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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

    new concept? fender washer lamellar armor

    Though I see the Wiki page remains, which should be of some use. For other views, I'd immediately google on "jack of plate." And find out what happened to the Borderers site. Here's the article on the X-rayed jack: https://archive.is/20121224053656/http://www.royalarmouries.org.uk/what-we-do/research/analytical-projects/the-jack-of-plates-evidence-of-re-cycling Royalarmouries.org would likely be a very fruitful site.
  2. Konstantin the Red

    Making armour from steel washers?

    I suppose I can add my two cents also. It is very, very much too bad that the United Kingdom thinks knife control is going to solve knife crime any better than gun control solves or even hampers gun crime in the States (it doesn't). With a reasonable apprehension of knife attacks, you might as well equip yourself with a four- to six-inch blade, even a secondhand kitchen knife, kept concealed, and chance the consequences of being caught by the police, while putting yourself in some kind of position to inflict consequences on the guy who wanted to stick a knife in you. A passive defense like a piece of armor defends, but leaves the bad guy able to run off, quite uncured of the error of his ways, which curing really seems the more permanent solution. A washer waistcoat could certainly do a lot, though such a load of washers is also quite heavy, because modern washers are thick things. Avoid letting anyone push you off a bridge! Arm wounds from knives I understand are primarily what are called "defensive cuts," from trying to block an incoming knife by flailing at it with an arm. The baddie isn't trying to cut your arm, but your vitals or your arteries. The defender's arm just gets in the attackers way, and suffers by chance. You are likely to get better protection for weight carried if you only armor your vitals, and let your limbs take their chances. Your limbs are better employed deploying weaponry, say a very strong yet not heavy walkingstick -- or a gun, that the baddie may be discomfited all the more: he can't cut you and ugly red spots break out all over his person. And they aren't hives... But too, there you go, breaking another badly conceived, criminal abetting law that says because you're the good guy, *your* fighting power must be restricted, while the criminals' in effect is not. With gun control in place at all, bad guys may increasingly rely on targets helpless to fight back, and the same goes with knives as I said. And those guys really facking need an icepick through the eyeball to sort them. There are innocent looking blunt instruments you can get by mail order from America, too. Try Cold Steel, of Ventura, California. They offer reinforced-polymer whacking-sticks that double as walking sticks. Less likely to break than even oak -- more comparable to ash, just at a guess. More range than a Belfast potato, too, allowing you a thrusting counterattack. Something that would have more sartorial elegance as a protective underlayer, but also more labor for you, would be a sleeveless, Borderer-style pennyplate jack. It was the Borderer's budget brigandine (one, on X-raying, proved to be of salvaged 15th-c. brigandine plates, cut up and re-punched) made of light stainless steel in about the thickness of a tin can's walls -- less worry about corrosion than with the same in galvanized steel. Still, don't get yourself pushed off a bridge with this one either. Though it's an attractive article itself, with its pattern of thongs holding the penny-plates in place inside the cloth, and the plates overlap for seamless yet flexible torso protection. To build a pennyplate jack in the garden shed probably means getting a benchtop slitting shear. This is about the least expensive type of bench shear, and workable because making octagonal pennyplates is all straight cuts, and that's what that type of bench shear is good for. Even in stainless, which is resistant stuff and dislikes to be sawn. Shearing works better. Each pennyplate should then be punched in the center, about a 6 to 8mm dia hole, and slightly dished with a softfaced hammer to both give the plate a little more strength from giving it a 3-D shape and to make it fit on you better -- your whole body is composed of various convexities, and dishing the pennyplates a bit will tuck their edges in, out of the way, so they don't "print," and betray their presence.
  3. Konstantin the Red

    Rings/Scales for Kid's Armour?

    See about area calculation formulas for an idea how many rings -- I know the M.A.I.L. site has one. They call it a "ring calculator." Failing that, I'd just err big -- and assume with extra rings around, the two of you can come up with something fun to assemble with the leftovers, so it wouldn't be money wasted. I've never done scale, but from what I read here, the number of scales and the number of rings are both about equal until you find you have to do something only with the rings to make the piece work, like in the armpits of a sleeved scale shirt.
  4. Konstantin the Red

    Rings/Scales for Kid's Armour?

