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Singularity

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  1. Singularity

    Using pliers without springs

    I don't like pliers with springs. If I loosen my grip for even a split second, they love to open up and drop whatever I'm working on. If I have to use pliers with springs (most mini-pliers seem to have them) I wrap a rubber band or two around the handles to reduce the force needed to close them. For ergonomic pliers, it does depend on your grip and the shape of the handle but I've been using the Knipex Ergo Modified Pliers for a couple of years and I love them. I mainly work with stainless steel, by the way.
  2. I've used lockwire, also called safety wire, in aircraft maintenance for securing nuts, bolts, and other components that can vibrate loose. Lockwire is soft wire designed to be twisted to secure components that can loosen over time and I wouldn't use it if durability is a concern even in a costume. I have .041" in my toolbox and it isn't nearly as tough as the stainless steel rings that TRL sells. I made some rings with it and I can easily open them by hand. Not even costume grade in my opinion. Like lorenzo said, pick up some harder wire or rings. The stainless rings that TRL are pretty cheap and are plenty strong for costumes. Or you could buy the wire from TRL and make your own rings. Either way, you need wire of greater hardness than lockwire.
  3. Singularity

    Historic examples on maile

    You could try the Wallace Collection at www.wallacecollection.org and click on the Explore link then Advanced Search, select European Arms and Armor or just search for maille, mail or chainmail. They have a large collection including many mail pieces from Europe and India. The photos are not very high resolution but they good enough to see the general structure of the pieces. They also sell a digital catalogue of European Arms and Armor (with high res photos) in their online store but it costs 175 pounds.
  4. Singularity

    Experience with TRL Resistance Welder (Pics)

    When you say that you are burning your welds, what kind of metal are you welding and what kind of burn is it? Any welded ring will have a heat affected zone which can become discolored and likely a layer of soot in that area. When I weld stainless I can clean this layer of soot off easily with soap and water. A tumble in the dryer with some rice then cleans up almost all discoloration in the heat affected zone. Sometimes though, if weld times are too long the heat affected zone can actually become pitted, crumble, or molten chunks can fly off. Pitting/crumbling/molten chunks are bad, but a little bit of soot and some slight discoloration is pretty normal. To reduce the amount of burning you get you can reduce the weld time and increase the weld pressure (how hard you push the ring against the electrodes). This can take a lot of time and practice to get a good feel for it. For holding the ring during the weld I use a pair of needlenose Visegrips with the first couple teeth filed down which forms a nice slot to hold the ring but without marring it (too much at least). With that setup I can apply a lot of pressure with less hand fatigue than with normal, non-locking, pliers. As far as the amperage, a 20 amp transformer can handle anything the welder can. The exact amperage you need depends on what you're welding. So what kind of metal are you welding, about how much pressure are you using, and how badly are you burning the rings?
  5. Singularity

    Death of a Scale

    Thanks, that's very informative, I checked my electric oven and it only goes up to 250 C, according to the temperature dial (European oven, by the way). I know my testing is rough but that's fine with me. If the armor holds up well to my rough testing then it shouldn't have a problem in a more realistic situation. There are also problems with using small patches for testing, like the tendency for the patch to be pulled into the hole that the spike makes. Real mail would be continuous and would reach the limit it can stretch so it couldn't be drawn in much. But I use small patches for testing due to time, cost and available testing space. Also, I don't have a place to set up a sack to hit. Good idea though, I hadn't thought of that. I've also looked at the results of my testing as a rough guideline, not as an absolute truth.
  6. Singularity

    Death of a Scale

    That's the way they looked when I took them out of the package. They arrived here on Tuesday this week. lorenzo did say there were problems with this batch. I haven't bought the tempered high carbon scales before so I have no basis for comparison. I hadn't thought of making a pendant out of it but that is an interesting idea.
  7. Singularity

    Death of a Scale

    Testing practices...I place the scales on top of 2 t-shirts each folded 3 times then those are placed on top of a piece of soft pine which is then placed on top of a workbench. It is not as squishy as a human body but I haven't had any luck in finding human volunteers. It is a rougher testing environment than what armor on a person would experience but I think by testing in that manner, we can say that the armor would hold up better in the field than in the workshop. I'm not declaring the armor 100% ineffective; I am frustrated when people do what you describe and completely write-off the armor as totally useless in a test that is extremely harsh. But we should test the armor under many conditions to develop a performance profile and know what threats the armor can and cannot stop. So I think it's useful to test armor with a bow at less than 20 feet, so we know if the armor can handle that, but a good test would also test at 50 ft, 100 ft, etc to develop a robust profile. The purpose of using a weapon known to be effective at penetrating armor, like the spiked hammer, is to test the armor against an interesting threat. A sword cut is fairly easy for metal armor to stop because the weight of the sword is distributed evenly along its length and the long blade will hit many rings or scales when it impacts the armor, further distributing the impact energy. Since the spiked hammer is a dangerous threat to armor, I want to know if my armor can handle that threat and, if not, what are the effects of the weapon against my armor. I should also say that the spike did crack the scale but it did not wedge itself into the scale; likely the impact could have broken bones but probably not penetrated into skin very deeply. Armor should be tested against both typical threats and more extreme threats.
  8. Singularity

