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Nick Bourne




Location: London, United Kingdom
Joined: 09 Nov 2008

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 1:35 pm    Post subject: Maille maintenance         Reply with quote

Hi everyone
I am a member of the Vikings re-enactment group and have recently started wearing a maille shirt and i was wondering how to keep it from rusting up. If anyone has any advice I'd really appreciate it.
Thanks
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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 199

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A theoretical suggestion. I have never tried it, but I would think that spraying the maille with WD40 before and after wearing would work. Not a permanent or period fix, but if you did it before each wearing, it should work.

If I'm wrong, please correct me.

On a con note, the WD40 could mess up anything you're wearing under the maille (oil spots galore), but this may be an issue for any rust prevention method?

Seek Honor before Wealth,
Truth before Honor,
God Before all
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Nick Bourne




Location: London, United Kingdom
Joined: 09 Nov 2008

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 2:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestion, i suppose it would the easiest way of doing it. I had heard of an oil or wax of some description which can be applied and then dries hard around the links preventing rust. Can anyone varify this or recommend anything similar which will provide a longer term solution.
Thanks
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you want authenticity then you pay someone like Erik to make a replica from bloomery wrought iron. If you want authenticity then you put up with rust or pay a servant to keep it clean for you. If you are not worried about authenticity then buy galvanised mail. Getting Indian mail made from mild steel or iron doesn't make it any more authentic than if it was galvanised.
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Darryl Aoki





Joined: 12 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 3:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One possible solution might be to spray the mail with vegetable or olive oil and bake it in a low oven. I've had this suggested to me for my steel gorget.

Trying this on a small scale with a scrap of mail might be advisable before trying this with anything bigger though. Experimentation and all that. And even if it did work, I think it'd probably be something that'd have to be done repeatedly.
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Pete Zahut




Location: Dominican Republic
Joined: 25 Aug 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 4:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Quote:
If you want authenticity then you pay someone like Erik to make a replica from bloomery wrought iron. If you want authenticity then you put up with rust or pay a servant to keep it clean for you. If you are not worried about authenticity then buy galvanised mail. Getting Indian mail made from mild steel or iron doesn't make it any more authentic than if it was galvanised.

Why the attack? No one mentioned the type of mail used here... For all we know this could be a $10,000 custom made mail shirt with hand smelted iron, which would also rust. Not everyone who used mail in its 3,000+ years of use would have had servants either, it really would depend on the period in which it was used. Indian mail made from iron is more accurate than galvanized mail which shines and smells differently than historical mail would have. Buying mail from Erak D. Schmidt is also not an option for some people. If you are Jewish, like I am, he won't sell to you. I will not discuss politics but google his name if you are interested.

As to the problem at hand I would not use WD-40 as it is water based and over time can actually make things rust more quickly. If you are looking for a spray, BREAKFREE spray would be preferable. If you are looking for a longer fix I'd rub in a product called "Renaissance Wax". For a historical fix I'd shake the mail in a tub of sand, then rub animal fat over it.
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pete Zahut wrote:
I would not use WD-40 as it is water based and over time can actually make things rust more quickly. If you are looking for a spray, BREAKFREE spray would be preferable. If you are looking for a longer fix I'd rub in a product called "Renaissance Wax".

WD-40 is not so bad, but does cause problems over time. I would vote for spray on gun bore solvent cleaner which is very thin (easy to wipe off unnecessary excess.) Wax would be hard to buff out on something like mail. I suspect you would have lots of cream-white left over areas. I do use that exact approach on easily buffed surfaces for things like table saws though.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Pete Zahut




Location: Dominican Republic
Joined: 25 Aug 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can attest to the Renaissance Wax as I've used it for this exact purpose. The movement of the rings actually helps buff itself. So very little white is left.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 8:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pete Zahut wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Quote:
If you want authenticity then you pay someone like Erik to make a replica from bloomery wrought iron. If you want authenticity then you put up with rust or pay a servant to keep it clean for you. If you are not worried about authenticity then buy galvanised mail. Getting Indian mail made from mild steel or iron doesn't make it any more authentic than if it was galvanised.

