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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject: Gjermundbu maille project         Reply with quote

Hi all,
this is my Gjermundbu maille project that I started on a few weeks ago.



This is made from iron level carbon content steel. I'll try to get my hands on wrought iron for some future test pieces but this is cheap and easy to buy so I'm tryting this for starters. Solid rings are hand made from plate, they have never been pre fab washers. All riveted rings have counter clockwise overlap and a sharp triangular rivet with the dimensions from Vegards paper. The die is a lot sharper than on renessance maille and more of a flat side cone than a shark tooth as the later age maille dies are.

The weave consists of half solid, half riveted rings and all in the dimensions and geometry specified for the Gjermundbu maille in Vegard Vikes work. I even made a couple square-ish as they get from hanging in a larger weave over time, but you can't really see it in the photo. Rings are about 8 mm in outer diameter and the match in the photo is a swedish standard match, which is about 2 inches I guess. The piece is very small, it alomst covers my thumb nail.

I did chamfer the inner edge of the solid rings a bit much by mistake, next batch I won't.

Please note that this is not a sales ad or pitch but a scientific reconstruction project. Unless someone offers full salary patronage for a year or so they won't be able to buy one. Wink


That said, any thoughts and ideas on the project are very welcome. To me it's a lifelong dream to have a haubegon like this, I guess quite a few here share that dream. And perhaps this intices some to start dreaming of it. Wink


Here's some good scientific material on the subject:

Vegard Vikes paper "Brynjevev", but this is in Norwegian so unless you're at least part Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or from the Swedish speaking half of Finland, you may not be able to read it.
http://folk.uio.no/vegardav/brynje/Brynjevev_Vegard_Vike_2000.pdf

Here's what seems to be a slightly shortened translation to english, but it has all the good parts. Great translation by the way Ny Björn :
http://www.themailresearchsociety.erikds.com/...pdf_11.pdf


This might also be of interest, the site has detailed photos from the Museum of Cultural History, Oslo, Norway, where they keep the Gjermundbu maille:
http://www.vikverir.no/ressurser/hist_mus_osl...mp;page=14


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


Last edited by Johan Gemvik on Wed 09 Feb, 2011 8:09 am; edited 4 times in total
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Sam Gordon Campbell




Location: Australia.
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PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2011 10:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd love a hauberk mad like this Laughing Out Loud
But, alas, it is behond my current wealth.
I admire your attention to detail and assume you've checked out Erik D. Shmid's research and work... Oh, and the 'Maille: Unchained' article here?
Either way, keep at it as, when you grow weary of it one day, you can sell it to someone or even donate it to your local museam!

Member of Australia's Stoccata School of Defence since 2008.
Host of Crash Course HEMA.
Founder of The Van Dieman's Land Stage Gladiators.
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 8:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks!
I'm actually making a section as a gift to a museum already.


Yes I'm familiar with Mr Schmidts work. He's both a great inspiration and a pioneer in the maille making field and I salute his efforts in that regard. A lot of the papers I base my own work on comes from the link list on the Maille research society website he runs and I'm very appreciative of it, a priceless wealth of information on this subject to say the least.

I've read Dans article and it's very informative and well rounded.


A lot of things about maille making we can learn from studying the finds, studying scientific papers on them and trying to duplicate them physcially. But the full picture of how it was made historically may never be know to us. Such as where are the finds of wire drawing tools and the rivet hole plier Burgess suggests? Where is the solid ring punch? Where is the rivet forming plier? Did they even exist? If so will we ever find their remains? If not, can we do this without them? Well, I'm giving it a try at least and we'll see.

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


Last edited by Johan Gemvik on Thu 10 Feb, 2011 4:25 pm; edited 15 times in total
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J. Kari




Location: Estonia
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 12:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They have found some wire drawing plates from Estonia.
Have they not found any from Scandinavia?
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J. Kari wrote:
They have found some wire drawing plates from Estonia.
Have they not found any from Scandinavia?


No, at least not that I know of.
In Birka they've found some but these were made from non ferrous materials and only suitable for hand drawing of gold and possibly silver thread. Also some nail head forming irons can seem similar to wire drawing blocks at first glance but they're not. Something worth noting along with this is that only 2-3% of the Black Earth at Birka is actually excavated and no further exavations are planned anytime soon. So who knows what's down there. Mainly these few percent were just excavated to prove that the modern island Björkö really was the Birka island spoken of in historical texts.

It's very exciting that there are estonian finds! Please elaborate. Do you have a photo of the finds?

In the meantime here's some goodies from my maille production.
http://img269.imageshack.us/slideshow/webplay...ngweav.jpg

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





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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 7:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How did you go about producing the solid rings? Were they punched using 2 seperate punches or did
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Mon 07 Feb, 2011 7:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

oops, I slipped. Or did you make a punch that cuts out the rings all in one step.
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 3:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Woodruff wrote:
How did you go about producing the solid rings? Were they punched using 2 seperate punches or did you make a punch that cuts out the rings all in one step.


