how to make chainmaille

Discuss lifestyle changes to better survive disasters. This category is for topics pertaining to being self reliant such as DIY, farming, alternative energy, autonomous solutions to water collection and waste removal, etc.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

User avatar
¿
* * *
Posts: 341
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 6:12 am

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by ¿ » Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:06 pm

i have no need for any kind of armour, i just thought this might be usefull to some of you. :roll:
knowing how to make chainmaille doesn't cost or weigh anything, but who knows it might be usefull some day.

User avatar
Slug
* *
Posts: 282
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:36 pm
Location: Gladstone, OR

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Slug » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:10 pm

Dont worry bro, I learned from it. I didnt lose anything from reading this thread. I do want to apologize for the people that kinda shitted on your post here. It was interesting and the pictures were good.

Keep in mind people, not everyone comes to this site for the same reasons... Even though I do use a lot of the stuff I learn here, some of it I read for pure entertainment. your right, I don't know if I will have to use this skill, Just like you never know if you will have to use your FAK. does that mean you dont have one?
P I E Army. Try finding the ratio of the circumference of a circle C A K E to its diameter without us.
Image

User avatar
andygates
* * * * *
Posts: 4264
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:33 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: ROTLD 2 ;)
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by andygates » Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:41 pm

Nice how-to. Mail's fun.

Back when I re-enacted, the stuff got wet and rusty if it was badly stored. You put in on and run around for a bit and the rust came off; after a season or so your mailshirt was a nice patinated grey. I can vouch for Ad'lan's comment from personal experience. Not sure why you'd want to stop, though: half the fun of mail is the momentum it gives you in a charge. A full-length hauberk and coif in 6mm mail (we used to use spring-steel split washers, a little more dense and robust than the wound-wire demonstrated in the OP) will add fifty pounds to a two hundred pound guy.

It's good against cutting (we used to do sharp blade demonstrations, for the kiddies). It's good against bites - the padding worn underneath spreads the force and our 6mm was dog-proof. Like all armour it's good against those dumb minor injuries that distract you while the zeds close in. It's useless against arrows, firearms, and pretty poor against blunt force trauma.

Making chainmail bikinis, now that's the perk of being able to make mail. And now Red Sonja is being remade, I see a bright future...
Czechnology: "If you have to ask an internet forum for confirmation on whether or not a Revolution is coming, the answer is always no."

Free UK & Ireland Street and Topo maps for Garmin: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps (updated weekly) - OpenStreetMap

User avatar
el Punisher
* *
Posts: 117
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 10:43 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: R esident evil series, dawn of the dead george romero series, shaun of the dead, and 28 weeks later If I am Legend counts thats on the list as well
Location: San Clemente

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by el Punisher » Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:05 am

¿ wrote:maille is not time consuming! i can make a 1 foot x 1 foot square in a day. and its actually not as heavy as people think, just wear it a while you'll get used to it and when you take it off you'll feel really light.

just like when you go backpacking

I'm gunna try this out and tell you how it goes
... The winchester!
Yoda wrote: If Unbreakable Umbrella and WASP injection knife your main hand-to-hand weapon is, strong is the mall ninja within you

NapTime
*
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:14 pm

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by NapTime » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:19 am

For the non-haters in the crowd, this is a really good site for chain maille stuff. In my experience, it's a great hobby, makes good presents, but has no real practical application or monetary value. Maybe as a handy way to store small chunks of 18 gauge galvanized steel wire for repairs? Whatever...

User avatar
ninja-elbow
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 14171
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 12:39 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: DotD '04
DotD
NotLD
Location: Portland, OR

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by ninja-elbow » Mon Aug 04, 2008 11:32 pm

My SCA gambeson:
Image

Red linen outer, 1" wool batting, blue silk liner. Hand quilted by my knight's wife. It is based off of some Rus and Mongol jackets depicted. I wore a chain byrnie over it and that would stop most blows (blunt) from whooping me pretty well.

Shots I took of note that whooped me good were when His Majesty Davin got a good back wrap on me and nailed me in the left kidney and a spear shot that hit me square in the bisquits that knocked the wind out of me. Other than that, knowing how to use your armor and the armor itself deflected blunt shots pretty well. My center-grip shield did most of the work though.

