My correspondace with Dweezle
Hi. I looked at your page. nice work, for real.
I liked the design on your hack, better, than the one I made. Of course, it was only the
second thing. :) Hey, I've developed a couple of weaves, if you'd like to take a look.
The hack's not up, though. :( maybe in a couple of weeks.
I know what you mean when you use the word addicted.
Hey, nice work! very impressive for only a few
months experience... I'll have to sit down and take a nice long look at some of your
new chains someday...but I think my favorite will always be the ol' box chain (I think you
call it king's chain but not sure...). ever try
connecting two lengths of boxchain (or any kinda chain) together on the sides...so it makes sort of a double wide box chain? Thats what I've been playing with in the jewelry department of late. That and chains made from more than one kind of metal.
So, how'd you do your hack? the one I have a pattern for somewhere in my pages is different than the one I sell...I'm sure ya noticed that though. The one I sell is made with the oriental 6-1 weave...what I do is make some little triangles (its hard to describe.....but,uhh...) So, make these little triangles out of the oriental 6-1 weave. I think I make them 3 flat links and 2 vert links on each side. I somehow turn these into a flat star shaped thing and the start connecting each of the arms to it's neighbor until only a small hole is left open. then I stuff it with cloth. Sometimes its hard to close up the last hole without having a very small area of oriental where the last couple rings go in...guess it just depends on how ya put the little triangles together.
I think I have a pattern (more like scribblings from what I remember) for the hack I sell. I'll try to find that so I can give ya a more
detailed description if you want one. oh yeah, its made from 16ga(awg),1/4"ID.
GLOVE: gonna leave the underside of the fingers open for more flexabilaty? You may find the thumb to be a real pain in the ass.
I gotta redo the thumb on my last glove. it don't fit right. and I had to go and use those stupid little 20ga,1/8"ID links so it'll take
forever...but just thinking about it makes me want to work on it. Think its been over a year since I last picked that project up....
Whats an "idiot trap"? I think I've heard of a chainmaile thing called an idiot trap but I also think I may be wrong about that.
have you tried making a chainmaile cube yet? thems is phun!!! but not if the size links you use make it to tight like the ones I'm using at almost this very moment...this cube only gets to be a 2/3 hight cube:( oh well, if you have not yet tried making one of those cube things then you should do that now...I think I had more to say but I'll leave now so you can get to work.....
Hey, I assume, since you consider yourself addicted to chainmail that you have had times (if not constant) when you spend around eight or more hours a day weaving.
Sometimes when I really get going on a big project I'll do about twelve to fifteen hours a day...yeah, thats really sick! My record amount of time making maile was 25 hours. but its taken several years to develope the right muscles to be able to work like that.
Have you noticed any nerve damage? I think I may have lost feeling on the underside of the joint closest to my palm. If it's not gone, it seems like it will be soon. A little scary, but I never really used those nerves much anyway. :)
I don't think I've developed any nerve damage yet from making chainmail but for the last year or so the carpul bones in my left wrist
have been sort of locking up and making very loud cracking/popping noises when I use my right hand to bend the left wrist down as far as possible (it actually fixes the problem for a short time). I have a friend who was doing chainmail back when I first started.
She had to stop because she developed a severe case of carpultunnel syndrome, as did some of her friends who also did maile...
I'll go talk to her about wrist and hand problems from making chainmaile.
I think that many of the problems people develope from chainmail have alot to do with the tools they use and how they use them. Using pliars with springs in the handles helps take some strain off the muscles in the wrists and hands because ya only need to close the pliers and the springs will open them...
Its also possible that the problem might go away as your body adapts it's self to making chainmaile. a while after I started weaving maile I began to notice that the ends of my pliars handles (which rest in the lower half of my palms) seemed to be separating the muscles in my palms and making a very noticable indention. The indention is still a little noticable and ya can also see where my pliers sit in my hands when I work...
Also, do you make your own links? if so what do you use to cut the 1/8th inch rings?
yup, make my own links. to cut the 1/8th inch ones (which are made from 18 and 20 gauge, mostly stainless) I use a pair of wire cutters that are about eight or nine
inches long, with about one ince long blades. Not all brandnames are as good as others. Best ones I've found so far have been made by Benchtop and Home Improvement. It does not take long for a small portion of the tip to break off...when this happens just grind the tips down until the broken part is gone. If you don't have the stuff do do the grinding you can send them to me and I can do it for ya as long as you pay the shipping.
What I would like to connect at the sides is the half persian. I talked to a guy who sent me instructions on how to do it, but haven't gotten around to it, yet.
I haven't taken much time yet to play with chains...I know the basic ones but the only one I've done alot with has been the box chain. been spending to much time on armour...
you use a 6 pointed star? makes sense. Sometimes adding the last link or two is hard on the tighter weaves. Have you tried using smaller rings on the hack? It might make it react more like a sand hack.
I think its six pointed but I can't remember...been a while since I've made one. I tried to think of a sphere that was all choped up to lay flat...as well as looking at how different sports balls (mostly soccer and basketballs) are put together...and looked at twelve and twenty sided dice. after not really getting anyplace that way I decided just to go ahead and do it and got it to where it is now after a couple tries. Sometime soon I'd like to do more hacks and try smaller links and a combination of 1/8"id 18ga links as the virtical links and 16ga 1/4"id as the horizontals.
