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Joined: February 24, 2016
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New with questions
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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:53 am
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I really want to do a chainmail shirt and I know The Ring Lord is the place to get the rings (that seems to be the general consensus anyway)

Ive spent some considerable time on here looking up information and going over things.

However, I am uncertain which type of ring to get. Mild Steel? Galvanized Steel? Stainless Steel?

And what option do I go with? Are these even the options I need to be looking at?
Mild Steel - 14ga 3/8'' ~500/lb
Galvanized Steel- 14ga 3/8'' ~400/bag
Stainless Steel- 14ga 3/8'' ~29/oz

(why all the different measurements for sale?)

I will probably never be using this for combat but I want to build it for that purpose. Why build a chainmail shirt that isn't usable in combat?

Anyway thanks you for any help in this endeavor and please go easy on my nubbiness



Cool

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Re: New with questions
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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:16 am
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kamakazi339 wrote:
I really want to do a chainmail shirt and I know The Ring Lord is the place to get the rings (that seems to be the general consensus anyway)

Ive spent some considerable time on here looking up information and going over things.

However, I am uncertain which type of ring to get. Mild Steel? Galvanized Steel? Stainless Steel?

And what option do I go with? Are these even the options I need to be looking at?
Mild Steel - 14ga 3/8'' ~500/lb
Galvanized Steel- 14ga 3/8'' ~400/bag
Stainless Steel- 14ga 3/8'' ~29/oz

(why all the different measurements for sale?)

I will probably never be using this for combat but I want to build it for that purpose. Why build a chainmail shirt that isn't usable in combat?

Anyway thanks you for any help in this endeavor and please go easy on my nubbiness



Cool


Why different Measurements? Who knows. 16 oz in 1 lb.
Mild Steel *WILL* rust.
Galvanized Steel *WILL* smell.
Stainless Steel *WILL* be expensive and heavy.

<sarcasm>Hopefully I helped... </sarcasm>

Seriously, there is no "right" answer... Which is why all the options are available...
Sadly, everyone will give you THEIR opinion... You need to dig through available data, and find out the answer for YOU.



Joined: May 26, 2010
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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:20 am
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It depends on what your goal for the project is. Do you want your shirt to be period-authentic or do you want to use more modern materials to reduce maintenance?

Mild steel: most authentic, will rust
Galvanized steel" passably authentic, less likely to rust but will if it gets wet or something
Stainless steel: very inauthentic, will not rust in normal conditions

All of these materials will be approximately equally suited for combat although historical armor was practically always riveted. I have personally seen a sword cut clean through a piece of Vipera Berus Sheet made of 14g, 5/16" stainless so don't expect too much from butted rings.

The reason there are so many different measurments is because some weaves require different ring sizes to work.

Joined: November 25, 2010
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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:19 am
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you wont need 500 lbs to make a shirt, steel shirts weigh about 20 to 40lbs depending on the length and size. the 400 ring option is machine cut rings that are cut by a sharp toothless bade, they will most likely come slightly squished on one side like a 6 but not nearly as drastic, this is from the blade pressing on one side of the ring, you will want to level them into more of an O while weaving. the rings by the ounce are saw cut on a saw wheel, they are the highest quality but quite expensive because someone must be paid to run coils along the saw to make them.

Joined: February 24, 2016
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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:39 am
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djgm wrote:
you wont need 500 lbs to make a shirt.


oh I know that. The denotation is 500 rings per bag.

I was really just curious about the quality issues. By that I mean if I get galvanized steel rather than stainless will I lose durability because it is softer or something

Joined: May 26, 2010
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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:26 am
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kamakazi339 wrote:
I was really just curious about the quality issues. By that I mean if I get galvanized steel rather than stainless will I lose durability because it is softer or something


Stainless is stronger but in terms of strength they will behave basically the same in every practical application.

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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:24 am
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ok, thanks for the help.

I think I'm going to go with the galvanized steel as it seems the best for cost to reward for me at the moment.

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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:37 pm
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Galvy can have a scent paticularly when wet.
Chainmail is really labor intensive,
I would suggest trying a small pack of each material.
Then starting with an avaintail or coif before tackling a full haulberk.

Joined: November 25, 2010
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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:33 pm
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kamakazi339 wrote:
djgm wrote:
you wont need 500 lbs to make a shirt.


oh I know that. The denotation is 500 rings per bag.

I was really just curious about the quality issues. By that I mean if I get galvanized steel rather than stainless will I lose durability because it is softer or something
ah, i was wondering why they were selling in 29 ounce quantity but then i figured it out with a trip over to the site.

Joined: November 25, 2010
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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:38 pm
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kamakazi339 wrote:
ok, thanks for the help.

I think I'm going to go with the galvanized steel as it seems the best for cost to reward for me at the moment.
there have been more than a few people saying if they had it to do over again they would not use galvy, the zinc coating is a skin irritant, i have never used it but really idk why theringlord offers it for sale really. as for the quantities, if you go to the left hand menu there is KITS and a section called ARMOR KITS in the next menu. they come with rudimentary instructions and some bonze rings for a basic inlay. there are 14swg 3/8 kits, 16swg5/16 kits, scalemaille kits, all in the general quantities one would need.

Joined: March 27, 2002
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Re: New with questions
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Posted on Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:07 pm
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kamakazi339 wrote:
I really want to do a chainmail shirt and I know The Ring Lord is the place to get the rings (that seems to be the general consensus anyway)

<snipp'd>
And what option do I go with? Are these even the options I need to be looking at?
Mild Steel - 14ga 3/8'' ~500/lb
Galvanized Steel- 14ga 3/8'' ~400/bag
Stainless Steel- 14ga 3/8'' ~29/oz

(why all the different measurements for sale?)

