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Altadir

Scale mail mantle, what will I need?

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Hello, I'm starting weaving mail and I want to do a Scale mail mantle like this one: http://www.google.fr/imgres?q=scale+mail+mantle&um=1&hl=fr&safe=off&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:fr:official&biw=1067&bih=596&tbm=isch&tbnid=18uzZ8zetowf_M:&imgrefurl=http://www.etsy.com/listing/66961790/deluxe-scale-mail-chain-mail-mantle&docid=7PkdhWk-flvnGM&imgurl=http://img0.etsystatic.com/il_fullxfull.212474916.jpg&w=1500&h=918&ei=tbHKTvuRLsmcOsfludEP&zoom=1

What ring size shoud I buy to go with the scales on The Ring Lord? How many of those shoud I take? Will I need some special stuff or tools or just the scales and the rings?

Thank you a lot for reading and helping.

Altadir.

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TRL's scalemail supplies page has the sizes of rings, and tells you about the option to use either butted or split rings. If you use split rings you may want a pair of special pliers that are also shown on that page. After looking at that do a search on this forum for Paladin and Scales/scalemail. He has produced some very nice tutorials on how to make scalemail.

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If you're looking to make a mantle exactly like the one pictured, it should not be too difficult. The mail border at the top takes care of all the expansions you need and the TRL recommended ring sizes will make a widely rounded form. However, if you want to go all scales, or make the scale part of the mantle much wider/longer, you will begin to run into problems. You cannot weave expansions into a sheet of scales like you can with mail. You can get the scales to expand and contract on their own a bit more by varying your ring sizes a bit. As an example, the large scales can work with 1/4in. i.d. rings, the recommended 5/16in. rings, and even 3/8in. rings. So if you graduate your ring sizes from smallest to largest, you can get a bit more flex, but will begin to see gaps in coverage at the outermost edges where the 3/8in. rings are. (Note: if you don't have anything tugging on the scales to expand them horizontally/contract them vertically, you will see the holes on the scales hanging below with 3/8in. rings.) If you need more expansion than what this method can provide, you will have to experiment with linking different shapes together to get a semi-rounded form.

An example of this: Make 4 trapezoids, link them together along their diagonal edges (45 degree link) and you will end up with a square shape and a square neck hole. Next add rectangles to the bottoms of your trapezoids and you will see triangles formed from the empty spaces between them. Weave your triangles and attach the top point to the last two scales forming your 45 degree seam, and attach the angled edges obliquely to the straight edges of your rectangles. This means the edge scales of your triangles (except the top point) will have 5 rings going through them. This will get you an expanding flat sheet of scales.

I don't know if that description makes sense to you or not; unfortunately I do not have a picture of the more shallow 'oblique' link in the tutorial I did; it's a trick I learned just a few months ago. I plan on updating it with this and other forms I've learned along the way, but I hope what I got helps out.

By the way, if you go with split rings I definitely recommend the split ring pliers. A few members don't care much for them but most of us swear by them.

@j_betts: Thanks for the compliment. :) At 21 pages it is no bigger or more detailed than a comic book but was still a bit of a pain to do. I am glad it has been of use.

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...... You cannot weave expansions into a sheet of scales like you can with mail.

Are you sure of that? You can certainly do contractions.

And I agree with j_betts' comments on your tutorials.

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Pretty sure; every method I've tried to make an expansion in a flat sheet of scales has resulted in gaps or scales sticking out at odd angles. If anyone else does figure out a way I would love to know about it. On a round form like the top of a coif you can pull off expansions without that problem because you are not using the 'standard weave' until you get to the drape.

Contractions can be executed farly easily because you are attaching two side by side scales to make them into one wider scale. The scales on the row below can be attached without interupting the weave. The most promising attempt at an expansion I made was to attach 2 scales with one ring each, but they would not stay in place and adding stabilizing rings made them want to stick outwards and cause a gap in the sheet. I even tried working a 3rd scale in but that left a bulge in the sheet and the odd way I linked it made it hard to attach the next row nicely.

On a side note, another way to fudge a rounded form, make a saw-toothed sheet and fill in the triangles using 45 degree links. I haven't gotten around to trying it myself yet so it's still just a theory...

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since it is circular you should be able to just keep expanding the bottom row of scale, it will give you an angle that when wrapped around should be circular and meet up in the back, the front looks like a sheet of scales without any expansions in it. they do look like 5/16 rings probably 16g. where they meet the scales and then connecting the scales, but appear to besmaller at the neck and increasing in size at least twice. almost looks like 1/4inch(2 rows)-5/16th-3/8(3 each), the back to 5/16 for the row attaching directly to the scales and linking the scales.

