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A shield boss, or umbo, is a round, convex or conical piece of material at the centre of a shield. Shield bosses are usually made of thick metal but could also be made of wood. The boss was originally designed to deflect blows from the centre of round shields, though they also provided a place to mount the shield's grip. As time went on and heater shields with curved bodies became more popular, and enarmes superseded the bar grip, the boss became more of an ornamental piece. Often, bosses are not present on non-circular shields due to the differences in technique; with a round shield, one makes a punching motion towards an oncoming blow, while with a heater or kite shield, attacks are blocked by pivoting the shield about the body. A boss provides a significant advantage for deflecting blows when using a punching motion, but is not very effective when using a pivot to block an attack.
Hand beaten Square Shield Boss | Umbo with bent base plate
The daggers are approximately made as follows. The basic shape of the blade is made by a laser CNC machine. It is burned from spring steel. The semi-finished blade follows then in the groove cutter, where the cutting edge and the groove are milled. The blade is then oil-quenched and tempered to the desired hardness. Then the guard and pommel is attached to the blade tang. The tang is usually peened at the end (behind the pommel) and the cross-guard hard soldered with brass. Hardwood plates are placed under the handle wrapping from genuine cowhide so that the handle is sufficiently robust for a safe grasp. The steels surfaces obtain the desired finish in the end - with a wire brush or with a felt disc with polishing paste.