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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Fri 11 Feb, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is in his book called "Iron for the Eagles".
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Feb, 2011 2:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Dan! I found it on amazon and a couple of other places. I'll get a copy and check it out.


In the meantime I'll also try testing with this type of punch. It's really made for thinner steel plate and silver and copper disc making, but I figure if I anneal the steel plate fully it could work.

http://www.amazon.com/SE-Disc-Cutter-Punch-Se...pd_cp_hi_2

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




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Feb, 2011 3:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Seems easier and better to simply design and make my own hand punch set.

I'll just do a simple layer construction with soft steel bar for top and bottom plates and a cutting base plate made from high carbon or if I don't have any available I could use acid proof stainless which is also very hard to emulate a tempered high carbon plate. Punches I can make from cutting short some quality drills, they should be plenty hard.

Something like this:



The drawing is turned 90 degrees for better fit in a picture and for printing. To the left are 8 mm and 5 mm punches, below that the hidden rivets to be inserted and hammered to expand, middle is the sandwich construction cross section, then to the right a centering tool for 8 mm punching for finishing the ring and far right the top view of the tool. The space betweeen is for inserting a piece of ring material plate.

Domed rivets might look and function better than these hidden ones, haven't made up my mind about that yet.

If I want a rugged historical look I can hammer the surfaces and oil burn it. Might as well add a wooden handle to it on the side while I'm at it. I can't see any finds that really look like this, so it may not be the way these would have looket at all, but at least it's within what I estimate viking society could produce, at least with a one solid block construction with surface carburized and tempered, or several layers welded togehter with a steel layer in the middle as punch base.
The types I deemed unfit from being too modern have mechanical presses, v- or W-shaped cutting tips and are made for modern stamping mass production.

"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 7:11 am; edited 2 times in total
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2011 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a punch assembly I made by hand from scrap metal that accepts strips of material to first be inner hole punched to 5 mm and then outer diameter punched to 8 mm to create a ring. Works fine on cardboard, but I haven't had a chance to test it on steel plate yet since it needs to be annealed. I also haven't finished the centering pin or the riveting togheter of the tool.



You can see better what it looks like and basic function in this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUM3CfaOA-A

If this works, making it is pretty easy. A tool like this most likely won't last for the needed 25 000 rings that makes up the solids in a Gjermundbu type maille though, perhaps not even for a few hundred, so I made the hard steel cutting base plate replaceable.

Also, I can't use these low budget punching pins you see in the video because they don't even seem to have any temper in them at all. I'll see what better tools I can make from broken drills or something. The larger 8 mm one I could make a good centering tool from though.

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




Location: Fargo, ND
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2011 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Superb creation Johan!

The next step is to rig it up to a stair-stepper exercise machine so it punches out a ring with every step.

Thanks for sharing!

TJ

Tim Jorgensen
Midwest Viking Festival Coordinator
Hjemkomst Center
http://www.hcscconline.org/secondarypages/mid...tival.html
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2011 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Tim. I haven't tested it on plate yet though, so it remains to be seen if it works as intended. I sure hope so after putting down the hours making it. Wink

A stair stepper, or it's historical equivalent foot pedal powered construction could work, but perhaps a spring or load suspended hammer is better for this. Or just a simple hand held hammer or mallet. It all depends on how hard you'd need to punch and I don't know that yet.
Certainly a "stair stepper" construction could have been used to make the drill holes in a punch like this. I've seen one modern extrapolation of that technology that worked very similar to a moder drill press. It was based on a foot pedal lathe with just the drill bit added at the end and a movable drill base.

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




Location: Estonia
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:

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 material of the wire-drawing plates is indeed iron.
"Theare are 2 wire-drawing plates or nail making irons from estonia (depending on which they are) One of them is from the hillfort of Varbola ( the nr 3 on the picture). Its lenght is 108mm and it has 10 different holes from 2-4mm in one row.
It has evidence of breaking on both ends. It is wider in one end then the other 22x14-17x13mm.
It weighs 178,5 and is dated to 12-13 cent.

The other wire drawer (on pictur nr 4) has no certain dating. It measures 62x28x6mm. One end of the fragment is broken. The hole sizes are 2-4mm and on the other side 1-3mm.

