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RainCloud
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PostSubject: Chainmail Thread!   Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:55 pm

So we can all talk about makin' chainmail Very Happy

As stated in the other thread, I'm trying to learn how to make chainmail. When I posted, I was having a mental block on how to actually put it together. I was trying to do a, what do you call it, English 4 in 1? Apparently it requires different spacial perception than what I'm normally used to lol
Now, my major problem is getting the rings to stay closed

I'm making my own jump rings by wrapping the 20 gauge galvanized steel wire around a nail and then cutting it using bolt cutters. I have two long nosed pliers that I use to close the rings. I push the rings together and then sometimes squish them down to make them straight, if that makes sense. The rings fall apart after awhile Sad
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BrassButtons
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:36 pm

RainCloud wrote:
I was trying to do a, what do you call it, English 4 in 1?
European 4 in 1, actually Smile

Quote :

I'm making my own jump rings by wrapping the 20 gauge galvanized steel wire around a nail and then cutting it using bolt cutters. I have two long nosed pliers that I use to close the rings. I push the rings together and then sometimes squish them down to make them straight, if that makes sense. The rings fall apart after awhile Sad
I'm not sure I understand you. When you say you "push the rings together" are you talking about pushing the two ends of a ring together (to close the gap between them, making a closed circle) or are you talking about pressing individual rings together? And when you say you "make them straight" what does that mean exactly?
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RainCloud
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:12 pm

The first one. Pushing the two ends together to make it closed. lol I meant to write that. And by "making them straight" I mean...well, lol I totally need a drawing for this. I take the two ends with one pair of pliers and press it down, flatten the two ends at once, if that makes sense.
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BrassButtons
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:30 pm

Quote :
take the two ends with one pair of pliers and press it down, flatten the two ends at once, if that makes sense.

Do you mean that the wire ends are overlapping and you are trying to flatten them together, like for riveted maille? Do these rings look like what you are trying to do?

Or are you lining the wire ends and closing the ring, and then putting one jaw of the pliers through the ring below where the ends meet, with the other jaw above, and flattening them that way?

EDIT: Just realized you are using bolt cutters, which should give cuts that look like >< correct? When closing the rings, are the two angled ends overlapping, and then you're trying to flatten the overlap?

EDIT II:

You may find this video easier to follow than a written explanation of how to close rings.

EDIT III: Replaced embedded video with a link as it may have been causing problems for people trying to view the thread


Last edited by BrassButtons on Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:18 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Dinwar
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:41 pm

20 gauge is a bit light for my tastes, but my tastes have been described as "completely bleeping bat-poop crazy", so take that as you will. Very Happy

How are you opening your rings? That's a MAJOR factor in how well they stay closed. If you're pulling the ring apart parallel with the ring (making it into a flat C shape) you'll never get them to stay closed. The other method is to twist the ring open: grab the left side of the cut part with your left-hand pliers, the right with your right, pull the left hand pliers towards you and the push the right hand pliers away from you. This makes a 3d spiral shape. When you close them make sure the cut parts line up like /\/ and you should be fine.

Bear in mind that 20 gauge steel isn't going to be good armor unless it's riveted, which is a completely different process (one that I'm not familiar with).

The other piece of advice I'd give is to start with fivelets (I always called them clusters): link one link through 4 closed links. When you get a whole bunch of fivelets together, link them into chains, the link the chains into sheets. It's not the fastest way (the fastest EDIT: depends on your weave style), but it's the way that makes the weave make the most sense starting out.
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RainCloud
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:03 pm

@BB:
Thanks for the video link Smile That will help.
Since I'm using bolt cutters to cut the rings, the ends are ending up one higher than the other so when I squash I just mean make the ends on the same level. I'm going to take pictures to explain this lol

@Dinwar:
Well, I'm making jewelry, not armor, (for now at least) so 20 gauge ends up looking really nice and dainty (but its really small and thus kinda hard to work with, as a beginner). Its cool that I can make an ugly chain, put beads on it, and people are like "Holy cow, that looks beautiful!" just cuz its so dainty hehe Smile Sorry for the sidenote; I'm just excited that people like it. So, like earrings, necklaces, anklets, and bracelets (although I'm beginning to hate my bracelet cuz I can never get the clasp closed x.x).

