• Chainmail making
    35 replies, posted
Hello dyi dudes. i was thinking that it wouldn't be that hard to make some chainmail. so i decided i'd give it a shot and got off to a hardware store and bought some 2 mm galvanized (which i know is not the right thing to use) steel wire and some pliers. i bought 100 meters of the steel wire which i think should do me for something at least. so when i got home i drilled a small hole at one of the ends of a 35 mm diameter steel pipe. i then stuck the end of the steel wire through the drilled hole and then started wiring the wire around the pipe. it was quite relaxing just sitting there rolling the wire up into a coil spring on the pipe. when i reached the end of the pipe i clipped the piece of wire that i had stuck through the drilled hole off and just slid the spring off. i'm fairly certain you can roll the coil up on a cylinder of wood too, but i imagine it would be hard to get it off once you're done, because even with the metal pipe it took a bit of an effort to get it off. here you can see the spring. the whole coil was as tight as it is on the left end before i tried to get it off the metal pipe. [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_001.jpg[/t] [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_002.jpg[/t] then i used a dremel to cut along the whole of one side of the coil to create the actual rings. this took some time because the steel wire was a lot harder than i thought (i'm just a skinny nerd, i'm not used to working with metal) so i broke one of the cut blades and it scared the shit out of me because it shattered and the pieces flew everywhere. luckily i was using safety glasses and gloves. i also embarrassingly enough accidentally set fire to some old rags with turpentine on them with the sparks flying everywhere. or well it wasn't really set on fire, i managed to catch it before he situation got heated [img]http://www.facepunch.com/fp/ratings/zing.png[/img] here you can see some of the rings, it's strange because you think you'll get so much more rings from that whole coil. now sure that wasn't the whole coil but still, it seems like you have 35ish cm of coil and you end up with a small amount of rings. i guess it's good that i bought 100m. and what you end up after you've cut it are rings where the edge of one end should sort of meet up with the opposite edge of the other end. that's why it's sort of important to roll the coil as tight to the previous layer as possible. [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_003.jpg[/t] here you see what the rings look like after you've cut them. [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_005.jpg[/t] then what you have to do is close up 4/5 of the rings. this is because you use one ring that needs to be open, then thread four closed rings on to make a 4:1 pattern. that's what i read at least. and since i know nothing at all about metal working or chainmail linking you can obviously trust me. [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_004.jpg[/t] and here you can see the pattern that i am creating. it's really therapeutic to just sit there and link the rings together. i think it's kind of like knitting, only manly, and in the end you might actually get something that you would use. [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_008.jpg[/t] [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_010.jpg[/t] [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_011.jpg[/t] the only real problems i've had so far is that i found that while it's easy to just continue the pattern lengthwise it was a bitch when i tried to broaden the weave. i messed it up a couple of times, but i think it will be easier when you have a piece that's a bit longer to work with. i also realise that i'm using the wrong material, that i'm probably using the wrong technique, that the rings should be welded together once they're on there. but the thing is i don't really know what i'm going to do with this (i will attach it to something i can wear, but i don't know just what yet.) and i don't reckon i'll be getting into any swordfights where i'd really have to rely on it to protect me. i just want it to look the part and not fall apart when i move it. anyway, the plan as of now is to make some sort of studded leather armor and perhaps work this into it somehow. i'll update this thread with progress on whatever i make.
I've made a couple inches of mail but didn't have the patience to make anything.
sort of silly to update with such a small progress, but i just thought i'd show you what 144 rings will get you. you can also see what the pattern will look like when it's done. i took the pictures earlier today and as of now i've used 237 rings. because i'm just bending the rings in place it's really easy and quite fun to work with it, the boring part so far is cutting the spring to make new rings, mostly because i'm not using proper cutting blades, so i get around 10 rings before a blade shatters and i have replace it. i have about 50 or so of them, so it isn't that big of a deal but i'm going to buy some proper blades to make the cutting less of a fuss. [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_012.jpg[/t] [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_013.jpg[/t]
That is looking really good, nice job so far! [editline]15th October 2011[/editline] I liked your description of it as manly knitting.
I've done this with copper wire because that's what I had laying around. Its pretty awesome when you start to get a larger piece going.