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Thank you all for your answers! It's getting late, and I'll translate your messages tomorrow because english technical terms are still a little bit hard to understand to me. But thank you, once again. =)

Altadir.

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One another question, how many lb of 18g 3/16" dirty aluminium rings should I take for this? Because I've no idea on how many it weights.

Thank you a lot!

Altadir.

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You need at least two rings for each scale. Since you said 3/16 18g I am assuming you are using the small scales; on average it is 1000 per square foot of coverage (about 930 square centimeters). Of course you will need more rings if you are doing mail at the top like in the picture. TRL gives you ring counts per square foot of coverage in their item descriptions. So figure out how many square feet of scales, two rings per scale plus some extra to cover loss, and enough rings for however many square feet of coverage you need.

I would recommend going with stainless steel split rings or butted rings for strength even if you are using aluminum scales. I don't think 18 gauge aluminum is strong enough to hold up well. As for the mail part of the mantle, 16 gauge aluminum in sizes 5/16in. or less should work well enough.

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I was actually planning on making this for my older sister as a Christmas present (might be a bit late, but that is fine). This would be my first real project, though, and I am terrible at selecting ring sizes. What would be the best ring sizes to get? I know I want large scales and stainless butted rings but should I use aluminum or stainless for the exposed rings? I'm sure I'll have more questions, and any help would be extremely appreciated!

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for large scales make sure you use 16g 5/16 rings and you can as long as you are using the large aluminum scales you can do aluminum for the E4:1 sections. if you are going for looks I would recommend the Anodized bright silver Aluminum, (these are really nice) but the bright aluminum is nice and shiny too if you get in tumbled by TRL or wash and tumble it when you get the rings rings. (see thread on new use for washer and dryer, lol) The stainless rings are pretty shiny too, and would look fine but you mentioned something about weight earlier I think. and the picture looks like the either stainless clad alum. scales or the mirror finish scales

Edited by calisandra

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I'm looking to make a scalemail mantle, my first, for my friend's cosplay.  She's going to order the parts but I'm having a hard time figuring out how make the "straight" edge of the scale where it connects to the ringmail and also does it need to be split in the back and fastened together? or can you make it as one piece?  We're thinking it's viable to make it all one piece, but I'm thinking the pattern is made in the form of a circle that's worked out on, she says it needs to be an oval to hang correctly on the shoulders.  I've searched for tutorials on the web but mostly it brings up tutorials on how to make fireplace mantels, everything else is how to do the diamond pattern, but very little on how to finish the edges or to transition from chain to scale mail on one piece.

 

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This is indeed an old thread you have revived. So old in fact that this was before I and others figured out how to weave expansions into a scale sheet. Tutorials: I put together a general guide. It does not specifically mention mantles, but the basic techniques in there are used in their construction. You can find a link to it on TRL's scales page (on the .com site) as well as in various other threads, many in Discussion. 

1) You can make it one piece, or fasten it together somewhere; your choice, both work, both have their own problems to overcome. 

2) For a seamless look it is usually woven as a circle, many look ovular because of how they lay across the shoulders.

3) If you are weaving it as a circle, you will either need to make a wider one filled in with mail (sometimes in graduated ring sizes, googling 'scale mantle' will pull up pics of many made this way) towards the neck or use expansions to keep things laying flat, whether it is solid or fastened together. Using my mantle-top shirt experiment as an example, on the collar piece which is just big enough to go around my 24.5 inch noggin, I made it three rows down (counting in a line vertically, not zigzagging side to side, that would be 5 counting that way) before I actually needed any expansions. 

4) You do not have to make a circle. If you want something more angular, you can do 45 degree links, vertical to diagonal edge links, etc.

I am confused about the 'straight edge' question. Basically, every other vertical row of scales lines up horizontally. Pick a scale in that 'diamond pattern' you mention, go diagonally down one, then diagonally up another; those two scales will line up. I would advise going through the scales albums here on the forums, and the other tutorials you can find on the scales page I mentioned. There is another tutorial besides my own, videos, etc. As you begin to finalize your design you will be able to ask more pointed questions and receive better responses in turn. Also, when searching for particular techniques within the forums, you will get better tips in the newer posts; many of us have been learning this together and improving each others' skills as we have gone along. Hence my reversal on the 'you cannot do expansions' to 'there are several ways to do expansions'... Good luck with it. 

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If you're wondering how to do the "straight" edge where it connects to the chainmail, I'm assuming you mean you want to make the piece of scalemail in a rectangular shape, instead of a diamond one. The easiest way that I have found to do this is just to place another scale without any rings attached directly above the outermost bottom scale. Then by simply looking at the pattern on the rest of the mail you can work backwards and weave that scale into the pattern. Keep doing this on consecutive rows and you'll have a rectangular shape. 

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