I'm leaving the fingers open, yes. I tried to have them closed, but you couldn't move your fingers, or hold anything. Besides, if you're in a swordfight, that's the part of your hand the most protected! :)
Depends on what you want to use the glove for in a swordfight... On my left hand I often use leather glove with a chainmaile palm,
underside of fingers, and enclosed thumb...its for grabbing onto my opponent's blade and mangling them with either my blade or my boot. I'm part of a small group of people here in Maine who do this thing that some people think is alot like WWF wrestling but with swords and armor, but without the silly wwf outfits. Its supposed to be like one of the old schools of defence from the the rennasiace, when dueling was a popular pasttime. We do alot of public demonstrations, demos for schools, and shows at renn fairs in the area. I have a rather fond memory from a few years ago of a day when I was working on my first glove. I was using 1/4"id 16ga links and the glove was going to completely enclose my hand. So, I was sitting in study hall knitting away...I had all the fingers and a good portion of the hand done and I decided to try it on. Tried it on and it got stuck...then the bell rang. in my next class I pulled out the ol' wire cutters and cut the links that made it to tight...
I saw that cube, it looks cool. An oriental 4 in 1? Connected at the vertical rings? I think you had yours doubled? I need a sentence without a questionmark.
Thats kinda what it is...a better way to describe it might be to say an oriental 4 in 1 ummm...with rings linked to the vertical rings, and a new layer of horizontal rings connected to the ones that are linked to the ones in the original vertical rings...this will make it so there is a horizontal ring above the opening in the 4-1 below the newly added layer. This makes the oriental 4in1 weave I know of that can be built in six directions and remain true to it's weave... I've tried doing this with oriental 6 in 1 hoping for a prism shaped object but it did not work. But I may not have had enough experience with that kinda stuff at the time...I should try it again sometime. What I did end up with was a new kind of chain...I think I have a picture of it someplace...I'll try to find it for ya.
I might try that today. Have you thought of putting them on a morning star, or something? Also, have you had the problem of whips flying apart when they're used?
I borrowed the cube idea from a merchant at an SCA event. He had a few cubes and a three headed cube flail. The flail even had a handle made from the oriental 4 in 1 cube style, and box chains connecting the cubes to the handle. I've yet to make any chainmaile weapons but they are on my long list of things to do. a whip was one of the first things I thought of making when I learned how to do boxchains...
Do you have any experience with riveted mail? Traditional or weld/solder/whatever? I'd like to learn someday. It'd be a good skill to have.
Riveted maile is also on my list of things to do...rather high on that list in fact. Its something I hope to try withen the next year.
I've made a few welded rings...like one or two:) not enough to say I know anything about welding mail.
Something I tried once that was kinda interesting (but has nothing to do with welding or riveting mail) was to take two pieces of wire and twist them together down the entire length and make that into a spring. makes some really neat looking links for jewelry. I only made a couple links like that and have since lost them but I plan on doing more, enough to make something small like a bracelet.
I talked to Laurie who is my friend that use to make
chainmail but got
carpultunnel from it. She said that a sort of numbness near the base of
the palm is one of the first symptomes of carpultunnel and that later
some of the fingers go numb as well and it becomes very painfull and
hard to use the hand and wrist. She also said that sometimes it gets
better if the body addapts to what started to cause it. She said that
the opperation to fix it is very simple. I'm not sure how long she'd
been weaving or what kind of tools she used. I'll find those things out
next time I see her. I do know that she really like galvanized steel.
yeah, you'll stop getting blisters after a while. I think I stopped
getting them a little over a year after I started weaving. I still
remember my last blister...
Maine can be an interesting place....the hard part for most people is
finding whats interesting to them...aside from chainmail and
swordfighting stuff I like to go places I've never been befor. And when
I'm wandering around town those places tend to be abandoned buildings,
tunnels by the river(that fill up when the tide comes in), places where
if I slip or fall through a rotten floor it'd be a long time befor my
body was found. sometimes in the warmer months I'll wander off into the
woods or for a few days or see how far I can get on my bicycle. I'm not
sure I want to get a drivers license...I'd not show up for work someday
because I decided to go on a little roadtrip for a few days...but yeah,
maine is an okay place. the coast is very nice.
One thing I've always wanted to make out of the cube is a big
throne-like chair...but build it out in the middle of the woods in a
cave I know of and leave it there...then close up the entrance of the
cave with lots of rocks. Someday the rocks blocking up the entrance
would fall away and someone would find this big metal chair made from
thousands of tiny metal rings....
The sword grabbing thing with a chainmail glove is a move that I really
have to think about for it to happen...I just think "okay, next time I
see something coming in on my mid left or to my head I'll grab onto it
instead of dodging outa the way or blocking with my sword".
so ya just reach out and grab onto the blade but pull your hand back if
he sees it comming and tries to stick ya in the hand. Gloves like that
were really used sometimes in sword duels.
Hey, I'm not talking about making mail out of the kind of links dog
chains are made from. I'm talking about something like this:
I'd also like to play around with square links but last time I tried
making some the spring got stuck on the mandrel.
Here is a picture of the chain that resulted when I tried to make a box
type thing using the orientle 6-1 weave...
I think thats it. if not try adding an S to the end of chain.
nope, don't know of any established places to share ideas like these
I really wish I did. Sounds like a great idea...
I'm only sort of in the SCA these days. I don't agree with alot of the
ways they do things...some of its really dumb but I don't really feel
like babbling on about all that krap...but yeah, a message board type
place (like the Arador Armor Library or the Armour Archive) but only
strange ideas about chainmaile would be really good.
onetime I made a bracelet out of 4 in 1 euro, rings were 20ga with a
1/8"id. It had two interweaving lines on a stainless background, one
was brass and the other was tarnished galv steel. It was one of those
kinda things that I could not bring myself to sell because I like it to
much, so I gave it away...
>I can go for about 10 or so hours a day right now if I am so inclined,
>and even then, it's the winding the springs and cutting the links that
>is the holdup.
>I'm starting to get the indentation marks in my palm.. I never even
>thought to notice. My hands are start ing to look a little better.. I
>got a lot of blisters at first, and they popped, an calloused. They
>were lookin' fairly like the feet of dancers.
