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About Paladin

  • Rank
    Homo Loricatus
  • Birthday 05/14/1976

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Flowery Branch, Georgia USA
  • Interests
    Armorsmithing, Swordplay, Art, Occasional Gaming
  • Occupation
    Several: Retail, Freight, Artist
  • The year you started making chainmail

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  1. Paladin

    Scale shirt 45 degree shoulders

    For the trapezoid 45 degree pattern to 'work' you need to 'balance' the loads on it. Generally that means arranging it so the neck hole is as close to a true hexagon as possible, that there are t-shirt length sleeves, and/or a bit of mail trim at the top. The dark shirt pictured in the guide has the top row scales right up to the hollow where the deltoid, trapezius, acromion, and pectoral muscles all meet the clavicle. It is five scales wide at the top as opposed to the two on your earlier design with four scales attaching to the front panel and six attaching to the back. Rather than a mail seam, each scale was attached directly to the other with a single ring, with cover scales attached to the rings supporting the next scale down to hide the seam and give a little extra support. Basically, mine 'works' for me because the trapezoids are close to the neck and wrap around the shoulders further onto the torso, they have been worked down into short sleeves with mail taking some of the loads on the underside, and the mail collar I can hook closed around my neck also takes a bit of the load off the top. It is a good pattern and I personally like it, especially since it afforded me plenty of freedom for sword swinging. (No scales being driven into the sides of my neck when in high guard, huzzah!) It will not work for every body type and shape though; just like patterns resulting in a diamond shaped neck hole will not work for me. Your redesign is looking good so far. Good luck on the mission too!
  2. Paladin

    Armor grade leather??

    @Rob MacLennan Right now I have leather that's up to a dozen years old and it still looks 'new'. Even though I don't really costume and armor anymore, I still make my own footwear. I bought a whole side of hide originally meant for motorcycle chap leather when it was on sale. The first set of shoes I made from it are still my daily drivers three years down the road. They won't survive another re-soling, so I'll be making a new set from the same hide in a year's time. That hide 'sat' for two years before I felt practiced enough to make good use of it too. I expect it will be decades old by the time I finish with it.
  3. Paladin

    Armor grade leather??

    One thing I've noticed is that cost and time to manufacture is only mentioned in passing on this thread. For vegetable tanned leather in the 9 -12 oz. range, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 a square foot for tannery culls, to $30 or more a square foot for the grade A stuff. Tannery culls sounds like something no one would want, but it is really a catch all term and you shouldn't turn your nose up at them. Leather can be culled from an order just because of a few surface blemishes, like an inconveniently placed brand on the hide. Here is a link to an example. https://www.brettunsvillage.com/leather/sole-bends-double-butts/floor-tile-sole-bend-leather/ You don't really need to go so thick, or worry about hardening the leather, for 'light use' (like LARPing for example) or 'costume grade' armor. You could also go for less expensive chrome tanned leather in those usage cases instead of vegetable tanned. As an example, here are a couple pics of a LARP-grade lamellar 'cuirass' I made out of firm temper, 7-8 oz. unhardened, chrome tanned leather and paracord. https://photos.app.goo.gl/AWGoyHbDwm7DocUt7 I wore this over a stainless steel mail haubergeon composed of 16 gauge, 5/16 in. i.d. rings and a 1/4 thickness gambeson. (My whole color scheme was purple, black, and silver.) It is very basic and somewhat anachronistic ('Purists' would consider it very anachronistic...), but looked good enough for me and was quite functional for the use I intended it for. The closeups are meant to give you an idea as to how thick that leather really is. (Chrome tanned tends to be thinner and softer than vegetable tanned, and quicker to manufacture too, since it can be done in a day instead of a month. Hence some of the cost differences...) The main point I am making is that even something as 'basic' as this leather lamellar cost me nearly $150 in materials and around 40 hours of my time by itself. Your more ambitious project will probably cost much more in time and money than you are expecting. I'm not trying to discourage you; I just want to make you more aware of what you're taking on if Konstantin's novels haven't already. Pursuant to Konstantin's remark about the length of a rigid breastplate, this suit stops right at the bottom of my belly button and even that is almost too long. I also had to revise those shoulders twice so they would properly move with me and collapse in on themselves instead of sticking up in my way. So again, even such a 'basic' design required 'tweaking' to make it work as I wished. Expect to encounter such issues along the way. Good luck and I hope the build goes well. 😃 @Konstantin the Red Your assessment of the RC hobby is only partially correct. My mid-range FPV goggles and its accessories alone cost more than my entire mid-range HEMA training harness. If you don't build your own, a higher end, 65mm Tinywhoop, or a lower end 140mm quad can be as expensive as a low to mid-range steel practice sword. I 3D print and vacuum form some of my own parts, and I could still buy anywhere from one to four plastic training swords instead of scratch building one micro drone. Also, my area of the drone hobby has a mantra that goes: Build. Fly. Crash... Repeat! Meaning even if you start off cheap, it never stays cheap for long...🤑 So I left a set of related hobbies (HEMA, reenacting, LARPing, etc.) due to time commitments (aka busy job) and an old injury (folded my right forearm in a fall at home) to return to another (I raced 1/10 RC cars as a kid in the late 80's early 90's, before D&D got to me), but I'm not saving any money. 😅
  4. Paladin

