Jewelry materials
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Joined: April 18, 2018
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Jewelry materials
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Posted on Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:32 am
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I'm a chainmail newbie and have been using bright aluminum to learn different weaves. I'm looking to make a nice dragonscale necklace for myself. I don't have a large chainmail budget and am having trouble figuring out the best material to use for durability and affordability. I'm more concerned with it looking good for a long time than it looking super fancy. I like the look of bright aluminum fine but have heard it's weak and will eventually start to pull apart. Is enameled copper a better option? Stainless steel seems like it would be heavy in dragonscale. I'd also like to use colored rings for the smaller rings, what's the best option for that? I don't mind spending a little extra if it would make a big difference.

What's your favorite material for everyday, casual, long lasting chainmail jewelry? Thanks in advance!

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Posted on Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:45 am
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If you're concerned by weight, color and durability, titanium is the best material. However, it's hard to work with and not really cheap.

Bright aluminium is nice, light, durable and cheap. You can add color with Anodized Al, but the color will eventually wear off.
"Full temper" aluminium is not that weak ; unless you smash it with an hammer or a sword I don't see it pulling apart. However, dead-soft Al (as most commonly found in craft stores) can barely hold its own weight.

Stainless being very strong, you can use a finer wire to reduce the weight.

I don't work with Enameled copper, so I don't know if the plastic coating is resistant or not.

Other choices for jewelry are niobium, silver and gold, but are of course expensive.

To add color you could also try copper alloys, but they tarnish and can react with the skin. It's also heavier than steel, and pure copper is no stronger than Al.

http://theringlord.com/cart/shopcontent.asp?type=materialsdata

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Posted on Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:40 am
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So the bright aluminum from the Ring Lord should hold up to reasonable wear? Is H18 = strain hardened to a level of 8/9 ~60ksi considered "full temper"?

Thanks for the reply

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Posted on Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:57 pm
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Another option could be use a 1mm Stainless steel, can get it from the hardware store, and than get some Enameled Copper, which you can get at a craft store. Yes, over time the Enamel will wear off, but with the Stainless there to 'protect' it the color should last longer.


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Posted on Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:42 pm
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The coating on enameled copper is fairly resistant, however this material is extremely weak. If you were going to use it in Dragonscale, please only for the small rings. Even still, exercise other options first.


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Posted on Wed May 02, 2018 11:20 am
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I decided to go with bright aluminum and anodized aluminum (thanks for the input!), ordered some rings and got started but the weave is locking up now that I'm at the 6th row. I'm using 20G 3mm and 20G 5mm as recommended by weavegotmaille. Am I doing something wrong or are these ring sizes off? The 5mm seems too big to my untrained eye. Would using 20G 3mm and 20G 4.75mm work? Any advice?

https://weavegotmaille.com/content/WeaveCharts.pdf

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Posted on Wed May 02, 2018 12:42 pm
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Is that AWG or SWG?

If the bigger of the two, the answer is no.
If the smaller, yes.


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Posted on Wed May 02, 2018 1:30 pm
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Personnally, I wouldn't rely on a chart that doesn't care to tell what units it uses.
See Dragonscale on the local library instead. Wink

"20G 3mm and 20G 5mm"
If it's AWG (AR 3.7 and 6.2), it should be good.
It it's SWG (AR 3.3 and 5.5), you must be locked by now.

So, assuming you're using 20 SWG wire diameter, you'll need 3.5 and 5.5 inner diameter (AR 3.8 and 6.0) or bigger.


AR (Aspect Ratio) = Ring Inner Diameter / Wire Diameter

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Posted on Thu May 10, 2018 7:54 am
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In any case, SWG is for regular steel wire. AWG is for electrical wiring -- and aluminum falls into that category, along with brass and copper wire. It's a gauge scheme related to the wire's abiity to carry such-and-such amperes of electric current -- or watts if you prefer. The fatter the wire, the more the wattage it can carry without overheating and doing something unpleasant like catching fire. And this gauge doesn't have a durn thing to do with Steel Wire Gauge. To compound the mischief there are other gauge systems extant, though really only Music Wire Gauge is still common AFAIK.

It's better just to give the wire diameter, metric or decimal inch, and leave it at that. Gauge, at best, is a helpful verbal shorthand. Trying to figure link sizes and wire diameters that you need, you may as well go strictly with measured diameter.


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Posted on Fri May 11, 2018 3:56 am
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Thanks for all the input. I realized I had some small rings out of place on the underside, once I fixed that I was good to go. It's coming out great! Thanks for the dragonscale link for the local library, I did lots of googling for appropriate ring sizes but didn't find that, it's very helpful.

The ring sizes are so confusing! The website I ordered from (weavegotmaille.com) says the measurements are AWG. The actual measurement is 0.9mm WD.

So 5mm ID/0.9mm WD = 5.55 AR
3mm ID/0.9mm WD = 3.33 AR

right? It seems to be working but is a little stiff, which ring size would I need to go up or down on to get a little more flexibility for my next attempt? I do like a dense weave though. I'm going to try stainless steel (still using AA for the small rings) for my next one if that makes a difference

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