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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Sat 14 Dec, 2013 4:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
A civilian wearing any kind of armour around most towns back then would have garnered the same reaction as if you walked into Pizza Hut wearing ballistic armour today. If you were involved in a fight and you were wearing armour then the authorities would automatically assume that your actions were pre-meditated regardless of who really started it. Another reason why civilian armour was not permitted was because the authorities assume that you are not wearing it for self-defense but to make it harder for them to apprehend you when you commit a crime.
Dan, someone who could afford an armor of this type probably would have been the "authority", and as such would not have had to worry about anyone's reaction. People of a certain status were / are exempt from the rules of an average civilian. In our time many rich / famous / powerful people have body guards, drive armored cars and wear protective clothing in public situations.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,291

PostPosted: Sat 14 Dec, 2013 5:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L'homme_arm%C3%A9
L'homme, l'homme, l'homme armé,
L'homme armé
L'homme armé doibt on doubter, doibt on doubter.
On a fait partout crier,
Que chascun se viengne armer
D'un haubregon de fer.


The man, the man, the armed man,
The armed man
The armed man should be feared, should be feared.
Everywhere it has been proclaimed
That each man shall arm himself
With a coat of iron mail.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Jonathon Hanson




Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Joined: 11 Mar 2010

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When looking at the pictures of Eric Schmid's mail and the historical examples, I have noticed that the rings look to be flattened quite differently than the Indian made rings I have worked with before. Compared to these modern rings, Erik's rings look to be less flattened around the ring and on the overlap itself. The overlaps seem to transition smoothly from the wire without an obvious hammer mark to them, yet the overlaps are flattened more than the rest of the ring. All told, it's a noticeable difference from modern machine made Indian mail.

My question is this: how does Erik go about flattening his rings to look this way? As in, does he have the rings pre-overlapped or not, what kind of hammer does he use, and does he use a piston or anything like that? I have tried on several occasions to make mail from scratch using pre-annealed 16g wire, but the flattening has never worked out for me. Either the overlaps come undone when struck or the ring isn't flattened right so it turns into a pancake. I also have issues with uneven flattening, so while Erik's rings have uniform width all around mine get flattened more in some areas than others. Is there anyone here with experience with this, maybe Erik himself or someone who does this too that could point me in the right direction? Do I need to anneal my wire some more, get a different size hammer, strike at a certain angle, or something else? I'd really appreciate being able to craft mail by knowing the vital process of flattening the rings correctly.
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Stanley Hauser





Joined: 17 Sep 2013

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathon Hanson wrote:
When looking at the pictures of Eric Schmid's mail and the historical examples, I have noticed that the rings look to be flattened quite differently than the Indian made rings I have worked with before. Compared to these modern rings, Erik's rings look to be less flattened around the ring and on the overlap itself. The overlaps seem to transition smoothly from the wire without an obvious hammer mark to them, yet the overlaps are flattened more than the rest of the ring. All told, it's a noticeable difference from modern machine made Indian mail.

My question is this: how does Erik go about flattening his rings to look this way? As in, does he have the rings pre-overlapped or not, what kind of hammer does he use, and does he use a piston or anything like that? I have tried on several occasions to make mail from scratch using pre-annealed 16g wire, but the flattening has never worked out for me. Either the overlaps come undone when struck or the ring isn't flattened right so it turns into a pancake. I also have issues with uneven flattening, so while Erik's rings have uniform width all around mine get flattened more in some areas than others. Is there anyone here with experience with this, maybe Erik himself or someone who does this too that could point me in the right direction? Do I need to anneal my wire some more, get a different size hammer, strike at a certain angle, or something else? I'd really appreciate being able to craft mail by knowing the vital process of flattening the rings correctly.


You know Jonathon, I have had many of these same questions myself. All I remember reading about Erik is that he uses a hammer, and that he doesn't quite understand why people use pistons. What I have noticed about hammers is that most of them have a slightly curved surface, so unless you make or buy a hammer with a flush head I don't think just any hammer would do. I also don't know whether they should be flattened first and THEN overlapped, but my experiments so far have shown that this may not be necessary. If the rings are soft enough the ends of the overlap just seem to stick together. However, because mail was traditionally made from wrought iron and not mild steel, I do not know if this would have affected the process. Of course, mail was made for so long across so many cultures, I doubt that there was a single way of doing it.

