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Kevin S.





Joined: 25 Aug 2009

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Fri 20 Aug, 2010 11:57 pm    Post subject: Characteristics of Roman Maille         Reply with quote

I wasn't able to find much information, so I decided to see if you guys can help me.
What was the diameters of most rings?
If I were to replicate the maille, what Gauge of steel would be the most accurate? 18 gauge? 16 gauge? 12 gauge?

If there were a lot of variations between the maille discovered, then please label only the ones that you know. The time period that I am interested in would be the Late Republic and Early Imperial era.

Final question: to you, what is the "strongest" type of Roman maille? By "strongest", I meant the most resistant to thrusting weapons.

Thank you, guys.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 2:55 am    Post subject: Carlingwark Loch         Reply with quote

There are a few excavation reports floating about.

This is from a note by Burgess about the Carlingwark Loch mail.

Alternating rows of riveted and punched links.
Riveted links have thickness varying from 0.032 - 0.042 inches
Outside diameter varies from 0.286 to 0.323 inches.
Round rivets, round section. No visible "watershed" formation.

Punched links have wire thickness varying from 0.039 to 0.056
External diameter varies from 0.267 to 0.274
Links are flattened with "somewhat square" section.

Corrosion would have distored the figures quite a bit. No way to tell what the original thickness was but outside diameter would be pretty close.



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Matthew Amt




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

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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ave!

Probably the best place to look for more examples is the Roman Army Talk board,

http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/

All Roman mail that I know of is made from alterating rows of punched solid rings and riveted rings, as Dan says. Working just from memory, riveted links were often made from wire about 1mm in diameter, which I believe is around 16 gauge. It could be a little thicker than that, or thinner, but 12 gauge is certainly too thick! Ring inner diameter was commonly 6 to 8mm, but could go as large as 10mm or as small as 3mm!

I'm not sure what you mean about which type being most resistant to thrusts. Any decently-made mail will resist thrusting weapons just fine. The only "type" that might be different is what is sometimes refered to as "lorica plumata", very fine copper-alloy mail covered with tiny scales. ("Plumata" may simply refer to regular scale armor, though.) Clearly that would have different characteristics from regular mail, though so far no scientific weapon tests have been done.

Vale,

Matthew
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Kevin S.





Joined: 25 Aug 2009

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Dan and Matthew for your answers.
So 16 gauge is the final answer?

And just ot make sure that my usage of word is correct, I would like to ask another question.
Inner Diameter means the diameter of the "inner" circle, right? And the outer diameter is that of the "outer" circle, right?

Thanks
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The diameter of the wire is less important than the quality of the riveting. What are you trying to make - a copy of a museum piece or a costume? What is it going to be used for?
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Kevin S.





Joined: 25 Aug 2009

Posts: 54

PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
The diameter of the wire is less important than the quality of the riveting. What are you trying to make - a copy of a museum piece or a costume? What is it going to be used for?


Museum copy
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kevin Sanguanlosit wrote:
Museum copy


If you're going to make a museum copy, then you're going to have to go to museums and get hands-on experience with extant samples. You'll have to consider material characteristics, construction methodologies, and all the other properties. Making a museum copy of anything is a lofty goal.

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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

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PostPosted: Sat 21 Aug, 2010 10:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And thank goodness people set these "lofty" goals or we wouldn't have all these wonderful replicas floating about for people to purchase... cheers Kevin and best of wishes.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 22 Aug, 2010 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We may be using the term "museum copy" to mean different things, but if you are really aiming at that sort of quality, go to the Mail Research Society and buy every publication that includes anything about Roman mail. There's no way we can give you the sort of detailed information you are going to need.

I've only done a little bit of riveted mail making, and there can be a bit of learning curve! But once you find the specifications you need, and have studied the construction details enough to copy them, it will probably take some practice and experimentation to get the accuracy you want.

Good luck with it!!

Matthew
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 22 Aug, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can't just decide to make a generic "museum piece". The only way to do it is to study a specific extant example and make a copy of that. Roman examples are fairly easy since, relatively speaking, there aren't that many of them. Pick one and get as much info as you can on it.
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