need help with an idea.
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Joined: March 21, 2012
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need help with an idea.
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Posted on Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:33 pm
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I've been reading up on mail crafting for the past 2 weeks now and I know I've only scratched the surface, I'm hopeful that someone or everyone could help focus my search and learning if you understand what I'm looking for and my reason why.

I'm looking for a weaves that can bend in limited ways, like a sheet that can be rolled up turning it one way but won't bend if you try and roll it in another direction. does anyone have any suggestions as to a weave that would be good for that?

Does AR value have any bearing on the density of the pattern (how big/many gaps there are in between the rings)?

is there an article or a web sight you would suggest for learning how to mate/attache mail to fabrics or leather?

does ring mail come apart just with wearing it, or if it is shaken as I train?

I'm attempting to make form fitting weights that can be "attached" to the lower arm or shins to assist in endurance training. ATM I'm looking to find a pattern that I can use to make a lower arm "bracer". I've been doing quite a bit of physical training this last year and found a common problem with using weighted gloves or wrist weights, in that they frequently cause injury because they rely on to one of the weakest joints on the body, the wrist. looking around I noticed old world armour bracers could be heavy but didn't cause injury due to how they were attached. I want to see if I replicate that and make a ring mail bracer, it could be flexible and form fitting, while giving me the opportunity to adjust it in weight and size by adjusting the rings. this design wouldn't need to survive impact, because I would be only shadowboxing, running or cross training with them on. I realize ring mail can get expensive especially since I'm allergic to most metals, but so are medical bills after injury and I figure its a worth while investment to learn a craft and develop better health in the end.

does anyone have any suggestions? is there something I haven't considered?

Joined: May 08, 2010
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Posted on Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:53 pm
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Well, I daresay for the application you're looking to use the maille for, sewing it between two layers of fabric - ala some of the Japanese armor - might be your best bet. That takes care of your allergy/sensitivity issues and may make it easier for fine size adjustment as well. As to weaves that will roll one way or not another, half-persian 3-1 sheet 5 has a very strong proclivity to roll one way and not the other. I think dragonscale with the right ring combinations could also roll easier one way...at least, that's what I remember from doing a stainless steel belt in that weave. TBH though, it's been a few years and I may not be remembering correctly.

Joined: July 17, 2009
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Posted on Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:38 pm
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Vipra Berus and Byzantine Gridlock both exhibit that characteristic (particularly at low aspect ratios). They bend easily in one direction, but not the other way. Great for bracelets.

If you want to make bracers, I would recommend ordinary European 4-1, easy to learn, and can make expansions as needed to tailor to shape.

like this:


This bracer is made of copper, but you might want stainless steel. Stainless steel is difficult to work with, but the material is relatively cheap and it is generally safe for sensitive skin.



Joined: April 02, 2008
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Posted on Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:00 pm
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Extended Persian Dragonscale will bend one way easily but not in another. It is also a fairly dense weave so could provide some weight in a smaller area.

Jax has a great idea to put the weave between layers of fabric as well.

Hope that helps.


Once you stop learning, you stop living, so...
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MailleCode V2.0 T5.3 R4.4 E0.0 Feur MFe.sBr Wg Cwb G.7-5.1 I3.1-11 N20.5 Pj Dcdjt Xa1w2 S08

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Posted on Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:52 pm
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I'm not sure I understand the application. Universal Web though in tight AR will bend easily on one side and not really bend at all the other side. Ratters Back in tight AR bends more horizontal then vertical on one side and the reverse of that one the other.

Joined: October 22, 2010
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Re: need help with an idea.
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Posted on Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:13 am
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i would suggest doing a byzantine sheet out of stainless steel. if you used 14swg wire, the weaved stainless steel itself would be the weight and you would not need to add to it. the picture below is 16swg stainless steel byzantine sheet with high density triple connections. it only bends well one way and the shackle clasps provide more strength and weight. this 16swg version is 3lbs by itself. bad news is this is a lot of work. you'd be looking at about 125 rings per row of byzantine plus 15 connectors to the next row. so, 7 rows comes out to be close to 1000 rings per bracer.



i've been working with leather and chainmaille for a few years now, but i don't know of any articles that i can point you to. i will just say that it is very important to use grommets in the leather when attaching chainmaille. countless times during ren faires, people come up to me and ask me to repair other chainmaillers work where they attached chainmaille to leather without grommets and the chainmaille is tearing or pulling away from the the holes in the leather. no matter how good the closures are, it is inevitable that some rings will begin to slightly pull open and then tear away at the leather.

most weaves cannot come undone as you are describing. the only danger is rings opening due to stress on the weave. if rings open, then yes, the weave will start to come apart. this usually happens in combat or in seams that bear heavy stress.

titanium and niobium are great for avoiding allergies, titanium would be too light for your project. both are very expensive - unless you want $1000 bracers for training?



Joined: June 21, 2010
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Posted on Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:49 pm
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Conundrum weave

http://www.mailleartisans.org/weaves/weavedisplay.php?key=358

http://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=6252

this weave goes together like a tube! very stiff one way and rolls up the other way. my vest stands up when I put it down. and I roll it up for storage.