Also, I know why you may be having trouble with your rings...even though you are using pre-annealed wire, the coiling and cutting of the rings work-hardens them enough as to require another annealing BEFORE you attempt to flatten. Try stringing the cut rings on a length of wire and annealing with a torch. Once they are cool give them another try, I think you'll find that the overlaps "stick" together much more consistently.
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Stanley Hauser





Joined: 17 Sep 2013

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Posts: 34

PostPosted: Tue 17 Dec, 2013 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, Eric, thanks again for the pinterest page btw. Where did you find such a collection of pictures!?

Have you noticed that most of them are either High/Late Medieval or Roman, with very few being from 0 - 1000 a.d.? I wondered at first if this was due to the older Medieval mail simply having corroded away, but that doesn't seem to make sense considering there are also examples of Roman mail.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Posts: 2,307

PostPosted: Wed 18 Dec, 2013 2:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stanley Hauser wrote:
Also, Eric, thanks again for the pinterest page btw. Where did you find such a collection of pictures!?

Have you noticed that most of them are either High/Late Medieval or Roman, with very few being from 0 - 1000 a.d.? I wondered at first if this was due to the older Medieval mail simply having corroded away, but that doesn't seem to make sense considering there are also examples of Roman mail.


It is logical that there is much more Roman mail than early medieval. Romans equipped whole units with mail and early medieval kingdoms couldn't afford that and only the richer warriors wore mail...
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 805

PostPosted: Thu 19 Dec, 2013 12:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stanley Hauser wrote:
Also, Eric, thanks again for the pinterest page btw. Where did you find such a collection of pictures!?

Stanley, I try to save certain images and links for future use, lately I have noticed that when I go to look at an old thread from this and other forums the images are gone and / or the links are dead, a lot of good information has been lost, possibly forever.

Considering how long mail was in use in and how much if it must have been made over hundreds of years, there are surprisingly few images available and even fewer clear, close up images. If any forum member has some personal images of mail from any culture or interesting links to images that they would like to share this would be a good place to do it.

I have added a lot more images since I first posted this gallery here.
http://www.pinterest.com/samuraiantiques/european-mail-armor/
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Kai Lawson





Joined: 26 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Dec, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tangentially related to this, does anyone know if the either picture is supposed to be mail over plate? Are there any extant mail coats made to be worn so/tailored to perhaps fit over a breastplate? Additionally, do the images attached seem to indicate that liner-less mail was taken off in part by turning it inside out like a kid with a t-shirt?

Am I way off base here?



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"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
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Stanley Hauser





Joined: 17 Sep 2013

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Posts: 34

PostPosted: Thu 19 Dec, 2013 7:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kai Lawson wrote:
Tangentially related to this, does anyone know if the either picture is supposed to be mail over plate? Are there any extant mail coats made to be worn so/tailored to perhaps fit over a breastplate? Additionally, do the images attached seem to indicate that liner-less mail was taken off in part by turning it inside out like a kid with a t-shirt?

Am I way off base here?


The first picture seems to depict a mail coat being worn over a gambeson, but I can see why you think it may be a breastplate.

As for the second picture, I think it is entirely possible that artists of the time may not have completely understood the workings of armor and may have taken liberties in their depictions. The depiction may also be an anachronism of an earlier period.

I think it is much more likely, though not necessarily likely, that breastplates were worn over mail, or at least something like a jack of plates.
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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Posts: 614

PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec, 2013 6:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kai Lawson wrote:
Tangentially related to this, does anyone know if the either picture is supposed to be mail over plate? Are there any extant mail coats made to be worn so/tailored to perhaps fit over a breastplate? Additionally, do the images attached seem to indicate that liner-less mail was taken off in part by turning it inside out like a kid with a t-shirt?

Am I way off base here?


Context, Kai, context.

The first image is Artaxerxes assassinates Artabanus from Geneva, Bibliothèque de Genève, Ms. fr. 190/1 fol 104 (mythical tales of ancient history, in this case from Persia)

Men pull the armour off Artabanus while he his stabbed. Pretty clear concept that a sword isn't certain to penetrate mail armour of the period. Aketons... not so much.

