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R.M. Henson




Location: Honolulu Hawaii
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Nov, 2009 11:03 pm    Post subject: Double Mail Plausibilities         Reply with quote

Was just reading up on the article featured on the front page "Mail: Unchained" and the section about Double mail raised some questions for me.

1)One of the ideas of what double mail could have been was a mail made from smaller links, so that twice as many rings were required. From one mail armor distributor this has been marketed as "Hero's Mail" and featured smaller links, and was said to be heavier than a their standard sized link mail shirt but added more protection.
http://www.medievalware.com/Hero-s-Mail-Coif-p/300088rm.htm

or even in examples of historical Roman chain mail reproductions:
http://larp.com/legioxx/EDSmail1.jpg

But is this true? How does smaller links in mail make it more protective? And if so, why in the Dark and Medieval ages smaller links were not as commonly utilized if it provided more protection and was affordable for nobility? From experience is it more or less flexible?

2)Also another idea of double mail was double riveted mail rings. Are there any historical examples of this? And how much does having 2 rivets actually improve sturdiness of the links?

3)Lastly the idea of 6-1 or 8-2 weave patterns were suggested as a possibility. Although 6-1 can be found in historic examples, IIRC, there was not historical evidence to suggest anyone created 8-2 pattern mail before more than 15 - 20 years ago. Also any modern examples of it that have been found are all butted. If they theoretically made 8-2 pattern riveted mail would it really be more protective than simply using thicker links?

Can anyone provide some thoughts or insights? I'd like to know you opinions.
Thanks
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
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PostPosted: Tue 24 Nov, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can only offer and idea for n 1: smaller rings are more resistant to piercing damage, like bodkin arrows, because it has more possibility of touch the weapon in any way, where a large mail can be bypassed by a thin arrow, or by a punch-like knife (I don't remember the exact english name); more there is the more possibility than two or three rings are interested, greatly reducing the possibility of a fracture. Smaller rings are also more confortable to wear.

The big problem of double mail is the weigth of the total armor, that can push a warrior do wear it as little as possible (as reported in the article you talk of), with often fatal consequences, and the existence of more effectives way to stop a piercing weapon, like paddings and double layers of mail. The second possibility is mine favorite, from a newbie point of view, because it's possible to wear only one layer of mail, donning the second only when there is the necessity (immediately prior a battle, or only when enemy's archers are expected)
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Geoffroy Gautier





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PostPosted: Thu 26 Nov, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello, I'm new to the forum, but discussions here seems very interesting.

Smaller links may well be a possibility. It make the whole thing harder to manufacture, not only cause it multiplicates the number of links, but also cause it makes the riveting job more difficult. Certainly, using links 30% smaller in diameter would double manufacturing time for a qualified worker, I think. But the increase in performance would be relatively important, I think, though they may be a threshold over which it doesn't make any difference, it must certainly be a certain ratio with links diameter, thickness and toughness of the rod used to make the links, and diameter and shape of the arrow or spearhead.

I don't think double-riveting every links is a practical possibility, though it may greatly improve piercing resistance, as the ring won't crack open easily. But it is no use if the ring diameter is so that the bodkin arrow head already pass 4cm or more at the point where links rivets are put under stress, if you see what I mean.

The 6-1 is a possibility also, and it existed really. I don't really see how 8-2 is done, but it sound's awful to manufacture, and I guess links can't be riveted, making each link finally lot weaker to penetration than on a riveted normal pattern, in my opinion, though it would worth the test for slashing.

In any of these case however, the armor would be heavier, as there is more metal. The double riveting would be the smallest difference from a normal one, but the smaller links would be the heavier. 6-1 would be moderatly heavier, I think.

It may be another possibility for what "double mail" may be, in my opinion: a pattern 8-2 pattern made from a kind of "flat" or "square" 4-1, where links (riveted) are alternatively flat or on the side (just like in a regular, basic chain), but with every link doubled. Performances against piercing attack would be awfully poor, but it would be relatively easy to manufacture, and efficient against slashing cuts if the links are small enough in diameter.
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R.M. Henson




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Nov, 2009 9:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't think double-riveting every links is a practical possibility, though it may greatly improve piercing resistance, as the ring won't crack open easily. But it is no use if the ring diameter is so that the bodkin arrow head already pass 4cm or more at the point where links rivets are put under stress, if you see what I mean.