>The Persian chain is my personal favorite. It is a box hybrid. Just
>tuck the loose ends in. Onc you have a short section, figure out how
>to do it with 2 open/2 closed. It's the fastest weave I know for
>chains, cause you have to use larger rings, and the strength isn't
>lowered. Every link goes through six others.
>If you use 16 gauge wire, use 5/16" ID. For 17 or lower, you can use
>Maine, eh? I've never been there, but would like to. Maybe I'll head
>to the east coast in a couple of years.
>I made a box. The only thing, I really thought would be neat to do
>with it it, build a castle. Use blocks for the walls, and an 8 in 1
>or 6 in 1 for the turrets. (It would take an obscene amount of time.)
>I could see a glove being used like that. Probably wouldn't have been
>the first to volunteer that move, though
>I've seen link twisted like that. I think they make dog chains out of
>them a lot. I've always wondered how to do it, though..
>I hope I don't get carppultunnel..that would suck. How long had she
>Do you know of anywhere that is established to share ideas like this.
>THat was my whole point of putting my work on the 'net. I think a lot
>of ideas could be pulled to a central place where someone could gather
>them. There are a lot of excellent ideas just between the two of us,
>and I'm sure that some people have even more wild ones. There are
>some message boards I've seen, but they talk about strictly armor, and
>seem to be the SCA types. SCA people, from my experience, don't like
>innovation. Historical Accuracy!!!!! I hate historical
>accuracy...maybe not, but I don't obsess.
>You'd almost have to have a six pointed star on the hack, anything
>else wouldn't be symetrical.
>I'll send you a pic of the trim I'm working on for a shirt. It is a 4
>in 1 euro, with brass and copper interweaving. It's nice. Hopefully
>a pic by the end of the weekend. Also, for the same shirt, I have a
>hexagon of 6 in 1 oriental, that is 1/4" horizontal and 3/16"
>vertical. I really like the fabric-like densities of the oriental
>patterns. Oh yeah, the rings are doubled both ways.
...made a couple more springs of twisded wire today
and found out a
minor drawback of them...the springs I made today have more twists per
inch than the first ones I made. Because of this the wire was
so it unwound around the mandril making the links harder to cut so the
ends of each wire lined up. guess I just need to make more and figure
out the best amount to twist the wire. I've decided that spiral chains
(my least favorite because the unspiral if the ends are not stuck to
something, but I solved that problem last night) look best when made
from twisted rings. To make spiral chains not unspiral I added very
tiny (compared to the rings the chain is made from) rings down the
linked through two rings so they cannot twist appart.
the added links blend in nicely with the twisted links. Now I'm
on a bracelet (or something?) made with another pattern that lends its
self well to twisted rings. I link three twisted rings all through
other (they have an ID of around 3/8" and the wire thickness is close
14ga) and mess around with them until they form a little slightly
rose-shaped thing with a hole in the center. I make a bunch o' these
connect them together with a 1/4id 16ga stainles link. at least thats
the plan. I guess ya could make some orientle 6-1 and 4-1 with the
little "rose shaped" things....maybe I'll try that.
know how to make the twisted rings? If so then I'll tell ya anyways...
use thin wire, I'm using 18ga for most of my twisted ring stuff, and
pull from the spool twice as much as you would normaly use.
but befor you do that find a secure object and pound a nail partway
it. you will also need a drill...er, I can't think of a good way to do
it without one. find the center of your length of wire and put it
the nail (or on the side oposite of where you stand), hold onto the
and walk back until the wire is bent around the nail and you are
both ends. now pick up the drill and stick the ends of the wire into
chuk (might need to bend the ends of the wire over so the chuk can get
better gription. now with the drill pull the wire tight and pull the
trigger and the wire will start twisting, if you happen to be trying
this with stainless then the wire should snap as soon as it gets some
tension. once its all twisted up open the chuck and cut the other end
away from the nail. Its ready now to be used like any other wire. All
I've had time to play with so far in this stuff is mild steel. I think
two kinds of metals (like brass and steel, copper and brass, you
know...) would look spiffy.
Yeah, I walk or ride my bike just about everywhere I want to
I'm going with friends. most of my friends don't really like walking
places anymore. cars and real jobs (the kind the gov takes all the
he can from) have made them lazy.
can't wait till summer so I can go on another little bike trip.
I like the throne idea alot too...but I doubt I'll have enough time in
the near future. need to get one of those real jobs. but the throne is
very very tempting...
some people are here to kidnap me now so I gotta go....
>Thanks for talking to your friend! I'm going to do everything I can to
avoid not being physicially able to weave. I'm thinking about
>I started to get a blister in the middle of my palm, from cutting
of 14 gauge galv, but I taped it and kept going. It's been a few since
I've gotten a full fledged blister (probably 3 or 4 weeks).
>I know I will not get a drivers liscense, at least until hey have
powered hydrogen fuel cells to power cars. I refuse to use a gas
My bike and the bus gets me around. Colorado Springs sits at the
foothills of the Rocky Mountains, which is nice to just have to ride
across town to go to the mountians.
>I like the throne idea. I lik it a lot. Do it. I'll drop off some
cubes when I go east..
>I might consider closing off the fingers at some point in the glove,
just making another pair. It seems like a good defense to use that to
disarm as well...or is that a little too difficult?
>I don't like selling my work. I much perfer to give it away. I've
given away who knows how many hours of stuff, and sold one for the
of materials (a little more) and one bracelet. I try to just break
even. Although I'm going to have to start making a profit, so I can
save the money to go to Alaska. I figure I can sell a bunch of
stuff and get the funds together.
>There's a program out there called WWWboard (it's free, too), and it's
a message board. I tried to get it going, but tripod doesn't allow CGI
scripts. If you know of anyone who would be willing to host a board
can use thier own CGI stuff, I'd frequent that place. I'll try to find
someone, but I think it's kind of unlikely.
