cut & thrust, and other free flowing combats.

One is made from 8-9 oz. oak-tanned hand stitched leather and is an additional $70.00.

Second is mild steel perforated plate formed over the skull. It is fastened to the top of the back of the mask with a slot and "J" tab hinge and has metal stops on the sides of the mask. The back of the neck is draped with a layer of 6-7oz leather. $50. No photo available at this time.

The third: A perforated stainless steel head back, made from the same steel as the mask, and a drape over the back of neck of the same brigantine material as the bib, with a slot and "J" tab hinge and metal stops is available for an additional $100.00.

Back plates may be ordered as a stand-alone item. An up-grade? Be aware that adding the back plate will require some metal work on the mask. A few holes drilled. Rivets installed, screw rivets or hand hammered rivets. If these are skills or tools you do not have available, talk to me.

Leather Back Plate

Oak-tanned hand stitched leather - $70

Perforated Stainless Steel Back Plate

Perforated Stainless Steel Back Plate - $100

Ordering a Mask

  1. Style (pointed or square chin)
  2. Brow plate style (medium or large)
  3. Leather color for bib and trim
  4. Rivet color (silver, gun metal, or brass)
  5. Any options you want
  6. The following measurements: head height, height to brow, head width (measurements are on the flat 2D plane, don't try to follow the face contours)
  7. If you wear glasses with the mask, I will need to know this as well and you will need to include the width of the glasses in addition to the width of the head.
  8. Email me at Ed@horsebows.com with any questions. We shall discuss time till completion and payment.

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Measurements:

Head Height

underside of chin to top of head

Height to Brow

underside of chin to brow ridge

Head Width

width of head

Mask Pricing:

The shells can purchased as pictured for $250.00 or have them finished with the following options:

  • Leather edging $10 (back edge only - got other ideas talk to me)
  • Brigandine bib with leather edging $100.00
  • Standard suspension $25.00
  • Complex suspension $50.00
  • Leather back plate with strap and buckle attachment $60.00
  • Perforated steel back plate with hinge and stops $100.00

Payments for mask and other fencing gear:

I like PayPal. My account is my usual email address horsebows@gmail.com

Half down with a custom order, I shall email you when it is ready to ship.

If you would prefer to send a check, that is fine, less money to the credit card companies. Remind me to send you a few spare screw rivets or rapier blunts.

Shipping a Mask is $20 by US Post Office Priority Mail, a mask by Canada Postal System $25USD.
Shipping small items is $4 USD.

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Rapier tips / Rubber arrow blunts

These come in four diameters to match the diameter of arrow shafts.

They are also used in fencing to blunt the ends of fencing rapiers, schlagers, and daggers.

Available diameters:

  • 1/4 inch blue
  • 5/16 inch red
  • 11/32 inch black
  • 23/64 inch green
  • Large HTM brand, they kinda look like a small crutch tip — These are the largest blunts a few rapiers do not fit in smaller, Also some two handed swords will fit in them. Many two handed swords need custom made leather ends.

For archery these are put on the unsharpened end of a wooden shaft. If used on aluminum or carbon shafts something is needed to fill the inside of the tubular shaft. If they are put on a sharpened wood or open end of a tubular shaft, the shaft will cut into, and eventually through the rubber.

For fencing some clubs require a metal washer or rawhide strip be put in to protect the rubber from the metal tip of the sword.

Any combination of blunt sizes are: $1.50 each, 6 for $8

Rapier tips / Rubber arrow blunts
HTM large blunt

Bucklers

I manufacture steel bucklers, usually round and a foot in diameter.

For fencing they are of 18-gauge steel and curved forward to catch sword points as pictured in the 17th century Bolognaise fencing manuals.

For broadsword — either steel or wooden — the bucklers are of 16-gauge steel and curled back to guide the cutting blows away. These are in many old paintings but I am attempting to reproduce the ones from the fighting manual that was written about 1325 in Germany and is called by its museum number "I-33" (Roman one, Arabic threes.) Some commercial makers offer these, but they are mostly 14ga hence way to heavy for fencing and in my opinion over weight for broadsword.

Bucklers are $60 for either weight.