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Adam Bohnstengel




Location: Spring, TX
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon 18 Sep, 2017 10:22 am    Post subject: Want to try my hand at making maille, have some questions         Reply with quote

First off, I would like to eventually make pieces appropriate to the 3rd quarter of the 13th century, Holy Roman Empire/Bohemia area. Ideally this maille could also be used for earlier periods as well. From what I've read, that means round rings, dome riveted, alternating solid and riveted links. This might be getting ahead of myself, but the end goal should influence the practice.

Would these premade links be a good place to start, and would they be worth a crap as armor or things to do weapon tests on? I do want to make my own links for the final product though.

http://www.by-the-sword.com/p-41984-loose-cha...d-6mm.aspx
http://www.by-the-sword.com/p-41985-loose-cha...g-6mm.aspx

The other option, and what to go to for sure later, is buying wire and mandrel and making my own rings and rivets. I'm thinking wire and shooting for an inner diameter of about 6mm. What gauge should I be looking at? My first thought is using this 16gauge wire.

http://theringlord.com/cart/shopdisplayproduc...Steel+Wire

How do I make solid rings with that though? As far as the construction and patterns, I've searched enough here and elsewhere that I should be okay there.

Violence is the supreme authority from which all other authority is derived.
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Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Mon 18 Sep, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you started making open ring mail?
It's easier and cheaper for starters, and allows easier mistake corrections in the weave and pattern. Wink

In my case I bought a couple of cheap shirts, which I unmade to get loose rings, now transformed in collars, ventails, coifs an other tricky pieces...
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Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,111

PostPosted: Mon 18 Sep, 2017 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Start by making butted mail to get the hang of various weaves, expansions and contractions, direction changes, seams, and tailoring. Then make a few patches of alternating butted and solid links in different shapes to get comfortable with this because it requires a different technique. Then start to learn how to make riveted links because nothing you buy on the open market will look anything like what you want to make. If you don't want to make your own riveted links then forget about riveting completely. You will get something that more closely resembles 13th C mail by simply using alternating butted and solid links compared to the crappy pre-made riveted links that are available.

A good source for solid links is Seastrom but you have to buy in bulk to get a decent price.
http://www.seastrom-mfg.com/

I use these more than any other kind of link.
https://www.seastrom-mfg.com/washerdetails.aspx?productNumber=5702-476-30
I think I have gone through two to three hundred kg of them so far for different projects over the last decade or so.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Adam Bohnstengel




Location: Spring, TX
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Thu 21 Sep, 2017 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay, I just purchased some rings to play with, butted style, and I guess we'll go from there. I almost can't believe those washers make good maille, but you would know better than me. Can you show a picture of something you've made with those washers? Thanks
Violence is the supreme authority from which all other authority is derived.
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Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,111

PostPosted: Thu 21 Sep, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The commercially available links are too big for most applications. When archaeological reports and museum catalogues list the dimensions of mail links, they use the outside diameter. When mail manufacturers list link diameters they use the inside diameter. Those so-called 6mm mail links you see being sold on various websites are often over 10mm in actuality. The washers I showed you above are closer to what you need to be similar to what we find in many extant examples. There are exceptions; mail has been found with links as large as 30mm or more but not for the period or culture you are interested in,.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,111

PostPosted: Thu 21 Sep, 2017 4:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam Bohnstengel wrote:
Okay, I just purchased some rings to play with, butted style, and I guess we'll go from there. I almost can't believe those washers make good maille, but you would know better than me. Can you show a picture of something you've made with those washers? Thanks


I can't find a pic of a full garment but here is a patch. This is the same item with the light moved from one side to the other. The first pic emphasises the rounded butted links in every alternate row. The second pic emphasises the alternating rows of Seastrom washers.



These washers are bright orange with rust when I start to use them. By the time a single row has been completed, the links have been abraded so that they are brightly polished (and my lap is orange with rust powder).

I collect the rust powder and use it as a paint pigment.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books


Last edited by Dan Howard on Thu 21 Sep, 2017 5:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,111

PostPosted: Thu 21 Sep, 2017 5:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Want to try my hand at making maille, have some question         Reply with quote

Adam Bohnstengel wrote:
Would these premade links be a good place to start, and would they be worth a crap as armor or things to do weapon tests on?

Nothing you can buy would be suitable for weapons testing.

http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19189

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 416

PostPosted: Thu 21 Sep, 2017 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:


A good source for solid links is Seastrom but you have to buy in bulk to get a decent price.
http://www.seastrom-mfg.com/



That link gave me an interesting idea; spring steel external retaining rings as riveted links. I might have to buy a handful to experiment.

http://www.seastrom-mfg.com/productresults.as...linecatpnp

Adam Bohnstengel wrote:
Would these premade links be a good place to start, and would they be worth a crap as armor


I have a half riveted GDFB haubergeon I was able to get for a steal I've been slowly tailoring and the links are substantive enough. riveting is sloppy in places but compared to making it myself cutting down a couple yards of maille and fixing a couple of rivets here and there is much more economical. Dan Howard went over the finer points of why repro maille is good enough to satisfy the 15ft rule and maybe take a sword hit, but not much else.
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