    Aluminum's right -- shoulder pieces are also the simplest of the things you're considering. What an arm-thing wants, particularly in the form of a bracer, is probably something to hold it up, in place on the arm. Ultimately, that is likely to be your eight-year-old's shoulder, preadolescent arms being what they are, to where even including neoprene rings for elasticity might not get the job done. A smaller bracelet wouldn't be such a problem of suspension, and neoprene rings in the assembly would actually work well, so he can put it on over his hand. Are we thinking Pern especially, or something less specific?
  5. Konstantin the Red

    Looking to expand my ring inventory

    ))))))))))))) ((((((((((((( ))))))))))))) ((((((((((((( <-- --> E4-1 mail's resilient dimension is when the mail looks like the above, and may be stretched out to either side a good bit, and crunched back together as easily. It is that property of mail that simulates elasticity. Though when it hits full stretch, it comes to a full stop, no more, like a tow chain coming under load. Of course, a steel chain is exactly what it is -- just in two dimensions not just one.
  6. Konstantin the Red

    Looking to expand my ring inventory

    Good thing that's not as convoluted as some make it sound. The reason for the "45 degrees to 60 degrees" notion is an effect of Euro weaves' resiliency along one direction of the mailpatch: that "row wise" direction where the links can compress together neatly and easily and be just as easily pulled out wide, to their fullest stretch. This neat trick doesn't happen in the other, columnwise direction.* Naturally, if one of these sides (or both, since it works either way) has been constructed on an angle, every row from bottom to top decreasing by one link, it will at full stretch be slanting at 45 degrees. Now take this stretched out mailpatch and compress its sides, port and starboard, together. Now what's that angle more like? -- or anything between 45 and 60 degrees. So let's just remark that any angle like that isn't exactly permanent -- but it is repeatable! Euro weave variants like E6-1 and E8-1 exhibit the same behavior to a lesser degree, because they have less room to move within links. At least within circular links... *I speak of "row" in E4-1 to be horizontal on your torso in wear, and along the resilient direction of the mail weave, so it contracts and expands very neatly. "Column" is the direction perpendicular to row direction, and doesn't do that expand-and-contract; it is vertical on your torso in wear. In a longsleeved mail shirt -- short sleeves aren't as tricky this way -- the resilient direction should run down your arm, to help with bending the elbow -- even the mailed fingers in a 13th-century comprehensive mail hauberk. The elbow of such an open-hang "wrong way" sleeve needs some expansion slack woven in at the elbow, putting a distinct angle in the sleeve, in shape and angle a lot like the appearance of someone holding up a heeled sock by its cuff. This added extra, put in using expansion links, allows the warrior to bend his arm without cutting off the circulation. Very handy when wielding sword and shield. And still not bad at all about coming off your arms when you remove your shirt. The case is a little different with the greater size and drag of the body -- that part you want to make the shirt let go of when you doff it. So you bend down to let it flop all the way open, and then you can haul the thing off you.
  7. Konstantin the Red

    Looking to expand my ring inventory

    Does the "strange warping" happen from cutting links yourself, with snips? Or are you ordering in cut links from a supplier?
  8. Konstantin the Red

    Getting back into it, a few questions about scales.

    Welcome back to the nerdworld of people playing with little metal rings! Wotta blast from the olden times! Now, TBH, what I've said on this forum and others is mostly to avoid the "Bladeturner pattern," preferring Trevor Barker's historical-copy shirt recipe, now archived as its original site went dark years ago. It produces a tailored shirt, tailored in that it has slack applied just where needed -- right behind the arms, for forward freedom of both arms' motions. And some snugness at the waist to help prevent the shirt working its way down through your cinch belt and putting its entire weight on the shoulders instead of distributing some to the hips. Stuff I've written years ago can be found on M.A.I.L. I've called the "Bladeturner Pattern" the simplest sort of "yoke-top" mailshirt, since it end up quadrangular, with angling joins, like a picture frame. Yoke-tops get more elaborately angled from there, however you'd care to divide up their corners. Eventually, they arrive at a no-45-degree-join completely circular or oval shirt top, done solely by inserting expansion-links into the weave. (A subcategory of yoketop; I like to call it a "mantle-top.") This circle or oval is then zipped onto the body barrel, and forward angled sleeves also attached. These sleeves are naturally in closed hang, and hence best suit short- to half-sleeve shirts. Contrariwise, and historical-style, a long sleeve works best with the elbows if it is open-hang, the linkrows running straight down the arm, and some added slack built into the elbow region, giving a long mail sleeve rather the look of a sock with a heel to it. You can bend your arm without cutting off blood flow to your hand with the sleeve so made. And that's what the Trevor Barker shirt does. The "Original Bladeturner" can be helped in this direction by making the back side of the shirt top wider than the front side, to give slack for the arms, making the quadrangular shirt top somewhat lopsided, angling the sides so the sleeves have more arm freedom forward. Do let's chat more; there have been many developments in mailshirts.
  9. Konstantin the Red

