Patterns for a wallet chain?
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Joined: October 2, 2011
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Location: Madison WI

Patterns for a wallet chain?
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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:05 am
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So as per my introduction thread, here is my "help me please" thread... well, I'm really looking more for opinions on what might look good hanging off one's belt loop. I apologize now for the long post, lol.

I'm the PR officer for the Wisconsin chapter of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, and we've been looking for fundraising idea's to get our account in the positive, so we can (as odd as it sounds), host other fundraising events (need money for food, bands, venues, etc, know what I mean). Just so everyone knows, we are a non-profit, so every bit of money we make goes back in to the community and other veterans organizations, such as the Fisher House (which is the WI chapter's main focus right now as the state does not have one yet). We have other members who make things such as key chains, patches, t-shirts, and they're all OK sellers, but when I brought up the idea for wallet chains, everyone seemed pretty interested in it, after all, it's big, it's shiny, it screams biker, lol.

I'm gonna start working on wallet chains using black, yellow/gold, and red anodized aluminum. I'd like to use 12g rings, and would like it "tight" but loose, if that makes sense. I was thinking about doing them in a Byzantine pattern, but don't know how that would look. If I do that pattern, with an AR of around 5 or so (which should be good to give me the look I want), I'll need about 220 rings for an 18" chain if I buy saw cut rings from The Ring Lord, so about $8/chain to make it, plus the cost of some sort of latch to attach to the belt loop (whether I go with a "dog leash" clip, or leather snap - which ever is more readily available), so we can estimate about $10/chain, which doesn't leave much in the way of pricing it reasonably to get the chapter some funds.

Before I go spending a bunch on rings, I was wondering if anyone had ideas on other patterns, which I could use 3 colors in a somewhat decent looking scheme, and possibly get away with using less rings, but still giving providing a strong chain. Also if anyone knows of any place that would do bulk sales at decent prices (all I know and have ordered from in the past is TRL, but I've always been happy with their products)... unfortunately I don't have $1500 to drop right now to possibly qualify as a wholesale buyer Sad

Just for reference, here is our patch and our colors, and FYI - WE ARE NOT A MOTORCYCLE CLUB, we don't claim to be one, we are totally neutral, we don't claim territory, we don't fight... every member in the CVMA is a verified combat veteran, so we all take our experience with serving in a war zone and our love of motorcycles as a way to bond and strong comradery some of us have been looking for since entering the civilian world.

Joined: June 03, 2002
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Location: Livermore, CA

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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:30 am
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Sounds like a fun project. I've always liked persian weaves for wallet chains myself - half persion 3-1 and 4-1, as well as full persian have always been well received.

I also have found that 14 ga (0.080") wire works well for such things. 3/8" 14 ga makes a nice heavy half persian that has been popular for me before, and is easy to alternate colors on.

Since I recently started selling links, I'll PM you to see if maybe I can help you out from a supplier perspective.

Andre

EDIT: If you can make the chains for $10, I think it quite reasonable to price them at $20 or more. You are talking about a high quality hand-made chain here...don't sell yourself short.

Joined: October 2, 2011
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Location: Madison WI

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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:01 am
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Ahh, good call on the Persian weaves Very Happy I'll browse around some of the variations on the site to see if there's anything new that looks like it might work Smile


I'm not necessarily trying to sell myself short on the sale... most all the profit would go to the association, I'm just afraid if I sell them for one price, I'll start getting complaints like "well you can buy the whole wallet for that cost"... then again, people like different, hand made things that go to a good cause, so guess it'll be one of those try a price, if they sell, then I'll keep it going... if I can get supplies cheaper than what TRL sells for, then that's just more room to test the cost.

Joined: November 25, 2010
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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:54 am
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Vipera Berus works in a 0.1" 5/16" is a little thick but strong.
I've done byzantine in as low as a 0.1" 5/16 but my links might be big as I use stainless (not sure about spring back properties). you might also consider the other byzantine types like Double Locked Byzantine is nice looking though I've never tried it.

Joined: May 07, 2008
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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:35 am
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Hmm. For a three-color wallet chain, that shall be 'tight but loose', the 'natural' candidate for me would be Jens Pind Linkage - you had to get only the fitting rings for, with an aspect ratio of around three - for the selection of preferred AR look here; I prefer the little bit higher ARs slightly above three now, as especially wallet chains should have a 'fluid' behavior.

A Byzantine chain should be woven at an AR of 3.7 or so to behave well as wallet chain, but not yet get 'floppy ears', as seen when woven with higher ARs.

If you want it chunkier, and use AR5 rings, my preference would be Spiral 8 in 2, as this one bends also very well AND gives interesting, spiraling three color patterns - the proposed Persians (except HP3-1) don't bend good enough at reasonable, good looking ARs to be good for wallet chains, imho. And last, but not least, if you get used to, my all-time favourite for wallet chains is Jens Pind Linkage 5, that also gives fine spiraling three-color patterns, but should woven at an AR of slightly above 5 to behave well.

BTW: I think, that 12awg/14swg (2mm wire diameter) links are already more than chunky enough for the 'thin' AR3 weaves like JPL - resulting chain outer diameter around 10mm (~3/8"); for an AR5 weave that were already at around 14mm (~9/16")! Yes I know that bikers' wallet chains tend to be a bit thicker as usual, but even there is a limit. So, for reasonable chain thickness I'd propose to use 16swg (~1.6mm) links - but that's more laborious, without doubt. And if your '12g' is in fact 12SWG (~2.4mm), as 12g is listed by TRL, it would be even chunkier - for estimation of weave thickness simply add two to the rings' AR, and multiply by measured wire thickness (or add two wire thicknesses to the ring ID)...

