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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2018 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reenactor/Living History Poll         Reply with quote

Iíve recently been told by a trusted vendor in the reenactment and living history community that an overwhelming number of Viking-13th century reenactors often wear flat ring riveted mail - even though round ring riveted is more historically appropriate for that era. In my estimation, this is most likely to save weight for extended amounts of time being in harness. Many pictures I can find of trusted events are not high enough res or close enough resolution to study the mail on folks portraying this time period.

Those who are in reenactment/living history - do you find this to be the case?
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2018 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think it has anything to do with weight. It is more likely because flat ring is generally cheaper and more readily available from vendors. People have this absurd notion that if they get riveted mail - any kind of riveted mail - then their kit will be "authentic". IMO a well-constructed butted mail shirt looks closer to historical mail than many kinds of riveted mail coming out of India.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2018 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can tell you, from my personal experience, that there's not a whole lot of significant difference in the weight of round-vs-flat ring. I think round riveted would be more 'historically correct' for that time period and culture, but I'm no expert by far. My mail is round riveted/solid flat mix, I like it, and it looks GOOD on ME... Cool ...at least my wife thinks so. Big Grin Wink .....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2018 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like it saves about 30% of weight on average. Thatís a saving of 9 lbs for an equivalent round ring hauberk at 30lbs. Not sure how significant that is with the way weight is spread/carried.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2018 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aren't they just using the same wire gauge and flattening the rings? That would be the identical weight.

Also, there is potential confusion in terminology: to me, "round riveted" means the RIVETS are round, rather than wedges. "Round wire" rings are clearly not "flat rings" or "flat links".

Matthew
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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2018 5:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Youíd think it would be the same, but the seller is telling me itís 30% less. And Iím referring to round links mixed with solid flat rings - dome riveted. Hope that helps clarify.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2018 11:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If there was a weight saving of 30%, the flat links would be so thin that you could tear the mail apart with your hands.
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Arne G.





Joined: 31 Jul 2014

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PostPosted: Tue 02 Jan, 2018 11:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suspect many just don't understand that flat ring is wrong for the period. Most don't realize the nuances of mail construction, beyond the fact that "riveted is right". These are subtle details that most wouldn't know unless they really study the subject; to my knowledge there is no single book on armour that details the specifics of mail construction. One has to dive through dozens of obscure papers on the subject to tease this out. Doesn't help that the non-flat ring coming out of India is really not all that historically correct, as Dan Howard has pointed out in other threads. He is also correct that butted looks better from a distance. At this point if you want period correct mail, you either need Erik Schmid to make it for you, or do the research, make the tools, and make it yourself.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2018 2:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan---I think that the big question here is---what do YOU intend TO DO with it? ........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2018 4:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
If there was a weight saving of 30%, the flat links would be so thin that you could tear the mail apart with your hands.


I suspect this is all too correct. And as Matthew noted, I was surprised by this statement due to the face that I have done the searches for obscure articles and forum posts by experts on a handful of sites - including this one! The hauberk Iím most interested in is heavy - 37lbs at my measurements. This scales fairly closely with some originals Iíve seen, but it seems awfully heavy to wear for an extended period of time.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a good chance that you will be able to knock at least 5 pounds off the weight if you tailored it to fit properly after it arrived. You would need some spare links and a peening tool. 37 pounds isn't all that heavy. I have a leather coat and pair of boots that weigh 30 pounds between them. An elaborate wedding gown can weigh more than 37 pounds.
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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2018 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
There is a good chance that you will be able to knock at least 5 pounds off the weight if you tailored it to fit properly after it arrived. You would need some spare links and a peening tool. 37 pounds isn't all that heavy. I have a leather coat and pair of boots that weigh 30 pounds between them. An elaborate wedding gown can weigh more than 37 pounds.


Iím feeling better about it after this. I've been wondering all along if itís not as bad as it sounds. Iíve also considered seeing if arms could be done in 18 and torso in 16. Iíve seen some early-mid 14th century examples that showed variable gauge construction. Iím hoping this may be an older tradition though I have no direct evidence for it.
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 03 Jan, 2018 6:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

37 pounds for a hauberk? Even the extra large size 6mm alternating dome riveted flat and solid flat ring hauberk produced by Lord of Battles (available on Kult of Athena) is only listed at 33.1 pounds. The rings are 18 gauge, which is pretty standard for either round or flat. I see some companies using 17 gauge for round rings, but the difference is miniscule - 0.005 inches, with 17 gauge wire being 0.045 inches and 18 gauge being 0.040 inches. Only about 12% of the ring diameter, and that's only for half of the rings and excludes the rivets. Certainly not close to 30% of the total weight!