Why the attack? No one mentioned the type of mail used here... For all we know this could be a $10,000 custom made mail shirt with hand smelted iron, which would also rust. Not everyone who used mail in its 3,000+ years of use would have had servants either, it really would depend on the period in which it was used. Indian mail made from iron is more accurate than galvanized mail which shines and smells differently than historical mail would have. Buying mail from Erak D. Schmidt is also not an option for some people. If you are Jewish, like I am, he won't sell to you. I will not discuss politics but google his name if you are interested.


Dan did not attack you, though he was going off-topic since the kind of mail wasn't being discussed. His point (I think) was simply that mail rusts. He threw in, as he often does, that very little modern mail meets his standards for authenticity. I don't see attacks here, just over-reactions. Let's leave personal attacks and personal politics off this site.

It will be a happy day for moderators of this site when mail can be discussed without someone getting upset.

Let's get back to the topic.

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

wd 40 will come off on what ever you are wearing underneath. trust me

i have a forth mail shirt. it turned orange on me a while back. i put it in sand, rolled it around and it came back metal color. now i keep it in a burlap sack. i kick it around every so often and i don't have any issues with rust. it will keep rusting if you wear it and sweat. its just something you will have to live with and fix every time you wear it. Happy
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Peter Remling





Joined: 28 May 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Darryl Aoki wrote:
One possible solution might be to spray the mail with vegetable or olive oil and bake it in a low oven. I've had this suggested to me for my steel gorget.

Trying this on a small scale with a scrap of mail might be advisable before trying this with anything bigger though. Experimentation and all that. And even if it did work, I think it'd probably be something that'd have to be done repeatedly.


That method was used for cast iron cooking pots and is called "seasoning".
Pros: It bonds the burnt oil to the pot and provides a semi rust proof and non stick surface.
Cons the coating is an ugly brown and it can be chiped off.

Still it might be worth a try.
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Aleksei Sosnovski





Joined: 04 Mar 2008

Posts: 313

PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 10:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what my experience shows maille does not rust when it is being worn (well, unless you wear it all day long for several days in the rain). It is because individual links scratch against each other and get cleaned. The only occasion when I had rust on my maille during a reenactment event was when after a rainy day it lied in a corner of a tent in wet grass. Maille usually rusts when it is being stored (improperly). So the basic rules for having a rust-free maille are:

1) Always dry your maille after use
2) Do not store maille in plastic bag (unless you have some moisture-absorbing stuff in it). If possible hang it on the wall or throw it on the floor so that it can "breathe".
3) It takes water, air and warmth to develop rust. You cannot remove air, but you can store your maille in the coldest and driest place possible (driest is more important than coldest of course).
4) From time to time spray your maille with some kind of oil. I use some special rust-preventing stuff, but virtually any oil will do. Most vegetable oils will dry and thus will not leave stains on your gambeson or whatever you wear under maille. But dry oil is quite easily scratched off so some non-drying stuff would probably be better. You do not have to oil your maille after each use. I oil mine once in several months, though I train in my maille at least once a week.
5) If you see rust on your maille, immediately clean and oil it.

Fire blackening maille (by either oiling it and heating or simply heating) will make it more rust resistant, but not rust proof.
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Reading list: 46 books

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Sep, 2009 4:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://ed.toton.org/photos/2008/faire/a2336b.jpg ya it does Wink hehe check out the neck line of my coif (black surcoat). that was from about 4 hours
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 16 Sep, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My post was for people who are considering buying mail rather than those who already have done so. Buy galvanised. Why make unnecessary work for yourself if it produces no improvement in authenticity?
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 16 Sep, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
My post was for people who are considering buying mail rather than those who already have done so. Buy galvanised. Why make unnecessary work for yourself if it produces no improvement in authenticity?