>I made a hack like your 6 in 1. I found what you were talking about
with the last ring being hard to put in. I closed the last ring before
put the cloth in. THen opened up another area that only had 5 or 6
rings (opposed to the 12 of the points of the star). It was quite easy
>I attached a couple of pics of a shirt I'm working on right now. I'd
put them on my page, but it's for a christmas pressent for my friend.
>The trim is brass and copper, weaving in a zigzag, even though it's
kinda hard to see. The 6 in 1 oriental is excellent. It's very dense,
but still retains a lot of flexibility. It's a larger version of the
first beanie armor.
I've been making leather armor since I first got into the SCA
years ago but I don't really consider myself to be much of a leather
worker...Iknow how to cut it, rivit or sew it together, make holes and
figure out my own patterns but thats about all I know about working
with leather. There is alot of stuff I do not know like molding and
forming 3d shapes or whatever. I've made a couple suits of leather
armor but all that was really needed was tools (and knowing sorta how
they are used) to do all the stuff mentioned above. I'm not sure how
much it would cost to start leather working. most of the tools I needed
I already had or picked up at a hardware store for a few dollars. But
getting into leather working would be far less expensive than making
plate armor. but plate armor lasts longer and is more impressvie. I
have an SCA friend who has a blacksmithing/armoring/bladesmith shop
in Bangor so I go over to his place a couple times a week and work on
plate. he has most of the tools for making plate armor and what he
not have we can make in the shop.
There is alota stuff you'd need to make good plate armor...like a belt
sander, something to cut the metal (beverly shears or a jig saw), some
welding equipment, an anvil, a multitude of funny stakes that can go on
the anvil or in a vice, a couple bench top vices, a drill press is
usefull, small stuff like center punches and measuring stuff, a forge
usefull for some stuff, strangely shaped metal things, lots of
hammers, a dremel tool, lots of files for metal, an imitation whitney
hand punch, some aviation snips, wire cutters, a form to dish metal
bolt cutters, a few polishing wheels, and a few things that you'd need
to make yourself or have made for ya....I hope to have all that some
day...right now all I have is two ball pien hammers, a belt sander,
really crappy aviation snips, a shallow dishing stump, a hand held
electric drill, a few small tools, a sabre saw, a dremel tool, and a
small workbench. My friend who has the shop I use now, his name's
Gregory, his shop is really amazing....
I've only been really into making plate armor for a couple months. all
my plate stuff befor a couple years ago was really bad so I stoped
trying to make plate...last year I wanted a roman looking helm for SCA
and could not find one for sale that I liked so made my own. Then a
couple months ago I decided I wanted a pair of gauntlets for the nonSCA
sword fighting practice Gregory runs so I decided to make the most
complicated pair I could find a picture of at the time. I figured that
if they did not come out good I'd learn enough from it to make makeing
simpler pair easier. I just finnished my right handed gauntlet a
days ago and I get to try it out at practice this monday...then I'll
to use it in a swordfighting demonstration at a local highschool the
another thing that helps for making plate armor is finding free metal
(this can mean a bit of dumpster diving sometimes) and collecting it in
a huge pile. mostly need large sheets of it...like old electrical
boxes, furnace doors (made the gauntlet from one), stuff like
that....street signs are not much good for armor...I find mild steel to
heh, those big ass rings sound kinda scary...
the sword grab thing isn't really hard to do, its just something ya
to think about when fighting and then do it. but if ya mess up with the
first try then your opponent will be aware that might try it again.
not really a disarm...he still has ahold of the hilt, you just got the
blade. and a maile glove does not have much gription so if he pulls
then the blade will slip from your grasp....unless ya move with the
blade and keep kicking and chopping with your own sword.
But it does take his sword out of his control long enough to do your
I'm thinking I'd like to do a rivited shirt sometime soon. withen the
next year maybe.
I checked out your head....
what did you do with all the hair? last year I was thinking about
shaving my head so I would not have to bother with hair anymore....but
instead I decided to harvest my head and see how big of a hairball I
could grow. It's getting pretty big. it live on a bookshelf in my
right now. I'll take a picture of it sometime...
<talking about Eye Period Questionmark>
I tried it out the other day but my rings were just a little to small
I could only fit one of the rings that go through all six to go through
all six. I'll try it later with some stainless rings made on the same
rod...they are just a tiny bit bigger than what I tried last time.
the chainmail wallet...was thinking about making one a few months ago
but other projects came up and I never got around to it...I was goind
use some of my 1/8id 18ga stainless links and then blue the whole
thing...whew...just got back from an SCA fighting demonstration thing a
bout twenty minutes ago...almost made me want to start going to fighter
practice again...second SCA demo I've helped out with in the last
week...and last night I also helped out with a nonSCA live steel demo,
three demos in four days....think thats a new record for me. Franz
looks like an interesting critter...something odd looking about it...is
it made from links of differing sizes?
I'll ask a couple people I know about how much it would cost to get
leather working and plate.
well, gotta go...ICQ is calling.
I started on a chainmail wallet today. I'm using 4 in 1 with 18ga,
1/8"id rings, all stainless steel. and when its done I'll roast it up
a nice golden brownish red kinda color...
knew there was something strange looking about franz but was not
entirely sure what...
any idea when you are coming east? I was thinking the other day about
saving up some money and heading west sometime...how are ya doing your
traveling? I think ya mentioned someplace that you're saving money for
trip to alaska or something? heh, while I'm asking ya all these
questions I guess I'll ask a few more...what kind of tools do you use
for making your chainmail, like for winding the wire, cutting rings,
closing and opening rings,etc..? what kinda weapons or whatever do ya
I tried making some square rings (if they are square, are they still
rings?) and the results thus far have not been very good. The square
springs keep getting stuck on the square mandrel. When I do manage to
get them off...so far its been by spraying the mandrel with WD-40
I wrap the wire around and pulling very hard with some vice grips, the
spring unsprings just a little so its hard to get the same size ring
with each cut...and they are a little more round than I was hoping
for...I'll try it again someday and maybe come up with a better way of
well, gotta sleep sometime...