    How to handle seams

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/2sKNL3vxjV9qOtSh1 https://photos.app.goo.gl/oU8dYZtvQ8ovXgaJA The first shared album link has a few shots from different angles of my first scale shirt that uses a 45 degree seam; bladeturner style that was mentioned. Lorenzo's pics show what I like to call an expansion seam. He used three, one in the middle of the shoulder, another in front where it connects to the torso, and the third in the back. This works better than just using two, like I did before, where the shoulders link to the torso. The second link shows one method of weaving that kind of seam. My old scale guide you were given a link to shows other methods for joining panels. Sorry if I seem terse, typing this on my phone. Good luck.
  5. Paladin

    Scalemail Edge Stabilization

    As the others have said, best to avoid straight, horizontal lines of scales as much as possible. In instances where I could not entirely avoid a straight line, I suspended it from mail. For example, a mail collar on one byrnie supported a horizontal row of four scales on the back below the neck with very little sag. That technique will not work for lines much longer than that though. I did see a 'coat of plates' style scale shirt someone else made where they had stitched the first three rows of scales around the sides to stiff leather. Think of an upside down T with a neck hole in the middle of the stalk, with the cross pieces being wrapped around the torso and belted at the back. Those rows were attached to the belt, which was under some tension besides being stiff, so the scales were held relatively straight.
  6. Paladin

    Bishops Mantle help

    He's basically weaving four trapezoids together on their diagonal edges. If you can handle this, the pattern I mentioned should be no problem for you either. Another way to explain it: you can do four rectangles 3/4 inch wider than 1/4 of your head's circumference, and four equilateral triangles as long as your rectangles. Weave the diagonal edges of the triangles onto the flat edges of the rectangles. Then add the three row thick inner and nine row thick outer 'belts' of mail to round it off as you see fit. Whichever way you choose to go, good luck.
  7. Paladin

    Bishops Mantle help

    Here is how I wove a mantle in the past. I made a chain three rings wide (16 gauge wire 5/16in. i.d.) just long enough to slip over my head after closing it into a circle without tearing off my ears and nose. Two to three inches longer than the circumference of your noggin should work. I kept count of my links so I could 'square' the circle as evenly as possible. (example 60 rings long means 15 rings on a side.) I then worked four rectangles of mail to the desired length. After that, I filled in the space between those rectangles with triangles of mail attached along their diagonal edges to them. Last, I ran a 'belt' nine rings wide around the outer edge. I didn't feel like adding dags, but I did decide to run the collar higher up my neck with a hook closure afterwards for a 'close fit'. Panel construction is generally faster than row expansion construction, and when it is draped over you it does not look squared off at all, especially since your triangles lay front, back, and over your shoulders rather than the rectangles. I have not tried to do a mantle with the dragonscale pattern, but theoretically, it should work with the method I outlined above, though it will be bulkier, stiffer, and will not conform to you quite as nicely as 4 in 1. The 'seams' between the panels might be a little more visible too.
  8. Paladin

    Stitching two pieces of scalemail together

    I don't know if this helps any, but here is a short sequence I put together for an expansion seam. I was planning on including this in a 'final edition' of the scale guide I did some years back, but unfortunately that is unlikely to happen anytime soon. https://photos.app.goo.gl/oU8dYZtvQ8ovXgaJA
  9. Paladin

    Getting back into it, a few questions about scales.

    Three expansion seams, huh Lorenzo? Somehow I never even thought of trying that; probably helps with the 'stick up' issue you can get with just two expansion seams where the sleeves join the torso too... Damn, I may have to pull out the unfinished shirt back out (intended to be my last piece, for a good while at least) and give this a try...
  10. Paladin

