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Posts posted by Eric

  1. It's mostly practice.  There's a sweet spot between the two extremes, and every ring size/material/weave combination will have an ideal pliers size and type for your hands. If a tool isn't working for you, try a different one.

    Don't use your pinkies if you are leaving tool marks. Pinkies add a lot of leverage, but they don't have the motor control the other fingers have. Get as much contact with the ring's surface as you can. Use adduction/abduction of the wrist (stroking fur) and try to avoid flexion/extension (revving a motorcycle) Fine control is the key to clean rings.

    Tool Magic/Plasti-dip helps, but it doesn't last long and needs regular reapplication.  I use Vetwrap on my pliers' handles to shape them to my hand.

  2. This is a (1,2) Goldberg sphere (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldberg_polyhedron#/media/File:Conway_polyhedron_Dk5sI.png)
    60 hexagons, 12 pentagons, 210 edges.

    The large rings are the hexagons. The medium rings are the pentagons. The small rings are the edges. Every ring is doubled, so you'll need:

    • 120 Large rings
    • 24 Medium rings
    • 420 Small rings

    These rigid spheres are really sensitive to using the correct ring sizes. There's not much room between a partially finished ball that doesn't have enough curvature to close up and one that feels like a mushy water balloon. Ignore the advice to just guess and follow ZiLi's guides on ring sizes if you don't want to reinvent the wheel.

  3. Bright, shiny brass exposed to air will tarnish over time. Usually goes greenish, but it can pick up different colors depending on what else is around (see https://www.sciencecompany.com/Patina-Formulas-for-Brass-Bronze-and-Copper.aspx)  Bright brass is preserved with protective coating, like lacquer or Renaissance Wax.

    I use Brasso on a brass & stainless piece to quickly restore the shine, but the ammonia in Brasso will discolor aluminum.

  4. A sheet of scales doesn't fully stabilize until you have a 5x5 diamond, and any individual scales with fewer than four connections will flop around a little.  There's a separate technique called "edging" or "edge stabilization" that keeps the outside scales from rotating and exposing the holes on the in the next row.

  5. The difference between a square mantle and round mantle is where the expansions are placed. If they're in the same location in every row,  that's a square. Spreading them out so they aren't stacked makes a circle. Changing the number of expansions per row changes the 3D shape.  6 or 7 per row makes a flat disc.  4 or 5 per row makes a shallow cone or pyramid. 1-3 per row makes a sharp cone. Zero expansions per row makes a cylinder.

    Those numbers are per-row average.  If you alternate having 12 expansions in one row and zero in the next, that makes a flat, very round circle. You can also make the shape oval by having more expansions near your shoulders and fewer on your chest/back.

    That's for Euro 4-1. With dragonscale, the same rules apply, but expansions don't blend into the rest of the weave (example: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=495), so a visually smooth curve is going to be harder. Dragon scale does form a nice wide V.  If you don't hate the geometric look, a V front and back with seams on your shoulders could look pretty sharp. No expansions needed.

  6. 22 hours ago, lorenzo said:

    I just did the math really quick, it should take 275lbs of force to break open a welded 18g stainless ring.  That's probably closer to two orders of magnitude more.

    I'm getting the same number: 75ksi * (18swg ^ 2) * pi/4 * 2 =~ 275lbs , but that's just the absolute upper bound--what it would take to break two strands of load balanced 18swg stainless wire. Pushing a dagger through the ring creates wedge leverage and initiates cracks. I suspect the force required at the handle is much less than 275lbs.

  7. 3 hours ago, Bladeturner said:

    I guess it must be my eyes working against me.  I'm zoomed in on the pictures you posted, especially the rear view one, and trying to do a count on the number of scales in each row, in each piece, but I'm having trouble reproducing the effect.  I'll keep on it, since I assume some trial and error will get me there.

    Stick a piece of painters tape to the back of some of your scales. Like every 5th row or so.  Helps me to keep track when doing tricky seams.  If the pieces are long enough to also stick out the front, they are easy to find and peel off when you're done.

  8. If the connecting rings aren't welded or riveted, it won't be stab-resistant.  Any ring you can twist open with pliers can just as easily be opened with a knife. Also, as a general rule, life safety equipment is horrible place to start a first time DIY project.

    Not trying to dissuade you from an enjoyable hobby--just want you to be 100% realistic. 

  9. On 10/8/2018 at 11:25 PM, maps said:

    Regardless, I want to know what can be done about the rust and color difference after I tumble each piece. Considering how much work is left, should I recycle this work for another project, cry for a while, and start over with something like stainless steel? Or is there some cleaning process and/or chemical solution I can apply to each piece after tumbling to prevent rust and maintain a uniform color on strips that are already woven together? For example, Brasso on a tumbled piece removed both the rust (and unfortunately the dark color as well), but it's a pain to apply to an already woven piece, and it won't prevent it from rusting in the future.