    Death of a Scale

    Unfortunately, I do not have a heat treating oven. But that's unfortunate that the last batch didn't come out right; it also means that my test isn't a good evaluation of the tempered steel scales. I'd love to put some good quality hardened scales to the test. I don't want to use the scales in real combat but I like having (and testing) the real thing instead of just a costume, especially given the amount of time it takes to build a mail or scale shirt. Same for weapons, I want real, combat ready weapons, not decorative pieces.
  9. Singularity

    Death of a Scale

    Muahahaha!! There is nothing the Ring Lord can make that I cannot destroy! I finally acquired some large tempered high carbon steel scales for testing purposes. I wove a small patch and put it to the test with my spiked hammer, previously featured here,http://www.theringlo...uctive +testing The results are appalling. I did some test welds on the rings to see how viable welding the rings in scale mail is but I only welded three of them. Some rings opened under the impact and a couple scales and the rings were violently separated from the patch. I also cracked one scale. As always, armor cannot be made with butted rings. I am surprised that the scale broke. I wasn't hitting as hard as I had hit the mail in my previous destructive test. This was the second hit on the patch though and the first hit didn't crack anything. I must have hit the scale just right on the second strike. It's always worth remembering that no armor is invincible. The damage.
  10. Singularity

    Experience with TRL Resistance Welder (Pics)

    I have been working on a shirt in .062" (16ga or 1.6mm) x 3/8" and now that I have that some experience with welding rings, I would do my next project in .047" (18ga). I may even scrap the 16ga project. 16ga rings require more pressure to weld than the 18ga rings and a shirt in 18ga 5/16" would weigh a few pounds less than the 16ga 3/8" shirt and the rings would cost less. As lorenzo said, you should weld as you go, trust me I learned that the hard way. Now I weave a whole row, one ring at a time, then weld the whole row for the main body section but for tighter areas, like the armpits, you may have to weave a ring, then weld the ring so you have enough "room" to get the ring on the electrodes. My welder is holding up fine though. Also it will be easier to weld rings that have a higher AR since they make a looser weave.
  11. Singularity

    Experience with TRL Resistance Welder (Pics)

    Actually, I've never considered myself to be "active" on this board. I just show up from time to time and see what's up. I was surprised to see this old thread resurrected. tacobob, I'm not sure if you were asking me, but no, I had no prior experience welding before buying this kit. This kit is very easy to use and in a hour or so I was making good welds. I would recommend installing the weld timer, it makes it much easier to weld.
  12. Singularity

    Destructive Testing of Welded Mail with Pics

    Yes, I do and am in the process of making it. The results illustrate that any kind of armor is only so strong and to make armor strong enough to handle the abuse I inflict on it would be more heavy and encumbering than I want. So there is always the trade off between protection, weight, and mobility and with my own experience in wearing modern body armor, I would rather have some protection with greater mobility than greater protection with less mobility.
  13. Singularity

    Destructive Testing of Welded Mail with Pics

    Weight, cost, and time to build. I already had 18ga 1/4" on hand so I tested that too, but I wanted to make a shirt out of 16ga 3/8". 16ga 3/8" lb/sqft of 4-1 = 1.48 16ga 5/16" lb/sqft of 4-1 = 1.83
  14. Singularity

    E 4-in 1 rings per sq foot formula?

    In the listings for gauge and size of rings, TRL has an approximate number. For example, 18ga 1/4" stainless is listed as approximately 2503 rings/sq ft. I don't know of a tool though for calculating rings/sq ft for arbitrary sizes.
  15. Singularity

    Destructive Testing of Welded Mail with Pics

    Definitely fun and very loud but now comes the repairs. I broke the table I used while testing the machine made mail with the ax. It will be a little while before I get to repairing the 18ga since I just set up the welder for 16ga again but next I would like to do a piece of welded 18ga 1/4" with the 16ga 1/4" punched rings I have. I tried a butted piece of 1814 with punched rings in these tests and it did fare better than 16ga 1/4" butted rings. Some of the punched rings were bent though and repairing a welded piece won't be as easy. How do I deal with damaged punched rings? Cut them out and replace with a welded ring or cut out all of the neighboring rings and replace with new welded and punched rings? Also I want to buy a crossbow and that will be very fun to test. I thought of buying a tomahawk like the one by United Cutlery since those are designed for real use. I love the spike on that one. At some point I need to buy a better sword that I can actually hit stuff with. As for how hard I'm hitting, I have the hammer at about head level and I actually have to psyche myself up a little to actually hit that hard. The first few times I did this I wasn't doing any damage and I realized I wasn't hitting hard enough at all. I was hitting the mail like you would hit a nail to drive it in. Not a lot of force but with a lot of control. I had to get past that hesitation and really want to destroy the mail. But I would say that I am hitting as hard as I can while still maintaining moderate accuracy and control.
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