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About ArchmailleDesigns

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  • Birthday 02/11/1986

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    Kansas City

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  1. ArchmailleDesigns

    A question for those who weld their mail

    The stuff you're working with is a lot bigger than what I do, but I always found it best to complete what I was doing and then batch weld. I also specifically make designs with small segments so it's easier to keep track of what has been welded and what has not. Your work I would imagine doing a row, weld, repeat would be the best solution. I have a welder like TRL's Jewelry Welder and it's much faster to tack the rings together with it, but I rarely use it anymore because I get a stronger prettier weld using a torch and silver solder.
  2. ArchmailleDesigns


    Personally I wouldn't bother with solder that close to something aluminum, aluminum melts at ~1200F temperature and copper solder flows at ~1450F, as the others said you could heatsink it but once you start heat sinking you need more heat and experience in hard soldering (I wouldn't start on your production piece). Unless you were using like soft electronics solder and a soldering iron... but with that I would seriously question whether or not it would hold. Aluminum brazing rod only needs ~700 F but that still puts you into territory where you need a flame, and unless you already have a Smith Little Torch or other equivalent precise brazing torch, it won't be worth the time and money. As Konstantin the Red said riveting is probably your best bet. I have had success welding copper with a welder that is identical to what TRL sells as their Jewelry Welder, but even then it won't stick anything together thicker than 20g and it must be saw cut... so that's out of the question since you said the copper is 14g.
  3. ArchmailleDesigns

    Anvil setup for riveted maille

    Search jewelry supply places for bench blocks, you can get something as basic as a block of steel, or they make bench blocks that are embedded in rubber or on wood blocks for sound reduction. If you want to make your own rivets there's a thing called a riveting anvil that has multiple holes to work with various gauges of wire. http://www.ottofrei.com/Store/Anvils-Bench-Blocks/Hexagon-Riveting-Anvil-Made-In-USA.html
  4. ArchmailleDesigns

    my first weavings

    Looks good!
  5. ArchmailleDesigns

    my first weavings

    14g stainless fights back! You'll be surprised, especially after working with aluminum. I suggest getting a variety of sizes and materials to play around with and see what you like. I love the look of stainless for stuff, and it's not as dirty as aluminum (if it hasn't already, aluminum will start leaving black marks on your hands and clothes it's annoying), but I don't really like to work with stainless often in anything larger than 16 gauge because it's tough stuff. Granted, I've got small hands and typically work with jewelry, so it may not be a problem for you.
  6. ArchmailleDesigns

    Happy 2017 Everyone!

    Happy new year! Much mailling to be done!
  7. ArchmailleDesigns

    Storage, Display, and Preservation of Galvanized Maille?

    A light coating of oil would do the trick, it's what I typically use for stuff I'm worried about rusting. Galvanized won't rust, but like you said does darken with age. If you want to spend way more time than anyone should you could try a micro-crystalline wax. There are big name brands that are very expensive for museum restoration pieces, but you could get a tan shoe polish (same stuff) for a lot less. With the micro-crystalline wax things wouldn't be sticky like the oil. The wax also helps polish things, so it may help even out your color a bit. Third option would be a steel polish, get like a sink cleaner, put your piece on a towel and just soak it, then roll it around in the towel. That stuff has a protective agent in it too.
  8. ArchmailleDesigns

    General question

    The best ring cutter on the market right now is this one: https://www.ringinator.com/products/ringinator-ez There are other solutions that will vary in their quality, and price by a lot. Of course for armor saw cutting the rings is more than a little overkill, and the ringinator is pricey. The guy I learned from used a system where he put his cutters in a home made jig, and rigged a pulley system to a foot pedal for the cutting action. You've got four real options: make a good tool, buy the rings, buy an expensive tool, or suffer through hand cramps and long hours of cutting.
  9. ArchmailleDesigns

    General question

    I don't think the general populous of people would care. With that said, you will save your sanity, and your hands buying the rings. Machine cut rings tend to close better, you can get a great closure with hand cut rings by overlapping the two triangled ends, but machine cut rings will be easier to align and more consistent from my experience.
  10. ArchmailleDesigns

    Learning to speed weave? Tips on getting faster?