    My first shirt was galvanized steel. My advice for you: start over in stainless.

    Cutting and tumbling your own rings, you're probably going to sink over a hundred hours into this project. You should be happy with the end result. You care about the appearance, and galvanized steel isn't going to get you to your goal. This site has hundreds of products in stainless steel and only a handful of options in galvanized, presumably because that's what their customers want to buy.

    Don't look at the work you've done so far as a waste though. You've gotten experience; your cuts are cleaner; your rings are flatter; your closures are tighter. Your technique is better and you're leaving fewer tool marks. And, even better--you got that practice in on cheap steel.

  10. On 10/10/2018 at 9:25 PM, LinkSkywalker said:

    It is for me. That said, it seemed like I could buy one for the same price as I'd spend on the rings, which was odd to me

    If you're worrying about your own closures, you would not be happy with the quality of the pre-made shirts at those prices.

    On 10/10/2018 at 8:57 PM, LinkSkywalker said:

    The goal is a shirt. Short sleeved, high on the thighs, so not too long. 

    14g 5/16" stainless is 3.7 lbs/sqft. Stop at your belt, or keep weaving until mid-thigh. Or wear a cup when you walk.

    Tips for weaving: if it hurts, stop for the day. You started a marathon of a project. It'll be done when it's done. Try Vetwrap on your pliers' handles (https://www.amazon.com/3M-Vetrap-Bandaging-Yards-Black/dp/B000FA201C)

  11. Aluminum rings will be fine, and the saved weight will be more comfortable. Get a small bag of steel rings for maintenance, and if a ring pops open, replace it with a steel one.

    Are you making a harness or strapping to hold them up, or are you attaching them to a vest?

  12. On 7/30/2018 at 2:51 AM, Kirk1701 said:

    Hi all, 

    I am hoping to make set of full length scale maille sleeves, joined across the back and either tied or buckled across the chest to secure them. I'm trying to figure out if I ordered enough scales. I am intending to make them out of small scales. The sleeves will be roughly 26 inches from shoulder to fingertip - I don't know if I want scales the full circumference of my arm or if I will leave a strip of just chain maille down the inside of the arm. 

    Can anyone give me an estimate of how many scales I might need? 

    (Bicep circumference in inches) * (Sleeve length in inches) * 2 * 1000 / 144
    The numbers represent 2 sleeves, 1000 small scales/sqft, and 144 sqin/sqft.  If you do large scales, use 300 instead of 1000

    This is the maximum number of scales you'd need. Tapering the sleeves will cut that number down. If you are buying colored anodized aluminum scales, you may want to buy all the materials for the project at once. Future batches may not be manufactured exactly the same shade.

    What do you plan to do with these sleeves? Are you replicating a particular look or character? How much range of motion do you need (low: standing, posing; medium: eating, drinking, shopping; or high: fighting; stunts)

  13. 1 hour ago, SeanAud said:

    1) Would I be able to put in contractions after I complete my armor without having to take out too much work? (from my understanding it takes up a row of three scales [would I only need to adjust for like 9ish scales and not have to remove entire pieces of work?]) Ideally, i'd like to finish my armor and then decide if my armor needs contractions afterwards, but if it makes it too much of a hassle i'd do it as i'm working.

    If you want to add a contraction/expansion in the middle of a finished sheet, you will need to add or remove many scales.  If your contraction takes a row from, say, 20 scales wide to 19 scales wide, then every row below that point will also be 19 scales wide. Doing that in the middle of a sheet requires removing one scale from every row below that point.

    For your first shirt, it's hard to know where to place contractions before you've built the shirt and tried it on to see where it puckers. Chicken and egg problem. Go through the gallery and inspect the scale shirts and look closely for the contractions. I remember using Lorenzo's and Paladin's images for references when I started doing scale work.

    1 hour ago, SeanAud said:

    2) Does the contraction start at the beginning of the curvature ie: would the two side by side scales that need to be joined together be the part of the contraction that would start over the beginning of where on the body part curves down? Or would the hole be the spot where the body start to curve down and the two scales be right above when it starts to curve down.

    See the attached photos. They may help show the behavior of expansions and contractions in different places. 

    2 hours ago, SeanAud said:

    A3) Do contractions need to be used on curved parts of the body? Or can they be used to create the image of a muscular/physical body without having the curves around it? Ie: If you didn't have much curvature on your pecs, for example, could you make contractions to make it look like you did? Or would it do nothing?

    They will add a little definition, but I think something like this link combined with tailoring will be much more effective:

    2 hours ago, SeanAud said:

    4) Wont the scales naturally form the shape of your body?

    Scales are a little body conformal, but not nearly as much as maille. Tailoring really helps.