Konstantin the Red

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About Konstantin the Red

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    Journeyman Member
  • Birthday 05/11/56

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    Port Hueneme, CA, USA
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    SCA, armouring, firearms, cutlery, f&sf.
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    Cutco Salesman
  1. Well, both your cousin and you need to know more about shirts, if that's how he put it. To fit your cousin, you'll want a shirt that is about as big around at the waist as about his waistline measurement plus as much as, maybe less than, twelve inches with the mail pulled out to max stretch. Up at the rather thicker chest, adding up to that chest measurement too, plus another ten inches, also with the mail fully stretched out. This gives room for him to move and to wear something padded under that mail. Short sleeved or long depends on what middle ages era you two settle on. Even unto the Renaissance, technically. By then, mail was no longer the star of the military show, though it was still in use armoring places plate pieces just couldn't manage, like the armpits, and as part of a defense in depth about the hips, almost like a mail petticoat beneath plate taces and tassets. Armoring hip joints and being flexible too is hard. The mounted man could use his saddle as thigh, hip, and 'nad protection; leg infantry had to take their chances that nobody would get a good stab up their skirts. Ouch. The medieval history of mailshirts is mostly one of growth, from the short and vest-like byrnie of Beowulf's Dark Age time, to an unknown period where mailshirts may have covered more, to the emergence of the knee length, split skirted knightly hauberk from about the latest tenth century, and pictured in the eleventh-century Bayeux Tapestry, with round shields, long teardrop shields, and conical helmets with nasals. After this, hauberks got bigger, until by mid thirteenth century the hauberk had mitts built into its sleeves and a coif of mail attached at the neckhole. I like to speak of the 13th-c. 'berk as armoring the warrior aristocrat from kneecaps to bald spot in one single piece of equipment. He'd wear a helm over that coif. By then he was also additionally armoring his torso with a body defense of smallish plates, more or less overlapping. But NOT AT ALL like the playing-card hauberks in Braveheart. Torso only. It's also pretty heavy by then, and really better for a mounted warrior with a horse to carry him and his gear across the battlefield, fighting with a lance. That's expensive, what with everything from feeding the horse to breaking lances -- they were expendable. Plate armor was developing during the fourteenth, and the overall hauberk shrank to the short-sleeved, mid-thigh haburgeon for about the last thirty years of the fourteenth century -- saving weight. The fourteenth century came in with mail 'berk and chausses overall, plus a barrel-helm, and went out with nearly complete armour of plate, with only a smallish amount of mail visible on the up-to-date knight. Thus, history: a tale of little shirts and big shirts. Here's an excellent page for the craft of it: Everything about weaving E4-1 mail is chimp simple as mail goes. These instructions produce a tailored shirt that moves with you and doesn't much try to slide down through your cinch belt as you move and fight -- you will use one. Takes some of the weight. https://web.archive.org/web/20160508055350/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm I'd download it into your computer.
  2. One consideration you'd need to make is to weave the sleeve in "open hang" which I understand is what happens in weaving scales with links anyway, so you're good if so. "Open hang" can be looked up both here and on M.A.I.L., and is desired because it works well with your elbow's bending. You'll want some expanded territory at the point of the elbow too, like the heel of a sock, so you can comfortably bend your arm and not cut your circulation off. This is admittedly more straightforward in plain E4-1 mail than with the added factor of scales in the weave. Apart from the expansions at the elbow region, for pattern there really isn't very much to worry about at all. You start with just running linkrows plus scale-rows straight down your arm, and for that matter right across your upper back as you plan, and across your pectoral muscles as you intend also. Build these together, covering over your shoulders as well; you will want the load borne there. (These can be separated at front and back centerline if needed, but then may as well be sewn down onto a shirt-like or vest-like under garment and the whole affair donned like a shirt. Such was often done in combination with plate breastplates and backplates, taking care of flexible armor in armpits and arms. In the era of mail, they didn't think so much in terms of web belts or strapping as we do, but resorted to what could be called loadbearing vests for their body armor and limb armor too. Which required making vests to fit assorted warriors.) Things stay simple until you get down past that elbow and want to taper your sleeve down to closer to the size of your wrist -- it needs to be big enough to admit your hand, though -- to save weight and materials. This calls for the use of "hole row contractions," sometimes misspelled "Whole row." They are less tidy than the columnar expansions-contractions (those are the same) that make the elbow pocket, unless you'd like to resort to using links of three decreasing diameters for each hole row contraction. Can and should be done, this sleeve taper, so you're not inconvenienced by a fairly massive tubular end of the sleeve flapping about your wrists. That has discouraged many a mail wearer that ignored the need for mail to fit closely at the extremity of each limb. (That's why ankle length mail skirts never happen among any who understand mail, and mail's inertia.)