The second image is from the Book of the Queen written by Christine de Pizan.
(Harley 4431 http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanusc...tart=4431)
It depicts a messenger from Heaven doling out arms and armour to worthy men. The man in full plate has just received a mail haubergeon while others are given helmet, shield et cetera.

Not so hard to figure out once you know what the image portays.

Cheers!
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,291

PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec, 2013 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kai Lawson wrote:
Additionally, do the images attached seem to indicate that liner-less mail was taken off in part by turning it inside out like a kid with a t-shirt?


Unlined mail hauberks can be removed in one of two ways: First, you can pull the neckline over your head and then shimmy to shake the mail off your body as you lean forward.

The second method has someone else roll it off by turning it inside out.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Benjamin Floyd II





Joined: 13 Dec 2008

Posts: 82

PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec, 2013 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a few I've taken in Sweden:


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Krieg School of Historical Swordsmanship
A HEMA Alliance Affliate
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 805

PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec, 2013 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin Floyd II wrote:
Here's a few I've taken in Sweden:
Benjamin, any info on your photos, its quite interesting. Who made it and how old etc?



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S. Sebok





Joined: 13 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec, 2013 7:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks quite a bit like Russian made baidana with the larger rings that are relatively flat. Could be from other spots in Europe though, I wouldn't doubt similar stuff was used elsewhere that was not as high quality as the rest of maille. I do believe when they sold maille in Europe they had bigger ringed stuff that was of lower quality similar to how stuff is sold today.
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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 418

PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec, 2013 9:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some good stuff here http://livinghistory.cz/node/155
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 805

PostPosted: Fri 20 Dec, 2013 10:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S. Sebok wrote:
That looks quite a bit like Russian made baidana with the larger rings that are relatively flat. Could be from other spots in Europe though, I wouldn't doubt similar stuff was used elsewhere that was not as high quality as the rest of maille. I do believe when they sold maille in Europe they had bigger ringed stuff that was of lower quality similar to how stuff is sold today.


It looks like baidana or very similar, its hard to tell but the one in Benjamin's photo seems to have a border of solid brass links. Here is 16th century Russian hauberk constructed with baidana.


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Len Parker





Joined: 15 Apr 2011

Posts: 418

PostPosted: Sat 21 Dec, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's my method for flattening.

1. Squeeze ring into an oval.
2. Pre-flatten the butted half of the ring only.
3. Overlap ends about a 1/4 inch.
4. Finish flattening.

You can leave the wire round or flatten the entire ring. I use a small hammer that I filed the face flat.
The point behind the oval shape before pre-flattening is that the ends are in line, making it easy to squeeze together for the final flattening.
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 805

PostPosted: Sat 21 Dec, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Len Parker wrote:
Here's my method for flattening.

1. Squeeze ring into an oval.
2. Pre-flatten the butted half of the ring only.
3. Overlap ends about a 1/4 inch.
4. Finish flattening.

You can leave the wire round or flatten the entire ring. I use a small hammer that I filed the face flat.
The point behind the oval shape before pre-flattening is that the ends are in line, making it easy to squeeze together for the final flattening.
Any pictures of the end result, or even before and after images?
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 805

PostPosted: Sat 21 Dec, 2013 6:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are two more Pinterest galleries, one for Japanese mail and one for Indo-Persian mail.

http://www.pinterest.com/samuraiantiques/japa...or-kusari/
http://www.pinterest.com/samuraiantiques/indo-persian-mail-armor/

Japanese riveted mail.


Indian theta link mail.
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Julio Junco





Joined: 08 Jan 2006

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sun 22 Dec, 2013 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathon, you can make the overlap like you prefer. I use piston and I don’t know make it with hammer. I don´t need to anneal the wire now, I do it when I punch the ring. But yes, If you anneal the ring before flatten, you will make it easier.
Pekka , wonderful mailmaker from Finland, use a modificated knipex plier.
The secret is don´t flat very much. . In my ring the overlap width is about 2 mm if I use 1'5 mm wire, so the difficult step is to pierce the ring. The finished ring has 2'5 mm overlap width or so.
I put photos with the piston ( made by Pekka),the modificated plier and the steps for round and flat rings, and finished rings ( some photo are old and I put it in the forum years ago)
More information in the http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/rivetedmaille/info
The forum is almost dead but has great pictures and information.
Regards
Julio



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