Newbie asking about rivited maille construction
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Joined: June 13, 2016
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Location: Santa Cruz CA

Newbie asking about rivited maille construction
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Posted on Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:08 pm
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Hi, I'm new to the forum and I was wondering what the best way to get closed rings is. I started making European 4 in 1 butted a wile back, and wanted to pick up the hobby again by making riveted maille. I really would like to use pre-manufactured closed rings of some sort to make the construction quicker (I was thinking of using 3/8in ID 5/8in OD washers). I found an article (http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?oldkey=12734:1x3kzp8f) that described making roman riveted maille and using washers and even provided a link to a website for purchasing them; however, I was unable to find any of the right size. Washers also don't seem like a very cheap option either; especially if I need 6,000 of them in a shirt. Do you guys use pre-fab closed rings and if so what do you use and where do you get them? Thanks!

Joined: July 25, 2008
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Posted on Tue Jun 14, 2016 6:53 pm
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Depends on the size needed.
Theringlord.com sells punched rings that work well.

Many of the chainmail importers also sell chainmail rings, rivets, and solid rings by weight or count.
Icefalcon armourys, kult of Athena, and such.

Joined: March 27, 2002
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Posted on Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:13 am
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Welcome and well come!

Not modern washers. They are way too thick and heavy -- designed to take large loads. What you need are thin "spacer rings" as these are known in the trade. Washer manufacturers make them, presumably with a minimum order size. Rather spendy, but 20-25 thousand of these will do you for a pretty long shirt. Or three. From your 6k figure, you're making a short and sleeveless vestlike byrnie.

You want the spacer rings at least very close to the same ID and OD as your wire links which you will rivet, and from what I've seen around, you want the spacer ring thinner than its wire ring counterparts. The spacer's cross section is rectangular, and the corners of that rectangle tend to obtrude. They hide better if the spacer is thin.

You can make your own rings if you get a larger Whitney punch on eBay, etc. Not the small (though nice for other jobs than this) Roper-Whitney No.5 Jr, you want something like a No.7 or 8, or something in their tonnage class of c. 5 tons punch power, to drive the size of punch you need for making these rings big enough. As for what you're punching -- about 20-22ga sheet or a bunch of tin cans. Maybe black steel pallet strapping if you're really seeking that last bit of strength from them along with a very authentic propensity to rusting.

Punched links plus riveted links are a common way to make the older sorts of mail in history. Up to the fourteenth century when *something* mysterious happened, to shift mailmaking to much more being all-riveted. I'm supposing it was something in the economy. Changing prices on sheet wrought iron vs. drawn wire? -- maybe. Nobody's said, nobody knows. And neither all-riveted nor half-riveted were exclusive in their respective eras -- they were just a majority.


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

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