    Looking to expand my ring inventory

    I predict your inexperience will soon end! Chainmail science ain't exactly rocket science, so you'll be able to pick this up pretty easy. As you're a jeweler, I suppose your maximum ID ever, in a suitable wire diameter, would be somewhere around 3/8". Suitable wire would measure anywhere between 16ga's .063" to .080" for 14ga -- in SWG anyway; aluminum and other metals in that range would also suit nearly anything you're likely to begin with. Your minimum etcetera I'd guess at about 1/8". That ID, wire in proportion, produces a very fine-textured mail, pleasant in the hand. And of course, with butted stuff, if you don't like what's coming out of your weaving, you can easily disassemble and start over. Music, and for some people video, makes this less tedious so it's not a biggie. I've never woven E4-1 at its minimum possible AR of 3.2 -- it's much less flexible there. AR 4 is far handier all round, particularly for shirts of mail. If mail teaches a young person nothing else, it will teach patience and even a little discipline.
  10. Konstantin the Red

    Looking to expand my ring inventory

    How's your grasp of link aspect ratio, then? You've noted some weaves and chains can best be done with links of certain ratios of link ID over wire D. An organized approach would be to get the next size up in both wire diameter and link inner diameter -- and, mirroring this, the next size down. It will save some time to never mind using gauge numbers, but use the measured wire diameter, for steel wire uses a different gauge from aluminum, brass, and copper. Gauge numbers do make a convenient conversational shorthand, but in technical explorations like this, actual wire diameter is more useful.
  11. Konstantin the Red

    project advice

    Solder wouldn't do it, but solid/punched, weld, or riveting (much less capital investment than welding gear) would work for that maximization. For steel wire. That said, for a few pounds' burden, such extras won't be needed; you'd be giving the packstraps some breadth anyway. The stiffness of your wire will handle the job. If therefore you want to maximize that wire stiffness, select stainless wire and butted links for the job. Only thing harder is high tensile wire out of cables and guy wires, and those latter are thickly galvanized. Your main matter is selection of wire -- soft easy wire isn't what you want, nor black annealed tie-wire/rebar wire, which is also very soft. You know you're dealing with really hard and stiff wire if you find you need small boltcutters to cut the rings from the coil.
  12. Konstantin the Red

    Ring Size Help

    That was a rather poor decision on your book author's part to get into ARs and then throw gauge at you in a context where it's useless, rather than wire diameter measured in the same units as the link inner diameter. Fortunately, this is easily rectified. There are at least a few converter pages where you can enter gauge (and which one) and get diameter, or vice versa. You can google these up. Take notes, or do a little memorizing once you've gotten there. At least one mailler site also has a conversion table in its reading library. (M.A.I.L., I think) If you are located in the States, you're going to encounter in the common metals both Steel Wire Gauge and American Wire Gauge, which is the more elaborate in theory of the two. They divide along materials lines: American Wire Gauge/AWG is electrical, and its gauge numbers relate to currentcarrying capacity. It's used on brass, copper, and aluminum, the common electric wire metals. At the consumer level, most attention to this shows up in electric extension/power cords. All these metals can sometimes be scrounged out of construction dumpsters, which is fun for those with more time than money for the hobby. Steel Wire Gauge/SWG is steel wire, generally something more or less structural, from wire fence to bits of buildings. Springy, higher carbon music wire has its own independent gauge. For maillers, this is also a pretty esoteric material. Few just happen onto it; mostly they have to deliberately go looking. And pay for it. MIG electric welder wire is in diameters, period; doesn't do gauge at all. Thank goodness. Have your desired diameter in mind while you shop for welder wire in steel, aluminum, or (!) titanium. Within a certain span of wire diameters often used by home maillers, a difference of two gauge numbers happens to give a rough parity of diameters: 14ga AWG is close to the wire diameter of 16 ga SWG, et cetera. For calculating, and a lot of the time even for posting on a mailling board, you can save time by not mentioning gauge numbers at all but sticking to diameters. Gauge number is a convenient conversational shorthand but for trying to solve a problem its usefulness tapers off after that.
  13. Konstantin the Red

