Help needed from Armor experts, please!
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Joined: November 22, 2007
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Help needed from Armor experts, please!
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Posted on Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:13 pm
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Ok, hubby was very proud of my inlay. Showed it, or pics of it, off to everyone at his work. I now have a guy that wants me to make him an apron for his workshop. Liked the 16g .25" id but wants Stainless. OK, no problem. I've wanted to play with Stainless anyhow.

BUT I found out he makes knives & am now wondering if this is going to be enough protection? He wants if for when he's polishing them, "Because every once in a while the knives have a way of getting away from me." ACK! I want to make sure that he's as safe as he can be, especially if I'm putting my rep behind it. I will make sure to tell him I can't make any guaranties that it'll work, but, I figure if I use armor grade sizes he'll have a better chance...?

Anyhooooo, I'm off to search TRL & that new SS place, ringsofsteel???.

Happy Holidays!


"If you're living on the edge you're taking up too much room. JUMP!" - heard while chatting with BASE jumping friends Very Happy

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Posted on Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:20 pm
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16 gauge 1/4 stainless is extremely strong, especially if you get TRL's spring stainless, though i don't think that's even necessary. the only problem is there are still fairly large gaps in the rings at that size, so he could perhaps still slightly stab himself, though barely, and most likely not. if you wanted even more protection, you could do 18 gauge 3/16 stainless or even 20 gauge 1/8 stainless, these wouldn't be stronger, but the gaps between rings would be smaller so less likely that a knife edge would get him. however, if its a sharpening protection thing, the edge probably wouldn't be coming at him anyway, so i think you'd probably be fine with the 16 gauge 1/4


-'Tis but a scratch!
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Posted on Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:00 pm
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Cut away from the body!

I know you'd like the personal sentiment, but sometimes, safety is what you need. the metal fabric they sell on TRL is used in butcher gloves, i'm sure it would fit the bill.

Joined: December 02, 2008
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Posted on Mon Dec 15, 2008 10:11 pm
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Hey there! I'm new to the forum but I figured I'd dive right in and post! LOL!

I think you'll be fine with the 16g 1/4'' but it really depends on what weave you're thinking of using. If you're planning on Euro 4 in 1 the gaps would be a little too large for my comfort level. If you did a tighter weave sure it would take longer and be pretty heavy by the time it's all said and done, but it would help if the pointy end DOES end up hitting him.

Also, If he's going to be using this for that reason, I'd say you should make him agree to signing a waiver. I read over one somewhere on this site that was really well laid out! Sorry, but I'm not sure where it was off hand...
I know you mentioned that this man works with your husband but you can never be too careful. Just a word of caution.

So my vote is a tighter weave! Smile

Best of luck!!!


~~Mistress of Maille~~

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Posted on Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:32 am
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I have to agree with Jazzer.

16 1/4 inch would be a little large for knife protection, but if you did make it with this size the knife wouldn't go very deep into him. It would most likely still cut him, but it wouldn't be a very deep cut, unless he is sharpening stiletto blades.

If you look at butchers gloves they are very small, thin rings, usually 20 gauge or less. So to prevent stabbing go with, as Jazzer said, 20 gauge 1/8 or 18 3/16.


Maille Code V1.0 T5.1 R4.8 Fhp3.1 MFe.s Wgi Cba G2.0/.8 I9.5/3.1 Paj Daj S06 CCp

Joined: November 22, 2007
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Posted on Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:34 am
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Thank you all.

A bit more info has come my way. This is not the only protection that will be worn. This apron will cover a leather apron as another layer of protection. Very Happy


"If you're living on the edge you're taking up too much room. JUMP!" - heard while chatting with BASE jumping friends Very Happy

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Posted on Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:30 pm
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Mistress of Maille wrote:


Also, If he's going to be using this for that reason, I'd say you should make him agree to signing a waiver. I read over one somewhere on this site that was really well laid out! Sorry, but I'm not sure where it was off hand...
I know you mentioned that this man works with your husband but you can never be too careful. Just a word of caution.


The article spoken of is in the Articles section under Business if I remember correctly. Sounds like a great project. What Inlay are you going to have across the front? Smile


Once you stop learning, you stop living, so...
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Posted on Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:45 pm
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When i did my inlay my stats were 16ga 3/16"ID and that was BA from TRL which is considered "super armor strength" and in 4in1 its a very dense weave, with very little gap between rings/rows. Infact there was almost no gap and the recipient layed it over his arm and said 'how much would it cost me to get 2 forearm sleeves done in same weave/ring-stats for when he goes clubbing just as something cool to wear.

I'm not sure if you could do 16ga 3/16" in stainless or not but it would be something to look into. Since its going to be worn over a leather apron i'm guessing he wants it more for 'show' than for cut proof protection, but that could just be me.