    Scalemail Advice Needed

    I've had very little maintenance with butted, 4in1 scale shirts overall. Though the extra rings add weight, they do reduce slippage. The most common spots for occasional slipped scales are around the collar where you pull it off of you, and the middle of the trunk where you bend over. Depending on your pattern, seams can also be a pain point. For example, a 45 degree seam is normally held together by one ring attaching a pair of scales. You can strengthen that seam by covering it with scales and adding the extra rings to keep them laying straight. Using stiffer stainless steel rings was smart, you'll have fewer slips than with softer metals, and less trouble maintaining the armor. I was also one of those 'weirdos' that wore steel for larping, since I got more points for the armor than aluminum or plastic. (I usually skipped a shield, so the extra points helped.) You will have to take care to build up to all day wear. Also, you might feel fine for a good while, but by the time you realize you need a break, you're already in for a good deal of back pain and stiffness later. So take the time to condition your core, lower back, and upper back between your shoulder blades for the additional weight. Pay attention to your knees as well. Even if well fitted, you still have to generate more force than you may be accustomed to in order to get in motion, to change directions, and to stop. Those steel scales are going to require a good bit more maintenance than aluminum or stainless steel scales. Remember to scour and oil them periodically. I also use Windlass Rust Blocker on my old galvanized steel ring and hardened steel scale shirt to extend the time between cleanings.
  11. Paladin

    Help with sleeve construction

    Some more information is needed to help you out. What kind of join did you do on the shirt? 45 degree angle? Back to back? 90 degree angle? I ask because the picture could be part of a 45 degree link, meaning the diagonal portions attach to the front and back panels of the torso, or if you used a different join, that flat top row could attach to the torso with a 90 degree link. Or it could all be something else entirely. Also with the scales, you can get 'weird bulges' when joining alternating flat and diagonal sections together. Instead, you want to use a series of contractions and/or expansions within the weave to tailor the fit. This entails a little more preparation as you reduce the diameter of the tube more gradually, but usually results in a smoother look. Keep in mind, unless it is somewhat baggy, you may also need an expansion pouch to accommodate your elbow when your arm bends. Again, a little planning is required for a seamless look. You can remove anywhere from one to five vertical rows of scales between roughly six to twelve inches in length, add in two or three expansions with some regular rows in between them and at the widest area, and then contract it back down the same way. Just remember: after an expansion, you are adding a whole new row of scales to your width below it. With a contraction, you are removing a whole row of scales below it. This means you may not need to use as many as you might think. If you don't know those techniques, you can find the guide I made on the scales page, and links to it scattered in some of the other posts on scales in the forums here. The construction method Konstantin mentioned is easier to use by far and is what has long been employed to efficiently construct and tailor mail armor, but on TRL's scales it can result in a bunch of seams and might function less effectively than it does with mail unless you modify the approach. Using the 'elbow pouch' as an example, it is a small matter to open a slit in a mail sleeve, weave a diamond, and then attach the diagonal edges to the slit in the sleeve without ending up with a painfully obvious (or structurally weak) seam. If you did the exact same thing with these scales, you would see the rows of scales on your sleeve splitting and running diagonally around the triangular parts before rejoining, creating some obvious seams as you attach those vertical rows to the diagonal edges. However, if you weave a panel with the desired expansions and contractions instead, you can link it in pretty much seamlessly. Such a panel can sometimes look 'messy' laying flat as it will bow outwards in the middle, but if you lay it over a curved form, you will see those edges 'straighten out'. If the description above is not is not making sense, try this exercise: Make two 'normal' panels of scales that are nine rows long alternating three and four rows wide. (3-4-3-4-3-4-3-4-3) Next, make a patch of scales four rows wide and three high, so you have a row of four, next row three, and last row four. To continue the pattern, you would add three scales, correct? Instead, just add two scales leaving the center 'blank'. Link two more scales together, and weave the doubled scale into the center as if it were a single scale. Instead of three scales on that row you now have four. Even though those scales are linked, they are still considered two separate scales, so the row below this will end up with five scales instead of four. The row below that will have four scales instead of three. Let's say you need to contract the weave here to bring it back to normal. Instead of attaching the five scales on your next row, link the two center scales on your current row of four together. Count this linked pair as a single scale, so you now have 'three' instead of 'four' on this row. Your next row down will have four scales attached. The following row will have three. Then back to four for the last row. So, you have three 'normal' rows (4-3-4) an expansion row with four scales occupying three 'slots', a 'normal' row with five scales, a contraction row with 'three' scales (four being counted as three since two are linked together) and three more 'normal' rows with four, then three, and finally four scales. If place your two normal panels on either side of this one and line up the rows, you will see that they can be seamlessly woven together.
  12. Paladin

    my first weavings

    This shared album is mostly scale, but there is one picture of a mail shirt where I did narrow 'straps' hanging closed and attached hanging closed sleeves at a 90 degree angle. It's tough to tell in the picture, but the sleeve panels run opposite directions of each other to minimize the seams. The first row of rings attached at 90 degrees to the body overlap bottom to top. On the far panel, the 'same' row overlaps top to bottom. I'll do a search for more pictures and upload them to this album, if I find any, this weekend. https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNUYvN7QgIhQMMt11pXLnE9A_Zq6CXMbhED42hAY3RWiiTsKgu3dMLvQ6wFGtgN7w?key=WkxaRHlyXzRYQVlUVk5hV09WdGI0M1VmU0tfWmlB
  13. Paladin

