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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 8:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
"Riveted" does not equal "Historical"

Bruce Tordoff wrote:
Essentially, there has to be a 'Scale of Authenticity', where common sense prevails. The knowledge and discretion of the items owner should dictate the level of 'Inaccuracy' tolerable for the specific given situation. What is an acceptable standard for a museum or lecture full of academic historians may not be for an audience of 10year olds and vice versa.

This has been a very interesting thread to follow. I'm inclined to agree with Dan's OP and Bruce's theory as they are not mutually exclusive, but mutually supportive!

My thought process involves what I want and what I can actually have. I want a hauberk as Dan describes, accurate to the extreme. I want to feel the weight, look at the rings under a microscope, know the metallurgy, and test it against various weaponry. I want the real thing.

Alas, there seems to be only a select few makers (one?) who produce what can be described as "historically accurate mail". I cannot afford the real thing. I can afford butted mail as Bruce describes. I can get a rough idea of the feel, weight and mobility afforded by this non-historically accurate alternative. At a distance of ten feet it looks kinda-OK to the trained eye and awesome to the untrained eye. I think the point, as Bruce touched on, is to capture the attention of the untrained eyes around us. Once you have that attention, explain that your mail isn't exactly correct, and why.

From personal experience I know that those 10 year olds (and 40 year olds) will start an endless stream of questions about your armour and weaponry. Maybe enough of a spark is lit that they will take an interest in weapons and armour that could lead to a time consuming passion that we are all familiar with Happy or even a professional career in the field Exclamation The more personally vested and professional individuals in the field we have, the better understanding we will all have of our chosen passion. Who knows what future excavations and analysis will provide for the advancement of "mail knowledge"?

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Bruce Tordoff
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject: "Riveted" does not equal "Historical"         Reply with quote

Scott, thanks for that, it is obvious that you got my point entirely, and added some supporting ones very eloquently. Just to drive the nail firmly home, Over whether replica's of rivetted (whatever kind), butted, forged or a mix are more historically accurate or not, is a fair point.

But I think Scott touched on this, relative cost.

For example, my friend, colleague and fellow forumite, Paul Mortimer, as some of you may know has almost the entire collection of the Sutton Hoo mound one personal grave goods, barring some cauldrons and of course the ship!
His replica's are of unquestionable 'museum' quality, made by an English master craftsman who is also in our group.
Apart from his sword which is the the Sutton Hoo sword made by Patrick Barta, all his other stuff, (purse lid, shoulder clasps, great gold buckle, scabbard and belt fittings etc, is made without Real Garnets where present on the originals.
Instead the cloisonne 'Garnet' effect is done essentially the same way, with the gold knurled foils but instead of garnet, a resin is used with a red dye, Not the dodgy enamelling one sometimes see's either. All of the pieces are not cast in solid gold either, but electro plated.

The point is, all of these items look absolutely spot on, Paul wanted the greatest amount of visual accuracy but did not want to spend 100,000 for the privaledge! But most importantly, he is a very discerning re-enactor and historian, but he is not actually a 'real' king so his finances may not actually be the same as the owner of the originals, relatively speaking.

But in closing, it would be nice if more discerning makers started producing 'accurate' maille for those that want to invest .
Very cool thread though.

Bruce
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 1:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

FWIW my initial post was mainly aimed at people who want to discuss weapon tests. I have no problem (no opinion at all actually) with Indian mail being used for SCA, reenactment, WMA, etc. If I was pedantic about being "in period" I would never have recommended galvanised mail.

Every time someone mentions a mail test they read online or in an article, everyone can now post a link to the first post in this thread. Unless the test piece was made by someone like Erik from period materials then the above list will have at least some points that cover every testing sample. Every point in that list will detract from the armour's ability to resist weapons making the modern test piece weaker than historical examples.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am not completely sold on the idea that historical mail rings were equal in ductility and strength to 100% pure and soft iron. I don't wish to seem unreasonable about this. Have any of our authorities actually bent mail fragment rings to deduce if they were truly as ductile as wrought iron? I have not seen any tests done on it, but given the corroded condition and curved nature of the artifacts I can see why few would have undertaken this kind of testing.