Hmmm...sometimes I mess up the ring and they look like C's when I open them. Should I just discard those rings as useless? Normally, I don't have to open them too much because my bolt cutters kinda do that but I was just pulling the ends straight apart so I'm going to use give what you said a try. Thanks Very Happy


You guys have any projects you're doin' now or anything?
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IMagius
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:13 pm

Yes, if you've opened them up and they look like a C, then they are pretty much "junk" ... saveable, but the time required to fix them and get them round again isn't usually worth it.

instead of opening the ring at the split by moving the split ends apart (like going from an O to a C), use your pliers to "Twist" the ring so the cut ends move sideways from each other (the diameter of the ring should not change when it is "open" or "closed") ... that way when you close the ring, you aren't trying to make a new circle, but are "flattening out" the twist you made ... this method is easier to work with, creates less deformity in the ring and if you push the pliers towards each other as you do it, the cut ends will overlap each other a little wee bit and will prevent links for slipping by each other later.
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IMagius
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:21 pm

Also, for jewelry, and for soemthign as small as 20 guage wire ... I'd think seriously about using a small cutting wheel on a Dremel tool. The rings come off pretty hot (and are prone to flyign in random directions - cut the coils inside a large cardboard box to limit their scattering), but it gives you squarer ends on the rings. This makes the closed rigns hold better - the >< left by bolt/wire cutters can "overlap" with another one and they can then slide apart without the rings needing the force of actually opening the rings. Those >< ends also are prone to being sharp or having squished out burrs on them thanks to how a botl cutter works - and if worn as jewellery, they could be noticable.

The only drawback to using a dremel (other than collectign the rigns and letting them cool before touching them) is that you are removing material, which means when you twist them closed during assembly, you will need to twist them together a bit in the other direction as well to close the small C opening created by the thickness of the cutting wheel.
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RainCloud
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:27 pm

I'll use the dremel when my boyfriend/fiance returns from Japan. I'm not allowed to touch his dremel cuz I break things Sad Good advice though! I'm going to make him start making me rings the week he gets back! haha
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BrassButtons
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:16 pm

Raincloud wrote:
Since I'm using bolt cutters to cut the rings, the ends are ending up one higher than the other
Do you mean that when the ring is laying flat on the table, one side is up more than the other, like a less pronounced version of the first ring in the top picture here?

If so, then that is not a byproduct of bolt cutters, nor is it a mistake that needs correcting. All rings should look like that fresh off the coil. When you open a ring you twist the two ends apart (as Imagius said, you want a partial spiral and not a 'C'). To close you do the same thing in the other direction, bringing the ends slightly past each other because the metal will be a bit springy (how much depends on the metal--it takes practice). There should never be a need for "flattening" unless you are making riveted maille.

There are several more tutorials on youtube on opening/closing rings (as well as making certain weaves, different techniques, and so on) so I would highly recommend that you search around for a tutorial that makes sense to you. It's hard trying to learn this from words and diagrams--seeing it in action makes a tremendous difference.

Quote :
You guys have any projects you're doin' now or anything?
I'm trying to make a small basket. So far I have a j12-2 base made, and am working on a sheet of hp3-1s6 for the sides. It's all in 18g aluminum wire. I'm also thinking about making a purse at some point.
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Dinwar
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:15 pm

Quote :
Sorry for the sidenote; I'm just excited that people like it.
No worries. BB and I have driven many people out of the chatroom because we started throwing around terms like HP3-1S6, ID, WD, AR, etc. Very Happy

If you could take a picture of the links it'd help. The problem is, there are many, many ways to mess up a link. The website BB linked to has some great resources, by the way--check out their library section. It's certainly worth it!

I also agree with IMagus about the Dremel for jewelry (though I don't practice what I preach). The other option is a jewelry saw--that's what a LOT of people recommend, but the blades are a consumable, and can be tricky to find. The other other option is the score-and-break method, in which you use your bolt cutters to dent the metal (how far depends on the metal, your pliers, etc) and then you break the link at the score mark. This can make steel links which, when closed, are smooth enough to run across silk. I saw someone do that, and once my heart started beating again we had a long, long talk about maille (and trust me, your asides have NOTHING on an SCA laural who's found a willing audience and a bottle of good whiskey). That said, this is all something to worry about down the road--pinch cuts (the >< cuts) work fine to start out with.

As for projects, always. Very Happy I'm currently working on a half-Persian 3-in-1 sheet 6 (HP3-1S6) shirt and a Turkish-style european 4-1 (E4-1) shirt. The turkish one is going to be cool for fighting, because you don't see the maille--it's covered in the back by a layer of padding, and in the front by some pretty cloth (the richer you were the better the cloth). The HP3-1S6 shirt is just because the weave is one of the most beautiful I know, and screw it, stone wire is only $15 for 15 lbs. Smile
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RainCloud
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:26 am

@BB: a basket, huh? That sounds cool. I saw a picture of one once... What do you use it for? Or is it just because you can and its awesome?

@Din: oooo neat! Are you going to use it for re-enactment? Both y'all's projects seem like they will take a longgg time.

