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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 1:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
Nathan Quarantillo wrote:
anyway, is the german ulfbert flat-ring stuff sharp? I plan on buying a set of that.


I can tell you next week. Next sunday there's a fair in The Netherlands and there's a shop there that sells Ulfberth mail. I don't know if they will bring it to the fair but if they do, I'll have a look.


Well, the store did not bring any mail to the fair, but I went to their shop last weekend.

It was difficult to test how sharp Ulfbeth mail is. First of all, the store clerk did not want to tell me the manufacturer of the hauberks. He may not have known but he is probably worried that if he tells that, I will be buying directly from the manufacturer to save cost. I have heared that comment from other store clerks at different stores as well. I think I found a couple of Ulfberth products though. It's not that hard to tell apart from the really cheap indian stuff.

Second, I was only allowed to handle the hauberks with gloves on because they were untreated mild steel. The gloves were very thin though, so I could feel it reasonably well. In a different sore they did not require me to wear gloves.

From what I can tell, the Ulfbeth flat rings are not really sharp. Less sharp than the indian mail for sure. The rings are still quite thin and do have somewhat of an edge and the backside of the round rivets looks and feels a bit like a small column, so chafing may still be a problem. I can't tell for sure. But it sure felt better than the cheap indian zinc coated mail. The overlap on the indian mail is stamped so flat that they become sharp.

I also handled the Ulfberth hauberk with round rings and round rivet heads. It feels better/smoother than the flat ring version on the inside of the hauberk. Due to the round rings of course. It also felt better than the indian mail with round rings.

My biggest surprise however was a mail standard I inspected. It was made of thicker flat rings and wedge shaped rivet heads all had a watershed! So, someone out there is making mail with a watershed. That standard felt pretty smooth on the inside. Of course, I have no idea who the maker of that standard is as the store clerk declined to tell me.

Anyway, I hope this helps! If you decide to get the Ulfberth mail, please do post here or in a new thread. I'd love to hear what you think of it!
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Sat 10 Apr, 2010 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was de-gunking some newly arrived mail today and got a shot of the three most common types of mail from India
as I have a little bit of each of them. These are - butted 3/8ths, riveted mild 6mm and riveted stainless 9mm


The 6mm (middle of photo) is probably the closest thing to historical of the lot but it is mild so does rust, the large number of rivets and ring overlaps cause a lot of wear to garments underneath it, the riveting tends to be a bit shoddy, its quite heavy but reasonably protective
The 9mm (top) is stainless, is much lighter, more kind to undergarments but when you look at it up close its obviously flat punched rings, and I would not want to actually rely on it to stop any penetrative thrust with a sharp weapon
The butted (bottom) does not necessarily look right closer than about 5 feet and is weaker than either riveted but is kinder on undergarments, and easy to tailor. Its the heaviest

again - as Dan stated - none are historical, and there are various advantages/disadvantages to each
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Sat 13 Nov, 2010 4:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my opinion the Ulfberth maille is starting to look very nice for the price. Even starting to close in on the high grade stuff and major changes are happening fast. Letís see where this is in a few more years. Hopefully theyíll also incorporate more authentic riveting and iron wire matimatierals the roman type maille.

Concerning weaponsí testing, I read that Professor Alan Williams has actually tested modern reproduction maille and found it slightly less resistive to weapons compared to the strongest maille rings he could find at Wallace. I expect this was quality maille made by Erik, or the same quality, so yes it should stand as the current standard to go for and then translate the results to how it would have been with something slightly stronger.
However, to really settle this Iíd be very happy if he also found time to test some of the less expensive maille brands so others less lab equipped and unable to obtain Eriks quality of work can make inexpensive field tests and extrapolate the effect on true historical maille. I.e for the 120-180 pound Warbows with the long arrows you draw to the ear once more coming in use in the UK.

I could wish that Erik made maille out of proper soft iron with basically no carbon and no hardening though since that's what the Roman maille is supposed to be made from. But then no modern made maille I've seen so far is perfectly authentic.
I'm working on it though. I just figured out that we (my local armourmaker guild) actually can reproduce the Thorsbjerg maille faithfully. Some in the group have been making riveted maille for the last 12 years or so now, I started with it seriously myself last year, and we've been having issues with the material acquisition of the "poor quality" high slag content iron used in viking age maille as it requires real bog iron. But what just occurred to me is that the earlier roman type including the Thorsbjerg would be fine with the purer iron wire we can easily obtain. The trick is to get the metallurgy to match and we can do that with low carbon and low slag content iron wire.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Sat 13 Nov, 2010 4:21 am    Post subject: Re: "Riveted" does not equal "Historical"         Reply with quote

Gabriele A. Pini wrote:
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!