    I did a test for myself years ago, I don't remember the exact numbers but working on bracelets it saved me about 5min per bracelet, and my sanity by pre-closing rings. So like every 12th bracelet is free! Pre-opening rings slows me down a lot because they tend to get tangled up with each other unless you set them in rows and that takes forever.
  11. ArchmailleDesigns

    Learning to speed weave? Tips on getting faster?

    Unfortunately most chainmaillers are hobbiests and only charge what I suspect amounts to $10/hr for their work. Most of them don't have to worry about rent (at least not paid for by their chainmail work), and unlike other jewelry tools the tools of the trade for chainmail are quite cheap. I've found that for the most part the maximum that people will accept for chainmail work is about a $25/hr labor costs. That is because like others have said, chainmail work is just slow work and there's a lot of machine made chains out there today, so it's hard to explain to customers the cost of your time. The people selling for $8-$10 are likely selling stuff made of really thick material, and large rings which builds quicker than what I would usually work with (20g and smaller) With that said, I do think there are a few ways that you can speed up your work. Like kittensoft said, I don't find much of a speed increase by pre-closing rings, but I still do it. I do it because when I'm actually building a piece it builds faster then I feel like I'm getting more accomplished and it keeps me going. Chainmail work can be mind numbing work, any mind games you can play with yourself will make it easier. Beading mats and organizers help! Beading mat colors are designed to ease eye strain, plus they can be moved around if you need to. I find that very helpful I can pick up and set down my chainmail work and do something else at the bench. I seriously love my beading mats and wish I had used them much sooner! Obviously I use Lindstrom RX pliers, I find them for my tiny hands to the the most comfortable to work with. I think comfort helps you be faster. Working in batches makes things faster, doing one task like closing enough rings for several pieces will make you faster, and doing just one weave type several times over will make you faster. After I make hundreds of segments I'll have just a couple days where all I do is sit welding rings. Again, there's only so fast you're going to be with chainmail work.
  12. ArchmailleDesigns

    Full Armor, Finally Completed

    Looks good!
  13. ArchmailleDesigns

    Hexagon scales

    I didn't find any pre-made, but if you only need a few it would be an opportunity to practice with a jewelers saw. By opportunity I mean a huge pain :-P Use a round disc cutter to punch the hole (Harbor Freight sells one really cheap that would work for most jobs). The good thing about Hexagon's is that if you arranged them on your sheet right they would share edges so a lot fewer cuts would be needed.
  14. ArchmailleDesigns

    Awareness Ribbon Tutor

    Very cool idea! Thanks for sharing
  15. ArchmailleDesigns

    Where can I sell Chainmail?

    Selling online is difficult, personally I have had the best luck selling through my own website. Etsy, and other markets are possible to move product, but you will likely have to do a small amount of advertising for it to work (as noted by another, there is a lot of competition). The majority of my sales are from craft fairs and markets like that. You'll want a large inventory before you begin, there are several retail sales "laws" that you can apply, but they're not 100% accurate when it comes to craft shows because the market is different and people are there to buy stuff most of the time. Retail sales laws: Typical advertisement returns are around 0.5% of the people reached (For example if you attend an event that has 20,000 patrons you can consider them your advertised to group so you can sell to around 100 people, but don't expect that to be the case.) You'll never sell more than 10% of your inventory (This one is one that gets bent at craft fairs if it is the type of product that people are expecting and looking for such as a Ren. Fest, SCA or LARP event you could do better. If you're out of place you could walk away with nothing. If you want/need to make $1,000 for an event to make it worth your while you'll need to have at least $10,000 worth of inventory. Also if your inventory is too expensive, as most armor will be you may not move any product. That's why most people also make chainmail jewelry. Having something small, that isn't $500+ gives people the option to support you without forfeiting on their mortgage :-P ) The only reason I mention the retail sales laws is because I was unfamiliar with them when I first started, and attended a number of shows WAY under prepared. I would go to craft shows with like $2,000 worth of inventory and be like "Dude if I only sell half of what I've got I'll be doing great!" yeah, that never worked out. Of course this can be intimidating to a newcomer, what I would suggest is to check out your local Ren. Fest and talk to people. The one near me has three different shops that are all collaborative chainmail shops. Even smaller shops may let you sell through them if you'll work in the shop with them. Faires are hard with 12hr days etc. sometimes it comes out in a shop keepers best interest if they can increase their inventory, and get some restroom breaks in during the day.