I will probably never be using this for combat but I want to build it for that purpose. Why build a chainmail shirt that isn't usable in combat?


Welcome and well come. We all started somewhere. Many of us started smaller than a shirt. I did, and really, shirts and armor type pieces are all that I build and these are combat-intended at least in general -- I came at mailling through the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Given the above are Anachronists-typical mail of the heavier sort, they shake out like this:
    Mild steel -- inexpensive, suited to armor projects, prone to rusting
    Galvanized -- also as above, coated against rusting, instead weathers to a charcoal-gray color
    Stainless -- stays brilliantly shiny, costs four times what galvy does


Any of the above suit armor. The stainless is flashy as armor mail goes. Frankly, I say if you're building armor, hang out with the Anachronists and *use* it for armor. That goes especially for shirts in stainless -- rather a big investment, in a hefty and stout link, to just look pretty. Nothing wrong with pretty, but you can get more return on investment taking a more martial-arts path with it.

In the SCA game, butted mail delivers particular value as a camail, about the neck and affixed to the helmet, where it makes an excellent protective curtain or drape, and also about the hips, for it is the simplest flexible, mobile coverage to use and it's very easy to have it look good first crack.

In mail's use as armor, it should be expected to team it with padding beneath it, particularly as a shirt or coat. The SCA also mandates rigid protection overlaying and partway surrounding your kidneys, which rule they made early in their career when knights and nearly-knights started peeing interesting colors after tourneys. This protection is usually hidden under the mail.

14 gauge (SWG gauge) @ 3/8" ID is stout, frankly pretty coarse, and with that much diameter assembles fairly fast as mail goes. Finer wire and smaller links give a more genuine historical look to your mailshirt: this is what 16ga wire in 1/4" links will give you. Much closer to the genuine look, and a finer texture in the hand. Links like that are the finer sort of SCA butted mail links.

Riveted can go skinnier yet, costs some to get pre-made, and takes four times as long to weave and more time to process and produce, starting from annealed mild steel wire. The skinnier wire cuts the weight of the shirt nearly in half -- usually we estimate 5/8 the weight of comparable sized 14ga links -- and gives about fifteen times the strength too. Requires a few more tools and a means of annealing -- well, the crude anneal of "normalization," which is good enough to go on -- your links at least once in the making. *There* you have serious armor, and links don't get bent up, open and fall out, hardly.

There is very very little extra bother, and only three more tools needed, in buying just the plain wire and coiling and cutting those links yourself. I never do it any other way. The tools needed are a mini (or a small) bolt cutter, a metal mandrel rod (not a wood dowel), and some way to turn the mandrel such as an electric drill. Hand-turning methods are around; a power drill is faster -- a few have turned things perpendicular and used a drill press. Because they had one around already.


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:27 am
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As for "heavy," the difference is detectable, but modest.
Stainless' density: 7.8 g/cm3; mild's density 7.6 g/cm3

Gets to be less of a deal using slenderer wire, but you can definitely find the difference between 14ga shirts weighed on a bathroom scale.


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

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Re: New with questions
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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:57 am
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Konstantin the Red wrote:
all those words


Coiling one's own rings may not be a "bother," but it does add considerable time to a project. I still coil my own rings sometimes but usually only if I need a specific size that's not easily available or if I need a variety of sizes from the same wire. I would still recommend it for a first-timer but not necessarily for a shirt.

Then of course there are the finer points of coiling and cutting which should be fairly well understood before making one's own rings for a large project, including a preferred ring-handedness and a consistent score-and-break cutting method.

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Posted on Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:43 pm
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djgm wrote:
if you go to the left hand menu there is KITS and a section called ARMOR KITS in the next menu. they come with rudimentary instructions and some bonze rings for a basic inlay. there are 14swg 3/8 kits, 16swg5/16 kits, scalemaille kits, all in the general quantities one would need.



I wish I had noticed that before you mentioned it.... I purchased a 4800 ring bulk bag to start myself out on the project. I figure that will keep me for a bit and I can just buy more when I am through that. This keeps my "right now cost" reasonable.

It may be a bit more expensive but I can spread it all out and get it done.

Also, most people seem to say that going straight for a haulberk is a bad ideal but I've been interested in building more chainmail since my sophomore year in high school when I created a chainmail bracelet pics at bottom

Its not the best and was done in incredibly soft metal so go easy on me lol. But as I was saying this project really made me love working chainmail so I don't think a big project will daunt me. Now that I finally have some time because I'm taking a semester off of college after going for almost 3 straight years I am going to get into this hobby.




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Posted on Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:12 am
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A lot of people underestimate the labor for larger projects.
Coif or avaintail is a lot less material cost/labor that a full haulberk.

Your ahead of the game having some experiance and a decent and that's the idea.
Time/material costs can be a little gauge until you actually start putting in time.

I find it helpful to do most of the rough construction in sub assemblies or strips or pannels.
4-6" wide is a bit more manageable, but it depends on what your comfortable with.

Cutting your own rings is a lot more labor but saves you a little in cash.
I use knipex cobolts now, but started with wiss M5'a or m7's.
The wiss brand ended up snapping somewhere bette 1/2 to 1 mile using 14 gauge galvy 3/8" rings.


Most of the other metal options are more costume or decorative when it comes to armour.

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