The clippers are dated from 8-10 cent.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2011 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Robert!

I'll just have to make repros of these and try out, and knowing Tim he'll want to make these also for his kit. Wink

"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: Fri 18 Feb, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good news!

I've found a washer manufacturer that can make mild steel non coated washers in the desired dimensions.
25.000 solid rings would cost about $700, more than I can spend right now but I can save up for it and it'll take off a ton of work from making the maille. Happy

Still going ahead with the punch testing though.

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




Location: Estonia
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Feb, 2011 7:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:
Good news!

I've found a washer manufacturer that can make mild steel non coated washers in the desired dimensions.
25.000 solid rings would cost about $700, more than I can spend right now but I can save up for it and it'll take off a ton of work from making the maille. Happy

Still going ahead with the punch testing though.


You ever tought about buying the solid rings from online?
I made a price enquiry on solid rings with 6 and 8 mm of inner diameter from India. I think they are flat and 18 g.
They come out quite cheap actually - about 15 euros per kg with the transportation.

If you want more info , then PM me.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Feb, 2011 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That would destroy the intent of the project. The original post said that he isn't interested in pre-fab washers.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Sat 19 Feb, 2011 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I'd like to be able to make everything myself so I need to figure out how to do that at least so I'll make a decent test piece all by hand for starters. That's as far as this current project is aimed at this time so for that Dan is absolutely correct.
But still, looking at the work load I might have to use mass produced washers if I want to finish an entire maille in my lifetime. Do I want to? Oh, man do I want to. But the work to put in is daunting enough without having to make the solids by hand. Wink

We'll see what can be done. Preference is for entirely hand made of course.
If it proves that punching with the tool works well then I see no reason to buy pre made washers anyway. Today I went shopping for some quality steel punches. Instead I found a set of CR-V screwdrivers with high material hardness and the right sizes to be suitable. All I need is to cut off the tips without excessive heating. I may temper them also when I've shaped the larger dimension with a smaller diameter thinning for a centering pin in the tip , but it may not be necessary.


Anyway, most modern made mailles you see with solid rings today use pre-fab washers of one kind or another. The exceptions are very few indeed. The problem with this is that cheap washers are not the same dimensions, they're thinner plate and made wider than would fit this type of maille. It also means you may have to adapt the ring diameter after washers available rather than reproducing actual finds. I don't want to do any of that.

The manufacturer I found specialises in hinge washers, these are often small outer diameter and they could make custom washers with the right dimensions. But at a premium price compared to normal standard washers.

"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: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It works!

I'm sure it makes more than just me happy to hear that today I punched three solid rings out of a strip of plate with the combination tool, with no apparent wear to any part of it.
It takes some force to punch the 5 mm hole, then serious force and often a few turns with the sledgehammer for the 8 mm second punch. But it works and is still much quicker than riveting rings. I estimate 1 solid ring takes about 1 minute total with the current setup. With an automatic centering pin in the tip of the 8 mm punch it would perhaps be half that as much of the time is spent centering by eye now.

Photos and perhaps a video to come very soon. The camera battery was all out and is loading right now. Wink

"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: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And here's the proof. Wink





Note how the center of the inner hole is slightly off, same as can be seen in many rings on the original maille.

The solid ring to the left is raw and sharp from the punching, the one to the right has had it's outer edge rounded by hand with a flat needle file and then blackened.
The historical way would likely have been the same in viking age as during the reneissance which are shown in several surviving art depictions. String the rings on a bowstring and rub against a channened sand- or whetstone.

I only did three rings so far and lost one already, they're tiny after all. But the small scale test shows the production method works as intended and with reasonably low tech, now to perfect the method to speed it up.


Here's also a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuYWMLCFLTc

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


Last edited by Johan Gemvik on Sun 20 Feb, 2011 7:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 7:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking good. You're beginning to see why this type of mail isn't made commercially for sale.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb, 2011 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes. Wink
For smaller presentation pieces museums can use it though, not to mention I'll be doing demos at faires with my local armourer friends showing the entire process for educational purposes now that we have a working system for solids as well as the riveted which we've been making for many years now. Excellent that it wasn't harder to do the solids than this, and great to see that punching actually works with the right tools.
Still daunting to make a 50 000 link maille though, but I see it being at least possible now.