The particulars in the chemistry, elevated but moderate sulfur levels, that I mentioned earlier lends itself to work hardening, and potentially much higher strength than 100% pure iron, but far less ductility if left work hardened. (Similar chemistry actually was historically preferred for musical instrument grade drawn iron wire before modern composite strings were developed. Unfortunately the remaining producers who make some sizes of similar composition wire for specific piano wire strings do not make it in large enough diameter for reproduction mail purposes.) In the few articles I have (Viking era "Ringweave" and a couple of others) where period rings were sectioned and examined for grain structure (I presume in an effort to deduce if the wire was drawn) the higher carbon regions' grain structure and phases do not appear to be in an annealed state.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 4:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:

Every time someone mentions a mail test they read online or in an article, everyone can now post a link to the first post in this thread. Unless the test piece was made by someone like Erik from period materials then the above list will have at least some points that cover every testing sample. Every point in that list will detract from the armour's ability to resist weapons making the modern test piece weaker than historical examples.


And this means:

(A) If the modern mail resists attack by weapon X, historical mail would have resisted weapon X. This is a sound, and possibly useful, conclusion. Good science, if the test is done, interpreted, and reported properly.

(B) If the modern mail fails to resist weapon X, this only tells us that modern mail is insufficient to resist weapon X. This tells us nothing useful about historical mail. To conclude any more than "further tests are needed, against a more accurate replica next time" is Bad Science, especially considering the way such tests are often done, interpreted, and reported.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:

And this means:

(A) If the modern mail resists attack by weapon X, historical mail would have resisted weapon X. This is a sound, and possibly useful, conclusion.

(B) If the modern mail fails to resist weapon X, this only tells us that modern mail is insufficient to resist weapon X. This tells us nothing useful about historical mail.


I was thinking that the relevance of test methodology, and applicability of mechanical properties of modern maile should be equal in both cases. If not, this starts to sound like censorship.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 5:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
Timo Nieminen wrote:

And this means:

(A) If the modern mail resists attack by weapon X, historical mail would have resisted weapon X. This is a sound, and possibly useful, conclusion.

(B) If the modern mail fails to resist weapon X, this only tells us that modern mail is insufficient to resist weapon X. This tells us nothing useful about historical mail.


I was thinking that the relevance of test methodology, and applicability of mechanical properties of modern maile should be equal in both cases. If not, this starts to sound like censorship.


In either case, the weapon is tested against a weaker substitute for the original. If one was to test against a stronger substitute than the original, this provides us with the full spectrum:

(C) Stronger-than-historical armour fails to defend against weapon X: weapon X could defeat historical armour. (Here the methodology is important, since how the armour is supported, how the weapon is used, judgment of the extent of penetration required for effect, etc. affect the "stronger-than-historical" part.)

(D) Stronger-than-historical armour successfully defends against weapon X. No useful conclusion about effectiveness of historical armour against X.

If you can jump more than 2m, you can jump 1m. If you can't jump as far a 0.5m, you can't jump 1m. If you can jump somewhere between 0.5m and 2m, it remains unknown whether or not you can jump 1m.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
In either case, the weapon is tested against a weaker substitute for the original.

This is what I am questioning.

Most reproduction mail producers do not publish the type of wire they are using. "Mild steel" replicas I "would guess" to be made from wire of AISI alloy 1008 through 1018 based upon availability of "mild steel" wire. These materials are pretty good in terms of ductility and tougnhess after working (hot or cold) compared to examined period maile links' chemical and historical counterparts. The replicas should surpass originals in terms of toughness and measureable mechanical properties

The greater problems probably lie in geometry and rivet technique as Dan Howard proposed in the very first instance of this post.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 10:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The initial post was referring specifically to Indian mail and this is usually made from mild steel, and even worse - recycled mild steel - which could consist of anything. In other cases, whether a particular modern alloy is better than bloomery iron or not isn't really relevant. If its mechanical properties are not the same as bloomery iron, then it cannot be used to produce useful data from a test.

If I was making mail to protect myself then I would use a mesh of small machine-welded links (perhaps 1.2mm wire with 5mm ID) made from galvanised hardened steel. I'm pretty sure it would provide better protection than medieval mail. It tells me nothing about how historical armour performs against historical weapons.
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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 11:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan, I swear to you that if I win some kind of lottery, one of the first things I'm doing is this:

I'm inviting you to California (at my expense) after purchasing a number of Patrick Barta swords made to the most exacting standards and a series of mail weaves done by Erik... We shall spend a bloody holiday making the dreams of researchers, authors, supporters and skeptics come true. Spend some quality time doing something real fun!

But, that's if I win the lottery. If I do, remind me, dammit.

-Gregory

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 1:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:

The greater problems probably lie in geometry and rivet technique as Dan Howard proposed in the very first instance of this post.


Basically, yes. If the mail fails at the rivets, the rest is a lesser issue. Less deformable rings will make the rivets more likely to fail, and super-strong rings will make the rivets less important, so it is still an issue.

