Advice on AR assortment for first ring order?
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Joined: July 25, 2011
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Location: Louisiana, USA

Advice on AR assortment for first ring order?
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Posted on Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:09 pm
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So I'm about to place an order at TRL for machine-cut jump rings, and I was wondering if I could get some advice on what assortment of ARs I should order to get my feet wet.

I've been looking around, and I know I'll be ordering some AR5 for European 4- and 6-in-1, but I'd like it if I could get some recommendations on perhaps two more versatile sizes that would allow me to try some different things without having to order a huge assortment of sizes.

Also, how many of each size should I order, to ensure having enough to last through a few beginner's projects?

I'm looking at their deluxe starter kits, which read,
Quote:
Everything you need to learn how to make chainmail.
Kit includes: Free PDF download of European 4 in 1 Instructions, 2 Ring Lord Brand Pliers - Wide Noseand 5200 machine cut stainless steel rings
1600 rings in 14ga 3/8''
1600 rings in 16ga 5/16''
2000 rings in 18ga 1/4''

I don't think I need the instructions for the 4 in 1, or the pliers (is there something special about their pliers?). Also, when I attempted to calculate the AR of those rings, I came out with 4.7, 4.9, and 5.3, and that doesn't really seem like an assortment to me. Many of the weaves that I have seen in the gallery here use rings that are much farther apart in AR than this kit seems to be.

I'm thinking the best route would be to order 'bags' of rings of varying AR's to get the most out of my dollar, but I would really like to know what more experienced mailers have to say before I do anything.

I would also like to note that I know buying spools of wire would be the most cost effective way to go, but mandrels and spools are just not feasible for me at the moment.

Thanks!

Joined: May 07, 2008
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Location: Germany, Herxheim

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Posted on Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:35 pm
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My personally most used ARs are:

just shy of 3: for JPL
around 3.5: for Byzantine
4.5 to 4.7: universal use; mostly European
5.2 to 5.5: universal use; mostly Persian sheets

The next ones I'd acquire were around 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0.
These data are for one wire diameter only - once you get a larger assortment, a couple of mixed-wire diameter weaves are possible, by 'emulation' of missing ARs in your assortment with other diameter rings.

Note: All data given are real, final closed-ring ARs, not nominal (=mandrel/wire based) ones

-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: July 25, 2011
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Location: Louisiana, USA

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Posted on Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:24 pm
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Alright, then, thanks!

I think I'm going to go ahead and order 3.5, 4.5, and 5.5 and see where that takes me.
Thanks a lot, zili.

One more question, since TRL is a sponsor here and I assume that many of you are familiar with their site, is their site listed in AWG or SWG? I've been searching all over the place and I can't seem to find where they specify this.

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Posted on Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:39 pm
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Their site is in a combination of AWG and SWG. The chart for their ring sizes can be found here: http://theringlord.com/wiregauge.shtml



Joined: December 22, 2007
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Posted on Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:43 pm
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Aczdreign wrote:
One more question, since TRL is a sponsor here and I assume that many of you are familiar with their site, is their site listed in AWG or SWG? I've been searching all over the place and I can't seem to find where they specify this.

We don't have sponsers at MAIL. We do have administrative members who volunteer their time to keep the place up and running. Jon Daniels (TheRingLord) is a founding member and the Finance Manager Admin. We do not officially endorse one business over another business. However, all members are free to express their individual opinion about any business, and this is a good place to ask, since you will probably find someone who has done business with just about every maille supplier. Very Happy

TRL's 20g and thinner is AWG. Their 19g and thicker is SWG. The actual wire diameter (much more useful than a gauge number) is listed on all their wire and rings. They are very good about that.
http://theringlord.com/howtoshop.shtml


"I am a leaf on the wind." ~ Wash
Lorraine's Chains
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Joined: July 25, 2011
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Location: Louisiana, USA

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Posted on Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:31 pm
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Alright, thank you guys very much for the info!

That printable sizing chart is insanely helpful, now I won't be ordering blind anymore!

Joined: December 21, 2010
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Posted on Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:44 am
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A lot of it depends on the weaves you want to attempt first. I would browse through the weave library and pick out what you are wanting to try. That may give you a better idea on the ARs you will want to purchase. I find I use more 4.0-6.0 AR rings but again it depends on the application. Personally, I have never had wasted rings. Hope this suggestion is helpful Smile

Joined: July 25, 2011
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Posted on Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:05 am
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Ugh, I just finished my order with TRL, and I'm looking at about $20 for shipping; can anyone reccommend a company who might be a little closer to me in the Southeastern USA?

I was pretty happy with my shopping cart at TRL, but it just doesnt make sense to me to pay 1/3 the total order in shipping.

I had looked around a bit before settling on TRL, but a lot of the websites don't seem to stock a full assortment of ring sizes...I'm also finding a lot of them very difficult to navigate, which is leading me to be very frustrated.

