How to Make Max’s Shoulder Pad


What you will need:


1. Rawlings Crusader Football Shoulder Pads

Max’s shoulder pad is made out of a pair of Rawlings football pads, of the Crusader series. Max’s shoulder pad consists of the right-hand plate (the plates are the bean-shaped plastic shields on top of the pads) and the right-hand arch padding (the soft padding beneath the arches). For more clarification on football pad parts, see Special Topics: Football Shoulder Pads

Finding the right plate is crucial to making a movie-accurate Max’s shoulder pad. The plate on Max’s shoulder pad is unique to the Crusader series, but I have found that not every Crusader pad will have this plate. You will need to learn the sometimes subtle differences in shape and contour of various football pad plates in order to identify the right plate. If you need any help identifying the right pads, feel free to contact me.

As for the arch padding that Max wears in the movie, it is uncommon, and most likely belongs to a rare model, perhaps the ER-46. So finding an identical plate will be relatively easy, but finding the identical arch padding will be next to impossible. During your search, you will probably run into the CP-46 (pictured above-left). These are the most common Rawlings Crusader pads out there, and will probably be the best basis for your replica. They are also the pads I use in this tutorial.

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2. Utility Knife

You will need a sturdy, sharp knife to disassemble the football pads.

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3. Scissors

For cutting straps and modifying padding.

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4. De-riveting Tools

You will need to remove 2 rivets for movie-accuracy. You can use a multi-tool, such as a Leatherman, or you can use a Flathead screwdriver, pliers, and wire-cutters.

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5. Extra Fine Sand Paper

For sanding before painting. The surfaces of the football pads are very smooth, so the paint will flake off very easily unless you sand them first. An abrasive pad will also work. Do not use a coarse sandpaper or you will still see scratches after your paint job.


6. Rust-oleum Painter’s Touch Multi-purpose Paint, Matte Clear

One of the problems you will encounter when you paint football pads is the spray paint’s drying time. For some reason, most spray paints will take up to weeks to dry on the vinyl areas of the pads. To solve this problem, I tried several types of spray paint. Rust-oleum Matte Clear was the only paint to dry within minutes – everything else took at least a day. You will want to apply a generous coat of this on the vinyl parts before applying any black paint.

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7. Flat (Matte) Black Spray Paint

Any brand of flat black spray paint.

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8. A Needle and Thread

For padding modifications.


9. Crochet Thread and a Large Needle

Cotton crochet thread and a upholstery repair needle large enough for the thread.

leather straps

10. Two Leather Straps, 1 inch x 18 inches.

These will hold the plate to the arch padding. Do not get very thick leather, as they will have to weave through slits on the plate and be able to sit flat. Old one-inch-wide belts will most likely work well.


11. Rivets and Riveting Tools.

You will need to fasten the ends of the leather straps together. You will need to rivet the small underarm belt to the padding. You will need to rivet the completed shoulder pad to your jacket. In order to do all of this, you will need a hole punch, mallet, rivet applier, small rivets, and medium silver rivets.


12. A Small Belt

This will be the underarm belt that connects the front of the pad to the back. The belt should have a buckle on it. The belt should be about 1 cm wide. A good source for these belts are purse straps found at second-hand thrift stores.

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