I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Are you implying that in order fit two rivets on a single link, the link has to be that much larger to accommodate a second rivet? Although I've never seen a double riveted link before, I don't think the size of the ring would have to increase to that point, although I may be wrong, I'm no metal working expert.

As far as 8-2 pattern, it looks like this:



I've heard some people doubt that actual increase in protection from added a second link, but I think that if they were riveted somehow that it would increase protection significantly. But since it's pretty much assumed these were never used historically this may be a moot point anyways.
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Fri 27 Nov, 2009 11:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

1)I would hardly consider the marketing drivel of the store you linked to any sort of evidence...in fact they mention historically accurate as a feature on the butted mail...umm yeah. Anyways, smaller rings are more protective then bigger rings...but there is a point where the rings just wont fit anymore. If you read through the article again and see figure 8 and 9, there really isnt much room to go smaller. Especially in figure 8.

2) Double rivets makes it less likely for a links rivet to break as there is a back up rivet. But this is a rather minor increase in durability...no so much in the protective nature of the armor to begin with.

3) 6 in 1 is stronger if your using say 7mm ID 18 gauge round rings...but once again if you tried that with the rings like in figure 8, you would have to use thiner or larger rings...which may negate any advantage of a 6 in 1. Im not even gonna touch trying to do an 8 in 2 using flattened riveted links....
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Nov, 2009 12:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
Im not even gonna touch trying to do an 8 in 2 using flattened riveted links....

They would certanly be strong... Razz

Sidetopic: I think that for a good discussion of mail every person need to know the theory behind the AR, Aspect Ratio, The ratio between the internal diameter (ID) of a ring and the thickness of the wire. Every weave (historical like 4-1, 6-1 and Japanese or modern like byzantine and persian) work only in a precise range of AR, that can be more or less large for every type (es: JeanPind 5,6mm/1mm works, 5,6mm/1,05mm doesn't work). The European 4-1 has a fairly large AR range, but even so it would not work with very thick wire and small rings: if I remember right the ID need to be at least three time the wire thickness to have a proper flexibility.

Someone has experience of rivet mail breaking? It breaks on the rivets or in the middle of the links? And if the rivets, the rivets themself or the punched ring?

Edit: There a lot of information about mail at http://www.mailleartisans.org
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Derek Estabrook




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Nov, 2009 1:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Plus with 6 in 1 you can't say it is better (and at what?) without use and testing. No doubt it has its potential applications, but most likely due to its form it is more rigid than a 4 in 1 weave and one of the main attributes of maille is being flexible enough to spread and disperse impact among its links. Rigidity sounds good on paper, but trying to turn a tough net into an inferior plate sounds like a bad idea to me in general, though as stated before I'm sure certain areas or applications could benefit from it.
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R.M. Henson




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Nov, 2009 1:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I would hardly consider the marketing drivel of the store you linked to any sort of evidence...


Which is why I asked in the first place. I doubted that their claims would be accurate considering the other things you mentioned as well.

Quote:
Someone has experience of rivet mail breaking? It breaks on the rivets or in the middle of the links? And if the rivets, the rivets themself or the punched ring?


As I recall Michael Edelson did a mail durability test with some riveted 4-1 pattern mail. With the bow and arrow test the arrow split the links at the rivet, and the link is what broke, not the rivet itself. The only test where the actual link broke was in his poleaxe test when the sheer force of the blow cleaved through links.

I think it would be safe to assume that the rivets are only a weak point under piercing conditions.

Quote:
Plus with 6 in 1 you can't say it is better (and at what?) without use and testing.


From what I've seen of Persian 6-1 pattern mail examples, they are usually thinner links and more spread out so that you can see underneath, much like many of the 4-1 counterparts. As to whether it's a stronger or not I think has more to do with how the force of a blow is distributed among the weave pattern. If, say an arrow struck in the center of a ring it wouldn't matter what the weave is, the link would probably break. Overall, where piercing attacks are concerned, I don't believe weave to make a difference if the piercing object is small enough to introduce itself into the center of a link, unless it's something like the 8-2 pattern where the arrow would have to break 2 links instead of one.

Which is part of why I brought this subject up. Smaller links (from the ideas Gabriele brought up), double riveting (conjecture derived from Edelsons test results), and overlapping patterns (in this case 8-2), as well as the other examples provided (two layers of mail and thicker rings) are all seemingly geared towards resistance against damage from piercing attacks, like arrows or stabs from blades.