Last but not least: I propose to get some fence wire, use some makeshift mandrel and a cutter that you have around, to make experimental functional prototypes first, before ordering an expensive bunch of rings, you don't know beforehand, whether they work as imagined or advertised...

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:07 am
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My favourite wallet chains have been JPL5 and Candy Cane Cord, both in 16swg 5/16". Also I made a 14ga 3/8" Candy Cane Cord which is mega chunky.

I agree with Zili, Double Spiral would also work well; and Byzantine won't work well at AR5.

Also agree with Ironband, you need to be charging way more than your material cost. I charge upwards of €50 so ~$70 for a wallet chain.

And TRL's new anodized aluminium rings are beautiful. If you make them well, those chains should fly out of your hands...

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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:12 pm
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A quick little caveat to what Zili said. If you're wanting to incorporate three colors, using rings with an AR of around 6.5 will let you do a Triple Spiral instead of just a Double Spiral.

Joined: October 2, 2011
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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:34 pm
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I was getting the AR5 from a calculator I was using (thinking 12g/ 1/2" ID), but I haven't played with it. I talking to another member last night about rings, and they said they can either send me some cheap galvy rings to play with, different sizes to do different weaves, or I'll just buy some 14g and 12g wire and an assortment of dowels and do what I hate most, make rings.

I was reading about the new process TRL has been using, and the rings do sound like they look nice, but I just need to figure out what exactly I need and what pattern I want to do it in... BTW, I like some of the variations that have popped up since I was last here, that 3/4 Persian x4 looks like it would make an awesome chain, but sounds very stiff Sad

BTW, I'm not looking to get rich off this, but I do hope it'll bring some decent funds into the organization. Being as it's the end of the riding season here, we don't have anything scheduled other than a few members only football parties (real football, not that soccer stuff Razz ), so our next major fundraising event is next March. I don't want to charge too much where someone might complain "well we can buy the whole wallet with a chain for that much", but also at the same time, it'll be a custom piece only available at our official events... I estimated the 220 rings of the Byz, which would make it about $10/chain to make once you throw in the clasps, and I was thinking something like a 100% mark up on whatever I do (or minimum $20/chain - which ever is more), and if everything sells out, I'd know I could probably get away with charging even more than that.

We have 4 major fundraisers planned next year, and they all usually draw crowds of 200 or so motorcycles, many with passengers, which usually gives us an attendance of 300+ people, counting those who just wander in too. If they manage to actually sell out, I'll know to make more for the next, and possibly take orders and send them out if need be.

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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:44 pm
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Ive found simple box chain sells well. Its a simple pattern but if you find a interesting way to put your colors in(perhaps spiraling down the length of it) it should sell well.

Byzantine same can be said, simple pattern and easy to produce rapidly. As far as the color arrangement you can make those decisions while building your pieces. Just keep in mind not to over complicate the color arangement to where it slows you down assembling your pieces, since this is for fund raising. Best of luck.


Hex

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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 4:42 pm
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Just out of curiosity, have you thought about making some stirrups or vest extenders to add a little variety?

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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:03 pm
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If all else fails you could shift a few to Germans Smile

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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:11 pm
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An easy weave that could look great would be a mobius chain. I sell them in stainless for about 80.00 in blackened stainless steel and 75.00 in stainless and they sell pretty well.

The byzantine I did was make for a wallet chain was a modified byz chain using both 14g 1/4 inch rings and 14g 3/8th inch rings it looked great and everyone liked them. I used the 1/4 inch to make the units and the 3/8th for the connectors.

I have also made helm chain wallet chains that work ok but since they only really bend one way they are stiff.

Box chain can work great if you are using three colors you could but it takes a lot of patience do a spiral around the box in alternating colours.

Personally my favourite wallet chains I have made have been in the mobius chain, Persian Dragonback, and Celtic Visions weaves. I seem to be stuck on them right now.



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Posted on Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:52 pm
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MarkyDaSod wrote:
Just out of curiosity, have you thought about making some stirrups or vest extenders to add a little variety?


It could be done, but if I were to do that, I'd want little skull snaps and clips like our logo, which means I'd have to find someone who could likely cast them and do the enamel filling (if I wanted to do a color option to it), and I honestly have no idea where to even start to find someone who could do that. I have thought about a key chain though now after seeing this

http://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=6691

We do have challenge coins, which I think could be placed in the middle of of something like that with the right weave that could actually hold the coin in tight.

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Posted on Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:32 pm
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I echo the sentiments of many on here about the persian weaves. Those tend to be my favorite (especially FP6). I've been working on a Turkish Round wallet chain and it looks pretty good. I think the rings I'm using are 16ga, 1/4" stainless...

As for price, I'd say at LEAST $30-35 for a wallet chain. Believe it or not, I have seen people that have put a price tag of $125 on one. Not that *I* would pay that...but I think $35 or even $40 are not unreasonable.

Edited to add: If anyone says "Well, I could buy the whole wallet with chain for that much" just tell them "Go right ahead. These are hand made with pride in the USA. Those are pieces of sh*t made in China." Smile

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Posted on Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:57 pm
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I am not saying do not do it, but a 12ga byz chain is fairly bulky and may not appeal to every one. If you are like me I get my wallet chain caught on tons of things, so you may want to consider stainless steal.

Weaves I like are pallet chains are, byz, FP6, HP4, JP3, and JP4.

Other about think about things to hang off epaulets. Those paracord bracelets could be made longer and into wallet chains too.

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