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Last Edited: January 31, 2016, 6:57 pm
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Stabilizing Twist of Spiral Chains
Article © MAIL User: ZiLi
Spiral 4in1 chain - top: twisted; bottom: uncurled
People who like to wear 'orderly' spirals, usually long for modifications of the basic weave, to stabilize the twist. If a piece can be made claspless, Spirals can be woven to continuous loops, to maintain the twist. But if clasps are needed, like e.g. for relatively tight fitting bracelets, other ways have to be found. I will list some of these, but do explicitly NOT claim to be able to tell all methods for stabilizing a spiral's twist.
The most popular methods are pairing of all rings in the weave, what results in Double Spiral (Spiral 8 in 2) (sometimes called 'Rope'), and locking the rings against rotation by weaving Jens Pind Linkage. But there are a couple of more useable methods, that are just not as popular as these two.
Spiral 4in1 alternatives - top: Double Spiral (8in2); bottom: Jens Pind Linkage
Before showing more, a little theory intermezzo:
Who analyzes the difference between simple Spiral, and Double Spiral, may notice that in simple Spiral a ring and its afternext neighbor touch at the load-bearing point only in one spot, and can rotate there relatively free against each other, through a very high angle range, and even under lengthwise load. When looking at a Double Spiral one may notice, that two intersecting ring pairs behave a bit different, as here are four contact spots in a 2x2 matrix, that tend to arrange as a square under load, even if forced to a parallelogram by other external loads.
And this observation leads to a further, relatively elegant alternative method - the use of rings made from noncircular cross-section wire with flat inner perimeter - typical for this were e.g. D-shaped, rectangular, or square shaped wire. The effect is the same as if the mailler would use ring pairs for making Double Twist, and weld the paired rings together.
Spiral 6in1 chain made from half-round wire rings - image donated by lorraine for this article
But what happens, if you use standard round wire, but noncircular rings like e.g. ellipsoid or teardrop shaped ones? Bingo! Here you get a stabilized twist as well. This is not as easy to explain, but believe me - it works, as the rings' short-axis AR can be chosen relatively low here. So the flanges of the rings lean against each other, what effects the stabilization, somewhat similar to the ring locking seen in JPL.
Spiral 4in1 chain made from oval links
Naturally a combination of the latter both methods works as well. And these methods are also the usual methods for production of factory-made Spiral chains, as these have the advantage to be woven easily by machines, and allow producing of sleek and slender chains that are mechanically relatively stable due to their 'built-in' redundancy and relatively high possible wire thickness, compared to the final chain's diameter. Note: There are some other factory-made Spiral chains available, but these use links with more complicated shapes, that are not easily reproducible by a mailler.
Maillers who have neither noncircular wire material or rings available, nor tools for making them, and are already bored with making Jens Pind or Double Spiral, have to look for other alternatives. So I may note, that there is the possibility to lock segments of a Spiral chain with additional rings in their orientation; This is not a Weave is just one example amongst others for that. Last but not least I may reference to M.A.I.L. weave library's Spiral section; there are many further fine examples to experiment with.
Anyway: Have fun weaving Spiral chains.
Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=620