I concur - riveted is the real stuff.

Edit to add: I would not wear the gambeson in any modern application though it is extremely warm and comfortable.
President ZSC011
Part Viking, Part Siamese

User avatar
Rush2112
* * * * *
Posts: 1759
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:42 am
Location: Laconia, NH
Contact:

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Rush2112 » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:57 am

¿ wrote:maille is not time consuming! i can make a 1 foot x 1 foot square in a day. and its actually not as heavy as people think, just wear it a while you'll get used to it and when you take it off you'll feel really light.
Real, proper, heavy-gauge chain mail is VERY heavy. An old teacher of mine is heavily into re-enactments. They do full out battles where people get the shit beaten out of them. They use proper armor that is very similar to what actually would have been used a couple hundred years ago. With some improvements such as foam padding on the inside of the helmets. It stops people from being knocked out quite so much.
I Survived NNY2010WCT!
I Survived NNY2011WCT!
Big Mac wrote:Next time you say clip when referring to a magazine, we're cutting your dick off. You have been warned.
Image

User avatar
Ad'lan
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 5687
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:45 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shawn of the Dead
Rabid (1977)
Location: Hampshire

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Ad'lan » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:04 am

it is very heavy in the hand, but distributed over the body, it's not so bad. There is a lot of weight on the shoulders, but wear it for a while, like he said, and you get used to it. The Main problem I used to find is inertia, it's much harder to stop once you pick up speed.
My Guide to making your own Bowstring
My Guide to making your own Flint Arrowheads
My Guide to Fletching
My Guide to Primitive Fletching
Cymro wrote:Seriously, I'm not sure I'd fuck with Ad'lan if he had his bow with him. I just don't see that ending well.
Please Check out my PAW Story, Fagin

Hawk
* * * * *
Posts: 2522
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 7:57 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Zombie Strippers.
Location: South City, StL

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Hawk » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:42 pm

I didn't read through the whole way, since I know how. Just a tip if anyone is interested in this, a nice quick way to get the wire rolled up is to get a piece of steel fuel line from the auto parts store, cut it to a comfortable length with a pipe cutter, and stick it in a drill chuck. Throw on a set of leather gloves and wedge one end of your wire into the chuck, and hold it with your glove and spin it until you're at the end.
I'd like to mention that my mother is, in fact, a saint. A very caring person, she was cursed with the gift of good looks, and then came the internet.

<19:15>[BeerandGun]: no guys, no glory

I helped warm manbath at ZCon '08!
I got new tan lines at ZCon '09
ZCon '010 was a humidor
Image

User avatar
andygates
* * * * *
Posts: 4264
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:33 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: ROTLD 2 ;)
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by andygates » Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:49 pm

Ad'lan wrote:it is very heavy in the hand, but distributed over the body, it's not so bad. There is a lot of weight on the shoulders, but wear it for a while, like he said, and you get used to it. The Main problem I used to find is inertia, it's much harder to stop once you pick up speed.
40-60lbs for a full hauberk and coif (sleeves to the elbows, skirt to just above the knees, and a cap) depending on how big you are. Just like walking with a pack, it takes a bit of practice to get the strength and stamina up to spec.

All that extra momentum is *great* for charging people down. :)

Just be sure to have good grippy boots. :shock:
Czechnology: "If you have to ask an internet forum for confirmation on whether or not a Revolution is coming, the answer is always no."

Free UK & Ireland Street and Topo maps for Garmin: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps (updated weekly) - OpenStreetMap

User avatar
thorian
* * * * *
Posts: 4544
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:27 am
Location: Outside of Columbia MO
Contact:

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by thorian » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:26 pm

Paladin1 wrote:The best chainmail set I ever saw was a chainmail bikini, I just stood there and imagined the good old days.

Other than that chainmail is very time consuming to make a full corslet, head piece, etc. What would be faster, easier, and just as effective would be leather with riveted overlapping plates. You can have a "trauma" plate of steel front and back that would protect your COM. You could go all hi-tech and have a ceramic plate that would stop handgun rounds and still have the leather/plates on your arm coverings that would defend against knife attack, etc.

I have seen people who started with a heavy leather jacket and built up from there. It's not going to win best costume at the local renaissance festival, but it does work.

