Beginner: What size rings should I use?
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Joined: January 14, 2020
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Beginner: What size rings should I use?
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Posted on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:47 pm
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We are hoping to put together a cosplay, featuring sections of mail.
We've done some basic research, and put a test-piece together:
200 rings of 2mm (12ga?) x 11mm ID, in a European 4:1 weave.
It went easily enough.
But now we want to make a larger piece! Maybe moving up to a whole Shirt!

Question:
Pros and cons of different sizes of ring?
It will not need to stand up to Real blows, just striding around, posing!

I understand the basics of "thicker = heavier/stronger", and "wider ID = less rings per sheet", but I'm after some more details, before parting with cash, spending untold hours swearing at bits of metal, and throwing the whole lot in the bin! Very Happy

So, what numbers should I be looking for, and why?

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Posted on Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:34 am
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The most historical WD in Sweden, I believe was 1.3mm.

8mm ID, 1.3mm WD. That’s a very good start, as it’d big enough and small enough.


Total Nerd: MScDS, Mailler, Gamer.

Joined: June 20, 2012
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Posted on Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:05 pm
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It also depends on the general aesthetic you're looking for.
Larger rings would be more visible to the public, but look less historical.
Compare 6mm to 11mm ID.

You can browse the gallery to see some examples of finished pieces, most, but not all, put the ring size in description.
(Unfortunately, a lot also just say "gauge" without specifying which gauge system they're using.)

Another point to consider is what material are you using?
https://theringlord.com/cart/shopcontent.asp?type=materialsdata
If you're making the rings yourself, you should mind its hardness ("temper").

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Posted on Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:12 pm
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Thanks for the info.

The test piece was done with stainless steel, but I found a cheap offer of mild steel rings (16ga, 9.5mm ID). Would they be OK?

It doesn't have to be 100% "historically accurate" (later, we may want to get things "right", but for now, just being able to make a piece that looks ok, won't fall apart, and doesn't cost all-the-£££ is good enough Smile )

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Posted on Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:01 pm
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"16ga, 9.5mm ID"
If it's 16 SWG (=1.6mm), they're the same size as in those pouches:
https://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=7770
I think that would look ok.

If it's 16 AWG (=1.3mm), that would probably look too thin/large.


Mild steel have the tendency to rust.
You mentioned cosplay with sections of mail, so I guess it will be sewed on fabric. That might make the costume impossible to wash without ruining the mail, and the mail impossible to oil without ruining the costume. Rolling Eyes


But wait for other ppl's comments.

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Posted on Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:27 pm
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I think they will be SWG, as it is a UK supplier, but I can't find any confirmation.

The supplier is:
https://www.thechainmailshop.com/chainmail-links-loose-1000-pcs
and their picture makes it look like thicker rings.

Yes, the idea is to sew it onto fabric.
I suppose it can be un-sewn to clean, and stitched back on!
Still working on details.

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Posted on Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:27 am
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BlackSpike wrote:
Thanks for the info.

The test piece was done with stainless steel, but I found a cheap offer of mild steel rings (16ga, 9.5mm ID). Would they be OK?

It doesn't have to be 100% "historically accurate" (later, we may want to get things "right", but for now, just being able to make a piece that looks ok, won't fall apart, and doesn't cost all-the-£££ is good enough Smile )


In a word, yes. They'd be okay. 9.5mm is slightly big; you can well go as small as 6.35mm (0.25") to yield a denser weave in that 1.6mm/.063" wire. This would be even stronger (in butted mail links) and more nearly approach historical mail link size -- that averaged about 5/16" ID with .050" WD. A datum to file away as useful one day. Wire that slender gets a wee bit weak and might shed links somewhat faster than the heavier stuff you're thinking about. Until you get authentic enough to rivet your rings shut! "For the hauberks of the Dwarves were so fashioned that they rusted not, etc." and were effin' strong...

Gauge numbers do make a convenient verbal shorthand, but when getting the least bit technical on an international board like this one, measured diameters are advisable. Inch or mm.

I'm a big believer in buying wire in a roll or reel and coiling and cutting it oneself, so you don't go broke buying links. Doing what we call "powerwinding" in our jargon speeds this process -- you use an electric drill. You *are* looking at a multi-thousand ring project regardless; expect a mailshirt to take six to eight weeks to weave together, apart from whatever you do to get your rings. Read around here onsite on the subject of shirts to pick up tips on doing things a little faster.

You will read onsite about AR -- link Aspect Ratio, a guinea word for a tenpenny idea. It is link ID divided by wire D. An AR of 4 or so is very good for strength and good looks and flexibility too. The smallest workable AR for Euro 4-1 weave is AR3.2. Most of the time it's handier to go in the other direction, an AR of 4 to 6. Heavier-gauge wire is less affected by being in larger ARs than thinner wire is -- 16 gauge wire about maxes out at an ID of 5/16" and weakens thereafter. Makes a fairly airy mesh.


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

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