I think you're dealing with something screwy or the vendor is comparing apples to oranges and not telling you the whole story.

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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jan, 2018 11:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory J. Liebau wrote:
37 pounds for a hauberk? Even the extra large size 6mm alternating dome riveted flat and solid flat ring hauberk produced by Lord of Battles (available on Kult of Athena) is only listed at 33.1 pounds. The rings are 18 gauge, which is pretty standard for either round or flat. I see some companies using 17 gauge for round rings, but the difference is miniscule - 0.005 inches, with 17 gauge wire being 0.045 inches and 18 gauge being 0.040 inches. Only about 12% of the ring diameter, and that's only for half of the rings and excludes the rivets. Certainly not close to 30% of the total weight!

I think you're dealing with something screwy or the vendor is comparing apples to oranges and not telling you the whole story.


My measurements in 18 gauge are around 25 lbs. I had them quote it at 16. Both gauges seem to fall in the bell curve for equivalent wire thickness in extant examples. I like the look of 16 better, but may end up going with 18.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Thu 04 Jan, 2018 1:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Keep in mind that museum catalogues and archaeological reports give the OUTSIDE diameter of the links. Indian mail manufacturers give the INSIDE diameter. If they claim that their links are 6 mm diameter, they are really closer to 10 mm. Personally I think that if you want something that resembles 12-13th century European mail, that you will not get anything even remotely in the ball-park from these manufacturers. The best you can hope for is something that is a decent fit and doesn't shed links when you try to put it on.
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Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Thu 04 Jan, 2018 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Keep in mind that museum catalogues and archaeological reports give the OUTSIDE diameter of the links. Indian mail manufacturers give the INSIDE diameter. If they claim that their links are 6 mm diameter, they are really closer to 10 mm. Personally I think that if you want something that resembles 12-13th century European mail, that you will not get anything even remotely in the ball-park from these manufacturers. The best you can hope for is something that is a decent fit and doesn't shed links when you try to put it on.


This is pretty true. This mail is the best Indian offering Iíve seen. I donít think Erik is making hauberks, and if he were I couldnít afford it anyway lol. Another forum member shared a nice chart of mail finds from the Viking age Birka Garrison in Sweden, and the mail Iím looking at ordering falls within the bell curve for diameter and circumference, so at least that part could be reasonably appropriate.

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~chrisandpeter/mail/birka_mail.htm
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Arne G.





Joined: 31 Jul 2014

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PostPosted: Thu 04 Jan, 2018 10:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It should be noted that the 13th century Tofta coif has rings that are fairly large. One that was analyzed was elliptical in shape, ranging from 11.2 to 11.8 mm O.D., and an I.D. of 8.5 to 9.4mm. Also, the Sinigaglia hauberk had rings of over 1/2" O.D., while the Rudolph IV mail from the Hearst Collection also had rings about 1/2" O.D. For this reason the Indian made rings are fine from the perspective of their diameters, though they are often too thin and overflattened, among other problems.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jan, 2018 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

37 lbs (16.8 kg) is unusually heavy for a SURVIVING mail shirt. The heaviest shirt the Wallace has, for example, is 9.01 kg, and the heaviest the RA has online is only 25 lbs 10 oz. The heaviest and, I think, the oldest shirt I have ever handled weighed 37 lbs, and the torso rings were running 15 mm OD 11 mm ID, round wire links and punched rings that were also quite round in cross section, possibly due to it being one of the most worn pieces of mail I have ever seen; the usual rectangle you would see on the underside of the riveted links (bottoms of the wedge rivets) was invisible. Only the broken links allowed one to tell they were made with narrow pie slice shaped rivets. It made me think of Anna Comnena's description of the mail of the Franks.
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Chris Friede




Location: Austin
Joined: 15 Mar 2014

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PostPosted: Wed 10 Jan, 2018 12:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As a reenactor who wears mail, most of our Viking warband has butted mail. Those hauberks tend to be a bit heavier than the flat riveted mail worn by our later period actors. (Sherwood Forest Faire in Texas) (shameless plug)
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