Oh yeah and make sure you wear something under a chain malle Bikini. Because 2nd degree burns from hot metal in tender areas sucks ass. Or at least it did for the girl I saw in one. Sun came out heated that metal right up and within 15 minutes she was screaming and tearing it off.
VOL FF 1 & 2, EMT-B, Hazmat Ops, Vehicle Extrication Technician, High angle rescue technician, and that is just the hobby...

User avatar
Rush2112
* * * * *
Posts: 1759
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:42 am
Location: Laconia, NH
Contact:

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Rush2112 » Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:37 pm

thorian wrote:Oh yeah and make sure you wear something under a chain malle Bikini. Because 2nd degree burns from hot metal in tender areas sucks ass. Or at least it did for the girl I saw in one. Sun came out heated that metal right up and within 15 minutes she was screaming and tearing it off.
Somehow I doubt you were complaining. :lol:
I Survived NNY2010WCT!
I Survived NNY2011WCT!
Big Mac wrote:Next time you say clip when referring to a magazine, we're cutting your dick off. You have been warned.
Image

User avatar
andygates
* * * * *
Posts: 4264
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:33 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: ROTLD 2 ;)
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by andygates » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:02 am

Chamois leather liner.

Start with a regular bikini. Use it as the template and cut a car-wash chamois to match. That's yer base layer - fabric won't last (or look barbarian enough!).
Czechnology: "If you have to ask an internet forum for confirmation on whether or not a Revolution is coming, the answer is always no."

Free UK & Ireland Street and Topo maps for Garmin: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps (updated weekly) - OpenStreetMap

Squidi
* * *
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:19 pm
Location: Arkansas
Contact:

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Squidi » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:24 pm

I made a shirt of chain mail when I was a young teenager. It was fun, and I never really thought of any practical value of it. I've still got it, along with my wire bending doohicky ( threaded rod and wood stand ). Around the same time frame I had a butcher's glove. Which are pretty nifty for when you are doing something with sharp knives as fast as you can.

User avatar
Slugg
* * * * *
Posts: 1802
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:35 pm
Location: Butts County Georgia

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Slugg » Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:29 pm

i am so making chainmail coasters now for my coffee table.
Image
The future is for those who prepare.

Erik
* * * * *
Posts: 5261
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 4:12 pm
Location: Asheville, NC

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Erik » Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:53 pm

Jvandenhaus wrote:Ok, because I wasted so much time in re-enactments and living history groups, allow me to point out a few things.

What you're making what is referred to as "Butted mail". It's only good for LARPing like the SCA or something, it has no real armour value. Any mail that you can bend easily with pliers will unbend easily under the force of an attack, but that's incidental, what gives mail it's strength is the connections of the links. Riveted mail is the only way to make it legitimate armour.

It's largely unimportant because mail, even good mail, is crappy armour. It's a bitch to keep clean, weighs a lot, the links spread under puncturing attacks and don't disperse the force of mass weapons, oh and naturally, it's not bulletproof!

There's a reason it's been obsolete since about the twelfth century.
But will it stop a zombie bite? I believe so.

User avatar
andygates
* * * * *
Posts: 4264
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:33 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: ROTLD 2 ;)
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by andygates » Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:00 pm

Absolutely it will. I used to do a demonstration where I'd basically knife up a guy wearing mail with a big sharp scramseax. All that ever happened was that I blunted my knife (which then got stuck into a tabletop to impress the kids). Given how small the human bite is, even if it could get purchase, all it would do is break teeth.

You might want to wear a barrier layer between the gambeson and your skin, to keep zombie gunge off.
Czechnology: "If you have to ask an internet forum for confirmation on whether or not a Revolution is coming, the answer is always no."

Free UK & Ireland Street and Topo maps for Garmin: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps (updated weekly) - OpenStreetMap

User avatar
Slugg
* * * * *
Posts: 1802
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:35 pm
Location: Butts County Georgia

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Slugg » Mon Sep 15, 2008 12:09 pm

i was gona make coasters, now my wife said i should make her a bikini :lol: so idk if im gona make coasters anymore
Image
The future is for those who prepare.