Sounds logical and consistent to me. Wink Cool

As well as galvanized another option is stainless welded maille: Also not historical and no rust !

Personally I have a butted stainless maille shirt using heat treated to spring hardness bought handmade in 1980.

A galvanized riveted full hauberk.

And a welded stainless from " The Ring Lord " maille shirt. ( Very fine and small rings and very light: About 8 pounds ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Nick Bourne




Location: London, United Kingdom
Joined: 09 Nov 2008

Posts: 44

PostPosted: Wed 16 Sep, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your advice, it shall be put to use!
I have already bought the maille which is rivetted mild steel and I won't be able to fork out cash for a new one anytime soon (gotta get a new sword first, oh the curse of re-enactment!) but when I do I will take your advice and get a galvanized or stainless shirt.
For the moment I think just carefully looking after it and oiling regularly is the best course.
Just finally how do i get rid of any rust that does appear, i've heard of the sand and sack technique but is this effective?
Thanks again
N
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 16 Sep, 2009 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nick Bourne wrote:
Thanks everyone for your advice, it shall be put to use!
I have already bought the maille which is rivetted mild steel and I won't be able to fork out cash for a new one anytime soon (gotta get a new sword first, oh the curse of re-enactment!) but when I do I will take your advice and get a galvanized or stainless shirt.
For the moment I think just carefully looking after it and oiling regularly is the best course.
Just finally how do i get rid of any rust that does appear, i've heard of the sand and sack technique but is this effective?
Thanks again
N


Look into some spray firearms lubricants that leave a dry film and won't be as messy as oil ?

Or maybe a silicon cloth that also leaves a dry coating ? ( Make sure either don't leave visible powdery residue that would look unappealing and might be hard to remove or clean off if you don't like the results ).

Tuf-Cloth might be even better: http://216.71.158.68/webcat/product42.html
http://www.sentrysolutions.com/

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Pete Zahut




Location: Dominican Republic
Joined: 25 Aug 2009

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed 16 Sep, 2009 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really would not buy galvanized or stainless as it just takes you another step backwards accuracy wise. Light rust is also most likely historical as it's something that happens to iron mail. Galvanizing is apparent just by looking at it. Flat wedge riveted mail from india isn't perfectly accurate, but it is more historical than butted round rings. The more exceptions you make for cost and maintenance the less and less historically accurate you get.
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R.M. Henson




Location: Honolulu Hawaii
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009 12:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
3) It takes water, air and warmth to develop rust. You cannot remove air, but you can store your maille in the coldest and driest place possible (driest is more important than coldest of course).


I'm no expert, but just from an anecdote I saw on the forums a while back:

Quote:
About the maille Ive heared somewhere about the old sand in a barrel trick, you put the maille in a barrel filled one third with sand and let roll for a while. On a ship this may have been done using the natural movement of the hull out on the waves. Something else Ive found out is that if you have the maille in a bag of canvas and carry it around and let it bounce and move it pollish itself to some degree. The rings turn and clean themself against eachother.


Maybe store it submerged in dry fine sand? I know it's an anecdotal polishing technique more than a preservation technique, but an interesting idea to say the least.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Thu 17 Sep, 2009 5:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pete Zahut wrote:
I really would not buy galvanized or stainless as it just takes you another step backwards accuracy wise.

mild steel or modern iron wire is no more accurate than stainless steel or galvanised wire.

Quote:
Galvanizing is apparent just by looking at it.

There are plenty of ways to darken galvy without losing its rust inhibition.

Quote:
Flat wedge riveted mail from india isn't perfectly accurate

Flat wedge riveted mail from India isn't even remotely accurate even for the small period of time in Germany when wedge-riveted mail was made. The only reason to buy Indian riveted mail is because it holds together better than butted mail and is lighter. Don't fool yourself into thinking anything else. The stuff coming from India doesn't look remotely like any museum example I've ever seen.
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