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Making Oval Rings - The "Squish" Method
Article © MAIL User: MusicMan

I was trying to make oval rings in order to make a traditional Japanese 4 in 1 pattern and tried the double mandrel method which gave me the perfect rings. There was only one problem... I couldn't get the oval ring off the mandrel as I had wound it too tight. I then received some great advice from others, did some experimenting and am ready to share with you what I did to get my oval rings.

1. Create a coil using the method you would usually use for creating your rings.

I have found you will have to make your coils much shorter if you are using a hand crank bench vice. I was only able to successfully "squish" 1 - 1.5 inch coils without fear of breaking the vice or my arm.
2. Clip the "tails" off your coil.

In order to prevent the ends of the coils from interfering with the "squishing" process I found that cutting off the ends ensured that fewer of the rings got deformed.
3. Insert your coil into the center of the vice.

I discovered that by placing the coil in the middle of the vice guarantees that you get the most power possible out of your vice and less wear on your hands.
Image: aVice.jpg
4. Tighten the vice until you have the rings the size that you want them.

If you are making a large number of oval rings for a project, I recommend rigging up a stop block that will allow you to "squish" your rings to the same each time.

Note: On the top view you can see small marks from the vice, but they really cannot be seen once they are cut into links. If you do not wish for those marks you can place something between the vice and the coil to keep this from happening.
Image: aCoil.jpgSide View Image: aCoil2.jpgTop View
5. Cut the coil into rings.

Make sure that you cut them in the center of the long side to make it easier to assemble your maille. I used the score 'n' break method so I cannot comment if or how it would work saw cutting the rings.
Image: aLinks.jpg
Here is a picture of the final result.
Image: aFinal.jpg

I hope that you find this useful and informative when making your oval rings. One thing to note: Make sure that you are making your rings so they will fit into each other when weaving. The first time I made them too small and couldn't fit them into the circular ring. Oops. :)
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