No problem Scott, I fix! Wink

Originally I wanted to punch them but I couldn't construct a viking age technology punch that would work on steel plate, the edge just chipped or it wouldn't go through, or the ring cross section just got warped in the cut. Perhaps it would have worked on larger rings, with the softer wrought iron plate but I don't have that material available. More likely it won't work so well with the same plate thickness as the width of the ring material, as in a square cross section like the original find is. I know from having worked as a menchanical engineer for 12 years or so that producing thin walled square section washers are difficult even for modern industry. This is why you see most if not all mailles made today with wide and thin washers that don't have the right square dimensions of the original finds. I was going for a perfect represenation of the solid links, with the exact same dimensions and look and then pre-made washers aren't an option. Hand punching out of plate is difficult if not impossible with simple tools, drilling on the other hand is easy if you just start with the inner diameter.

So I improvised and drilled the holes to 5 mm, then I ground down the outside to 8 mm. I was using power tools to speed up the process, but both effective hand drills and grinding stones were obviously available to viking culture. They also had slave power, where I use electrical power today, since slavery is illegal in Sweden nowdays. Wink
The chamfer of the inside of the ring seen in the photos was my first test with an easy way of taking the edge off with a larger drill. I won't be doing that any more because on closer inspection most of the solid rings in the Gjermundbu still have remnants of an inner edge and are just heavily rounded on the outside. Probably from the same grinding process seen in renessance art, where the solids are set on the string of a bowlike tool and rubbed against a channened stone. I'll try that later but it seems like a good way to get the burrs off the outside. The inside will be rubbed somewhat blunt by the weave from wear and won't matter as much to tearing of garments worn under it anyway.

Note that sheet metal would have been uncommon in northern europe in the viking age, what they would have had was iron bars to hammer out to fairly small pieces of sheet. An thin iron bar can also be hammered to a strip, possibly even a strip of a string of rondels that one could have punched, drifted or drilled the centre of with far less waste material than just cutting a modern sheet metal strip and holing. I'll be doing some experiments with this method also.

"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: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 4:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's videos of rivet hole making and weave fitting. I'll make a full series of it, but I didn't have the burner up and running so I couldn't anneal the rivet properly to show the rivet forming. I'll also show the solid link making process and the mandrel turning to produce the coils.

If one is just interested in making a small test piece of maille one can use any drill the right size as a mandrel. My old one fits a much larger size ring so that's what I'm using until I get one that's perfect for this smaller size. Should be a rod of about 4.8 mm or so, possibly 5 mm will do but you often get the coil to spring out from the rod a bit so it really should be slightly smaller than the diameter you're aiming for.


Part 1: Rivet hole drifting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW01VBWZFj8

Part 2: Link to weave fitting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv3poTSA94I

There! Now everyone here can make maille like this, so no excuses. Wink Well, it takes some practice and a lot of spare time actually.

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


Last edited by Johan Gemvik on Wed 09 Feb, 2011 8:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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J. Kari




Location: Estonia
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Feb, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Johan Gemvik"]
J. Kari wrote:

It's very exciting that there are estonian finds! Please elaborate. Do you have a photo of the finds?
]


wire-drawing instruments have been also found, one of them from the hillfort of Varbola (Fig.
5: 3), the other as a surface find from the settlement site of Tammiku (Fig. 5: 4)


The PDF about Estonian forging instruments and smithy tools is written by Jüri Peets.

You can find the pfd here :(it is unfortunatenly in Estonian, but has an english summary)

https://www.etis.ee/ShowFile.aspx?FileVID=8781

You can also check his other works at Estonian Research Information System (its also in english and if any of you dont understand something just use google translate or I am kind to help of neccesery) here:
Some newer ones are avaivable in PDF online format and most of them have english summarys.

https://www.etis.ee/portaal/isikuCV.aspx?TextBoxName=j%C3%BCri+peets&PersonVID=1331&FromUrl0=isikud.aspx&lang=en
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Wed 09 Feb, 2011 9:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I couldn't access the pdf directly from the link, but isn't it this same one in the list:
"Peets, Jüri (2008). Muinas- ja keskaegsed sepatööriistad. Muinasaja teadus, 133 - 154."
At least It seems to point to the same web adress as the one you posted.
https://www.etis.ee/ShowFile.aspx?FileVID=8781

Direct access seems to be blocked, but you can go there through the list.




This does seem to be possible wire drawing irons. The illustraiton text says "Anvils and fragments of wire-drawing instruments or nail-making irons." But the holes are conical at least, a feature I don't think nail header irons really need. The material is iron? I can't read estoinan so I need some help here. Wink

Nice anvils. My friend has a very similar one as the one on the left when he shows maille making at demos.

Are these tools from viking age? If so this clipper on the right is most likely what a wire cutter for maille making would have looked like. Looks almost modern. I expect one could extrapolate various probable pliers from this also.




Is it possible to get a translation done on this pdf?