Right now i'll take the oportunity to cut some rings up since i've got an angle grinder here. I'll try to make at least 5 or so "ring springs" and i reckon that should give me around a thousand rings or so. I've also found this pretty cool book about different armors and stuff. It's quite detailed in the descriptions of how they worked and where each little part of it goes and so on. I've also decided what to do for some arm protection and stuff. I don't want to say too much as i have no idea how hard or easy this project will be, or if i'll get bored of it quickly. But still, i'd like to make something out of this. Leather will be needed... Pics of the ring pattern (i'm calling it this until i know what i'll make of it) coming up tomorrow when i get home to a proper computer.
lots and, lots and, lots and, lots and, lots and, lots of time ...Tedious time... [IMG]http://i546.photobucket.com/albums/hh416/kydoes/100_1159.jpg[/IMG] Don't really know where I was going with it though...
Looks awesome man. I would have made it into a shoulder and head piece. I've also just about used up 50 meters of steel wire. I have like 52 or something left.
I'd love to make some chainmail gauntlets and attach them to thick leather gloves but I don't know where to start nor do I have the money.
Well the thing is that i got 100m of steel wire (which should certainly be enough for some gauntlets) and two great pliers for like 30 dollars. The leather on the other hand is a subject where i'm totally in the dark. You can probably ask RR_Raptor for some advice on what to use. He seems to be kind of a good go to guy for what kind of leather to use and what it should cost. The where to start part is just... Have a day when you're really bored, like beyond the cure of any game or computering. Then you just think... "Hm, those gloves would be mighty cool to make today." there are probably some videos up on both making gloves and chainmail so you should be covered there too. I can see how this sort of thing can seem fun at first but then get boring for some people. but if you stay motivated, just think of how many chicks you can pick up by wearing your gloves and going up to a girl with the line "heeeeey bebeh... You know what's even harder than my chainmail gauntlets...?" "no...?" "my steel breast plate that i have at home... Wanna see it?" and naturally the girl goes home with you.
I think I get the gist of chainmailing, and I do spend a lot of time bored out of my skull or drinking so I'm not bored. I suppose I could get the wire and see what happens.
Hey cool, my dad has a box of aluminium rings and said go nuts. They are 5/16".
Good to see someone make a chainmail topic finally. What gauge wire is it, and what kind of dremel cutter did you use? Also I wouldn't recommend using wood to wrap a coil of rings, it'd likely come out smaller because the pressure would likely make the wood compress, giving you badly-shaped or smaller rings than you wanted.
i'm guessing it's 12 guage ish, and i used a dremel multipro and later a regular angle grinder. i wrap the wire around a steel pipe. it's quite hard since i broke 2 drill bits trying to drill through it (yes, they were metal bits). i know i said i was going to throw the pics up yesterday, but i got home really late and it was too dark to take pictures. it's the same story now. i'll try to remember to take the pictures tomorrow as i now have a bit of a piece. i also did something really idiotic today. i know that chain mail alone [I]will[/I] not protect you from blunt force trauma. i've read up on different armor types and stuff over the last couple of days and i know that chain mail was not really designed to absorb force, but more to protect from wounds and lacerations. but still i strapped the piece to my stomach and asked my friend to punch me really hard. i ended up with stomach cramps and he got cut his knuckles up. that was sort of a "what in the hell were we thinking..."-moments. i'm also thinking about making a helmet for this project. the only metal i have available is aluminium though. i don't really care if it won't protect me from a blow, but if it looks wrong i don't want to use it. i'll see what i'll do.
Surely coiling it and cutting it while it is still on the pipe would be much easier? would be even easier if you had. Would be even easier if you had the pipe cut in the middle so the cross section looks like a "C" then all you have to do is follow the existing notch.
update: well i said i'd take pics and so i have. the mail is now about 8 inches wide and 18 inches long while extended. when compressed into the protective pattern it's of course smaller. on the pictures you can see the piece compared to a teaspoon. if you think it looks a bit odd because of the uneven edges and stuff it's just because i couldn't be arsed to straighten it all out before i took the pictures. [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_0131.jpg[/t] [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_014.jpg[/t] [t]http://filesmelt.com/dl/chains_015.jpg[/t] i'll also include this little concept doodle that i made to get myself motivated enough to continue the work on the project. what i will try to make is a belt, some gown of sorts and of course the mail. i'll also see if i can't make some other things like the helmet i talked about but i'll keep it to this for now and then see how long blind ambition takes me. [IMG]http://filesmelt.com/dl/some_concept_doodle.png[/IMG] [editline]18th October 2011[/editline] [QUOTE=LiLBliNg;32840612]Surely coiling it and cutting it while it is still on the pipe would be much easier? would be even easier if you had. Would be even easier if you had the pipe cut in the middle so the cross section looks like a "C" then all you have to do is follow the existing notch.[/QUOTE] i didn't want to damage the pipe so i coiled everything up on it, then took the coil off and put it on a wooden cylinder of the same diameter for the cutting :smile:
Ah, makes sense.