    Rings and Pliers

    Though chain nose pliers in general, superb at making chain links for necklaces etcetera, don't have the leverage flatnose pliers do for twisting links open or closed. They're even less adequate for working in steel, where you need sufficiently powerful leverage -- don't fear to use slipjoint regular ole pliers on steel links.
  14. Konstantin the Red

    Weighted Maille

    In a given wire thickness and thus a given AR, 6-1 will be significantly heavier than the same area -- square footage -- of E4-1. E8-1 will need a bigger AR to fit two more links through, so the wire goes skinnier for a given link ID. It's a handsome, stripe-ish looking weave but perhaps more decorative than out-and-out effectual. Rule of thumb is to expect 6-1 to be twice as heavy per area, between half again as many links in it (half again as much metal) and that the links will be propped into a steeper link-lie -- a hundred links' worth of row isn't going to go as far around you. That's one reason expansions don't get you as much as with the more open 4-1 weave; you also don't get the same amount of stretch/contract. Keep your shoulder straps as wide as will fit on you, to spread the load of this shirt on your shoulders. A skinny wifebeater style undershirtlike strap will want to dig into your traps muscles, owie. Now you won't have to discover this by experience. Formfitting: okay, what is your chest size (checking your t shirt size is good enough) and your natural waist measurement, at the level of your navel? That is, are you an in-shape dude, star of track and field, lean of waist and broad of shoulder, or is your sixpack more a pony keg? To truly broaden the shoulder and deepen the chest, we're talking either splitting a lot of firewood with a big ax, or resistance training, with weights, featuring a lot of (eventually) heavy bench presses, incline and decline bench presses, military (overhead) presses, and French (same as military except the barbell goes down the back of your neck on the bottom of the rep) presses. Various biceps and triceps exercises also, so your arms stay in proportion to your massive pecs. With these and heavy forearms exercises -- for only heavy exercises develop and grow those dense muscles -- your grip will become so strong that no pickle jar can resist! The kind of development a daily wear mail shirt will give you is more nearly aerobic -- your endurance increases. You will mostly detect this in *not* feeling so exhausted, so spent, at the end of your mailshirt hours. Or you can join the military and do all that with calisthenics in basic training, and gym work after basic. If you go combat-arms, that is. Which will mentally suit you to bear a shirt of mail with conviction. Rrahrr! Allows you to pick up a viking-era sword to go with that short mailshirt, and do so as would a steely-eyed killer of men. Because you'll know more, inside of you, how to do that.
  15. Konstantin the Red

    Weighted Maille

    Steel´s your metal then. Not only for density but strength too. Don't even conceal-wear it; put the thing on like a pullover. After doing your exercise thing, remove it in the known manner for removing mailshirts if you build a pullover shirt, which is in many ways really the best way to live with mail's enormous inertia. You bend way over, haul at the neckhole with your hands, and shimmy to help things along. Gravity is your friend; you end up with a puddle of mailshirt on the ground in front of you. Trying to hide it inside a coat lining is rather overthinking things -- go simpler. Ingenuity is plenty cool but not called for here to arrive at your exercise goal. Really, the worst that might happen is somebody would take you for a Creative Anachronist if they see you jogging down the street in a mail shirt. If you want to cover your mail in a windbreaker or warmup jacket, that's fine too. Making it real heavy means weaving Euro-4-1 weave dense. I'd pick a link aspect ratio of 4 for this job -- density of weave with flexibility too. The lowest you can get E4-1 weave's Aspect Ratio, or AR, is 3.2, like the beer -- it doesn't drape, it sort of bends. AR 4 is like wire of .063" diameter in a 1/4" ID link. Not too dreadful tough to weave at home, and also of a rather fine texture when finished. Heavier gauge wire than that, say 14ga .080" wire, needs 5/16" ID, and also feels coarser and rougher. And will be hefty! These will also be smoother than any scale shirt, and wouldn't shred up any clothing from the inside if you do go to the trouble of putting anything over the mail. Something like two sweatshirst worn *under* the mail is enough. If you want, one shirt sleeveless.