  3. As Rob said, immensely heavy. Skirts longer than knee length in mail aren't practical du tout. If your legs and feet agitate such an ankle length cone of mail, the inertia of all that metal moving around will really slam you around -- mail is too dense to be treated as petticoats. Down there around that part of the leg, mail is best fitted very close to the leg: chausses de mailles.
  4. Something around half an inch across should do nicely. 3/8 inch too.
  5. Your closure technique can end problems with rings doing the Chinese Puzzle Trick and coming apart. You start with cut ends that are so > < and you close them together so that those points overlap; the link ends butt facet to facet and not lined up point to point, accepting that a link that is a trifle out of round is just fine for a shirt of mail. More ASCII art, this time turned 90 degrees, shows about what the facet to facet butting looks like: /\\/, if somewhat exaggerated. Twist the links closed, with a motion like revving a motorcycle; make a couple of passes, making the ends click against each other, until they stay pressed together.
  6. Okay, you'll need a patch of mail without rubber in it to really see the diff between open hang and closed. The patch of mail has a resilient direction and a not-resilient direction. Closed hang is with the resilient dimension horizontal, like on the body of your mailshirt in plain weave E4-1 mail. The link rows can collapse down to conform to your personal contours when the hang is closed-hang. There's one direction you can slide your patch of mail together and it just bunches up nice and neat. Same trick perpendicular to that and it doesn't slide together, but tries to fold. The nonresilient direction of the mail doesn't conform like the resilient, and held up, that direction stretches the mail out to its most open condition under gravity's pull: open hang. There's no resiliency left. This is good for sleeves, and not as good at all for the body of the mailshirt -- you can't take the damn thing off! But it's okay for the long sleeves because it works around the flexing of your elbow readily. Closed-hang sleeves, using a different method of joining the links of the sleeves to those of the body, are possible, but such sleeves should not go past the elbow unless you're willing to wrestle with hole-row contractions. They can be made to work but they're not as tidy as columnar contractions as described above and shown in mailshirt tutes, like this one. https://web.archive.org/web/20160508055350/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm Bookmark that. It makes good mail shirts.
  7. Assuming the sleeve has open hang, expansions and contractions over the point of the elbow are seamless. You have to look close to spot the expansions in the weave. Makes a pocket for the point of the elbow shaped very like the heel of a sock in repose, and which is unseen when you have the shirt on. That method works well even with all-metal sleeves that have no true elasticity. Remind me: is EDPM rubber or does it mean Electro Deposited Plated Metal? Can't remember. You could have some fun with links of different diameters suitably placed; it's not especially necessary, but it may be played with in any degree from slightly differentiated to dramatically different. All the methods give the sleeve a naturally bent, boomeranglike hang when held up by their upper ends, comparable to a sock held up by its cuff or like the cut of a jacket sleeve. This is workable and natural, as it gives the sleeve the ability to bend at your elbow without cutting off your circulation the exact same way you can stop water flowing in a hose by bending it tight. It works particularly well because the elbow needs to bend forward, but does not bend backwards to a significant degree. A mail sleeve must accomodate this.
  8. ModernBazaar for the 5-year Resurrect-O-Thread!! Selppin's last posting was in 2015, so things have been mighty quiet there. Silver will tarnish on skin, with humidity, and with sulfur compounds.
  9. What GForce said. When you have too much g-force. G for "Ghurrghn -- get in there!" Needle nose pliers are very wicked for that -- keep away from them. Use the broadnosed types like you said. Twist and shove inward; brute power. For projects like mailshirts that don't really need the most artful ring cuts -- most shirts get their links cut with boltcutters or snips and end up with link ends that look mostly like ><, I horse the ends in together and overlap the points, to where they end up like /\\/ (this view is rotated ninety degrees from the other, accepting a link that ends up slightly out of round -- not so very different from how historical riveted links ended up, tending as they do to bulge where the overlap and rivet closure is. Jewelry-type mail projects of course play by more demanding rules and can afford them. Armor-type projects are nearly as functional -- not fancy -- as a Parkerized .45 pistol. Parkerizing steel produces a rust resistant, though not altogether proof, just better than some, matte-gray finish to it. Twentieth century military. It isn't as much used any more on guns, as coating processes have advanced. It retains popularity in auto parts, how about that.
  10. Sounds like the vid, whenever it arrives, will show a method of twisting the links closed like revving a motorbike, combined with horsing the ends together as you twist, maybe taking a couple of repetitions to get the cut ends to grind together. It doesn't quite sound like that is what you're presently doing to close your rings.