Joined: March 21, 2012
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Posted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:24 pm
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thanks everyone, I've been looking into the patterns and suggestions you've all made they really helped me move my idea forward.

Jax25 - your suggestion of sewing the maille between fabric was brilliant, I had no idea armour was ever made like that and it opens up a lot more options with the design, and materials. it also got me debating as to how i want this bracer to look in the end, covered with cloth / laser cut leather or leave the weave exposed and possibly colored.

Pfeiffer- thanks for pointing me in the direction of Byzantine I wasn't originally a fan of the pattern when I first looked at it but after computer modeling the pattern it is remarkably strong in how it displaces loads, and the density of the pattern makes it great for what I was thinking. I also modeled the Euro 4-1 it is a good pattern to start out on but I don't think I'll do it on the side as practice because the of the low # of rings per cm square that said I noticed it can be layered into thicker versions so that might change.

MusicMan - that dragonscale is a beautiful pattern I'll be sure to make a few swatches of it and see if i can incorporate it into the design.

Mithrilweaver - your quite right the Byzantine wave would give me the density I would be looking for, and with Jax25 suggestion of using Fabric it open the possibility of using stainless steel and other materials. as for how much work it's going to be, I don't worry to much about that, my job takes me to interesting places, (ie high Arctic, Atacama desert) so I have plenty of time on my hands and not always a lot to do. at 125 rings per row it may just be up to my task, because if my math is right...

with 14awg = 2mm thick, and assuming AR of 5, the mean weight of stainless steel, and 525cm2 area on my arm (measuring tape, pen and math)
for 5lbs bracer I'll need 4652 rings with 4.5 rings per cm2 totaling $92 can for a pair of bracers
for 7.5lb bracer I'll need 6977 rings with 6.7 rings per cm2
for 10lb bracer, 9303 rings with 8.9 rings per cm2 totaling $184 can
(kind of afraid to look at the stats for weighted shin guards so for now I just get this done.)

I would consider switching to a heavier material but tungsten tool steel wire would require heating each ring to bend it (or risk breaking it) and if I use a lead alloy I would have to seal each ring otherwise when I sweat with it I risk heavy metal poisoning. if someone knows of a safe material heavier than stainless I would be quite interested.

Phycolwelder - I that conundrum weave is really nice and my only concern would be getting the number or rings per cm2 i need but I'll make a swatch of it just to be sure.

well so far to keep everyone updated as to what I'm planning I ordered a some alum rings to that I can make some 3x3cm swatches of each design to see how they are going to fit into the project. additionally I got to talking to some of the fabrication guys I work with when making prototypes and they gave me a hint that if i use grommets as you've suggested in the fabric, I can reinforce them by sewing the fabric around the grommet prior to putting it in and then use screw posts to attach the maille to the fabric and It would prevent tearing, as well as give me the chance to remove the maille later for upgrades, repairs or cleaning.

if anyone has any thing to more to contribute I welcome it, and I;m going to be sure to document this project and hopefully post it (I have a terrible memory.)

Joined: October 22, 2010
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Posted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:04 pm
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sounds good. my $1000 remark was based on materials and time. the cost of materials alone is doable. good luck.



Joined: March 21, 2012
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Posted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:48 pm
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actually you were pretty close to the mark. when I was in the pre-planning stage I estimated using Ti and niobium but even if it was a 70/30 ratio for cost/weight between I was looking at $987 in just rings. one of the main reasons I posted asked for help in first place, I knew I needed people with more experience with maille if i was to get my idea off the ground.

although I do admit a $1k Ti / Niobium bracer would look awesome even if it was a little gargantuan with 16 rings per cm2 and aprox 2-3 cms thick. Very Happy

Joined: May 08, 2010
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Posted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:05 pm
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Awesome it would be...though if you're going for weight, remember that Ti weighs less than steel. Smile

Joined: May 07, 2008
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Posted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:47 pm
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And, if you're going for weight, take the higher density of Bronze (near to Copper), compared to Steel into account...

-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

Joined: November 25, 2010
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Posted on Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:38 am
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I guess this should really go in the trading room (sorta) but here we are. I cut the sleeves off some armor i'm making. The weave is European 4in1 the links are 0.1" 5/16" stainless made with bolt cutters (not that heavy but strong as all get out). Anyway I don't know what I'm going to do with the sheet if you thought that might be the kind of thing you were looking for you could have them.

Joined: March 21, 2012
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Posted on Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:15 pm
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ZiLi - thanks for the info I'm embarrassed to say I completely forgot that copper and bronze are heavier than steel per volume and it's my job to remember stuff like that. I'll keep it in mind then I'm weaving and planning out the pattern.

my only concern would be that copper does a number on my skin I know I'm going to put a fabric barrier but does anyone know if the rings produce filings as they rub together due to wear?

djgm - thanks for the offer but I think I'll have to decline. as much as it would save me time, I do want to learn and appreciate the effort and skill that goes into this craft. combined with the knowledge that I'm going to be back in the arctic for 2 months in may, I wouldn't mind having a time consuming project in my bag.

Joined: May 07, 2008
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Posted on Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:03 pm
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Well go for steel then - the density difference between steel and copper isn't so significant that it would really matter - it's just around 10%.

-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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