hard stainless
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Joined: June 24, 2004
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Location: Ferndale, WA

hard stainless
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Posted on Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:35 am
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Hey, I finally started on my 3/4hard stainless steel shirt yesterday(16g 5/16). I asked before and a bunch of you people said it wasn't going to hold up to fighting in... I beg to differ, I worked with it for mabey three hours at the most last night and my hands are quite sore. The only way that you are going to cut it is with the knipex bolt cutters, and then even closing the rings hurts.

Advice for any one else that is going to use it, it has a 1/16 inch spring back when winding, so I had to use a 1/4in mandrel.

And I think I'm converted, Stephen came up and we spent around four hours, probably less, winding with his hard metal winder(3/4inch plate of steel). We made 70 42inch long coils, 45lbs worth Very Happy . It should last me a year or so.
let me know what you think,
bye

Joined: November 20, 2003
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Posted on Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:53 am
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my 1/4 mandrel rings of the same wire aren't sprung back a full 1/16. not even 1/32. My 5/16 almost has 1/16 of springback. probably 3/64. 3/8 rings do have a full 1/16 in springback.

Joined: June 24, 2004
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Posted on Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:58 am
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I measured to make sure and yeah they are at 5/16, I guess it could have been a slightly bigger rod. But I really doubt it cause I think he got it at the welding shop and they have to have there measurements right, plus it got 6" shorter.

Joined: August 25, 2004
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA, USA

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Posted on Mon Jan 31, 2005 6:17 pm
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I get very little spring back on my 3/4 hard stainless coils. The trick is to wind it a bit extra at the end to sort of pull it tight. Assuming you have a metal plate under the mandrel (the easiest way to keep the wire from winding back on top of your already-wound coil), then after you clip the wire, spin it a bit extra. Every time around after it completes the last tail of wire will tighten it around the coil, and by the time you pull it off, it you'll be unlikely to see even 1/32" springback on a 3/8" coil.

Also, about holding up to combat. That really depends on what you mean by "holding up". It will generally hold together against blunt impacts longer then any other metal you're likely to see used for chainmail, but I can guarantee it WILL start to fall apart before too long if you're just doing basic butted maille. The only way to make maille that holds up to that kind of abuse, regardless of the metal, is to weld it or rivet it. If you DO weld or rivet it, metals much softer then your 3/4 hard stainless will hold up practically forever.

If you're looking for something that will actually offer protection from a blade, it HAS to be riveted or welded. I don't care how tough the metal in question is, it won't be that hard for a real blade to force some of the rings open and cut a path. You may get lucky for a strike or two, especially if they're slashing blows, and in some combat situations that's all you need. In that way, you are better off with a butted maille shirt then no armor at all, but unless the rings are solid, it's not REAL protection, and not something you should ever count on to save your life.


- Mike Powell
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Joined: June 24, 2004
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Location: Ferndale, WA

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Posted on Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:02 pm || Last edited by norse_maille on Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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umm.... I don't think that I'm going to loose more than 2 or 3 rings per month and after the winding of it I think that it is probably closer to full hard now, and I know that riveted is stronger but this is plenty good enough for SCA combat.

Joined: August 25, 2004
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Posted on Mon Jan 31, 2005 9:54 pm
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The thing is, you may not actually LOSE rings that often, at least at first, but all of the rings throughout the shirt will start to open. I've seen shirts that have been used in SCA-style combat for a while, and every single ring on them is halfway open. If that's allowed to continue, the rate of ring lose begins accelerates substantially after a while, because all the rings are open enough to just fall apart as soon as they rotate to the right angles. And going through and fixing them all is almost as much work, if not more, then just re-making the shirt.


- Mike Powell
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Joined: June 24, 2004
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Location: Ferndale, WA

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Posted on Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:45 pm
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I really don't think you under stand just how hard this stuff is, and I don't think that even the riveted is that much stronger, because every shirt I've seen is missing rings with a bunch of deformed rings too. Honestly I think this will hold up just about as well, although yes, there will be a few that get messed up.

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Posted on Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:33 pm
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just so you all know, My hard wire winder is a hole drilled in a 3/4 steel plate. Then I used a larger bit to drill halfway through that hole. After that I milled a slot for the wire feed going to the larger hole.
The whole thing is very compact, about 2x3" with an angle iron stand. Most importently, It keeps your fingers away from the wire as it feeds.
The only wire that I've seen that might be harder than this 3/4 hard, is my tugnsten-cobalt wire. Which makes most 308/309 stainless seem... gummy.
Personally, I've been SCA fighting 3 years now. I have yet to loose a ring to combat conditions. My rings are 304 SS .35" x .220" id.

Still, Its going to be a tough shirt. The toughest I've ever seen in 11 years of chaining. Besides most shirts I see in the SCA are 14ga galvy. No wonder rings are popping off.

Still have doubts? order a pound or so from TRL...

Stephen

Joined: August 25, 2004
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Posted on Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:44 pm
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Why do you both assume I haven't worked with it? I've got about 30 pounds of 16ga, 3/4 hard stainless at home, ordered off TRL, and I've already completed a number of projects with it. Hell, look at my profile and you'll see a bracer I made with the stuff. I know exactly how hard it is. My poor bruised and calloused fingers will attest to it.

However, I don't fight SCA, so I can't directly test it against that sort of abuse myself. My experience with that comes from SCA friends, and the occasional piece of maille they bring me to repair. Generally they just have galvy, but I've gotten word from them that just about any butted maille they see on the field, regardless of material, ends up falling apart in the same way before too long, even if it takes three or four times longer then the galvy.

The real advantage of the SS, as I see it, is not that it's harder, but that it's springier. Take a coil of galvy and stretch it. One pull and it stays exactly where you left it. Take a coil of SS and do the same. It snaps right back tight. It's hard to get it to stay stretched. This means when it's bent in combat, it tends to snap back to it's closed position.

Still, under repeated stress, it does deform, and what kills it is the slow, uniform deformation which happens to ALL the rings over it's lifetime. When a couple rings pop out, it's easy to replace them. But when all of your rings are basically open, it ain't so easy.


- Mike Powell
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Joined: June 24, 2004
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Posted on Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:06 pm
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I guess I asumed that you hadn't worked with it because you thaught it would come apart so easily, most everybody that I know that fights in the SCA says it will come apart just like galvy, but not a one of them has worked with it. But the thing is that it will spring back into place and it won't open up under its own weight. And all the people that I have talked to in person who both fight and have used this stuff say that it will hold up fine, probably not as well as Stephans split ring shirt but fine none the less.

It's almost as hard as that steel cable that we pulled out of the debree pile and then untwisted and tried to wind, but that suff just snapped Sad , it would have been good stuff if we could have wound it.

Joined: August 25, 2004
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA, USA

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Posted on Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:54 pm
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Well, we'll see how it holds up after you get it on the field. The sort of wear I see on old butted maille shirts that have been used in combat, however, should still occur regardless of the metal used. It seems it'll just happen slower.

Oh, and any wire that breaks when you try to wind it would probably be a very bad idea for making a combat shirt out of. Any metal that brittle will probably break and shatter under a series of blunt impacts, and that's not just annoying, like when a ring comes open and falls out, but actually dangerous. You're now dealing with shrapnel and pointy bits. Smile


- Mike Powell
<a href="http://spiritofiron.com">Spirit of Iron</a> custom chainmail

Joined: June 24, 2004
Posts: 684
Submissions: 4
Location: Ferndale, WA

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Posted on Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:36 am
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yeah but it would look cool, with all that rust and stuff...

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