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Houses of the Holey: Frame Construction
Article © MAIL User: Chainmailbasket_com

Image: holey_jap_connected2.jpg

I used the Japanese 8 in 2 (J8-2) weave for Dom's book:

Image: holey_dom_book.jpg Image: holey_dom_book2.jpg

It nears the minimum AR for this weave (AR of 2.6, and AR of 3.9), making it stiff as a board. Rings used: .062" (16 SWG / 1.6mm) aluminum wrapped on 19/128" (3.77mm), and 7/32" (5.56mm) mandrels.

The board-like stiffness led me to the idea of making another chainmail house. Using rings of similar ARs (an AR of 3.8 for the larger ring this time), but from a larger wire size, I was able to roughly replicate the stiff consistency of the weave:

Image: holey_tight_jap_8in2.jpg


Again using aluminum, wire sized .078" (<14 SWG / 1.98mm), using 3/16" (4.76mm), and 35/128" (6.95mm) mandrels, the four walls went together in about a week. .080" (14 SWG / 2.03mm) 1/4" (6.35mm) aluminum rings were used on the corners to connect the walls:

Image: holey_j8in2_walls1.jpg

Image: holey_j8in2_walls2.jpg


It made sense to use Japanese 12 in 2 (J12-2) for the roof of the house, mainly because it ties in nicely with the J8-2, keeping the same Japanese weave theme. Also it allowed me to try a different roof style than the single-angled one I used on my first chainmail house. I decided to take advantage of the 120 degree angle that was made available to me with the 12 in 2 and construct a four-sided roof.

A minimum AR of 5.2 is required for the larger rings of this weave. I brainstormed what ring sizes to use, taking into account my goal of being able to effectively and efficiently connect it to the walls. I had to find a ring size for which the wire size I was using allowed for me to use a 2.6 AR smaller ring. This made things a bit tricky, because I simply don't have every wire size in every AR.. at least not yet.. I considered, and implemented an .062" aluminum AR solution with 19/128", AR of 2.6, and 19/64" (7.54mm), AR of 5.3.

Unfortunately it's not perfectly tight, and there is a bit of flex with this ring size. I think a perfectly rigid J12-2 is even more AR-finicky than its 8-2 counterpart.

Image: holey_j12in2_roof1.jpg

Nevertheless, four pieces I constructed and fastened together at the corners with .078" 23/128" (4.56mm) rings.

Image: holey_j12in2_roof2.jpg

Image: holey_j12in2_roof3.jpg

Image: holey_j12in2_roof4.jpg

Connecting the walls to the roof:

Image: holey_j12in2_roof5.jpg

The spacing between the .078" 35/128" rings in the J8-2 walls is equal to their outside diameter:
ID + (WD * 2)
=.300 + (.078 * 2)

The spacing between the .062" 19/64" rings in the J12-2 roof is equal to their outside diameter:
ID + (WD * 2)
=.326 + (.062 * 2)

The difference between each Japanese 8 in 2 wall unit and each Japanese 12 in 2 roof unit is:
.456" - .450" = .006".

The longer walls are 17 units long and the roof is 16 units long. Therefore there are 16 unit connections (of 2 rings each).
.006 * 16 = .096".

(Calculations use measured inner diameters of the rings, not the sizes of the mandrels on which they were wound.)

On the longer sides of the house, the difference between the length of the walls and the length of the roof, in relation to how they connect together, is just over 3/32" (2.4mm), which allows for a very accommodating connection, thanks to it being fairly negligible, and the forgivingness of maille. The roof actually pull the walls in, albeit very slightly.

The same .078" 23/128" ring size used to connect the roof pieces together was also used to connect the walls to the roof:

Image: holey_jap_connected1.jpg

Image: holey_jap_connected3.jpg

Sometimes we run into lucky coincidences like this in the magical art we call chainmail. Finding mathematical matchups like this requires some thinking and calculating and can be a challenge. The results are worth it. Remember that chainmail is not concrete, and there is always a bit of play involved.

This is as far as I had progressed as of October, 2011. At this point, the house is 3130 rings in. I considered adding a second floor, but that idea was scrapped. The roof will extend to the peak in the same fashion, but with two dormers on each (long) side for windows. That's the plan at least. I've started working on this again in early 2013.

The house is called Houses of the Holey, because the Japanese weaves are very porous and I enjoy the similarly-named Led Zeppelin album. I also enjoy wordplay.
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