How many armor makers?
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Joined: December 21, 2013
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How many armor makers?
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Posted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:19 am
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I'm impressed with the knowledge and talent here. But surprised at how much is jewelry and art. I expected most to be armor an such. The gallery seems to e filled with all art. Does anyone make armor pieces or have any pics to how off of completed projects?

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Posted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:40 am
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There used to be a lot more of us makeing armour but India and Pakistan killed the market almost a decade ago.
Then the jewelry stuff became popular in pop culture.

The chainmail drap on this helm is one if mine.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n85yfDYgkII
I make mostly drapes or avaintails for sca and other groups.

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Posted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:29 am
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So THAT is why the interest in mail has been waning!

I find it interesting that much of what I've learned about making mail has been from old forum posts...but now people like Schmid and Julio Junco Funes just don't seem to post that much anymore. I often wonder whether the big names have retired, lost interest in mail, or have just been beat out by all this mass-produced crap.

I would imagine that there is still a market for authentic mail...wasn't Schmid supposed to be working on mass-producing authentic mail or something?

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Posted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:15 am
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i'm still making armor. it's more modern though and not historic. utilizing welded titanium on the high end and rubber and aluminum on the low end. sales for these large products are very low. i get one custom project like this once per year. my prices are very high but the work is high quality. it's a slow process teaching customers about the huge range of quality that's out there. most customers can't afford my armor and they have to settle for ebay crap.



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Posted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:35 am
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The ones still building armor have some motivation exterior to the actual mailmaking -- being in the Society for Creative Anachronism being a big one, where the thinking runs "I can save money on this and learn a historical process to boot, so that's what I'll do!" -- at least until the charm wears off. By then they are likely to have completed at least something.

And meanwhile, there is riveted mail coming out of India, hand built if hurriedly handbuilt, that if good QA goes on is satisfactory for the market that puts it on to get it hit. The market's shifting for them, too, I think -- selling mailpatches for the clientele to assemble, using links prepped for riveting from the same Indians. I think that is where the market is going, in the DIY-supplier direction: provide that part of it that can be efficiently mechanized-produced and send it to the client to donate his labor on it for no money but for his direct benefit in realizing a mail shirt, etc, like selling yarn not sweaters.

Erik D. Schmid is in an altogether different segment of the market: museum-grade historical-repro stuff for those relatively few medievalist and museum customers who want it literally as real as humanly possible. Last I heard, he charges a dime a link. Per link. For all his minute knowledge of historical detail of how mail got built, various parts of the world, at whichever times, from c. 250 BC forward. You will get for that kind of money links made accurately to type and era. He makes maybe 10,000 dollars in a year doing this. May supplement the income teaching others, for pay.


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

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Posted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:42 pm
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It took me four years to complete my first shirt. Granted, I wasn't working on it regularly--it was whenever I felt like it, and in the midst of working on a degree--but still, it took a while. The second-longest I've worked on a necklace was eight hours, and that one was highly experimental (I was still learning a few weaves at the time). So in four years I can produce 1,460 necklaces (roughly) or one shirt. (The longest took a while, because it included a few thousand hedgehogs of links--micromaile E4-1 on the bias and about 4' long!)

Plus, jewelry is more useful. I can make Christmas gifts for every woman in my family, if I focus on necklaces or bracelets, in a week if I focus. If it's earrings, it's a weekend. That's more than half my relatives. $15 for a pound of 0.030" aluminum welding wire, and I don't use 10% of it.

Finally, jewelry usually uses fewer links. I've got a set of earrings on my desk that uses 14 links. That would, technically speaking, be insignificant in a hauberk. So you're naturally going to see more jewelry than armor.

That said, armor has a romance to it. I keep a square of E4-1 aluminum just to play with; one of the things I love about our art is that we take something as hard as steel and make it flow like silk (well, in my case canvas, but still). There's also the "Knight in Shining Armor" bit--the Nine Worthies are still with us, and wearing the same armor as them is psychologically powerful. I remember once waking up with frost on my sleeping bag, and not really wanting to fight. I put on my maille and helm and suddenly was in what I refer to as "kill mode"--I was ready to fight.

Finally, Konstantin the Red alludes to something important: since I made my maille, I can fix my maille. If something goes wrong, I can repair it. I did it before, I can do it again. Plus, if something goes wrong, it's MY mistake. If I get hurt because my armor isn't good, I've got no one to blame but myself. And there's something to be said for that. When I'm on the field I'm relying on my mind, both in terms of my prowess on the field and in terms of my armor and ability to defend myself. I once heard fighting described as the equivalent of playing chess, and one's armor factors into that. My helm has limited vision, because I fall for feints too often if I can see more. My armor is maneuverable, because I like to bend around blows. It's heavy, because while I'm strong, I'm svelte and breakable. This all factors into the fight.

Joined: December 21, 2013
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Posted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:32 pm
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What fighting are you talking about? That LARP stuff? You guys actually hit each other and could potentially get hurt? I thought it was fake wizard play stuff lol....

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Posted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:53 pm
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I like to make armor, shirts and coifs mainly, never sold any though I'm not much into marketing. armor is a huge time commitment, as much as it pains me to say it there are other aspects to life that don't involve maille. so I guess that's the main reason most people content themselves making beautiful bracelets, chains.

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Posted on Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:58 pm
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I don't consider myself an armorer, although I am currently making an E6/1 hauberk or haubergeon. Probably the shorter one first. I have made a HP3S6/1 bracer but it is unstable and doesn't hold its shape very well. Well, it was a first attempt and the largest finished project to date. I have a picture of it amongst my gallery submissions.

I am, on the other hand, almost ready to make a full plate gauntlet. Got some thick Steel sheet and will make it ASAP when spare time isn't such a luxury that is so damn hard to find


"When in doubt... C4" - Jamie Hyneman

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"This is an art form, and we love to be recognized for our own work, and we'd all hope not to be confused with someone else."
- Charon, March 27, 2009

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Posted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:59 am
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Are you freaking kidding me. I just googled buy handmade chain mail. I see what you mean. Dirt cheap. $100 or cheaper hand riveted shirts+coif.

From India

From India

From India

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Posted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:36 am
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Wildernessmedic wrote:
Are you freaking kidding me. I just googled buy handmade chain mail. I see what you mean. Dirt cheap. $100 or cheaper hand riveted shirts+coif.

From India

From India

From India


Yep.
Hope you weren't planning on making millions doing this Confused



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Posted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:17 am
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Definitely not. It's about the experience and craftsmanship in being able to say I made that. By hand. From scratch. But seeing hundreds of hours of work can be bought for so little is kind of depressing.

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Posted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:24 am
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I am making armor for my self and those that ask but it is usually by commission. . . I can get a 16g Euro 4in1 armor done but it is a good chunk of a month of work. At least 2-3 weeks. . .

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Posted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:49 am
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Wildernessmedic wrote:
Are you freaking kidding me. I just googled buy handmade chain mail. I see what you mean. Dirt cheap. $100 or cheaper hand riveted shirts+coif.

From India

From India

From India
I have people come to me with wanting to buy these and I bought one for an example piece. I also have a sca and ampgard boffer's that I beat my test version (TRL 16g 5/16th Stainless) vs India's versions.

Needless to say I somtimes get orders this way.

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Posted on Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:27 am
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Larger armoires like icefalcon have a lot more control over quality.
In the sca, ACL, and BOTN combat groups purchasing 50 or more haulburks lets the shop have chainmail built to suit and still come in less than half of what it would cost for domestically produced items.
Weldedchainmail.com icefalcon armoury, and maille tec are worth looking at if your looking to buy.

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