    First Scalemail Shirt - Beginner Question

    If you look at a muscular anatomy chart with the figure facing right, you will see the latisimus dorsi (farthest left/back) serratus anterior ( more in the middle) and external obliques (further right) then the ol' abs along with the pecs above them. Around where those first three groups are meeting up is often a good place for a contraction: the relative bulk of the pecs and the lats are 'narrowing' down to the serratus muscles, before things begin 'flaring out' again at the obliques. This area is more towards the backside of the torso than the front. Yes, I meant in a single column for the contractions in your lower back. You can place one nearer the top, skip a row or two, then place the second underneath. As far as warning signs go, if it does not sit comfortably or binds when you move, you'll want to think about adjusting things. So, think two contractions the same height on either side of your torso, more towards the back than the front, at your natural waistline, and two contractions, one above the other, centered in the small of your back. As an aside, the link below is to a shared album. The pictures of the dark gray scale shirt was my first one when it was nearly complete. (I still had some mail to add to one sleeve.) That shirt had no contractions anywhere when those pictures were taken. The back panel was a few rows wider and taller than the front, and I sized everything so it all hung right at full extension at rest, that is all. I modified it later on, gaining a bit more freedom of movement with less 'stretching' of the back panel. https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNUYvN7QgIhQMMt11pXLnE9A_Zq6CXMbhED42hAY3RWiiTsKgu3dMLvQ6wFGtgN7w?key=WkxaRHlyXzRYQVlUVk5hV09WdGI0M1VmU0tfWmlB
  14. Paladin

    First Scalemail Shirt - Beginner Question

    Take this with a grain of salt, because comfort is a personal thing. Given your shape, the size of your scales, and that you are making a pull-over shirt, I would recommend a contraction at your 'natural waistline' (The one well above your belly button) on either side, more towards your backside than your front side. Divide your sides by three and place in the third closest to your back, if the description makes sense. And another contraction or two at the small of your back. Unless you add an expansion at the top of your shoulders, I would not worry about a contraction underneath your shoulder blades. Each contraction effectively eliminates a row of scales, so things can get tight quickly if you are not careful. If you size everything so that the scales hang right at full extension you will find they conform to you better than you may expect; especially as the weight of the piece increases. This also leaves you a bit of room for expansion as you move. (Scales expand horizontally across the weave as they contract vertically, and contract horizontally as they expand vertically.) I would think about your shoulder seam as well. The current arrangement looks like it will eventually become rather uncomfortable and have trouble holding together as the weight of your shirt increases. Since you mention raising your arms above your head; the scales do not flex as well horizontally along the sheet as they do vertically. Meaning you can find the sides of the panels being driven into your neck as you reach for the sky; especially if you have full sleeves, large 'spaulders', or even broad 'straps'. As it looks now, I do not think you will have that issue, but I would not narrow your head hole any. A 'quick' fix that would reinforce your shoulder seam without resizing anything could be a single row 90 degree link. There is a picture in the guide that shows one from the top and bottom. The arrangement seen with the aluminum scales would likely work best with what you presently have, if you want to try it. Keep up the good work!
  15. Paladin

    First Scalemail Shirt - Beginner Question

    Yeah, that's me. I had been weaving mail since I was a senior in high school, but when I first picked up some of these scales nine years ago, there were really no videos or other tutorials readily available, and I spent a couple of months just 'messing around' before I actually started weaving a shirt. Putting together a guide, even as basic as this one, also proved a more complicated undertaking than I originally thought. As for the orange dots, they represent the start of a single contraction. They're not meant to mean you need a contraction at each point, just to show good spots to place one to help tailor the armor. Using a 45 degree seam, hexagonal neck hole, large scale shirt for an example, I commonly make the back panel up to three rows wider than the front, and between two to four rows 'taller', for freedom of movement and so the scales sit higher up towards my neck. Because of that extra width, I usually have one or more contractions placed in the small of my back, and another on each side underneath my shoulder blades at least. Without those contractions, such a shirt would tend to flap against my back and even want to pull backwards, tugging the front of the collar onto my neck when I move around. (This also means my shoulder panels are asymmetrical front to back.) As for the passion, I have to admit it has faded after so long. I have one last, fairly simple scale and mail shirt under construction for myself, which I have been chronicling from its initial design to its eventual completion in order to create a companion guide. Also, I will make a minor addition or two to the second edition guide; like how to create an expansion seam. After that, I think I will be done for awhile...