>I Don't have ICQ I have EPQ <g>
>The end tapers from an 8 in 1 (5/16" id) to a 4 in 1 (3/16" id). I
>actually put franz up to show how I trim my 8 in 1.
>something about the wallet, was it doesn't work well floppy. A 10 in
>1(3/8" id 17 gauge) is what I would use next time. (maybe not)
>I have fun sparring sometimes. I think I'll use the gauntlet grabing
>thing next time I spar. It's not very often, though. We'll have to
>go at it if I ever make it over to Maine.
I think I can get 16ga stainless for around $6.50 a pound at a local
welding suply place. I'm not suer about other gauges because I've
never hed to buy them. a couple years ago a big ship building place in
maine, Bath Iron Works, donated a whole crap load of wire they didn't
want to Eastern Maine tech College. The welding instructer there knew
made chainmaile so he called me up and told me he had a lot of wire and
I could come take what I wanted. I don't know how many crates of
welding wire were sitting around up there but it was alot...I took home
at least ten 8" diameter rolls of 18ga mild steel, several rolls
(ranging in size from 18" to 4" diameter) of 20 ga stainless, two half
full 18" diameter rolls of 16ga stainless, a half full 18" roll of
bronze, a mostly full 18" roll of something that looks kinda like a
brass and something alloy, a full 18" roll of alluminum, a couple 8"
rolls of 18ga stainless (of which I can now only find one...must have
misplaced the others), several 8" rolls of some 18ga crappy black wire
thats hollow and filled with some kinda welding flux (useless for
chainmail but at the time thought it was just black wire, and two 4"
18ga rolls of something thats really soft and breaks when ya wrap it
so I've not had to go out and buy wire for a while, although I do want
to pick up another roll of 16ga bronze...It has a nice color to it but
turns a dark golden brown color after a short while, but I like that
color too...and if ya let it really tarnish then it turns green! I may
also have to buy some more 18ga stainless unless I can find my missing
Is there a welding supply company in your area? that'd be a great place
to find different kinds of wire. its a good place to get nongalvanized
wire because trying to weld with galv lets off deadly gasses or
something like that when the zinc coating burns.
For cutting 14ga and 16ga steel (stainless, galv, or mild) I use some
dull 8" wire cutters that have the ends ground down to fit in the
rings...to cut just a little ways into the ring where I want it to be
cut then I break the ring off with the wire cutters from the other
for cutting 16ga bronze and brass stuff I use some of the same kind of
wire cutters, modifies to fit in the rings, but much sharper than the
other ones. Bronze and brass do not like being cut with the first
I mentioned...the mark made is either not deep enough or I end up
cutting all the way through. bronze is a strange feeling metal to work
with...at least for chainmaile.
For cutting any thing 18 gauge or smaller I use another pair of wire
cutters, same design and modifications as mentioned above, but these
ones are the best I could find. I think they were made by Benchtop if
that means anything.
I've been wanting to get pictures of all my tools up sometime...
The sides of the square rod I was using are about 3/8". last time I
tried it I was using a very short (hoping that if I used shorter
of wire the spring would not have as much surface area to keep it
piece of 16ga aluminum and the rod was sprayed with WD-40....I ended up
with nine semi-square aluminum links of roughly the same size but they
are too weak to be used for much... turning each ring by hand might
...I'll play with the square ring idea more when I finnish the wallet.
yeah...I don't really like geocities that much....back when I first
started stting up my chainmail page, heh...back when it was only one
page...when geocities and tripod each gave ya two megs of space, I ran
out of room on my tripod acount so I one at geocities...and then that
one filled up so I got another...then they had their "I offer more
than the other guy" war and now I have something like 33 megs of space
on the net.....I'll eventually turn the geocities pages into something
usefull but for now they are just storage...
My friends and I have a few padded pvc weapons we use sometimes. I made
one of mine look kinda like a gladius and I have another that's a two
handed club with some ductape and foam things that are supposed to look
like metal studs or something...there's this fantasy LARP thing that we
go to sometimes were padded pvc weapons are used....but I mostly play
with real swords that have dull edges...but thats in a different thing
than the LARP....I also sometimes do SCA heavy weapons and fencing but
not as much as I use to...
SCA heavy weapon wars are lotsa fun. one thing I don't like about the
SCA is that they have to many rules....oh well, its still a fun game to
hmmm...yeah, so try finding a welding supply place, they should have a
nice selection of wire types sizes and...
>It'll be at least a year, maybe 2. I have family in Conn. and NC. As
>well as friends in Jersey. Hey does the Appalician Trail end in
>Maine? I thought it did.
>How much do you get stainless steel for? of all gauges you can get
>it. I can't get it, except 25 ft. sections, and that isn't worth my
>time or $. :)
>I'll be taking busses and ferries (wish it was faeries) for the most
>part. I have a free round trip plane ticket, which I'm going to use
>one way, and burn the rest.
>Yeah, I'm goin to live in AK for between 6 mo and a year, (probably a
>year) then I don't know what's happening. Hopefully I'll get known
>for my weaving and be able to make money on the road.
>For chainmail, to wind wire I use bent metal rods
>I don't use wood with holes to keep it steady, I use a foot and the
>crook of a knee, while sitting crosslegged. I use a pair or modified
>Prosnip aviation snips to cut my rings. (ground to fit the smaller ID)
>I tried Wiss (and am still using them until I can get another pair of
>Prosnip. I found that using aviation snips to cut guitar wire is a
>bad idea, it fucked a perfect pair of snips. I'm still pissed.) but I
>don't like 'em as much, it's REALLY difficult to cut the wire. I use
>a pair of 4" needle nose pliers, but would like to try some 5" to see
>if they feel better. (except for the bigass rings, I think those
>pliers are 8")
>What is the inside length of a side of one of the square rings? I
>remember you saying that the rings were doing that. THe idea I had
>was, don't wind it. This will take a lot of time, but I'll bet the
>rings'll be more square. turn each side by hand. Stainless might be
>hard to do this with, 'cause it's springy, but maybe copper?