I think 18ga 3/16" would be a bit better than 16ga 1/4"id, but 18ga is thinner; then again it stainless you're working with, so probably would be ok. I don't see the need to use spring stainless in any size because its soo hard to work with.

Hope this helps somewhat

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Re: Help needed from Armor experts, please!
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Posted on Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:33 pm
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1skygodess wrote:
Ok, hubby was very proud of my inlay. Showed it, or pics of it, off to everyone at his work. I now have a guy that wants me to make him an apron for his workshop. Liked the 16g .25" id but wants Stainless. OK, no problem. I've wanted to play with Stainless anyhow.

BUT I found out he makes knives & am now wondering if this is going to be enough protection? He wants if for when he's polishing them, "Because every once in a while the knives have a way of getting away from me." ACK! I want to make sure that he's as safe as he can be, especially if I'm putting my rep behind it. I will make sure to tell him I can't make any guaranties that it'll work, but, I figure if I use armor grade sizes he'll have a better chance...?

Anyhooooo, I'm off to search TRL & that new SS place, ringsofsteel???.

Happy Holidays!



Have you considered Stainless Steel Split rings? There a bit stronger and tougher and will also be easier on the hands to knit. You can use half split rings and half solid punched rings to cut down on the knitting time. I have made and tested maille made this way and they are very resilient and are not very heavy.


For the hauberks of the Dwarves were so fashioned that they rusted not but shone ever as if they were new-burnished. The Silmarillion






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Posted on Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:47 pm
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If there is a leather underneath apron....

....Then from my experience from my 90% complete 1/4 inch Galvy shirt, I would say with Stainless Steel that would be good enough protection.

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Posted on Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:03 pm
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Would a chainmail apron not hurt your neck a lot, with all the weight hanging from the neck? And if he's wearing a leather apron already and that's not enough protection, I think he's doing something wrong. But that's just my opinion, I guess.

If you want some really strong chainmail, it'll be either heavy (butted with a small AR; dense) or expensive (welded or rivited mail). You could go for split rings like Bors suggested, which is stronger and lighter than butted but not as expensive as welded or rivited.

But if he's stabbing himself with a knife so hard that 16ga 1/4" (or 18ga 3/16", for that matter) steel mail over a leather apron is not enough protection, then I'll say again he's doing it wrong!

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Posted on Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:00 pm
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Being an active knifemaker myself, what 'xzorby' wrote was my first thought too.

I use a leather apron when working "hot" (forging, fire welding damascus steel, hardening) - there another protective layer made of steel would make no sense. When grinding and polishing, an additional protection MIGHT make sense, but I doubt that - the leather apron IMHO gives enough protection here, too. I also HAD already blades "go flying", when polishing them, but I changed my habits to a safer operational mode and had that happening no more (part of my solution was to modify my polishing machine, so a flying blade would fly away from me towards the wall, and in addition cushioning of the wall, so a blade would not bounce back far away from the wall - minimizing the risk to be hit by a flying blade - in fact, that change of my setup minimized the risk of flying blades to near nil).

But additional protection doesn't hurt - except by the weight of it. So it should be as lightweight as possible while giving best possible protection.

I would chose factory-made welded maille, that is relatively lightweight due to the thin wire possible by being welded. And I would use the leather apron, and some method to add a maille sheet as an optional additional layer, fixed with buttons, and easy to remove and re-attach (or to attach to a new apron when the old one is worn out).

BTW: I never had the wish or even thought about a maille apron for knifemaker's work ('til now) - despite being a mailler - and I continue to have no wish for or thought of needing one...

Just my 2ct
-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 Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:41 am
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I was thinking the same thing as Zili. As a neophyte blacksmith myself, a leather apron should be plenty of protection, but if maille is called for stick with the welded mesh. Better protection/weight ratio than making it yourself. Also much easier to put together lol.

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Posted on Wed Dec 17, 2008 5:18 am
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I agree with Zili. Your friend is trying to protect against entire knife blades being grabbed by buffer wheels and flung around in random orientations and in most cases are going to arrive longwise -- *Wung*whacktinkclatterclank"Jeez!" Biggest problem is getting the blade flung at your head somehow, either directly or on the bounce. Face shields rule and a hard hat isn't out of the question!

Buff away from yourself, low on the wheel, and stand out of the plane of rotation. Buffers and grinders eat human flesh.


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

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Posted on Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:31 am
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@konstantin: The trick for the buffer is (if a retrofitted cheap double wheel grinder [?; I don't know the actual translation for 'Schleifbock'] is used for polishing) to mount it 180deg rotated on the bench - on/off switch showing to wall. So the top side of the wheel rotates away from you directed to the wall. And then polish on this topside...

-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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