If you're making a piece of armor, remember to make sure the piece is oriented right. As it hangs, it should contract together naturally, which would not happen if you turned it 90 degrees. You'll know exactly what I mean if you lift up and hold the piece by one edge. Oh, and I've found a pair of needle-nose pliers that have an opening spring built in to be the best and most efficient pliers to use. Bigger ones don't have the nimbleness, but needle-nose don't grip the wire as well. Alright for the pre-closing tightening of the ring, though. As for the other side of the ring when I do close it, I use my mighty viking thumb to push it into place. I made some using copper electrical wire, a pair of fucking awesome pliers, a metal pole and a bench vise. None of this carefully drilled holes, or fancy saws, or anything. Yes, my rings have little cut marks, but you know what I do there? I overlap them, otherwise the ends would look like: ><
I did some chainmaille a few years back. I made a gauntlet, which I then amalgamated into what's going to be a hauberk when I get around to finishing it. [img]http://i.imgur.com/P2EYb.jpg[/img] This is the makings of the hauberk [img]http://i.imgur.com/qo8Sh.jpg[/img] At the top is a small bit of 6-in-1 I made to see what it was like, an 8-in-2 (also called 'Kings Maille') bracelet I made for myself along with my weapon of choice for cutting rings (great forearm exercise). [img]http://i.imgur.com/WFkcE.jpg[/img] I use galvanised steel wire because it's what's in the shed, but I did once make a copper 4-in-1 bracelet for a lady friend as a birthday present. Chicks like jewellery, but they [b]love[/b] jewellery nobody else has ;)
I think I'm going to give this a try, but with something more simple and practical, like a belt.
Just ordered 1000 rings of 16g aluminium, 8mm diameter. (aluminium was cheaper shippingwise) If I like it (I've been considering it for a year or so, after seeing it on Bay12) I'll probably buy some galvanised steel wire and try making my own rings. If I can do that properly, I might try making myself something with stainless steel, like a chainmail hauberk or something.
[QUOTE=Terminutter;33132058]Just ordered 1000 rings of 16g aluminium, 8mm diameter. (aluminium was cheaper shippingwise) If I like it (I've been considering it for a year or so, after seeing it on Bay12) I'll probably buy some galvanised steel wire and try making my own rings. If I can do that properly, I might try making myself something with stainless steel, like a chainmail hauberk or something.[/QUOTE]Stainless steel is really goddamn springy, it doesn't like to be bent at all. Just a bit more work, but don't be surprised if you have to put a lot of force into it.
Yeah, and shipping is more due to it weighing 3x as much as aluminium. It's still not arrived, I was foolish enough to choose to order from America to save a few quid :v:
I've been interested in both this and leatherworking for a long time. I'm haven't really been doing much recently so I might as well see if I can track down some supplies and get started.
Fuck this is awesome.
Jesus fuck, how long does it take for a first class packaga to get here from America? I was only saving £1 by ordering from there :v:
[QUOTE=Terminutter;33326499]Jesus fuck, how long does it take for a first class packaga to get here from America? I was only saving £1 by ordering from there :v:[/QUOTE] Could be worse. You could order several packages of LED's from Singapore only to have them arrive [B]TWO MONTHS LATER[/B] *foam*
oh by the way, this isn't dead or anything. i just need to focus on work for christmas and everything. the piece has grown some and i've thought some more about the design and i reckon i'll need some leather and some other fabrics to make a pretty cool costume for halloween or something.
I've ordered stuff from hong kong and gotten it next day, I don't understand why everyone else has such terrible experiences with international shipping
Well, it arrived today for some wacky reason (post, on a sunday?) and I have to say, OH FUCK it's so frustrating. But it will pay off... once I find a way to keep the rings still when working on them. Could it be me being a dirty, clumsy left hander?
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