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Michael P. Smith




Location: Muncie, Indiana
Joined: 11 Jul 2018

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Fri 10 Aug, 2018 5:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
My personal experience is that assembling all riveted mail is around 40% more labor intensive than assembling demi-riveted mail. The current train of thought is that the transition to all riveted mail in Europe began somewhere before 1300 and continued until circa 1350, when all riveted construction became more normal. These suppositions are very broad, and are certainly inaccurate in the details, but such is the problem with lack of specific datable examples.

The contradictory information regarding pricing provided by Randall Storey in his thesis, Technology and Military Policy in Medieval England, c.1250-1350 indicates that the cost of mail was sharply declining during this same timeframe.
Quote:
Over the course of the thirteenth
century mail barding halved in price to 20s or less, but its adoption still varied due to the vagaries of
individual assessments.

Quote:
The evidence presented here suggests that in
England prices for arms with high iron and/or steel contents experienced the most drop over the course of
the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In most cases the prices of substantial arms such as hauberks or iron
helms fell to a quarter or even an eighth of their price in 1200.A hauberk for instance which commonly
cost 40s in 1200 was often valued for 20s during the early thirteenth century and could be found for 5s in
the fourteenth century. In relation to the costs of living, arms which experienced such large price drops may
have cost one-sixteenth as much in 1300 as they had in 1200. The reduction in the prices of hauberks may
have been heavily influenced by the introduction of new technologies such as wire draw-plates, but the
overall trend is corroborated by prices of other substantial arms.


So how do you increase the time of fabrication while greatly reducing the price? The cost of raw materials like iron seem fairly constant when adjusted for inflation, so the area impacted must fall in the manufacture of value added products like drawn wire or hammered sheet vs. punched or rolled rings, or in the cost savings of volume production.

I am amazed by the parallels in modern lithium-ion battery production, where materials costs are somewhat stable, or slightly higher due to higher demand, yet the costs of the finished cell is drastically falling.


Not being an expert on the subject, a couple things strike me:

1) Mail lasts a long time. It there the possibility that reuse of earlier examples factors into this, especially considering 2)?

2) The Black Death. The population of Europe was reduced by a third to a half in the second half of the 14th century. How did this affect demand?
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Arne G.





Joined: 31 Jul 2014

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Fri 10 Aug, 2018 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: Why wasn't all mail half-solid?         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Arne G. wrote:
There is another aspect as well. With the wedge rivet one drifts a slit, rather than punches a hole in the ring. Thus, no material is lost which would of course weaken the ring. Even better, in addition to eliminating flexing, the now retained material is formed into a thickened watershed when riveted, making for an even stronger join.


Round riveted links weren't punched. They were done with a drift just like wedge rivets. No material is lost with either method. Modern riveted mail is often done with a punch, which is yet another reason why they are weaker than extant examples.


I did not know this - thank you!
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,432

PostPosted: Fri 10 Aug, 2018 9:07 am    Post subject: Re: Why wasn't all mail half-solid?         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Arne G. wrote:
There is another aspect as well. With the wedge rivet one drifts a slit, rather than punches a hole in the ring. Thus, no material is lost which would of course weaken the ring. Even better, in addition to eliminating flexing, the now retained material is formed into a thickened watershed when riveted, making for an even stronger join.


Round riveted links weren't punched. They were done with a drift just like wedge rivets. No material is lost with either method. Modern riveted mail is often done with a punch, which is yet another reason why they are weaker than extant examples.


out of sheer curiosity, has anyone tried to figure out HOW much weaker, like i dunno making 2 sets one with punched rivet holes one with drifted holes and seeing how much force it takes to break it....

i think ive got a sudden idea for a project if i get REALLy bored.
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Michael Parker




Location: United States
Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Likes: 2 pages

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Today at 1:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was wondering, actually. When making holes with a drift, does the link have to be red hot, or can it be done cold?
"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
-Sir Walter Raleigh, upon being allowed to see the ax that would behead him, 29 October 1618
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