For one they'll be thrilled at the next Birka trader festival this summer. My friend was showing off his all hand riveted maille haubergon as well as maille production last year and it was a treat both for the tourists and the other re-enactors. I was busy showing sharp viking swords, expanding on instead of encroaching on the other groups showing steel combat with blunts, and was going to do a cutting demo as well but it was too hot, I got a minor heat stroke and I didn't feel I could keep the concentration needed to do it safely.

Anyway, cutting demos might not be a good idea on a remote island anyway since there's always some risk involved and if an accident happens you're far from any hospital. So I'll probably not do any this year either, but now I can keep busy showing this instead.

Yes, that's at Birka, the actual island (aka today as Björkö). We have the original world treasure viking trader island an hour or so by boat from central Stockholm.

If I have the time I'll replicate all the loose maille rings found at Birka also and put them in a display, then probably donate them to the on site museum which only carries reproductions anyway since it's only manned in summertime.

"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: Wed 23 Feb, 2011 5:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've now shaped the larger punch pin tip to center the hole, this makes the rings considerably easier and faster to make.
It also stops the inner hole from shrinking when the outer diameter is cut, this was giving it a thicker and flatter ring wall cross section than intended. Perhaps a similar tool was used historically but I don't have an original to go by so far so who knows.
As one can see in photos of the maille most rings are pretty much dead center as these become, and some are off center. To emulate this I can use the punch with the centering tip for the majority of the rings and one without it for a smaller number of them and then mix them up.



The slight angle is made so the centering tip won't get rings stuck on it, similar to how one makes castings with angled walls to facilitate template removal. This also helps to center the plate if it's slightly off when you insert the punch pin into the block.



The tip was made with simple hand tools and by eye.
No lathe was used, although they most likely had simple foot pedal lathes back then at least for woodwork. But with some skill, patience and simple files you can apparently shape a centered tip like this.


I've also made a channeled whetstone to round off the edges from the punching.



I was expecting to have to work this for some time, but rings dull and round after only a few turns in the channel. I don't have the bow tool to mount it on yet so I used my thumb to press the string into the channel while drawing it.

As you can see the ring outer edges get rounded off nicely.




I also made a video of the stone drawing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJu_H-5qSag

"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: Thu 10 Mar, 2011 11:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some news about the maille making:


Yesterday me and my brother Linus tested various ways to refine and speed up the process.

The things that have been a problem so far were the excessive force needed to punch plate with the tools and the difficulty of getting the punch apart after making the hole. We also had to make it more controlled and safe, so that anyone could try punching a ring at a faire demo.

This seems trivial perhaps, but as it was I needed to strike very hard and risking potential injury, and you can't make tourists do that, or even injure yourself in front of them. Also, it wears more on the tools and on the person making rings.
The punch base also bent at times even though it's thick, making it even harder to punch the holes.

So what we did was anneal the strip of plate we're punching from. This helped but not as much as we'd hoped. We were stumped!

Then instead we tried lubricating the punch and plate with linseed oil and changed the support base from soft wood that gives way to hard that is stiffer and less impact absorbing. We also switched from a slegehammer to a heavy steel cylinder to hammer with and that gave more control. This all together worked much better, as much as half the force was needed to make the rings with the right base and lubrication and less noise and effort.
Clearly the right way to go.

I knew we should use some lubricant to make the punch cut easier, but I couldn't imagine how adding some oil and changing the wood type of the base would affect it this much.

The evening of testing and refining yeilded another 15 solid rings to put in the weave, about as many as I'd made total before with various methods. Now we have the method to make them decently fast, so fast in fact that the ring riveting is lagging behind. Wink

"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 Mar, 2011 11:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Thu 10 Mar, 2011 11:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The tools still look much too modern, and I'm working on changing that next. Can't have these blue metallic thingees demoing historical crafts with, now can we? Wink
"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Mar, 2011 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan,

I've really enjoyed following your step-by-step developments. Your project is a great example of "experimental archeology". It must be satisfying to research a process and then attempt to replicate it through trial and error. More satisfying, in my opinion, than researching it and arguing the possibilities in a lecture hall with no hands-on experience.

Keep up the good work!

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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