"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: Thu 10 Feb, 2011 12:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:
And yet he's also a champion of the "maille makes you immortal" standpoint that I don't agree to.

No he isn't. If you think that then you either haven't read what he writes or are deliberately taking what he said out of context. He pretty much agrees with what I've wrote in that article. Mail provides far better protection than many think but some types are more protective than others

Quote:

Some maille finds do seem to have a high slag content though. So can wire truly not be drawn from high slag content wrought iron, the very nature of it is to be ductile even with considerable slag in it after allp

You haven't read my article very well either. It specifically says that there are other methods of producing wire and outlines a couple of them. The mail examples that show high slag content are more than likely made from wire that hasn't been drawn.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Feb, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Johan Gemvik wrote:
And yet he's also a champion of the "maille makes you immortal" standpoint that I don't agree to.

No he isn't. If you think that then you either haven't read what he writes or are deliberately taking what he said out of context. He pretty much agrees with what I've wrote in that article. Mail provides far better protection than many think but some types are more protective than others.


As you see that is my opinion on maille also. Thank you for clearing that up, my apologies to Erik for assuming this and I'll edit it off my earlier post.

Dan Howard wrote:

Quote:

Some maille finds do seem to have a high slag content though. So can wire truly not be drawn from high slag content wrought iron, the very nature of it is to be ductile even with considerable slag in it after allp

You haven't read my article very well either. It specifically says that there are other methods of producing wire and outlines a couple of them. The mail examples that show high slag content are more than likely made from wire that hasn't been drawn.


Again, apologies. I did read your excellent article but seem to have skipped over some details in it. Thank you for cleraring this up, it was in no way meant as critique but just a note for discussion.
While we're dicsussing this anyway, I'm curious about the dating of the etruscan belt with maille link skirt in the Louvre. Is it from around 500 BC or possiby older, and do you think it should be considered as maille, chain or scale. Or a bit of all of these? Seems to be more of chain than maille, but curiously I noted that some links are riveted and identical to later true maille links. Very interseting piece actually.

"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: Thu 10 Feb, 2011 4:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

IMO it is some decorative jewellery. Not armour related at all. IIRC It is just a chain, not a linked mesh like mail.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Feb, 2011 6:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
IMO it is some decorative jewellery. Not armour related at all. IIRC It is just a chain, not a linked mesh like mail.


Sorry OT in my own thread. Wink

I'm not sure we're talking about the same item, but yes it could be cosmetic hanging chain.
What I'm referring to is a metal belt with a net pattern chain skirt, looks very odd whatever it is.
This page has some photos of it.
http://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/subcat....p;dir=DESC

When I saw it in the Louvre I thought it was just cosmetic unconnected strands as you say, but as these photos shows it's actually connected horisontally, making it a crude weave of sorts of a standing rectangle of 7 vertical links and 1 double horisontal. I've seen similar patterns sewn into japanese armour on the inside of the arm. A skirt like this wouldn't stop stabs, but probably ward off most slashes to the upper legs. Most curious. Now I just have to replicate a portion of it to see what it looks like connected. The material looks like bronze or possibly copper, much easier for me to get my hands on than worught iron.
Only dating I can find is on the Maille artisans guild page, about 4th century BC. Also the chain could be from later, possibly 3rd century BC. By that time true maille weave without this odd net construction was around in other places.

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


Last edited by Johan Gemvik on Fri 11 Feb, 2011 6:46 am; edited 2 times in total
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 6:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote



An interesting thing about drilling holes in a plate and grinding the outside to size is that it tends to give these solid rings with thinner wall on one side and thicker on the other, not all but some get this slight off center shape. If you look at the center of this photo you see the same shape on some solids in the weave of the original. It could be from rust deterioration, wear from useage, or from the production process. Regardless what caused it originally, I'm getting the same with the drill and grind method. So if it isn't exactly the same way they did it at least it replicates the look of the find today.

"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: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wouldn't you get the same result with a two-step punch process? Punch out the disc from the plate and then punch out the centre hole.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Probably yes. It would only take being very little off center with the punch and this is a very small ring.

But punching any ring the same cross section width as the thickness of the plate is quite difficult, I'm not sure it can be done with viking age technology, though maybe they did do it that way and I'm just missing some part of the process. Possibly I'm having problems because I'm trying to punch steel plate and not wrought iron, and I keep breaking the punching tools. Others on this forum have hade similar experiences. Not very efficient if you just get 1 ring if even that per tool, so for now I'm sticking with drilling as it seems to give the same end result. As I said earlier, they did have drills and grinding wheels so it's one way they could have done it.

I'll try it punching again with a new set of tools and a deeper annealed plate and see if that makes a difference, makes it a lot softer. Perhaps punching it hot would work even better.

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


Last edited by Johan Gemvik on Fri 18 Feb, 2011 7:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Simon James used Roman die technology to make a punch for mail links. I don't know whether he made an entire shirt from his punch but I'm pretty sure he made enough links for a decent patch.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is his work on the web? Link please?
"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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