Shadowsbane
* * * * *
Posts: 3302
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 11:58 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Undead.
Location: Raleigh NC

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Shadowsbane » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:42 pm

It does have it's uses. Especially against bladed weaponry. I know some prisons use them to protect the guards. Though that is more of a micro size.

Probably would work pretty well against animal attacks as well, such as dogs, given the proper materials of course.

For me it is strange how similar the construction is to crotchet, or knitting stitches.

Thanks for the info. Always helps to see pictures of it in progress instead of just seeing diagrams or reading the text.
All dwarfs are by nature dutiful, serious, literate, obedient and thoughtful people whose only minor failing is a tendency, after one drink, to rush at enemies screaming "Arrrrrrgh!" and axing their legs off at the knee.
Terry Pratchett

http://www.lonelymountainleather.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (Temporarily closed)

I am col o r Blind

User avatar
kiwilrdg
* * * * *
Posts: 1082
Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:27 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by kiwilrdg » Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:15 am

If you work harden the links you can increase the strength of butted maille considerably (as well as making it look as though it was made using square wire.

Just place the rings flat on a cold anvil and flatten them with a cold hammer. they can then be reopened and knitted as usual. instead of butted thes can also be done with a lapped joint in the ring and the joint does not catch on things as bad.

Maille has uses. There are drawbacks and advantages. It is easy to fit and move in. It does distribute force some and it resists cutting. Comparing it to plate armor is like comparing a flak jacket to tactical ballistic armour. Both have diffrent uses. Maille was obsolete in Europe when it was found to be very good in the American Colonies.
Surviving is easy, living while you do it is the hard part.

razi
* * * * *
Posts: 3967
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:42 pm

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by razi » Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:11 pm

another option for chainmail is for jewelry. Mix it up with some copper wire and you can make all sorts of neat shit (not just dice bags).

you can use a dowel rod on a power drill but you need a strong drill to do it. also, a dremel is great for cutting the links out of the coil.

http://artofchainmail.com/patterns

There's a great site for different patterns from different nations.
Image

BB42924
* * *
Posts: 790
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:46 am

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by BB42924 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:40 am

There's always trading the shit off to the uninformed. "Yeah it'll totally stop bullets! It's made out of steel!" Unscrupulous business tactics aside go with leather over chain if given the choice. It's lighter, has arguably better defensive qualities, and is far less time consuming in the construction phase.

User avatar
Jeriah
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 18722
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 4:12 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Original Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead 04, and 28 Days Later are my top three, in that order.
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by Jeriah » Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:37 am

Jvandenhaus wrote:Ok, because I wasted so much time in re-enactments and living history groups, allow me to point out a few things.

What you're making what is referred to as "Butted mail". It's only good for LARPing like the SCA or something, it has no real armour value. Any mail that you can bend easily with pliers will unbend easily under the force of an attack, but that's incidental, what gives mail it's strength is the connections of the links. Riveted mail is the only way to make it legitimate armour.

It's largely unimportant because mail, even good mail, is crappy armour. It's a bitch to keep clean, weighs a lot, the links spread under puncturing attacks and don't disperse the force of mass weapons, oh and naturally, it's not bulletproof!

There's a reason it's been obsolete since about the twelfth century.
Butted maille was widely used as functional armor in India through the 19th century. It is effective against slashing attacks (and bites!). It's not as good as riveted, it's true; the best solution to that is to use thicker wire: finely wound 14 gauge wire is VERY tough. 16 gauge looks nice but is a bit light for real action.

As for whether it's crappy armor...depends what for. Against a slashing knife attack, it's great. Against a stab, it's inferior, and against a firearm (which is a lot of what we'd face these days) it's useless (Wild Wild West aside).

It's still cool stuff to know how to make, for fun. Or you could make boar armor for your dog!
Image

User avatar
andygates
* * * * *
Posts: 4264
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:33 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: ROTLD 2 ;)
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: how to make chainmaille

Post by andygates » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:29 am

Butted is also fast to make, with minimal tools - two pairs of pliers - and relatively low skill. It's knitting, with steel. Or maybe crochet.
Czechnology: "If you have to ask an internet forum for confirmation on whether or not a Revolution is coming, the answer is always no."

Free UK & Ireland Street and Topo maps for Garmin: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps (updated weekly) - OpenStreetMap

Post Reply

Return to “Self-Sufficient Living”