Jump to content

Konstantin the Red

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


About Konstantin the Red

  • Rank
    Journeyman Member
  • Birthday 05/11/1956

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Location
    Port Hueneme, CA, USA
  • Interests
    SCA, armouring, firearms, cutlery, f&sf.
  • Occupation
    Cutco Salesman

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Konstantin the Red

    Where can I find European 4 in 1 19 9/64 graph paper

    That was all I could think of, too. But one more little word would help a lot.
  2. Konstantin the Red


    8-2 does seem mostly for pretty.
  3. Konstantin the Red

    Where can I find European 4 in 1 19 9/64 graph paper

    Worse comes to worst, you could try going to FedEx Express -- you know, Kinko's -- and get clever with reducing/enlarging a copy to get that 9/64 dimension juust right. (that 19 wants explaining? What's it doing in there?) You can design any inlay work you want to on any graph scale/dimension, and figure "Okay, that many squares on the paper is that same number of links (regardless of link size)," and have the piece come out just fine, particularly if you build the inlay first and then fill in the field around it. Is your wire very soft? Springy wire like hard steel or titanium will increase your AR because of springback. That's only a consideration if you are coiling your own links. You are weaving a very dense mesh, right up against the 3.2 minimum AR for E4-1. The result will look as dense as a metal watchband.
  4. Konstantin the Red


    I see Amazon.uk offers wire in 1.6mm and 1.25mm (sturdy enough for LARP boffer use, though preferably in a quite small link ID), from Merriway. Get a half dozen coils at once, as 30 metres is rather a small amount for supplying a mail-making effort. 50- to 100-metre coils would be nearer to ideal for bulk, but really it's a pounds-and-pence calculation. Some of those shippers like Marko seem to offer several coils packed in a box, which is convenient.
  5. Konstantin the Red


    Welcome and well come; big question, really! Size of wire is immediately subsumed into Link Aspect Ratio, a ten-guinea phrase for a 50p idea, but it's in long established use among the horny-handed maillers. It's the ratio of link internal diameter divided by wire diameter, so AR = ID/WD. Over there in metric-land, about any steel wire diameter between 1mm and 2mm is plenty fine for beginners working in humble, sturdy galvanized wire for armour projects. A typical wire diameter for most mailler uses would be 1.6mm/.063" (16 gauge, but guage numbers can be misleading with several wire gauge systems, so international conversations go better with measured wire diameter). You're looking at the right sort of wire, anyway -- the galvy stuff used for making fences. 2.5mm is distinctly heavy for mail; you could do it in large links (3/8"-7/16") but you wouldn't really want to bear its weight all afternoon. I'd see what Marko offers in finer wire... for smaller fences I guess. Hundred-meter coils are okay quantities, you're looking for some bulk in your wire purchase. (In some wires, quantities of about 25 kilos and greater are economical if you decide to make a LOT of steel, ungalvanized mail. You find amounts like these in welder wire.) Now to tie wire diameter in with link A.R. -- in articles of mail in Euro 4-1 and related variants, an AR of 4 is a very good general-use starter point. It makes a good shirt. With .063" wire, it's an ID of 1/4". This makes a fine, smooth mesh, not feeling coarse or anything, which is even fairly close to the link and wire of historical mail; it's just on the thick side as historical mail is usually right around .048-.050" wire. And is fastened closed by riveting, which gives the fabric serious armor strength. Don't use wooden dowel for your mandrel; it's not strong enough. Use steel rod-stock/round stock from the hardware store. Euro 8-1 or -8-2 (kingsmaille) need a larger AR, so either larger link ID or finer wire for either of these. Heavier 2mm wire allows wider links, from 5/16" to 3/8" ID. The former is heavy and very very strong as butted mail goes, the latter more open and lighter, if rather coarse feeling, and getting on the large side for historical-seeming mail. Okay for fantastical Ren Faire and LARP use, popular with Creative Anachronists too, who may be rather more driven by a desire to get their piece finished expeditiously so they can get out there and fight in it. Building the armour for them is a step to the end goal of playing the game, and big links mean fast assembly. Well, fast for mail. If possible, get your wire by the tens of pounds. A butted shirt in 1.6mm wire could run 20-25 pounds even without sleeves. You may prefer not having your shirt very much heavier than 30 pounds. That's a volume of about three coffee cans/canisters of cut mail links, right around ten pounds each.
  6. Konstantin the Red

    Arbitrary Shape Array

    Cute! I guess welcome back, Les.
  7. Konstantin the Red

    Bishops Mantle help

    As noted above, the basic-basic way to build a bishop's-mantle is to include expansions, whether in every linkrow going around, or alternating linkrows. I've heard 4 expansions per row gives a flat circle. If as Eric says, this comes out more a cone than a flat disc -- which I'd understood 3 expansions/linkrow would yield -- still no worries at least out to the width of your shoulders, you being kinda-sorta conical there. 6 or 7 expansions/row might overdo a little, with the effect of making the mantle rather heavier, while giving its hem all the more resiliency because there are more links down there, the mail expanding along the resilient, row-wise direction and giving your muscular, brawny Landsknecht-like sword arm(s) freedom. Lots of brawny points . Very valuable swinging a six-foot Zweihänder sword about! -- along with tactical desirability thereby -- they paid those big-sword guys double, you know, because their job in the battle line was dangerous as hell, such as protecting the colors. A twohanded sword guy with his arms restricted was a dead twohander sword guy. Any scheme of expansions that seems advantageous seems to end up working; put sufficient expansions in and you just can't really go wrong making a mantle entirely of expanding circles of links. While just nothing but the big-steel-doily is plenty good, and effective armour, there's also no real rule against building a cylindrical collar into the thing. You'd want it to be a) lined for comfort and b) lace closed to fit your neck -- a vertical slit is fine, and use of leather thong (probably historical) or some boot lace (mainly SCA) is strong enough.
  8. Konstantin the Red

