Setting: It's a fanfic for the Princess Tutu anime, so it's based off a German town. The time is... not current, but perhaps in the first half of the 20th century? I'm at a loss for how to pinpoint it further.
Searches: Wikipedia "metalworking" and related articles; Google "medieval shield making" "medieval shield making metal decoration" "shield repair" and other things of that nature; Google "Achilles' shield." But I still can't seem to stumble upon the right keywords to get at what I want to ask.
The character owns an antiques shop, but seems to stock mainly (what I would think of as stereotypical medieval) armor and weapons and to do things like repair swords. I need him to be busy with a project. Because it would work nicely with the story, I'd like him to be restoring/repairing a shield reminiscent of Achilles' or Aeneas' shields--that is, metal and ornately decorated and telling a story through the pictures. I imagine something that detailed would keep him occupied and require a lot of his attention.
The only problem is, I have no idea what he would be doing with it. What kind of damage might need to be repaired--nicks and scratches to the metal due to battle or to carelessness in later storing it or using it as a decoration at home? Could parts of the decorated figures get knocked off? I don't really have the first clue as to how such a shield would be constructed, so I can't accurately imagine how it would fall apart. How could the character then restore these damages?
I don't really need specific details and terminology, but I'd like to be able to have some description at least in passing of what he might be doing at the moment. "He was heating the shield in the fire so that he could smooth out the nicks"? "The decoration was worked in gold, so he carefully beat and reshaped the figures"?
Any help you could give me to make my ignorance less obvious in this scene would be appreciated.