Heh, and there are people who will happily test against butted mail, because they have a point to "prove". Something that can be claimed to be "scientific" makes a good bit of propaganda to wave at critics. Doesn't matter if the "scientific" test is sound or not, if one already knows that one is completely correct; the "test" is just ammunition against the critics.

Considering this, a real test needs to be done well, to avoid being seen as just another one of those "tests". Also, whether ot not those who do the test "over-interpret" their result, it's very likely that somebody will. Better to have a robust test!

I think an ideal test would be against 3 samples.

1. Nice to have a sample that is the closest match to the historical armour. Alas, a test against this sample will lead to potentially endless debate as to whether or not it is an accurate match, whether it is more or less protective, and so on.

2. A sample that is the strongest sample that all reasonable critics agree is weaker than the historical armour.

3. A sample that is the weakest sample that all reasonable critics agree is stronger than the historical armour.

1 will provide a nice answer for sensible people, and 2 and 3 will set bounds that will convince any reasonable critic, despite their preconceptions. Nothing will convince unreasonable people, so just ignore them.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would not focus as much on it being "bloomery" made, as much as I would emphasize high purity of the raw ore to begin with. Many undesirable impurities normally found in higher levels of other types of artifacts are not easily expelled through simple remelting and reforging. This strikes me as a possible "finger print" or clue to origin and source of the wire material in that it is distinct, geologically rare. Other than mail samples I am only aware of one non-mail artifact of similar composition. (A Merovingian era sword that was work hardened.) I have looked hard and not found an appropriate commercial substitute material for the historical chemistry.

This is somewhat similar to the situation that today's blacksmiths face; our substitutes for real "wrought iron" are not as low in carbon, nor as pure as the preferred Victorian era wrought material. It is hard to explain, but salvaged "real wrought iron" is easier to weld, more forgiving in forging....just better. But we can't #$%**get it commerically !

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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Mar, 2010 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An opposing side to the "materials argument" is that mail was in fact commonly made of mild steel (the mills and wire drawing technology emerged at that time) from sometime around the end of the 14th century and later. Our replica mail is not a poor representation of this later era mail in a metallurgical sense. I have forgotten the specific find details, but remnants of Conquistador era examples have even been found in North America and identified as mild steel. The people who elected to continue using it, must have thought the performance of the mild steel material was acceptable. If I could go back in time, I would not want to pick a fight with them over the issue.
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Lucas Simms




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How were round holes made without tearing the area around the hole?
Lucas
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Gabriele A. Pini




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: "Riveted" does not equal "Historical"         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
* Holes are made with a punch rather than a drift. This leaves a lot less metal around the rivet to help secure it.


As Dan said, by punching. A long, hardened punch that will open an hole by opening and enlarging the iron without tearing the forces-lines, but flexing them.

I love this forum because we are here discussing the effects of impurity in the iron for a test, and in an episode of History Channel they tested a bodkin arrow against a butted mail on a melon without any padding...

Sempre Avanti, Miei Prodi!
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A punch removes metal to create the hole. A drift pushes the metal up and out of the way but leaves it available to help peen the rivet. Historical mail was not punched. Yes drifting does create tears. Apparently the final result is still stronger than a rectangular hole that has been punched.
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Dustin R. Reagan





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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Apparently the final result is still stronger than a rectangular hole that has been punched.


Has this been tested?
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Gabriele A. Pini




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 11:45 pm    Post subject: Re: "Riveted" does not equal "Historical"         Reply with quote

Gabriele A. Pini wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
* Holes are made with a punch rather than a drift. This leaves a lot less metal around the rivet to help secure it.


As Dan said, by punching. A long, hardened punch that will open an hole by opening and enlarging the iron without tearing the forces-lines, but flexing them.


Ops! I had done a big mess between punching and drifting. This is a reminder for me not to post after 11 hours of work...

"As Dan said, historical maille was done by drifting. A drift that will open an hole by opening and enlarging the iron without tearing the forces-lines, but flexing them"

Sorry for the mismatch!
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Mar, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dustin R. Reagan wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Apparently the final result is still stronger than a rectangular hole that has been punched.


Has this been tested?


Probably. Most mechanical engineering texts will tell you that a corner can magnify stress at a point up to (IIRC) 10^4 times the external applied stress. As Gabriel said "a drift that will open an hole by opening and enlarging the iron without tearing the forces-lines, but flexing them"
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Gabriele A. Pini




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Mar, 2010 11:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I remember exactly there is something here http://www.themailresearchsociety.erikds.com/...icles.html, especially in the article "Ring Weave: A metallographical analysis of ring mail material at the Oldsaksamlingen in Oslo" by Vegard Vike
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