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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

    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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Konstantin the Red

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

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

    How to cut rings

    Crochet. Crochet crochet... Sounds like wet sneakers on tile.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Konstantin the Red

    NEWB How to join weaves going opposite direction

    Short answer is use 90-degree join.
  12. 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.
  13. Konstantin the Red

    Newb Help with Persian 4 in 1

    I'd say expansion triangles do not need tutes -- just insert that fifth link, as needed, in any quantity needed from just one to a whole bunch. You can think of it as a narrow, columnar rectangle to start off with -- until you go inserting the expansion links. You can build a very narrow expansion triangle or one that flares out very wide very fast. You don't have to be super organized about it -- just stick links in as you go along. Build both expansion arrays at the same time; whatever you add into one, add the same into the other also. Doing both sides' expansion-contraction arrays at once saves you from confusion or forgetting something. A good way to do what organization it does need is to think this way: you're going to have one link up at the very apex, though likely you will put this in the triangle ONLY as you attach the top end of the triangle into the rest of the plain-weave mail. If you like -- this is a way to do it -- make up the expansion triangle or the expansion + contraction array (2 triangles, set base to base) ahead of time, attach these where wanted, then fill in between and around them with plain-weave E4-1. Essentially until the upper half of your torso is mailed. You can relax at that point, as you've done the most elaborate part of making the body of the shirt, and you're on to the sleeves if any and the skirted section at the lower belly and hips. So starting with the one link and/or the two links below that at the apex, now determine how many links across you want the base of the triangle to be -- how wide does it have to get? So you do a bit of division: it has to be X number of link IDs across at the base. You'll need to insert that many extra expansion links within the triangle, from the apex on down to the base. How close together these links will be -- vertically -- depends on how *tall* you want your triangle to be. Most folks go with quite tall, narrow, acute triangles to keep their shirts from looking funny when finished. You've got room in a shirt to work with, what with the Trevor Barker shirt tute's expansion-contraction arrays reaching about from the top of each shoulder over the trapezius muscles down to the neighborhood of the kidneys -- which are higher up than you might think. About the height of your floating ribs at the bottom end of your ribcage. That's plenty enough height to make an expansion triangle starting at two links across and ending up about three finger-widths wide at the bottom, since you will be making two such arrays for the left- and right-hand sides of the back of your mailshirt. 2 x 3 fingers = 6 fingers total; appreciable, but hardly gigantic. All THAT will give you a better shirt torso section than in my M.A.I.L. article, which only describes a tube of mail. Instead, like the Trevor Barker scheme, you want the waist pulled in rather snugger, the chest flaring out some to a maximum circumference. This way you have a shirt inclined more to fit you, slightly lighter weight, and best of all, it won't be so inclined to try and slide down on you through your cinch belt -- a narrowing at the waist resists that, while lying easy about chest and shoulder gives you lots of freedom with your arms, important in a fighting shirt! Expansion arrays, one, two, or more, can come back into the action again over hips and butt, widening things again. Unless you have a giant Arsenio Hall butt (that guy must have been his tailor's despair) you don't need to get wild with this flaring out. Just some, a handspan, for a little more room. Not knowing your waistline and chest measurement, I can't get super specific about how much mail you need to contain either. But if you're not sure what to do at any one spot, err on the generous side, since the mail fabric will conform to your shape, along the resilient direction.
  14. Konstantin the Red

    Armor grade leather??

    You build the righthand armor, you could play with the SCAdians, once you equip with a SCAdian helm or helmet. "Helm" being either the bucket with sights, or its lineal descendant, the larger, fits-over-bascinets greathelm, which the bucket-, barrel-, or Topf-helm is sometimes miscalled. The bucket helm is 13th century, the greathelm mostly 14th. The idea was you had the greathelm on while you charged with the lance; once this was done, and with the lance probably broken, you shucked the helm and drew your sword, being able to see better. For a good look at a greathelm, see images of the Pembridge helm, the classic exemplar of c.1376 greathelms. See "Bolzano helm" for a bucket/barrel as the term is defined here. Though a handsome and efficient -- not klunky looking -- good fighting helmet for SCA is the bascinet with a bargrill visor. These are readily available all over the place, starting in the $150.00 range. Bascinets have great upper-head glancing surfaces, and sword strikes tend to skip unless the other chap places them precisely. The bascinet also gives great scope for mail, in its neck-tippet, the camail. Like a barrelhelm, for SCA a bascinet should be of 14ga steel (.0747") for safety and worthwhile durability. We hit too hard now for 16ga mild steel to make it for long. The hat's weight also wards off concussions because your brain can't get sloshed against the inside of your skull.
  15. Konstantin the Red

    Armor grade leather??

    There *are* itinerant SCAdians. In these days of the internet, it's actually easier to manage than it used to be. Even working shifts need not forbid getting in some Creative Anachronist time. SCA's best feature may be its sheer size -- it features many swordplaymates to carry on with.