>galvanized or whatever..
>Hey, I think you said you can get a steel that is not galvanized or
>stainless...what kind of steel is that? and what price do you get it
>Can you get 17 gauge wire? if not and you want some, I can get it for
>around $9 a 1/4 mile. I love 17 gauge, it lets you do really dense 4,
>6, 8 and 10 in 1 patterns.
>What are you using to cut your rings?
>Hey, I noticed that you have a site on Geocities, but there's not
>really anything there, is that an outdated site?
>Did I send you a pic of the copper/brass/black trim I did for my
>friend? I'll attach it either way, it's cool. I finished the two
>best baskets I've done so far today, I'm going to get pics of them,
>but it'll be on film, so who knows when they'll get developed and on
>I don't really spar that often, no one's interested, but I like sword
>and staff fighting... I guess learning to use whip to disarm would
>be fun. If you were refering to construction, padded pvc stuff. I
>guess if I had some sturdy armor, I would do some heavy weapons
>stuff.. But I'm not really good at it, for lack of experience.
>I got an 1/8" rod recently, and the only thing I can use it for is the
>oriental patterns, as the smallest wire gauge I have is 17. :)
>I must buy wire at least 5 times a month (sometimes 10). I go do
>different places to get different stuff. I'm going to try to go
>through a wholesaler soon.
how big are the rolls of wire, how much do they weigh?
when I use to buy stainless at the welding supply place (back when I
mostly armor and befor I got all that wire for free) I use to get it in
ten pounds of three foot lengths but I don't remember how long it took
to use it all up. some of my big rolls, like the 18" weigh around
thirty pounds, depending on what kinda metal it is...the aluminum was
only fifteen pounds..
>wire cutters? aviation snips, or dikes (sp)? your closures are
thanks...I'm somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to stuff I make.
I'm not sure what kinda wire cutters they are....just wire cutters I
>3/8" a side? those must be some damn big rings!!
that was just a rough guess at size...don't have them here (I'm at a
friends house taking care of his cat while he's in georgia) to look at
or measure...but yeah, they are pretty big right now they are made into
a little square of four in one oriental with 18ga 1/8"id rings as the
verticals...looks kinda like a chainlink fence...
>I'll take pics of my tools next time I'm in front of the digicam.
>I'll try a welding supply store if the wholesaler doesn't work.
>some of the SCA rules make sense, but some, I think, are there to be
>rules. I might send you some $ for some stainless sometime, if I
>can't get it here in CO.
I'll try to remember to stop in and check prices and what gauges they
have next time I'm near the welding place
hey, sounds like a fun project...I was going to make a bunch of
illustrated patterns for how to chainmail armor and stuff...it'd be
kinda like that pattern I made for a 4 in 1 chainmail hack....I was
going to make a similar pattern for a coif while working as worked
progressed but for some feason I forgot about it and finnished the coif
without taking pictures of or scanning its parts...
but yeah....I should be able to help somewhat with the historical armor
part....what do ya need? a few days ago I did a search on tripod for
chainmaile and was surprised by how many things they had that had
something to do with chainmail....522...of course most of them towards
the end only mentioned it once, had to do with gaming, or were about
chain-letters...but last time I searched tripod for chainmail was a
little over a year ago and they only had 40 something... haven't
searched geocities or looked through any armor rings yet.
>I've been kicking around the idea of setting up a resource for people
>(i'm kinda doing this) for chainmail. There's a lot of stuff I can
>get up, but I there's much that I don't want to learn or whatever..
>Historical armor is a part of that, however it is a definite part of
>What I'm harassing is this: would you be interested in helping me
>with this venture. I've looked around. Not just gone through Sara's
>links (which she's slacking on putting me up in...) but done searches
>in geocities and tripod as well as gone through all the armorers ring
>sites. THere are some good sources out there, but they all seem to
>just cover the basics. There's so much more out there...
>If you know anyone else who might be interested in this, extend this
>invitation to them as well..
I've got a scanner now!
scanned some stuff that I've had sitting around unfinnished or
whatever...some of it may interest you, some of it may not...
Here's an unfinnished necklace kinda thing:
My Gauntlet of Doom page has been updated with pictures of the finnish
A page about some historical based armor I started on a while ago. Its
made from flattened pennies.
A picture of a bullet that was shot at one of my chainmail shirts, and
the rings that were stuck to it when we pulled it out of the rolled up
carpet that was in the shirt...
...and a picture of my first square links put together with some
rings into an oriental four in one:
later today after I wake up again I'm going to get some pictures of
another one of my shirts that goes with the roman leather armor...
I'm not sure what gauge wire I wrapped the stones with, its some
that had been sitting around the house for a long time. thin stuff,
maybe 24 gauge or thinner, really soft too. The "stones" are some of
those colored glass things that look like flattened marbles. I wanted
red ones but the guy at the store said that they did not make red ones
for some reason. I haven't worked on this thing since summer...I was
having trouble getting the glass things to stay in how they are in the
picture. they keep sticking out and looking like those people that can
pop their eyes from out of the sockets. Guess I need a better way of
holding them in. right now I'm using some 1/8" rings connected to the
vertical rings in the boxchain...maybe I should try putting them on the
bottom horizontal ones instead...
don't have any pictures of what happened to the fabric that was shot
I was thinking of doing it again to get some pics of it. it made sort
a round one inch diameter hole in the shirt and took almost all the
rings it hit in with it, leaving a trail of them through the carpet to
where the bullet was stuck with a bunch of messed up rings clumped up
its head. this bullet was a .45 cal. we also shot the shirt with some
.22, some nasty looking hunting arrows(those only opened up one or two
rings and did not stick in), and I hacked it with my madblade sabre (a
sword that can chop up cinder blocks and not hurt the blade) which only
scratched uup the links a little. I eventualy ended up throwing the
sword at it and that was slightly less effective than the arrows.
