How can I make the tiniest micro maille?
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Banzai

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 How can I make the tiniest micro maille? Posted on Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:01 am Link to Post: How can I make micro-maille? So far I've been making my rings out of 16 AWG wire, and with an 11 millimeter outer diameter. Or another question for anyone, what's the thinnest wire you would recomend for an 11mm outer diameter? What about 26 gauge? I should also add, for pliars I use a vice grip and a "broad-nosed" pliar pair, I have a needle-nose, though its' old and rusty.
StudioCastile

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 Posted on Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:29 am || Last edited by StudioCastile on Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:40 pm; edited 1 time in total Link to Post: Edit, sorry for the attitude. I think some reading on Aspect Ratio would be best. Its the ratio of the wire thickness to the innerdiameter of the ring. There is rarely a reason to go much above 6 by this measure. That would be 2mm wire with an ID (inner diameter) of 12mm. So, your current 16awg with an OD of 11m has an AR of about 6.5. (16awg is 1.29mm thick. [11mm-[1.29mm*2]]/1.29 = 6.527) If you used 26awg thats 0.4mm thick, and OD 11mm means ID of 10.2mm... Thats an AR of 25.5... Such a high AR would be useless to you. There are other concerns too, such as the strength of the rings, but even in strong metal and scaled up to a reasonably thick wire, an AR of 25 is useless. On ~10mm mandrel I would go with 9-15awg to get a good range of ARs that will be useful to you for various weaves. With 26awg wire, i would aim for inner diameters of 1.3-2.8mm as that will again get you an AR of about 3.25 through 7 which are all useful for something. Do a bit of reading and get a full set of mandrels. Good luck!
Konstantin the Red

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 Posted on Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:58 am Link to Post: Welcome and well come, JoJoZerach. Are you interested in jewelry? A search on "micromaille" will likely be fruitful. (I take little interest in that stuff, being an armor-mail kind of guy, but it's around.) Do read through the articles kept both on this site and on http://www.theringlord.org/forum/ -- full of interesting tips. JasRonq, please cast your remarks in encouraging terms for the totally new chums, okay? Wouldn't want to be unfriendly, not in the slightest, right?'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'
BigTitann

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 Posted on Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:05 am Link to Post: Using a measurement of 11mm (millimeter) is very confusing for everyone here. It may be best to think about and post about the inter diameter of your rings. In ring basics, the Inter Diameter of your rings is the same as the size of rod/mandrel you used to make them. I currently have a drill bit set that has bits from 1/2" down to 1/16" . It works grate for a start, to find out what sizes you'll use most. I use the solid round part of the drill bits for best quality rings. I use only about 3/64" or so of the drill bit in the drill chuck to hang on to. And if you are using 22ga - 26ga, you can get a fare length of coil (about 1 1/2" long). BigTitann,
Dinwar

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Posted on Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:06 am

 Quote: How can I make micro-maille?

I think there are two things you can do. First, like JasRonq said, AR is very important. Not just because it's the jargon we use (which means understanding AR will make all those pages of numbers actually make some sense), but because wire handles differently at different ARs. If you've got some wire lying around you can demonstrate that to yourself pretty easily. Find a handful of round things you have lying around--screwdrivers, pens, metal rods, wooden dowls, knitting needles, pretty much anything you can use as a mandrel. Make, oh, a dozen links on each one, and make a mobius ball©. The larger rings will feel....looser, springy-er. Which means any weave you make with them will be weaker. Not so much an issue with 18 swg stainless, but when you're doing micromaille it's going to be a major consideration.

Second, I highly recommend getting new pliers. I always work with two needle-nose pliers, and I have two sets--my armor set (mid-size, toothed) and my jewelry set (small, both toothed and untoothed (truth be told, it's my wife's, but she never uses them)). I also have a set of lineman's pliers (bull-nosed pliers is what I always called 'em) for the armor stuff, but that's only for fixing bent rings--I use them more like a vice than pliers. And I should note that I'm not usually concerned with scratches and score marks on my armor links.

Alternatively, a friend of mine swears that two of the bent needle-nose pliers are the absolute best thing a mailler can have. So that might be worth looking into.

And cost isn't a major issue here. For \$20 you can go to Wal-Mart and pick up a packet with needle-nose pliers, toothless pliers (not exactly needle-nose, but kind-sorta-ish), and the really cool pliers with the two tappered rods on the ends, which you can use to make S-hooks and other fun things.

Either way, vice-grip pliers aren't going to work very well. Mailling requires a lot of opening and closing pliers, to the point where you stop thinking about it and just do it (after making your first few hundred links you get the hang of it, and after making a few thousand with one set of pliers you get to be REALLY good friends). Vice-grips will prevent that in most cases, or at least make it hard. They're useful tools, just not ideal for this application.

I haven't used one yet, but if you can get ahold of one of the round magnifying things with the built-in lights (hands-free; they're on a desk lamp style arm thingy) that would help a lot, I'd think. I've used the things before to look at fossils (prep work and the like), but not for maille. I can tell you, even 10X magnification makes a world of difference.
Banzai

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 Posted on Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:03 pm Link to Post: Thanks for the replies. I actually think the vice grips work really good, especially since they're spring-loaded. I've made more than enough rings to be comfortable with them, though as was mentioned, they'd be useless for smaller stuff. What about tweezers for micro maille? And I've been cutting my rings with a Wiss M-5 bulldog snip, what is good to cut micro maille coils? All my snips/wire cutters are to big to fit inside a tiny coil!

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Posted on Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:52 pm

 JoJoZerach wrote: Thanks for the replies. I actually think the vice grips work really good, especially since they're spring-loaded. I've made more than enough rings to be comfortable with them, though as was mentioned, they'd be useless for smaller stuff. What about tweezers for micro maille? And I've been cutting my rings with a Wiss M-5 bulldog snip, what is good to cut micro maille coils? All my snips/wire cutters are to big to fit inside a tiny coil!

You will need to purchase new tools to work with Micro Maille, I'm affraid.

Personally, for all my 26g work, I use two pairs of Xuron 475's (Non-serated) as my pliers.

For cutting micro rings down to about 26g or 28g, a jewellers saw and 8/0 blades work wonders... Tiny Bypass shears (Xuron 9100's) also work well.

Dinwar

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Posted on Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:03 pm