  11. There is another piece of mail that is built like a camail, but is of larger diameter: the fifteenth-century bishop's-mantle. It's a sort of short cape of mail, full circle, hanging to about your elbows. Triangular dags were sometimes used here also, but a quite small number of quite large dags. This is a piece of gear for if you want to do Landsknecht at the Faire, in outrageous particolored and slashed and puffed doublet, hose, and slashed codpiece too. (Very spectacular, very arrogant) This is for if you want to go playing with great big German swords, the armor-cracking, pikestaff-lopping Zweihänder. It gets away with its large size and substantial weight because it's not attached to a helmet, but simply closes close about the neck. It doesn't impair head movement as it would if attached to a helmet. Many Landsknechts wore no other armor, not even a helmet; they'd put a hat on, also decoratively slashed, as was the style of the times.
  12. In that particular area and application, soaking up the impact of a weapon strike is what it bloomin' well does. Works best with the camail large enough to drape over the points of the shoulders. Not too much bigger than that, though, or it becomes appallingly heavy and hardly lets you move your head with freedom -- so, big enough to come to the bottom of your delts at most, and stopping a little short of there is fine. The mail also hangs some inches away from the column of your neck, all round, giving space to absorb incoming energy; plus, it is actively held out there by virtue of hanging off your bascinet. It's like trying to bat your way in, through a steel curtain. Add to this that the sword's trying to drag an increasing mass of the mail in after it, plus the frictive drag over your bony shoulder -- well! It's also a great piece to decorate with contrasting metal, or fringe with dags. You can make triangular dags come out nice and regular this way: a) count how many rings around the edge of the camail you've woven; b) factor this number, unless you find it is a prime number; c) the smaller factor number will be how many links make the base of each triangle, but don't make the base of the triangle that number, but instead, that number minus one (and of open links which you will use to zip the triangles onto the links of the edge; d) the larger number is how many triangles you will have round the edge of the camail. Picking an easy example: a camail whose periphery is 156 links around, factored into 12 x 13. Thirteen triangles, each of which shall fit onto every twelve links of camail periphery. Easiest way is, having figured these thirteen segments of twelve each, that you then weave 11 links onto each twelve-link segment. You've added another link row, with gaps in it. Then just keep filling in the triangles, each linkrow in a triangle being one link fewer than the row nearer the hem of the camail, until finally you have a point at the end, consisting of 1 link. Avoid making up triangles ready made because it's easy to err in your link-lie, and you have to go back and revise things; just make the triangles grow out from the hem. I like odd numbers of triangular dags, so that you can center one dag upon either the front centerline or the rear centerline. (Right and left can just fall where they may.) Whoa, I got a prime number of links round my periphery! No prob -- it's okay to just fudge, and put the extra amount in the center back. Or put in another linkrow including an expansion link or two to get off of that prime number amount, and be able to factor the new number of links as above. Either way, easy peasy.
  13. It certainly is, mail being distinctly grabby and with much friction. Not that you have to laugh all that hard, tbh. The Creative Anachronists have been acquainted with the technique for decades now. Even better, online, you can call up Medievaltymes' Maciejowski Bible site with all that Bible's illuminations. Go to 2 Samuel (I think; it's one of the books of Samuel) and look for the illo of young David taking a hauberk off. He's bent over and half the 'berk is hanging off over his head, which is concealed in the 'berk. Pic has everything but the shimmy! Sure, a 13th-c. mufflers-&-coif comprehensive mail hauberk is way out of period for King David (early Iron Age), but hell -- in the 13th century EVERYBODY knew armor was mail! Right? So that's what they drew. Happened all the time. Mail's high friction over bodily humps and protrusions is part of why mail camails hanging off bascinet helmets are found to work so well against being struck with swords: they really really soak up the impact of a strike to the side of the neck.
  14. Yep; them's the ones! It might be well to archive their entire contents onsite, in Articles. Otherwise you have to play Boy Internet Detective all night.
  15. Yes, that's the way to go, 4-1. An eleventh century hauberk, used by Normans and everyone else, had knee length skirts, short or half sleeves no longer than the elbow, no integral mail coif. Basically, a shirt, with extension of the hem; a lot like yours. 'Berks of the next century were much more often teamed with mail chausses than Bayeux-date art shows (a few princes were so accessorized), had long sleeves which ended in integral mail mitts, and had a mail coif attached, covering the warrior in one single piece of equipment armoring him from kneecaps to bald spot, a record not equaled since. Nonetheless, they parked a pot-helm on top, first a conical, then a gumdrop or inflated conical, then what is called a saltshaker pot helm, because it looks like the top of a saltshaker. One example is in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, on Arthur's head. These funny hats gave a spaced-armor effect over your skull. I'd put him in galvanized, .063" wire (16ga SWG) and 5/16¨ link ID to help keep weight reasonable, as well as having reasonable speed of progress weaving it. It'll be rust resistant and the wire is stiffer. Try and find a lumberyard or fence-supplies place that sells wire by the pound, for you would need thirty pounds of it or so. In swords, I like Cold Steel's products quite a lot, and not just because they're up the road from here.