Since slashes don't seem to phase most examples of normal 4-1 pattern mail, there would have to be a reason for creating double mail. It would stand to seem that the idea of "double mail" was to protect against something normal mail wasn't proficient at, and that was stabs and arrows. Any thoughts on this?

EDIT>>>>>>>>>>>
Ah, after re-reading the article it would seem this conclusion had already been reached... Although the question still stands for the original post, why didn't more medieval examples of mail feature smaller links like the Romans? And for what reason would there be to prefer using a Persian 6-1 pattern over 4-1 if they are both proficient at resisting slashes and IMO probably equal in terms of resisting piercing?

Where double riveting is concerned I think it would be interesting to see how effective it actually would have been, I think it would make a significant difference. I'm not quite sure why the above 2 posters believed they would increase protection but at the same time refute that point...
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R.M. Henson




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Nov, 2009 5:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry for the double post, but I came across some interesting "Double Mail" ideas from the net.


http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articl...i?key=8277


http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articl...i?key=8286

These actually seem really plausible to me, and doesn't at all look quite as ridiculous as the 8-2 patterns does.
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Steven H




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Nov, 2009 4:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
1)I would hardly consider the marketing drivel of the store you linked to any sort of evidence...in fact they mention historically accurate as a feature on the butted mail...umm yeah. Anyways, smaller rings are more protective then bigger rings...but there is a point where the rings just wont fit anymore. If you read through the article again and see figure 8 and 9, there really isnt much room to go smaller. Especially in figure 8.


I've seen an example of historical piece (a standard) where the links were so small that the bulge at the rivet prevented the rings from turning. So you can get so small that it's darn close to solid. Though this piece was clearly stiffer than typical mail. And used to protect the throat so it makes sense. (I just wish I could remember where I saw it.)

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Blaz Berlec




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Nov, 2009 11:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One such piece (maille "bevor" with very fine links) is in Churburg collection:



Thhis one is from Graz armoury, from the 15th century:



And this is also very dense around the troath:



A RARE EUROPEAN MAIL CAPE OR PISAIN, PROBABLY GERMAN, LATE 15TH OR EARLY 16TH CENTURY composed entirely of riveted iron rings of half-round wire, those at the neck and at the base of the throat smaller in size than the rest and forming a stiff upstanding collar or standard.. (Thomas Del Mar auction, http://www.thomasdelmar.com/Catalogues/as260607/page10.htm)


I think there is an iconographical data that shows the possibility of third option in the article:

"Two separate mail hauberks, one worn on top of the other (a light layer of padding would be required between the layers to prevent the links from binding with each other)"

I know I have seen two layers of "maille skirt" in Italian 15th century art. Whether this were two hauberks, or hauberk + skirt, or two skirts I don't know, and I can't seem to find the picture now.


Extant 15th Century German Gothic Armour
Extant 15th century Milanese armour
Arming doublet of the 15th century
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 29 Nov, 2009 2:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Humm learned something new...nice pictures blaz. But yeah it makes sense for area like the neck to do something like that...but Im still not sold on the idea of that as double mail.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Nov, 2009 4:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's probably something really mundane, like a small section of maille that has two layers. History tends to be like that.

M.

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R.M. Henson




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Nov, 2009 5:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Haha, yah probably, but something like this is so much more fun to think about.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 30 Nov, 2009 1:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe different things where called double maille from extra heavy wire/diameter ratio for a dense weave to simply wearing two maille shirts possibly a small ring tight weave one under a larger ring heavier wire but more open weave over ?

Or just doubling up two ordinary maille shirts ?

Oh we do get the effect of overlapping maille with a coif covering the shoulders of a mail shirt or hauberk and I would assume that the total protective effect might be more than the sum of the parts as energy from an arrow would be used up moving the rings on top relative to the rings in the bottom layer ?

Another option would be one maille shirt over light protective clothing followed by a second gambison/aketon and then the second maille shirt over it all: A maille sandwich with a soft layer in between should be very difficult for an arrow to penetrate and the blunt trauma resistance much superior to just " single maille " with other weapons like a lance. Wink

Oh, hot and heavy or at least " heavier " might mean only adding the second maille shirt before battle or a serious fight or jousting ?

One of the advantages of maille over plate armour is that putting it on by oneself, or even with a little help, can be done much faster and easier than properly adjusting plate with straps and points.

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