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antmanx68

Ring size help

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Hey TRL! I've been dormant for a while, making little projects here and there. Currently I'm finishing up a galvy half shirt with short sleeves (to be worn under surcoat or tunic) but I need a little help on my next project.

I want to make a shirt or hauberk with regular alum rings, thick guage, biggish ring size. I've experimented before with some 12g 7/16 rings and although the 4-1 worked fine- it just left a little too much space between the rings for my liking. I was wondering if anyone had any 4-1 experience using 12g rings. What's the smallest ID you'd use to maintain movement and flexibility? I'm going for a Boromir-esque sort of look to the shirt.

boromir1.jpg

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You planning to get hit in it? If so, you're going to have to go fat wire, like 10ga AWG and tight AR -- 3.9ish. SCA aluminum 'berkers have had some success this way. Flexibility is of course somewhat reduced. Expansions are best implemented with expansion holes, not expansion links.

Since this is a shirt, regardless of how costume-y, and not a piece of jewelry -- why aluminum? Aluminum wire is soft, squashy stuff, and for durability you have to bulk it up substantially so any weight savings are marginal. Boromir, AFAIK (some few rereadings of the LOTR Trilogy in my time), wasn't equipped with one of those Dwarvish shirts that rusted not. That was more a Bilbo and Frodo kind of thing...

Edited by Konstantin the Red

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You planning to get hit in it? If so, you're going to have to go fat wire, like 10ga AWG and tight AR -- 3.9ish. SCA aluminum 'berkers have had some success this way. Flexibility is of course somewhat reduced. Expansions are best implemented with expansion holes, not expansion links.

Since this is a shirt, regardless of how costume-y, and not a piece of jewelry -- why aluminum? Aluminum wire is soft, squashy stuff, and for durability you have to bulk it up substantially so any weight savings are marginal. Boromir, AFAIK (some few rereadings of the LOTR Trilogy in my time), wasn't equipped with one of those Dwarvish shirts that rusted not. That was more a Bilbo and Frodo kind of thing...

Thanks for the reply. It will be strictly costume, no hitting. I'm only choosing regular aluminum for the light weight and metallic look (Bright alum is too shiny for me). I'm a very large person and a shirt of steel would weight a ton and be no fun to walk around in all day. This is for Halloween / Ren Faire use.

I'm very familiar with LOTR books and films and I'm just using Boromir's film shirt as an example. It's pretty much the same type of ring used with all mailed Men of Gondor wore in the films. Those rings are square but I haven't found a supplier for that, I'm just trying to get loosely the same look. Here is an example of a previous piece made with 12G 1/2"ID aluminum. I like it but I want a "tighter" looking weave without so much space between hanging rings. I guess 12G 7/16" would be my best bet then. Will is still move enough to be worn as a shirt? If anyone had examples of 4-1 done with this size rings I'd love to see them.

post-2719-0-22435000-1314365985_thumb.jpg

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The squared-wire look came of Weta's making most of the shirts by using a tubing-cutter sort of technology to run up a bajillion links from PVC tubing -- with little waste from the cutting process, heh heh, elegant, right? They'd snip the resulting rings, weave them together E4-1, and a droplet of PVC cement to re-close, then a suitable spraypaint job for the full effect. Marvelously light in weight, and what everybody in long and medium shots wore to bear up well under long set hours.

There were close-up shirts made in metal for those shots where nothing else would do.

You may have noticed that square wire, while available -- often in expensive materials like spring wire -- is the very devil to coil and keep straight. The wire twists naturally under the stress of the coiling.

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The squared-wire look came of Weta's making most of the shirts by using a tubing-cutter sort of technology to run up a bajillion links from PVC tubing -- with little waste from the cutting process, heh heh, elegant, right? They'd snip the resulting rings, weave them together E4-1, and a droplet of PVC cement to re-close, then a suitable spraypaint job for the full effect. Marvelously light in weight, and what everybody in long and medium shots wore to bear up well under long set hours.

OMG! That sounds so cool I might have to try something like that. I'm looking around now to see what else can be used to make rings.

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Weta workshop is magic. Originally they did make them out of straight up PVC pipe in a deli slicer like machine but it's down to a science now. I have made some plastic mail before that looked very decent but was a pain to keep the rings closed. You can check out Dai Mogwai's Indy mogul tutorial on making your own plastic rings out of silver colored plastic bindings for calendars and such. Weta now has a factory in china that produces high end suits of plastic mail for films. All of the suits for Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood are theirs. The rings are Injection molded so that they snap shut ala shower curtain rings. No pliers needed. It truly is the Holy Grail of costume mail. Shame they do not sell them publicly.

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Heck, it's recently come to my attention that with overlapped, pierced steel links for riveted mail that you don't need pliers to stick 'em together. They apparently snap into each other rather like key-rings once the overlaps are flattened out good. This would explain the absence of pliers in the couple of examples of period artwork showing a mail maker at work. (I tend to reserve "mailler" for modern hobbyists and artisans.) There are tongs that seem to be for setting the rivets, just one pair, often accompanied with a dinky little table anvil set into the bench on a spike, and a small hammer lying near to hand to help with the tongs (or some other technique to set the rivets), and aside from the mail piece being worked on, the bench hasn't anything else.

So what does this old-school method mean to the finished mail item? Roughly half the weight of comparable 14ga-wire butted.

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