I flatten the pennies by placing them on a metal block (it has some
lines and stuff on it from when it was cut, this helps blend the faces
of the penny away) and smash them with a hammer a few times. then I use
an imitation whitney hand punch two punch eight 1/16" holes in each
thats the part that takes a long time. if the holes aren't just right
then the plates don't line up right. I want to make a thing to punch
eight holes at once but that may not work because the shape of the
flattened pennies is slightly irregular so each hole may need to be
punched separatly or maybe two at a time...I haven't worked on this
thing for a few months because it takes so long but if I ever want to
finnish it I guess I should start on it again.
yeah, I may have more pictures online later tonight. I'll let ya know
when I do.
>Damn!! That box necklace with the stones is swift! What gauge wire
>did you wrap it with? What kind of stones are they?
>Do you have a pic of what happened to the fabric that you shot? what
>size of hole and such..
>I can see how it would be difficult to get uniform square rings. I
>got some money for xmas, and I'll pick up a square mandrel and give it
>How do you flatten the pennies?
>Those are cool pics, definitely update me when you have more taken!
yeah, it was hard trying to get the glass things to stay in with as
little wire around them as possible.
not sure how long each penny takes. does not take much time to flatten
bunch of them. I have to punch the holes in each penny right before I
put it in so I can line it up with the holes in the other pennies and
mark where to make the holes on the one I'm about to add...
The shirt I shot is 1/4"ID, 16 gauge rings. Its the almost knee length
one I'm wearing on my full suit of maile page. We took it out into the
woods where theres this big ol' junk pile and found some old carpet to
roll up and put inside it, then we leaned it up against an old
washermachine shell and shot at it from different distances and with
>perhaps you'd have better luck wrapping more irregular stones. Maybe
>some tiger's eye or something.
>How much time do you spend per penny, inclding the punching?
>what were the ring size/wire gauge of the shot at shirt?
>was it just laying down, or was it on something?
hey, got more pictures and stuff online!
heres the URLs...
I think thats it...if not go to:
we've also got...
I might even have more online in a couple days...but I think that
soon I'll run out of stuff to get new pictures of. Guess I'll just have
to make more stuff...
The ring on the top of the stone is 1/4 inch inner diameter 18ga mild
steel. a larger diameter ring might be a good idea...
fixed the shirt as soon as I got home...no one would ever know it had a
buncha bullet holes in it once. It would have been harder to repair if
it had any kind of expansion or pattern transitions in the parts that
were shot, or if the brass zigzag design along the bottom was hit. I
really surprised at how little swords and arrows did to it.
>what was the ID of the ring on top of the stone? Maybe using a larger
>ring would allow you to put more wire fastenings on without it being
>I would have a hard time shooting a shirt I made, with anything...
>does the shirt still have it's hole?
Are you using a normal 4 in 1 for the top of the coif? Thats the
weave I've done expanding things with. but if its bunching up after the
first couple rows than your central ring (the Queen Ring) might be to
small or you might not be adding enough links per row. my pattern for a
chainmaile 4-1 hack shows how to start making a coif with triangles
which is sort of like doing it with expanding rings...just that you
the triangles and then put then together instead of working around in a
slowly growing circle...I think that in the hack pattern I used five
triangles for each half. a coif takes six triangles. the top of a coif
made from six triangles should have the same number of rings per row
than one made with the expanding ring method...the triangle method just
sticks all the idle (thats what some people call the expanding rings
sometimes because when your done you can take them out because they
don't really do anything)rings in six rows of two parallel lines that
radiate out from the center to the bottom of the cap, kinda like a
baseball cap or something like that.
How do you count your rows? thats one thing thats important for
describing how to make stuff. I'll scan in something to show how I
rows...maybe I could also start on a pattern showing how I start a
yeah, that shirt was an interesting project...I'll tell ya more about
later. I gotta eat and go to live steel practice now. the first two
purses are made of silver rings. the last one I think is brass or brass
plated or maybe plated with some of that cheap gold plating stuff but I
doubt thats the case because there is no place where the plating has
chiped off. the small rings really like to break in half when you open
them, either becuase they are old and the metal has weakened or because
the metal was hardened after the purses were done.
>That's a good idea, I should do a ring thing.
>I started my first coif this weekend. I was using the expanded ring
>method, and I found that after a few rows the rings get bunched up..
>I figure that using a normal 4 in 1 around it will open it up.. Do
>you know of any way to avoid this? I like the way the bronze shirt is
>done.. I think it would be fun to try making a shirt like that.
>can you tell what the purses are made of?
hey, I was just poking around your site the other day wondering if
updated it...that 4 in 1 seam, the one that looks kinda like persian,
really nice looking. not sure if I told ya about this yet...a while ago
I put up a page with simple 4 in 1 seams. its nothing to special but
here it is...
I think thats what it is. if not then its in the part of my page that
may someday actually have some good patterns for stuff,
is the page with pictures of your tools and baskets linked to the rest
of your stuff yet? noticed it mentioned them in yer update thing but
could not find them. maybe I was not looking in the right places or
something. but it did remind me that I was going to get some pictures
the tools I use..I'd forgotten about that until now.
I've been working on my wallet lately, the outside parts are almost
done...its going to look kinda like a little chainmail book with no
pages or something.
>did a major update on my site.. a whole list is on the first page..