Can anyone help me out here, or am I stuck paying shipping from canada?

Joined: June 03, 2010
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Posted on Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:28 am
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I tend to order my rings with the cheapest possible shipping option from TRL for no other reason than this: I'm BROKE. LOL.

The only other supplier I've found that's close to the pricing of TRL (they're a bit more, but the quality is worth it) is Blue Buddha. Shipping prices are lower because they're in the states, but the ring prices are a bit higher, so it kind of evens out anyway. I'm not sure what Urban Maille charges for shipping, but their rings are SIGNIFICANTLY more pricey and they really only do silver and copper. As far as I know BBB and TRL are the best sources for steel and aluminum, and TRL is the best source for Ti and Nb as far as I know. There's also C&T in the states, but I haven't ordered from them so I'm not sure of their shipping costs...

In the end TRL's shipping costs even out when you consider the price per ring from other companies.

Joined: July 25, 2011
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Posted on Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:47 am
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Okay, Viking, thanks a lot!

Steel and aluminum are exactly what I'm looking for right now, and I've looked at the sites you've mentioned (blue bhudda particularly) and noticed the difference in price, which is why I was going with TRL anyway. I also looked at sites like Urban Maille, and saw that lots of them only offer precious metals.

So anyway, I'll go ahead and place that order with TRL, and again, thanks for the quick response.

Joined: December 22, 2007
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Posted on Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:08 am
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Something to remember when comparing rings:
TRL says this about their AA rings. "Unfortunately there are more color duds in these batches than in other sizes. Keep this in mind when choosing your required quantity. We could pick them out and charge you more - we decided to keep our low price and let you make the choice right for you. Expect about 10%-15% off colored rings."

Blue Buddha chooses to pick through their AA rings and not send you the duds.

My point is, you have to figure out what you are paying per usable ring, not just the bulk price. I'm not saying one way is better than the other way. It's just that you have to remember to keep things like that in mind when you are comparing how much the ACTUAL cost of something is.


"I am a leaf on the wind." ~ Wash
Lorraine's Chains
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Joined: July 16, 2009
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Posted on Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:15 am
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I find almost all TRL's rings these days are usable (older AA was more uneven).

I paid $125 for shipping the last time I did an order with TRL, 50% of my materials cost. (For this reason I don't make small orders with them, though very small orders at least can fit in an envelope.) Ouch. But it was being sent to the moon, not southern US, and I desired to get it sooner than 3 months. Thank goodness for USPS in the US, who are the merest fraction of UPS in cost.

Doing the sums, BBB is a LOT more than TRL in cost. I can't remember the range of percentages. Nice rings, nice range, nice site, though. They pre-polish rings for you, with TRL you have to do it yourself some of the time. C&T Designs are in the middle price-wise. I've never really considered Urban Maille.

However, I'm currently unable to order from C&T Designs, because their site won't let me pay for 38 items. I sent them an email about this several days ago but it hasn't been fixed yet I assume as there's been radio silence.

Joined: May 08, 2010
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Posted on Wed Jul 27, 2011 3:28 pm
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If you're willing to do some digging, there are some maillers that cut and sell rings through etsy and sites like that as well. You probably wouldn't be able go get everything you're going for through one person but shipping might be a bit better anyway. Just a thought. Smile I'd offer to cut you some aluminum but I'm having a challenge just keeping myself supplied with rings. LOL!

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Posted on Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:20 am
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D'oh, didn't mean to post as cycadia, switching computers is making it difficult, must nuke that account. EDIT: Oops this computer has me as cycadia too. I am calyx!

Just did a comparison for my own records of US-based BBB 16g 3/8" saw-cut AA vs TRL:

BBB 250 rings = USD$11.45
TRL 200 rings = $4.40 => 250 rings = USD$5.50. This doesn't include discount for large order.

However, BBB has a far larger range of glossy colours, including some beautiful mixes, and as mentioned, probably 99.999% useable rings.

BBB will make you put insurance on orders over $50, iirc.

Joined: July 25, 2011
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Posted on Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:49 pm
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Excellent, thanks again for all the responses!

@lorraine: Yea, I noticed some of the entries on TRL had stuff like that next to them, in fact one of the sizes that I wanted to order in stainless was mixed with another gauge, so I had to go with bright aluminum instead.

@cycadia/calyx: Yea, I had noticed how much more expensive BBB was than TRL, I was wondering why but I suppose the polishing and whatnot that you mentioned would be the reason. And unfortunately, usps can't help me in this situation, as the only two shipping methods I was offered was UPS and Canadian Mail or somesuch, which wouldve been even more expensive. I'm thinking that I'll keep BBB in mind when I'm looking for nice colors for edging, especially taking into consideration what lorraine had to say.

@Jax25: I appreciate the offer, lol! I'll look around on etsy but I can't imagine finding any better prices there than I've found on TRL...I think etsy charges exorbitant fees, cause everyone's prices are crazy. XD

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