<BGSOUND SRC="Gentlhrtwp.mid">

Chain Mail and Such...

I'm not going to go all out with the graphics and what not on this page, as it is intended to be an instructional sort of thing.
After many times of thinking that I would like to have some chain mail armor, one day I actually decided to go for it.  I knew I would have to make it.  I am a poor country bumpkin, and paying hundreds of dollars for armor was simply not an option.  So, I dug around the garage, and I found that I already had everything I needed, much to my suprise!!!!!!

Step One:  Finding Some Wire

   Looking around on the web, everyone said to get some 16g steel wire from somewhere.  Seeing that I wasn't about to actually put the effort into buying a $25 roll of said wire, I took a look around to see if there was any acceptable substitute.  Lo and Behold, I had half a spool of left over hot wire from the creation of my horse's pen.  It was 18g galvanized wire!  While this gauge might not be considered "Battle Worthy", it did turn out to be great for practicing, and for making some "just for dress" pieces.  I also used it for some jewlry, and it looks pretty good!  If you are intending to make a piece for battling purposes, go ahead and get 16g wire, as it will make a stronger (but heavier) piece.  OSH SELLS IT!!!!

Step Two: Making Rings

    Again, I went to the web.  One suggestion was to make a crank with a dowel and a handle to wrap your wire into coils (springs,worms).  Another said to lock a dowel into a drill, and to make your coils this way.  Okay, great, but I was too lazy to make a crank, and I didn't have any dowels anyway.  But I did have a drill...and an old "Courtyard Inn" pen (one of the nice, cheap, straight shafted guys always found in such establishments.  I locked this into the drill, and wedging one end of the wire into the drill, zip, I had a coil!!!!!  They turned out about 3/8 inches in diameter, a good size.
Now, the coils have to be cut into individual rings, okay.....I don't really have any good advice for this.  Basically, it is you and your coil, and a good pair of wire cutters.  Snip, Snip.  Your hands will hate you.
By the way, be careful doing all of this, and use some common sense.  I cut myself one day spinning wire into a coil, when the strand broke and whipped through my fingers.  There was blood everywhere, ouch!
So, in a nut shell, you are doing this at your own risk.  Don't cry to me if you get hurt, or break your drill.  Also, if you are going to use 16g wire, use a dowel with your drill, the pen thing won't work so well.

Step Three: Making Mail

So now you have a load of rings, great.  Now you want to know how to link them together...alright.  There are a number of different ways, the easiest of which is the old 4-1 pattern. See my background?  This means that each ring is attached to 4 others.  I'm not going to get real involved with the text description of this.  It was easier for me to see a picture of it put together and figure it out than to read it.  If you are interested in the text description route, there are  a hecka sites out there that have that.  Having said that, here is my little illustration.

Just keep adding rings to this, and eventually you'll have a bit of mail.  It takes a little while to see the pattern, and to really get how the mail should look.  There are sites out there that can give you some basic pattern ideas for making various peices, but most of them are very vauge.  I found that it was best just to start making what I wanted, and figure it out as I went along.

Step Four: Mail!!!

Well, I have finished several peices now, but I am a loser and I have yet to get a scanner.  As soon as I have one, I will certainly put some pictures of my stuff up here.  Until then, you can see pictures on other sites.  My coif (hood) looks like everybody elses.  The same goes for my shirt or hueberk (spelled wrong, yes because I am not the sharpest tool in the shed.
Well, good luck, I hope that I have inspired somebody, or at least confused the heck out of someone.

To go back to my home page, click below

Hosting by WebRing.