I'll check around and see what I can find for mandrel sizes. last time
bought a mandrel was at least a year ago and I just ran into home depo
and grabbed a couple that looked about right. didn't bother looking
around much because the shirt I was making only needed one size ring
I knew it would be a couple months before I worked on something else.
Just the other night I was at my friends house pawing through the shelf
of small metal junk-crap and scrap rods looking for some 1/2" hexagonal
bar to make some dice for someone and found a steel hex-bar that was I
think around 5/16 or 1/4 and maybe two feet long. I'll snag it for ya
next time I'm over there.
onetime I was going to forge some chainmaile outa some 1/4 or 5/16" rod
but never got around to it. then I tried to carve some chainmaile out
some scrap 2x4 but it was to much of a workout for my dremel tool. heh,
just thought of something...my friend Gregory, the one that makes
swords, has some giant springs...I think the the metal must at least an
inch thick and the id of the spring is maybe around six inches...cut
with a welding torch and then a whole lota heating and hammering to
and close them...hmmmm, thats very tempting...make some rivited stuff
with that. even more tempting!
then I could go to some of the armor dorks at arador or armor archive
and say something like "uhh, hey guys, look at this, I just finnished
rivited maile hauberk...in two days!" and its made from like 25 giant
rivited rings and weighs 35 pounds. MMmMmmm.
>i would like to make a skirt or something like that.. I've mentioned
>it in passing to a friend of mine who's going to help with some of the
>finer points of clothing as a fade..if you can't get ahold of some of
>the bars for various ring sizes there in maine, then we can work out a
>trade or something.. It's nice to have the ability to finetune i
>think.. and it's such a cheap and easy way to add a LOT of potential
>to your work.
>on the same note, I would love to get my hands on a 9/32", 11/32" and
>7/16" rods, I've been looking, but no one carries 'em. there's other
>sizes I'd like but oh well... like one larger than the bigass ring I
>have.. who knows what I'd use it for yet.. maybe a pipe would work.
>something a foot or so in diameter would rock. maybe a little less..
> then i could make my own hoops for hangings like the peace sign.. I
>found a few in the road the other day that are about 2 feet in
>diameter.. they require some filing, but only where the ring was
>i thought for about 1 second of doing the lettering like you did for
>your rings page.. i figured that people can just figure it out.. I
>wish i could slow time.. there's so many things I want to try.....
>what is the thickness of the bars your friend uses.. if it's less
>than the one I have now, I'd like to get ahold of one. a small one
>would be excellent...(1/4" from middle of a side to the middle of the
>I had a problem getting the square rings off, and it did go into a
>square spiral afterwards, that didn't bother me as much as the rings
>not being square...
>i'll send this before i take up too much of your morning
yeah, a friend o' mine who makes sword hilts gets long bars of stuff
like that sometimes. I use some of his scraps for making six sided dice
but for some reason never thought about it for maille hmmmm....
yup, I remember ya mentioning that you got a sqaure mandrel. how'd ya
with it? ...also noticed the square ring in the picture of your ring
sizes. did ya have the same problem I had with the spring getting stuck
on the mandrel and when ya finally get it off it untwists and turns
sqaure spiral? that was really annoying...think next time I try making
square rings it'll be by shaping them with my pliers. wow, you use alot
more ring sizes than I do. have ya tried making a sheet of european
using smaller and smaller rings as you go down in rows?
I saw a picture of something like that in a book about jewelry. it was
short mantle kinda thing with the rings gradualy getting bigger as they
moved away from the center. interesting alternative to adding more
per row... I hope to get some pictures of my tools up by the end of the
week. I'll let ya know when I do
>check this funk out.. You know those chisels that are about 6 inches
>long? and hexagonal? I traded for one yesterday...and it makes
>really cool rings.. I wish i had a smaller one, it would make great
>center rings for the 6 in 1 pattern (oriental).. I've only used it
>with aluminum, tho.. it removes the problems we were having with
>square rings.. (I say we cause I got a square mandrel.. Did I tell
>you? but you can unwind the wire a little bit, it comes off looking
>like a hex shaped spiral.. it's weird.. I'll get a pic up sometime.
yup, I made the arrows on the coif stuff with PainShop Pro. I don't
smoke anything but those pipes were really cool looking. They look like
they'd be fun to make if I knew anything about working with glass. I
some more pictures of that bronze shirt, a big bishop's mantle, and
pictures of different parts of my suit of chainmail all online now...
I think thats all I've added...
I've started on a pattern for how I make a coif with expanding rings.
All I have online now is some pictures of how the top is started.
here's how it works...there is a picture of what I start out
a picture with some red arrows showing where to put the next rings
in...then a picture with brass rings where the arrows were going
through...then a picture with more red arrows showing the next ring
placements, the brass rings in the last one are now stainless...a
picture with those ones in place...and so on. how it basicly wors is
that after you have the small circle in picture number three if you are
adding rings with one open and one closed then you need to add twelve
open rings that have two on each of them, and only put the open ring on
one of the rings of the circle. this should take up all the rings
the circle...then connect all the little flower petal lookin' things
together. try not to pick it up because at this early stage it gets
messed up easy. but when the flower petal things are connected it
be safe to pick up. now you should have 24 rings on the edge of the
circle. again you need to add 12 open rings, each with two connected to
them, around the outside edge and only put each open ring onto one ring
on the edge of the circle. now you will have one free ring between each
of the flower petal things, fill in these empty places with normal four
in one. keep adding rings like this...
12 open of 24 closed on them (two per open) and filling in the spaces
between with four in one. places around the petals will have five in
(two on top, three on bottom), thats how it expands...bla bla bla
bla...I'm sure ya can figure it out. just be sure to space all the
expansion places around evenly or you'll end up with some thing really
strange that might fit on your head if you're a goat or some other farm
animal. and that the number of expansions per row should be variables
3 or something(like 3,6,12,24).