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Konstantin the Red

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About Konstantin the Red

  • Rank
    Journeyman Member
  • Birthday 05/11/1956

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

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  1. Konstantin the Red

    Tutorial info

    Belts get pulled on, so I think if mail's its only structure, I'd rely on steel links. A decorative appliqué on a belt of some other material, you can use colorful AA links with no disappointment. Watch for your edge links tending to drag through your belt loops; it takes a while to put a mail-only belt through them all. Belt loops being much of a muchness, I would go with a belt about 1 1/4 inches wide, and size links accordingly, probably the smaller the better. If it doesn't work for a belt, you can probably make a hatband.
  2. Konstantin the Red

    Beginner Question about Solder

    Solder doesn't give structural help anyway in steel links. In the special case of silver wire, making a jewelry piece, medium or hard silver solder does help for strength; silver is soft enough to need all the help it can get. Riveted mail is tedious, taking four times as long to weave as butted, but the tools for it fit in the top tray of an ordinary tool box with room left over. It's all cold-work. Scour this site for tips on riveted mail and its fistful of tools. They include a hammer or two, one big and one small, maybe, but don't feature two pairs of pliers to open or close links. Instead, they're snapped together like split-rings or key rings. This is either for when you're really motivated for high-performance mail that will resist a knife seriously, or else for when you want all the bragging rights. By 'heat' Rob means welding heat, which is enough to vaporize zinc, and breathing that can give you an almighty headache. Which goes away -- in about a day.
  3. Konstantin the Red

    Newby question about chainmail suit

    The zinc itself is less the problem than the interaction of the zinc with your skin chemistry, I think. Over a gambeson, I'd expect much less zinc stink. Just plain zinc smell is like putting your nose on a chain link fence post on a damp day -- you get this faint metallic smell. Zinc coating gets darker with weathering, going to a charcoal gray. You'll see this in Arkansas. Stainless wire costs more, tends to be stiffer, and stays changeless. Annealed wire, or baling wire, is soft like lead and very easily bent. But it is good feedstock for riveted mail, though you likely will have to anneal it again partway through making such links.
  4. Konstantin the Red

    Newby question about chainmail suit

    True; .063" steel wire around 5mm is dense and won't have a huge lot of expand/contract to conform to you. Wire of that thickness usually wants 6mm or 1/4". Variation in link ID for varied needs in the same shirt is quite all right. We call this sort of calculation link Aspect Ratio, or AR: link ID divided by wire Diameter. An AR of 4 is a very good flexible strong one. A 1/4" ID gets you that ratio.
  5. Konstantin the Red

    Newby question about chainmail suit

    Beep Beep! Sure thing. Okay, with a mantletop construction, your sleeves are naturally going to be with their weave in "closed hang" -- like the body of your shirt. You just weave the sleeves on to that part of the mantle where they link up to. I recommend angling the sleeves rather forward of directly port and starboard, to give forward freedom to your arms' motion. You need more slack in the back of your shirt at the shoulder level, to allow your arms to go well forward so you can fight. Your arms don't go far backward, so your shirt needn't either. Total extra mail in the back would be about five to seven fingersbreadths -- not a super lot, but it makes a difference. Don't forget to figure your gambeson in. The "shoulder rectangle" or "European Modified Square" kind of shirt (your mantle is the other family of shirt) just runs the linkrows straight out from the shoulder and then down the arm. This is okay, and it's actually better for letting the mail follow the hinge motion of your elbow -- even of your fingers if you build a hauberk with mitts to it. This type of shirt fits expansion zones over the shoulder blade area to give that added slack in the back so your arms can come forward and across enough so you can cross your elbows in front of you -- that's enough. European modified square type construction of the shoulders sounds a little bit improvised and strange at first look, but it *does* work, and makes a liveable shirt for any period. Mantletop shirts work easiest, with their closed-hang sleeves, if you keep to about half sleeve max. But the square-shoulder recipe works for easily letting you tailor the sleeves so you can bend your elbow without cutting off circulation, by expanding in some slack at the elbow -- expansion/contraction zones again, little ones. The mail sleeve ends up looking quite like a sock with a heel in it. That is a little messier to attain in a closed-hang sleeve; you may consider doing what you can with a 1066-era Norman Conquest type hauberk, which were half-sleeved, skirted beasts. Crusader 'berks of the next century grew long sleeves, and the century after that, integral coifs and mail mitts or mufflers attached. I like to say the Crusader was armored from kneecaps to bald spot in one single piece of equipment, a record never equaled before or since. Okay, he'd put a helmet on top. By the thirteenth century, this was a full helm. (Some oddlooking but functional detours on the way, too. Armour nerds call those helmets "saltshaker pots" because really they did rather look like the top of a saltshaker, and gave spaced armor to the head.) Getting the 'berk skirts right is another important bit. If you just leave a slit up the mail, the skirt gaps, a big A-frame chink in your armor. You fix this using expansion triangles/zones to flare the skirts out wider at the hem than up at your hips -- that way the skirts don't gap but just have a pretty closed slit. Expansion zones are really good for tailoring to fill in gaps of that kind; you can make just as much or as little expansion as you want. Let the slit be almost up to your crotch, but not quite, so your warrior self can enjoy begetting his heirs in due course! https://web.archive.org/web/20160508055350/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm Download this for safekeeping; it's all about mastering those expansion and contraction zones.
  6. Konstantin the Red

