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 Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains

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Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« on: Apr 15, 2010, 02:52 PM »
Linked this before, but since my Ning Base was hidden to avoid further Spam attacks, I put it out here.

Every great story begins with ONE ring...

You can wrap strong wire on a round staff and then cut the rings down or buy them in re-enactment / LARP stores or order them online. Costs vary from 5-15 Euro for a package of 1000, depending on size and finish. The rings above are large size, gun-metal-finished. Expect 20,000-30,000 if make an outgrown chain-mail shirt, but if 3,000 aren't enough for my kama, the weight would overcome my interest.

Quality material means that you can bend them shut with a twist of your wrist, no space left between the ends. Never pull rings apart to open them, or you can't shut them anymore.

Close four rings, open one ring.

The closed rings go on the opened ring which is twisted shut as well, completing a set of five.

You need four sets of five and five opened rings for now. Later, you can go into mass production while watching Episodes 1 to 6.

« Last Edit: Apr 15, 2010, 03:03 PM by Tomoe » Logged
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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #1 on: Apr 15, 2010, 02:57 PM »

And here comes the trick: all the rings in a row or column have the same alignment. To keep the overview, I pin them to my pant-leg with safety pins. Not the medieval solution, but it works for me.

Pick up the third set-of-five and thread an connective ring though two of the pre-combined rings, always guarding the alignment. The rings are spread open like the ears of a "Micky Mouse".

Now I thread the connective ring through two of the rings attached to my leg, the same way as the row above.

See what I mean with overview?

But once I let go, everything falls into place again. Don't worry if you made a mistake, unlike wool-knitting, you can remove any ring in the mail and correct it.

Repeat on the other side.

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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #2 on: Apr 15, 2010, 02:58 PM »

Insert single, connective rings between the sides.

I thread a ring through three of the attached, change hands and lift the fourth into the opened ring. This way I have equal space for my pincers.

Bend the first connective ring shut

And the second...

and the third.

Done is your first patch of chain mail.
Frame it! - You will never spend as much time on as few rings again.
For calculations and planning: a package 1000 larger-size rings make a patch of 50x14cm. Weight = 540 grams

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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #3 on: Apr 15, 2010, 03:12 PM »
Chain mail is so sexy!

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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #4 on: Apr 15, 2010, 11:52 PM »
Thank you so much for posting this!!

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Jon "CareTaker" Nagel

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Slade Kel


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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #5 on: Apr 16, 2010, 12:18 AM »
Pretty straightforward tutorial. And may I say, having made a chain mail shirt, is a long, tedious process, made all the more so because I just laid it flat on a table. That safety-pin anchor idea is clever ;D.

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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #6 on: Apr 16, 2010, 12:19 AM »
need a frikken applaud button!

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GreatSkyRiver Falco


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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #7 on: Apr 16, 2010, 12:21 AM »
good.

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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2010, 06:17 AM »
So much for the basic techniques, here comes the fun part. "Box-Chains" and "Bird-Cage", a classical Byzantinian chain-arrangement which mirrors two box-chain elements within a joint and allows plenty of variations:


The lower double string is made up from "Bird Cages" needs thicker rings to show it's full beauty. The standard chain mail rings you can buy online won't be thick enough, and for the little amount you need, it makes sense to wrap them yourself on a device like this.

Take 4 closed rings and connect them with TWO open rings. Attach two more closed rings with two open rings, forming the basic element of the bird-cage:


Next, those basic elements are connected with two more rings. This is the only tricky part about it:


Pick up an element and open up thepair of rings at the end.


Flip them over and pull the open ring through both them, staying BETWEEN the second last pair of rings without penetrating the second last set,

The last and the second last pair of rings form a "box"

Pull the connective ring through the other base-element in the same way and then twist it close.

I used the pins to spread the chain for your overview. I don't need them while working on the chain itself. From here, nothing can fall out of place.

Adding the second connective ring for symmetry is easy. Connect as many basic elements as you need for your purpose. The single bird-cage chain isn't very solid, but you can create a double chain like this:

A pair of rings through the flat pairs.


A single ring through the four diagonal rings


Repeat... a complex pattern develops as you go.


Size comparision: top = 7mm, bottom 10mm Rings.This would look much better with thicker rings. Closing them is no difficulty, there is plenty of space even for larger pinchers since the tightness of the chain comes from elements flipping over and tightening with a certain strain.

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Ajax Kaal


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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2010, 11:21 PM »
Very cool and that is one of the best tutorials on how to make a basic chain mail set. Great work!

Ajax

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Ajax Kaal
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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2010, 11:19 AM »
Very simple to follow tutorial. As a fellow mailler, I can tell you that some tuts are really tricky to follow. Good job!

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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2010, 03:11 PM »
Very nice and simpel tutorial.

Have ben thinking about making a loin cloth in chain mail.

- Brex

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Dazarus Marev


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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2010, 11:16 PM »
Amazing tutorials Tomoe. i was shown this site by a friend http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/subcat.cgi?key=5 this site has hundreds of different weaves. then there is http://www.theringlord.com/ they are based in canada so they sell the rings.  i hope this helps some people and Tomoe you should post your tutorials on the mailleartisans they are more detailed than some of the tutorials on there.

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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #13 on: Jun 04, 2010, 08:34 AM »
Brex: sounds like an idea. Not a huge piece of metal but entierly diffrent flexibility than a cod piece. Just don't make it too long. If it's swinging madly with every step and banging against your thigh plates it could get really annoying. Try it while it grows.

Dazarus: thanks for the link, I'll check it out when I get to make my own rings and have some play time. I'm sure they have some tutorials in that huge collection that might give me ideas.

Since I'm waiting for the others to arrive for clan-dinner, I put a rank-chain together in black and silver for Jai'galaar's Alor'ad:


...will be tested tomorrow. I suspect it could be a clanky, too.

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Re: Chain Mail Tutorial - 4-in-1, decorative chains
« Reply #14 on: Jun 27, 2010, 12:15 PM »
How did you make that chain? Is there a tutorial for that?  ;D

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