Drifting actually cuts a slit with a small sharp dual sharktoothlike edge, then widens it. Otherwise there'd only be a bulge and no hole. When pressing the die (aka "rivet") with the shaping plier which has a rounded cavity to press into, the hole re-shapes itself to be oval or seed shaped. Also some of the ring material rises up to partially encompass the die in the shape of the pliers' cavity. This makes it look like a modern round head when it's actually a triangular little plate for late medieval/reneissance, or a thicker square section sharp pyramid or cone for the iron age round rings with the tip deformed. The back is thin flat or square or round flat. No dome there.

The cut can be made with either a punch or a specially made plier with a hardened tooth, the latter is less time consuming and less noisy, the result is the same for both.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 13 Nov, 2010 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:

I'm working on it though. I just figured out that we (my local armourmaker guild) actually can reproduce the Thorsbjerg maille faithfully. Some in the group have been making riveted maille for the last 12 years or so now, I started with it seriously myself last year, and we've been having issues with the material acquisition of the "poor quality" high slag content iron used in viking age maille as it requires real bog iron. But what just occurred to me is that the earlier roman type including the Thorsbjerg would be fine with the purer iron wire we can easily obtain. The trick is to get the metallurgy to match and we can do that with low carbon and low slag content iron wire.

Any mail made from drawn wire is not poor quality. The slag has to be broken up very finely and evenly distributed - only the best quality bloomery iron can be pulled through a drawplate without continually breaking. Modern iron won't be any more accurate than mild steel. You need bloomery iron to get the same mechanical properties.
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Robert Rootslane




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2010 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a few qestions about the riveted mail for im planning to buy one and want it to be as "real" as possible...

In 12th century northern europe were the rings wedge riveted or dome riveted or perhaps something else?

Also how large would the average ring diameter of have been?
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Nov, 2010 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:

Any mail made from drawn wire is not poor quality. The slag has to be broken up very finely and evenly distributed - only the best quality bloomery iron can be pulled through a drawplate without continually breaking. Modern iron won't be any more accurate than mild steel. You need bloomery iron to get the same mechanical properties.


I once thought so too, and yes, for roman age armour with their iron making technology the wire was indeed free of slag as you say. One of this type of maille seems to be the Danish Thorsbjerg maille which has no slag in the wire and is basically pure iron. Stolen or traded from Rome, or simply made from superior craftsmen, who knows?
However, if you study the metallurgy of most other Vendel and viking age maille finds more recent study clearly shows that the rings have a high slag content. Good examples of this are the Birka maille rings and those of the Gjermundbu. This is covered in Vegard Vikes extensive work, the full scientific reports from Birka as well as others. Note that the full report from Birka on the maille finds has not been translated to english, only the preliminary one so I understand if this information on the slag content isn't widespread yet.

I don't know how they drew these wires, it seems odd that it would be possible with a high slag content, but somehow they managed it. Under heating perhaps, or the slag matters less than we think today? I've only managed to get hold of low slag content Iron so far so I haven't been able to try to test how it would work.

I realise this info is a bit hard to find for english speaking people since most papers on it have only been released in Swedish and Norwegian. I guess you'll have to take my word for it or find someone else who speaks them.
If I find them in english I'll supply those as I happen upon them.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 16 Nov, 2010 4:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:
I don't know how they drew these wires, it seems odd that it would be possible with a high slag content, but somehow they managed it. Under heating perhaps, or the slag matters less than we think today? I've only managed to get hold of low slag content Iron so far so I haven't been able to try to test how it would work.

It can't have been drawn. There are other methods for making wire. The dimensional consistency won't be as good but it can still be used to make links.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That would add up with the fact that no wire drawing tools for iron have been found at Birka so far, just gold and silver drawing tools.
Granted only a few percent of The Black Earth has been excavated so far, so no one really knows what else is down there and Geo radar scanners can only get so much detail.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Wed 17 Nov, 2010 9:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There were anvils with series of small grooves of varying sizes. (I don't have a source handy, but have read of it as a period method of making wire the difficult manual way.) Wire could have been hammered out by forging using that type of device. (Its debatable if the grooves resulted from use and came to be utilized after the fact, or if they were put there for that purpose to begin with.) We can't prove that it was done this way, but at least it is possible to do it with slag contaminated wrought iron and things found besides drawing type devices in period era.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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William P




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

what evidence do we have that the historical is indeed stronger.. has smeone hacked at a piece of eriks maille???
second.. you point out GDFB and other riveted maille examples commercially available are often not following aspects that make them more susceptible to attack.. ok so that is an indicatoras well.

think of it this way if someone thrusts at maille using a spear over some light cloth and it fails to penetrate,.. then why would it go through supposedly stronger historical maille exactly?? youve automatically determined that maille isresistant to pear thrusts or sword thrusts.. woohoo.thas a result in itself.. if your trying to see if historical mail woul save your life..
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011 9:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
what evidence do we have that the historical is indeed stronger.. has smeone hacked at a piece of eriks maille???