    How to increase European 4-1 chainmail

    https://web.archive.org/web/20160508055350/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm Both row and columnar expansions/contractions -- the one is just like the other, but inverted -- are in this page. Download it for safekeeping; it will allow you to tailor a mailshirt, with long sleeves or short. Longsleeve shirts are more complex down the arm, with tapering down in row contractions at the end of the sleeve; the shorties are way easier, as they just stop around the elbow.
  7. Konstantin the Red

    Why Blue Dawn?...a conspiracy to support Proctor and Gamble?

    Which-all gives Panicmose the Resurrect!! [wild clapping]
  8. Konstantin the Red

    How to cut rings

    Crochet. Crochet crochet... Sounds like wet sneakers on tile.
  9. Konstantin the Red

    Help Translating Ring Sizes

    I'd assume, were it me, that is is that simple until demonstrated otherwise. After all, that is in a very real sense what AR is for.
  10. Konstantin the Red

    Scale shirt 45 degree shoulders

    So the curvature of the shoulder is too acute for the scales -- flat as guitar picks -- to follow? Smaller scales might have less trouble -- unless you want to take up metalbashing and hammer each scale into a spoon.
  11. Konstantin the Red

    So what were they?

    After flattening, they will definitely want at least a normalizing -- a crude anneal, of heat to red and cool in air. A full anneal is cooling a lot slower, by burying in hot forge ashes or in Vermiculite. This takes hours to cool fully, and it will soften fully too, while normalizing would soften not so much, but enough. Then the overlaps are gooshy enough to pierce.
  12. Konstantin the Red

    How to get the cleanest chainmail

    In galvy steel shirts, merely wearing the shirt in the course of doing mail-armored things takes care of plier gouges in the zinc coating. Zinc is a soft metal, and the mail self-polishes with the wearer's motions -- flattens gouged zinc right down. Note this is specific to galvy.
  13. Konstantin the Red

    How to get the cleanest chainmail

    Another safeguard is filing the plier teeth -- either with a small flat mill-file, or wear out a coarse nailboard. Doesn't take a lot; just break the points off the teeth. It's very easy if you can use a bench vise, harder if you have to hold the pliers by hand, but either way you'll manage. Linesmen's pliers tend not to be as textured as slipjoints, but being rather massive things, they suit larger rings better than small.
  14. Konstantin the Red

    NEWB How to join weaves going opposite direction

    Short answer is use 90-degree join.
  15. Konstantin the Red

    What wire gauge and mandrel size do I need for this?

    Do bear in mind that if you're not worried about the ball being maybe somewhat larger or smaller, it doesn't matter an awful lot just what diameters and wire thicknesses you use. Large, an AR of about 6, and the small link with an AR about 4, though at first glance it seems tighter. Two wire diameters also -- maybe look to 16ga (.063") for the large and 18ga (.048") for the small. The medium sized link in the middle with 5 pairs of small links through it rather than 6 -- I see only one of these anywhere, and may have been done because it was the only way for it to fit smoothly.