So I'm relatively new to creating chain mail. I've made a chain mail glove and bracelet and my next project will be a chain mail shirt. I want to do a 4-1 pattern using stainless steel, 16 gauge, 1/2" dia. rings. My brother sent me a link for a site that had 16g wire and I bought 20ft just to see how well I could work with it since I started making chain mail with aluminum. The wire was high tensile (210ksi) galvanized wire. I bought a 1/2" metal rod from home depot and bent it into a mandrel for coiling the wire. i made a wire winding tool similar to the one here to see how well it works:
After my coil lost the tension from the coiling tool, it sprung back to a .610 dia and my coil was very loose. I commented on a video I found on youtube asking how to fix this. the poster said to either anneal the wire to reduce the spring back or coil it on a smaller mandrel to compensate for it.
While searching for websites that sell stainless steel wire, I found one site that said they can sell wire in a temper "from soft to spring". I'm wondering if this means that if I use a soft tempered wire it wont spring back as much. I know I can get some stainless steel wire from TRL. im just doing some comparative shopping hoping to save some money on shipping costs. i would like to not have to buy another rod for coiling my wire also.