/dance!!! I don't know what happened but I took you guys's advice and I made a pretty bracelet. I say I don't know what happened because these rings looked totally different when I cut them (like, they looked right this time, like circles with the ends split apart just right). Yay though! Thanks for the help, guys! I would post pictures but they are on another electronic device. I think I'm going to continue with this pattern a bit more until I'm comfortable with it. Smile so exciting!!
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:29 am

There is a "Right" & "Wrong" side to most cutters as well ... never even thought of having you reverse them ... that may have helped too Smile I know my cutters wil "crush" the links open (instead of cutting them cleanly) if I use them with the center retaining nut pointing to the left, but will cut them perfectly if the nut is pointing to the right. I think it has something to do with the amount of play in the pivot and how I grip them - the jaws must overlap a bit or something depending on how pressure is applied.

Glad it worked out for you!
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:56 pm

Quote :
@BB: a basket, huh? That sounds cool. I saw a picture of one once... What do you use it for? Or is it just because you can and its awesome?
I was actually thinking of giving it to someone else to use. A coworker collects soda can tabs for donation to the Ronald McDonald House, and right now she's just using a styrofoam cup to collect them in. I think an upgrade is in order Very Happy Plus I wanted to make something that uses two different weaves that I don't have much experience with, so it seemed like a good idea.
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:12 pm

I'm planning on using the Turkish shirt at some point. The HP3-1S6 shirt is just for me. Smile It's actually practice for a planned dragonscale shirt, in blackened stainless and copper (or red stainless if I can get it without it being enammeled or otherwise removable).

Glad to hear your rings are behaving. Very Happy Let us know what your next project is! Also, I should warn you (now that you're hooked--mwahahaha!): rings tend to reproduce. And open on their own. Six weeks after you stopped using that wire you or someone you love will step on an open ring. Or you'll find them in the weirdest places. One of the joys of maille--it keeps you on your toes! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:58 am

I think my rings are TV junkies ... I'm always finding them in my couch. I'm also not sure if mine are a little OCD about being clean, or just plain suicidal, but I've found the odd one in the bottom of my laundry washing machine as well.

Razz
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RainCloud
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:08 am

lol, yeaaaa...I took my work to my friends house when I first started and we were finding the rings everywhere (across the room O.o). As far as I know, I have found rings in the general vicinity of my work area only (which is in front of the tv, at the foot of my bed, in the kitchen). I just hope my cats don't eat them... They do love their shiny things x.x

I haven't been able to work on anything since I finished that first bracelet (which I broke the day after I made it. My work is apparently not fiddle resistant yet lol and I mean that in the sense that I messed with it for two hours straight until it fell apart. no fiddles were actually involved). I want to make some earrings next, though... One pair of dangle earrings and somehow one of the ones that connects a cartilage piercing with the ear lobe piercing. I saw a pattern for it once...
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:27 pm

Here is a j12-2 bracelet I made awhile back.

And here is an e4-1 choker with a mobius ball pendant that I made this weekend.

I'm finally starting to figure out how to make the camera take decent pictures. Adjusting the exposure time helps a lot. Next I need to try making a cheap light box.
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:14 am

Those both look beautiful, BB! I especially like the bracelet Smile

Hmm...yeah, the position of the light source is very important, and reflection and stuff. Also depends on the camera, sometimes.
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:12 pm

Apologies for pulling this thread back after almost a year, but just got a belated birthday present:



Dancing Banana

Now, what to try first.....
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:31 pm

No apologies necessary. I'm not one of those admin that is going to go all apeshit on you for ADDING to the traffic of a site that is sorely lacking (and even if it wasn't).

Have fun! I'm tempted to get into the hobby myself!

_________________

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's about getting out there and dancing in the rain.

We should create a loop. That way when he gets back he can feel jealous that he's been out of it.
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Dinwar
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:14 pm

Very cool! What ARs have you got there? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:17 pm

Deano wrote:

Now, what to try first.....
Make ALL THE THINGS!

rainshadow wrote:
Have fun! I'm tempted to get into the hobby myself!
Do it! Doooo iiiiiiit!


I've got a Photobucket page that I've been meaning to link to with most of my chainmaille pictures. This one was dad's Xmas gift.
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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:00 pm

Dinwar wrote:
Very cool! What ARs have you got there? Wink

Not quite sure, still got some reading to do on that particular subject. But, they're all 16ga (SWG apparently, so 14 AWG) stainless, from 3/16" to 3/8", so.....TheRingLord's shop page has 'em listed from 3.2 to 6.6. Bag with the scales is just a sampler pack with different scales and rings, so definitely gonna have to get some more after I get some practice in. At least I've already got most of the tools to get started.


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PostSubject: Re: Chainmail Thread!   Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:59 pm

First attempts:




Pretty small scale, just trying to get the hang of it. The 6.6AR 4-1 wasn't too bad, but the other (5.7AR I think it was) fought me for an hour. Not sure exactly what my issue was but got it eventually. The byzantine is more to my taste though, easier to keep track of (though the picture kind of sucks). Smile

Some of the closures aren't the greatest, but I guess I'll just have to practice more. Cool
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