Rivetted Stainless Steel Armor
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Rivetted Stainless Steel Armor
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Posted on Sun May 06, 2018 10:23 pm
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I want to make a chainmail shirt that I can conceal under a button down shirt. Can stainless steel be used for rivetted maille? I know you need to anneal the rings before rivetting, but wouldn't that remove the stainless quality? Mild Steel is an option, but I am worried about rust and oil. I don't want oil all over my cover shirt and I will be getting sweat all over it. Thoughts?

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Posted on Thu May 10, 2018 7:40 am
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Riveting SS links is a tool-breaking PITA by all report. While annealing doesn't alter SS's stainlessness, which is conferred by having at least 17% chromium in the alloy by weight, that same chromium also impairs softening by annealing.

Annealing a carbon steel lets the intrusive carbon atoms within the steel's crystal lattice move out of where they had been caged up in the structure. This release lets the metal soften up. The larger heavier chromium atom is not as mobile within the steel crystal lattice -- and doesn't slip out so well. Stainless runs stiffer than low carbon steel, apparently because of this.

Anyway, not being so mobile, stainless doesn't soften down nearly as much by annealing. So in trying to work this stiff metal by conventional mail riveting technique, you break the noses off a lot of drifts trying to make the rivet holes. That said -- yes, it has been done; it is a hassle. Your hole makers get damaged.

Resistance welding -- and there are a few people around here who offer these small, specialist electric welders -- becomes the preferred way to go fastening links shut such that they resist being stabbed through by anything short of a scratch awl, pushed hard.

Low carbon steel wire, while not rust proof, can be maintained against rust if you do not mind smelling faintly of light oil or of WD-40. It'd still be livable. This assumes that AZON Corp butchermail/Frodomaille is for some reason not a starter, and I mean to inquire on this more below. There is something in your thinking here that I shall need to understand.

Quote:
. . . a chainmail shirt that I can conceal under a button down shirt

Riveted mail. Concealed. Under office wear. Say just what? I could make some unfeeling quip about a hostile work environment, but maybe that wouldn't fly.

If you're after a low-profile weight-shirt for reason of muscular development or as what you might call emotional ballast through wearing a judiciously calculated poundage about your torso and off your shoulders, that's one thing (and that is a thing, though pretty rare)*. But hand built mail as contrasted with shark-mail can imply an attempt to defeat large heavy bowie knives, and these are seldom seen in any office other than a Cutco cutlery sales office -- where they are samples, illustrations, and pretty keen stuff. So this under-shirt thing has me questioning.

If you want it stainless and lowest profile, shark-suit mail is commercially available, may at some expense be both fitted to you *and* have the panels of the stuff that you start with be fastened with more welded links, and shark suit mail is all welded-link. It is quite light in weight for its wire is very thin yet strong, and the stuff looks more like some sort of silver-gray cloth than it does like mail -- it's very smooth.

Mail has its limits: it is wholly useless against the bullets of an active workplace shooter. If this is what you contemplate defending against, the best defense is actually a proper and countervailing offense: carry a concealed pistol, daily, until the threat ends. There will be legal hoops to get through in most states in the USA. If you are posting from outside the USA, I got nothin'.

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. . . I will be getting sweat all over it.

In spite of a sweat factor, perhaps you should utilize a T shirt under the mail and then another on top of the mail, to keep oil off your office wear, the buttondown put on over these three items.

You may have to turn tailor, get a sewing machine, and make for yourself undershirts of linen for under and over your mail, which doesn't hold heat and pretty well wicks sweat from you too. Linen fabric be chillin'. I think what you'd want is commonly called "handkerchief weight linen." Linen ravels a lot, so every cut edge should be a rolled-over seam or hemstitched or covered in seam-tape. Don't have a raw cut edge of linen waving in the breeze, as it will insta-fray.

*But No Swimming! Not without the buoyancy of scuba tanks to help hold you up. Which they do. That's why shark suits over your wet suits can be made to work. You just refigure your ballast weights.


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

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Posted on Fri May 11, 2018 2:09 pm
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Thanks for the reply. I have decided to go with High Carbon Steel Wire after doing some research. It certainly seems that Stainless Steel is too difficult to work with in regards to riveted maille.

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Posted on Mon May 14, 2018 4:11 am
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Right, then. And your purpose in this endeavor? This will take you going on half a year to commit to doing, not so incidentally, since you actually do have a life!

Your YouTube says you play Minecraft and reside in the United States. There are places in your user profile you can enter stuff like that.

I'm assuming your carbon steel wire @ >0.40% C will be about 0.40"-0.50" wire diameter range.
You will probably have to anneal the wire to get it workable, then heat treat it again to harden and temper -- two heats, plus that annealing heat with a multihour cool-down. Are you at present equipped to do this?

Lower carbon plain ole ungalvanized steel wire will do a large percentage of what you're expecting. It is possible this wire will perform well enough, as it already has in very full measure the essential thing mail needs: it must be tough, even more than being hard. About a 400-500-degree F tempering heat will give some pretty fair stiffening to spring steel wire without making the steel links brittle enough to break under weapon impact. You want a mailshirt to hang in there. After all, you might get hit twice!

It's a good deal of effort, and some appreciable expense in spring wire too, to get that last ten percent of performance out of a shirt of mail. It is well justified -- *is* it? -- if you've got people coming at you with hand and a half swords who know what they're doing with them.

What diameter of link will you want?


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

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Posted on Wed May 23, 2018 4:03 am
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And what news?

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Posted on Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:23 am
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Welp, guess this one is like that one fellow about last year or the year before who wanted to build himself mail longhandles to block radio waves in the VHF/UHF range...

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Posted on Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:52 am
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Found it -- it was on TheRingLord's site: http://www.theringlord.org/forum/index.php?/topic/16413-durability/
Rereading that thread adds up to "that guy's bread ain't quite done." Each post "Asians" posted was less coherent than the previous, though that's easy enough in a total of 2 posts.


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

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