I think the point is that we can not make conclusions about the performance of historical mail based on inaccurate reconstructions. It's important to realize that the physics involve the behavior of metal on a microscopic scale, so unless the microscopic details of our modern reconstructions are within the known parameters of historical examples, we can't compare our test results to what actually happened on the battlefield.

Quote:
second.. you point out GDFB and other riveted maille examples commercially available are often not following aspects that make them more susceptible to attack.. ok so that is an indicatoras well.

think of it this way if someone thrusts at maille using a spear over some light cloth and it fails to penetrate,.. then why would it go through supposedly stronger historical maille exactly?? youve automatically determined that maille isresistant to pear thrusts or sword thrusts.. woohoo.thas a result in itself.. if your trying to see if historical mail woul save your life..


I think you're saying that if a piece of modern mail is known to be different and *believed* to be inferior to a historical piece, and it resists a particular weapon under particular conditions, a historical piece should perform even better under those circumstances. Basically, I tend to agree with that. What we have to be careful of is grabbing a couple off-the-shelf repro weapons and armor pieces, whacking away at them in the backyard, and making sweeping conclusions about ancient warfare based on those results! That happens WAY too often. Granted, it CAN be very enlightening to do this sort of thing for an audience, after pointing out the limitations of the test (original armor probably better, etc.), to show folks that you can't just stick any weapon through any armor like they do in the movies! We just can't get scientific results from unscientific methods or materials.

Matthew
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David GaŠl




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Where can I buy bloomery iron?
I don't believe that they take so much care when making an armour. Could you imagine a piece of iron an they say they want a mail out of it? Damn lot work. I guess they had the material and made it, especially in times of war, who cared about slag? Who has known that it exist? How the rivet looks like? I think they sad: Be happy that there is. We have only less examples of armour and just think about it: everyone could not afford the same quality as kings or counts, there must have been lower quality armour, its an other thing that we have never found it.
So I say hit the iron and be proud of it. Yours will be lower quality and you can proudly say it that yes it is lower quality, but because I can't afford more.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David GaŠl wrote:
who cared about slag? Who has known that it exist?.

Wire drawers certainly cared about slag. You can't make the wire in the first place unless the slag has been very finely distributed throughout the metal. Not all mail was made from drawn wire but it seems that most of it was from at least the Roman period onwards.

Regarding the function and appearance of mail there were very strict guild regulations controlling the quality of armour in the two major armour producing regions at least. One might argue that these regions were as dominant as they were because of the quality control exerted by the guilds. Without modern manufacturing technologies there really aren't many shortcuts when making mail. Any minor savings in time and materials lead to a major decrease in the armour's effectiveness. The total cost saving would be negligible compared to the cost of one's reputation and the loss of business.

There was no such thing as cheap mail. People today are used to buying spools of wire for a few bucks because of modern machinery and mass production. In the past, the vast majority of the cost of mail was producing the wire in the first place. The cost of making the links and riveting them into mail is a minor part of the total price.
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Matthew Amt




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Aug, 2011 8:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David GaŠl wrote:
...I guess they had the material and made it, especially in times of war, who cared about slag? Who has known that it exist? How the rivet looks like? I think they sad: Be happy that there is. We have only less examples of armour and just think about it: everyone could not afford the same quality as kings or counts, there must have been lower quality armour, its an other thing that we have never found it.
So I say hit the iron and be proud of it. Yours will be lower quality and you can proudly say it that yes it is lower quality, but because I can't afford more.


The idea that something like cheap mail *must* have existed but we just haven't found any of it has been brought up before, but it's really not a workable argument. For one thing, it seems unlikely that the comparatively rare good stuff is all that survives, while the presumably more common cheap stuff is all gone. For another, look at the Romans! Mail WAS their common armor for hundreds of years, and we have a lot of it, and in spite of the fact that the Romans excelled in crappy armor, their mail was generally quite good (except for the bits that are INCREDIBLE). But Roman soldiers were not like medieval commoners--they had enough pay to afford armor, or just had it issued to them by the state. The third point is that we are not limited to archeological finds, there is literary and pictoral evidence to make it clear that many troops simply did not have mail or other metallic armor. Even "cheap" mail was clearly too expensive for them.

