|The original boss from Sutton Hoo, the iron boss is almost|
completely covered in gold and silver plated foils so my
reconstruction will be almost hidden.
The boss had to match as closely as possible the dimensions in the archaeological report, sadly the measurement list, scale drawings and other dimensions given in the text all seem to contradict each other, even the mounts that fit onto the boss don't necessarily match as you would expect, after a bit of head scratching and pondering I pressed on with the reconstruction.
The starting material was approximately 2mm thick disk of steel with a low carbon content, this was worked from the outside in many passes requiring many hundred hammer blows (I did not count them!). Each step the form can be seen to slowly emerge from the metal almost as if it were soft plastic with the form pushing up from beneath... sadly it is not that simple.
Below are a series of pictures show the progress in raising the boss.
|The starting point, a wide disk of plate steel.|
|The plate is lightly domed cold before heat is used to start raising.|
|Half way through the first pass.|
|Finishing in a rough conical shape.|
|As the next pass begins it looks like a flying saucer.|
|Compressing the metal all the down to the edge.|
|You can see four of the most used hammers for this project|
to the left.
|The dome of the boss becomes clear.|
|The Boss now deep enough for the next phase.|
|Now the collar around the dome is formed the excess is to be|
trimmed away and the flanged crisped up.
|The boss blackened with fire and oil, before it left is was|
rubbed back for an antiqued patina.
|Showing the interior, no welding here.|
The boss once finished was collected and is soon to be assembled with it's decoration and attached to the shield.