    Starting a Chainmail with 14ga

    So, for your armor project: armor depends entirely on the threat level you anticipate. LARP: least demanding, as weapons are generally deeply padded with stiff foam; actual protection almost not needed -- butted mail entirely sufficient. SCA: moderately demanding, as SCAdians strike each other with stout rattan batons which are not padded, though are a minimum of 1 1/4" across the striking surface/edge -- if you can call that an edge. There is also SCA Cut & Thrust, which is metal blades, some holding back on the force of cutting, and including more use of the point than the rattan-swingers do, hence the Thrust. I figure you are not arming for SCA Light, which is rapier -- mostly point, little if any edge; has the convention of using protective armor that does not look like armor but like clothing, more in the stout-canvas/reinforced range of protection, plus a 3-weapon fencing mask. HEMA/ARMA/Fechtbuch stuff: most demanding, as they also use rebated, or training-type, steel blades, strikes with metal pommels and steel guards, blades of every sort, straight and curved. These guys need riveted mail if they use any visible mail at all. They avoid the full-power strikes of SCA rattan fighting, but this is a steel arm, after all... this is rather like jiujitsu to the SCA's judo. For TL;DR, what if anything are you figuring on getting hit with?
  9. Konstantin the Red

    Starting a Chainmail with 14ga

    Excellent -- and ambitious in terms of time commitment. You're looking at from eight to twelve weeks of reasonable amounts of time (an hour or two per weekday) on the hobby, between other endeavors like school, meals, and making some medieval garb to flesh everything else out. Hauberks are shirts -- they're just variously big, depending on whether they are eleventh-century (half sleeves) to thirteenth-century (long sleeves ending in mitts, integral coif) finishing up in the early decades of the fourteenth. Sounds like you have the haburgeon in mind -- the sort of thing everyone thinks of for a shirt of mail; they're short sleeved, mid-thigh length. (Don't have the hem at the height of your nuts! Armour's supposed to stop you from being hurt!) There's a shorter shirt, the vest-size byrnie. This one is strictly for Vikings and the Beowulf era. This is the best shirt tute on the interwebz: https://web.archive.org/web/20160508055350/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm -- download it so it will never disappear. It's about 4-5 pages of typescript.
  10. Konstantin the Red


    Yoghurt containers -- with their lids. No prob labeling them with a Sharpie. All the tools all in one spot. Mailler tools, except for the power drill for coiling your own from wire, fit in the tray of a toolbox; the power drill fits in the box itself.
  11. Konstantin the Red

    Starting a Chainmail with 14ga

    14 gauge SWG -- .080" diameter -- works superbly for Creative Anachronist baton-battering in either 5/16" ID (aspect ratio roughly 4, which is always good for E4-1 shirts and other armor) or 3/8" (A.R. about 5.6, still plenty good) which is more open and coarser looking, yet plenty strong and functional. I hope to hear explicitly just what it is you're building -- 14 gauge suggests an armor project. Right? 16gaSWG@1/4" links are actually closer to historical mail in link and wire size -- still somewhat heavy yet in the wire. This slimmer wire is indeed more affected by A.R. in the larger end of the link size distribution. The beefier 14 ga can stand bigger links.
  12. Konstantin the Red

    Saw Blades vs Stainless Steel

    Over on M.A.I.L., there is an article with pix (some of which aren't focused so well, but others make up for the lack) on an electric powered saw rig and the fine slitting-saw needed for it, arranged quite like a circular saw with the sawblade coming up through a table, which in this apparatus has a prominent V-groove to hold the coil you're cutting. http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=787
  13. Konstantin the Red

    Saw Blades vs Stainless Steel

    Stainless links as a rule get sawn with rotary saws, electrically powered, sprayed or dripped water- or oil-cooled to preserve saw life, and always with some apparatus to hold the coil and feed it reliably. Try looking through the Gallery for saws, and seek out the saw type needed; these come in a couple of thicknesses, and generally you want the thinner one. What you've run up against is stainless is balky stuff to machine, and sawing it is a machining process. On the one hand, its chromium makes it tough, and on the other, its chromium makes it difficult to anneal. All that conspires against the hair blade of a jeweler's saw being effective. Will you be making jewelry, or something bigger? It looks like your previous experience, saw-cuts of ornamental metals, is aimed at jewelry. Because of its toughness, a lot of people resort to having their ring supplier cut their stainless rings, and hang the additional expense.
  14. Konstantin the Red

    Chainmail Scottish Saltire inlay on a sherpa blanket.

    Nice. There's a real Flower of Scotland right there!
  15. Konstantin the Red

    Picking Up where I left off

    So, how are the hands doing now? Toughened up yet? Using bigger, longer pliers of course lessens the load on your tender flesh. Will you want the Trevor Barker shirt recipe? https://web.archive.org/web/20160508055350/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm It copies a c.1438 German mailshirt from Hamburg and now in the Wallace Collection. It's Web-archived; I'd download it, for it is too good to lose -- the NTLWorld site it was on went dark years ago. The file is not large, about four-five pages of typescript, with a few linework illustrations.