I kind of doubt that manufacturing standards dropped dramatically in wartime. Most of the time the war would be too sudden and short to bother trying to crank out more stuff, anyway. We do have records of preparations for war which involved large orders of armor, though the ones that spring to mind are all much later.

As far as making your own reproductions, sure, your accuracy is up to you! The vast majority of us who dare to make our own mail will simply not go as far as using wrought iron, and the vast majority of our peers will not sneer at us for such a shortcut! It simply makes us better scholars to be aware of our own shortcomings and limitations.

Vale,

Matthew
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William P




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 7:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

surely theres a way of doing this process alot faster. in a semi industrial scale. producing the wound coil and then flattening/ producing the rivet hole of the right shape is, i imagine, easy.

dan you mention a drift rather than a punch is used to make the rivet hole. what IS a drift. the only result i have for a drift is a tool designed to widen existing holes.
ok http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articl...i?key=9883 based on that my understanding of a drift is that your saying historical rivet holes were made by merely piercing the flattened section?
isnt that what most people do?
so what do the indian manufacturers use instead???
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Benjamin Floyd II





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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So, assuming you can get bloom iron, have the time/tools, what are the pitfalls to making a test piece?

Questions:

1. The bloom iron used for the rings should have a low carbon content, right? From reading about some modern bloom iron productions, a single bloom can be both high carbon steel and low carbon iron on different sides of the bloom.
2. If it's able to be drawn through a plate into wire, should be considered good bloom iron for mail?
3. What should the inner and outer diameter of the wire be for the bloom wire rings?
4. If using low carbon rings, should the rings be round or flat?
5. How wide should the overlap be in the flattened area?
6. How tall should the watersheded rivet be after peening?

This list of questions might help someone make a test piece. I was thinking about trying it as I can get low carbon bloom iron, am going to be getting a forge, I can make a draw plate (easy enough), and I would be interested enough to sink the time into it.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
dan you mention a drift rather than a punch is used to make the rivet hole. what IS a drift. the only result i have for a drift is a tool designed to widen existing holes.
ok http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articl...i?key=9883 based on that my understanding of a drift is that your saying historical rivet holes were made by merely piercing the flattened section?
isnt that what most people do?
so what do the indian manufacturers use instead???

A punch makes a hole by removing material. A drift makes a hole by pushing material out of the way. The latter leaves material available to help peen the rivet. Indian manufacturers use a punch (item #2 in the list in the first post)
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin Floyd II wrote:
So, assuming you can get bloom iron, have the time/tools, what are the pitfalls to making a test piece?

Questions:

1. The bloom iron used for the rings should have a low carbon content, right? From reading about some modern bloom iron productions, a single bloom can be both high carbon steel and low carbon iron on different sides of the bloom.
2. If it's able to be drawn through a plate into wire, should be considered good bloom iron for mail?
3. What should the inner and outer diameter of the wire be for the bloom wire rings?
4. If using low carbon rings, should the rings be round or flat?
5. How wide should the overlap be in the flattened area?
6. How tall should the watersheded rivet be after peening?



All of the above depends on which sample you are trying to reproduce. You can't make a replica until to decide which museum piece you want to replicate. There are two thousand years worth of samples from which choose.
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Brett Whinnen




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Aug, 2011 5:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
William P wrote:
dan you mention a drift rather than a punch is used to make the rivet hole. what IS a drift. the only result i have for a drift is a tool designed to widen existing holes.
ok http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articl...i?key=9883 based on that my understanding of a drift is that your saying historical rivet holes were made by merely piercing the flattened section?
isnt that what most people do?
so what do the indian manufacturers use instead???

A punch makes a hole by removing material. A drift makes a hole by pushing material out of the way. The latter leaves material available to help peen the rivet. Indian manufacturers use a punch (item #2 in the list in the first post)


Hi Dan,

I'm putting together a coif out of what I assume to be Indian (CAS/Iberia GDFB) loose flat rings with wedge rivets and alternating solid rings at the moment. I can say that the rings are done with a drift as there is no sign of material being removed. I wonder if this is either a) a sign of the times or b) just relevant to the wedge rivet flat rings and the round rivets are still punched...

Cheers,

Brett
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