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About M-Johnston

  • Rank
  • Birthday 09/16/1977

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  • Location
    Lucerne-in-Maine, Dedham, ME
  • Interests
    metalworking, stained glass, sea kayaking, painting, expiremental archiology
  • Occupation
    student and artist
  • The year you started making chainmail

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  1. M-Johnston

    (Fe)Maille Corset

  2. M-Johnston

    Attaching e4-1 sheet to a zipper

    Yes, looks great!
  3. M-Johnston

    Attaching e4-1 sheet to a zipper

    Something I've done before: take a coil of un-cut rings (I used something like .045"x3/16"ID) and stretch it out a bit. Cut the wire at one end so it is pointy enough to pierce the zipper's tape. Attach the stretched coil to the tape - start at one end of the tape and thread the coil onto the edge of the tape until one side of the coil is attached along the length of zipper tape... now un-thread it. Lay your mail out next the tape, align it and spread it out how you want it to be attached to the tape. Also lay down the coil where it will go and make not of how how many revolutions of the coil will pass through each ring in the next step. Now thread the coil back into your premade holes in the tape while also threading it through the edge of your mail. I've found this works best on things where a bit of extra structure around the zipper is helpful. http://mailmaker.tripod.com/purse01-3.jpg
  4. M-Johnston

    Chainmail pot scrubber

    I have an antique one made from non-stainless split rings. I use it when I have pots/pans that have stuff really burnt onto them - so not every time I do dishes, but at least a couple times a month... sometimes it ends up in the bottom of my sink and I don't notice it for a few days. Yeah, it gets rusty... but mail has the benefit of being relatively self-cleaning when used as a pot scrubber, and in the process it gets a good coating of oil that probably goes a long ways towards keeping it from turning into a rusted up lump.
  5. M-Johnston

    Making Your Own Rings

    You are right about not using a wooden dowel (or anything soft) to wrap wire around... I've actually noticed the shrinking coil thing happen with a mild steel mandrel after several years of coiling stainless wire on it - it just happens faster and too a more extreme degree with wood... But I don't think that is how BlueNinjaKat is using the wooden dowel. I think BlueNinjaKat is using the wooden dowel for coil support, as they state - "It is far far far easier and faster to cut rings and cut partially through the wooden dowel in the process, instead of trying to hold a tiny spring".
  6. M-Johnston

    Any maillers in Maine?

    huh... RangerDave - I tried sending you a PM but it wouldn't go through... are you hooked up with the local SCA group in Bar Harbor area? I'm just up the road in Dedham/Lucerne.
  7. M-Johnston

    Making Your Own Rings

    thanks for posting this... I've felt that while being able to buy rings is very convenient, it is also very important for a chain mailler to know how to make their own rings.
  8. M-Johnston

    When I was younger...

    back in my day... people knew how to make their own rings for mail.
  9. M-Johnston

    Chain Mail Hacky-Sack

    I've always found that euro 4 in 1 with those specs will start loose rings near the Queen ring after a bit of kicking around... only exception was the welded one. For standard type of rings I always had best results with Japanese 6 in 2 - stainless for the 6 vertical rings and aluminum for the doubled up rings. My first ones were stuffed with a bit of cloth, but after a while the cloth compacts (probably part of the reason I've never seen a regular hacky sack stuffed with fabric). A looser filling will perform better as long is its not small enough to fit through the weave. A couple that I liked: loose aluminum rings, sometimes I'd link them together into short chains so less would jump out if the hack got a hole in it; airsoft pellets. I also tried dried beans and un-popped pop corn, but the filling got moldy if the hack got wet. also, the beans would get pulverized after a while. Some people also said that they preferred the japanese weave hacks that I made to not be filled with anything.
  10. M-Johnston

    Has anyone made Maille from crush washers?

    Out of curiosity, where did you find the following information:
  11. M-Johnston

    Has anyone made Maille from crush washers?

    I want to start out by saying that I don't know much about ballistics or various calibers of bullets, but my cousin (who does know a bit about those things) and I shot a bunch of maille and I had pictures of the results on my website in the late '90s... unfortunately those seem to have been lost now, but I agree with others that the results of a .45 and a .22 were rather horrifying on a torso-sized rolled up piece of carpet that was wearing a maille shirt. The mail in question was 1/4"I'd rings made from 1/16" 316L stainless welding wire, flush-cut butted rings. I don't remember what happened with the 22 rounds other than that they went through the first layer of mail. The 45 tore about a 1" hole in the shirt. When we pulled out the carpet and unrolled it we found a trail of very fragmented, torn, and twisted bits of rings; then eventually found the bullet, very mushroomed out and wearing a sort of little hat made out of torn and twisted rings. A while back I found one of the .45 bullets that I had saved.. if anyone is interested I can post a pic, though its no longer wearing its cute little hat of malformed rings. I also want to add that we were not shooting it too see if it would stop a bullet, just wanted to see what would happen after we had also tested a few swords and bows.
  12. M-Johnston

    Has anyone made Maille from crush washers?

    Using the little packages of 100 or so washers that you find at a standard sort of hardware or home improvement store does indeed get expensive... but there may be other options that are cheaper. In my state there is a chain of stores called "Mardens surplus and salvage" which is where I buy washers for something like .60 cents per pound. I've heard about similar stores in other states before... mardens is like a department store that sells stuff salvaged from stores that are in disaster areas, as well as overstock junk from other stores, and cheap and poorly made tools. But anyways... yeah, washers can be more cost effective than other materials if you know where to look.
  13. M-Johnston


    I also work night shift, in a group home for folks with developmental disabilities... I surf the web a lot and sometimes play minecraft, paint, maille, sew... It is indeed a good life, though in about 20 minutes I gotta start getting one of the guys up and ready for his day, then dish out their cocktails of meds and help them get breakfast. So what were you originally posting about? I've been curious.
  14. M-Johnston

    Bronze shirt pics?

    Thanks, there is no real advantage other than having a different color to work with. There does not seem to be enough aluminum in the alloy to affect the weight, as it seems as heavy as if I had just used bronze. In the ship building industry bronze-aluminum is used because it is more corrosion resistant, but that level of corrosive resistance of one alloy vs another is rarely worth worrying about when it comes to maille garments.
  15. M-Johnston

    keeping the Twist in twisted maille

    yes, as twilightbanana says, connecting the ends to make it a continuous loop will work... as will the method he mentions about multible parallel strands. Both keep the twist in the chain by not allowing the ends to un-twist. Another thing that sometimes works is to double up the rings, or sometimes to use smaller rings... example of what I mean by doubling the rings: "kings maille" is euro 4 in 1 with the doubled rings. I actually don't really like the way a spiral chain looks unless the rings are doubled or tripled, and doing so tends to keep it in a better spiral shape.