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Revenwyn

Wanting to make a shirt.

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Hi,

I'm wanting to make a shirt for a guy who wears an average XL-XXL shirt, and want it to have about 3-4 inches of ease besides. I'm planning on using 16ga 5/16'' ID bright aluminum. What I want is an idea of is how many rings this would take to create? I want it to be more of a T-shirt length. It would also be my first shirt.

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Just a miscellaneous note- making your first shirt something that large could prove very tedious to you, and even turn you off from mail. I don't know about your previous experience, but if all you've made is jewellery (or nothing at all) this can be a huge leap

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Is this your first project, or your first shirt? For a first project I'd say to go smaller. Bags and jewelry make better first steps into chainmail.

Tips for making a shirt

Make patches, and knit them into the shirt later. Working on the full thing is cumbersome, and heavy.

Make sure you are weaving in the right direction. Doing so will make the shirt fit better, and give some room to change size.

This is a big project. Understand that there will be times where you think it will never end. Keep going and you will get it done

Good Luck

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I don't know that making a shirt as first projects is really all that bad. My first project was a very simple E4-1 belt. The next was a J6-in-1 shirt with an inlay that I had not pattern for--just guess and check. I made the shirt is 1714 galvy and 1814 brass. All of the rings for both projects were made by hand (coiling, cutting--with nippers). While the shirt took a very long time, it is still my favorite piece that I've made. For some people, the "Go big or go home" adage works best with their personalities and plans. I have loved mail from the first time my buddy introduced me to it. While I don't do it as a profession, I've put in a fair amount of time into it and have gotten quite a few compliments on the quality of my work. If you want to make a shirt, just make it. I've used a tank top for sizing for someone and it came out great. I just pulled it to full stretch and added another couple rows to make sure it would fit the intended wearer. I've still never seen a pic of the true recipient wearing it. Still gotta pester my buddy about that. When I get it, I'll post.

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Is this your first project, or your first shirt? For a first project I'd say to go smaller. Bags and jewelry make better first steps into chainmail.

My first project was a pair of three finger dragon-gloves I designed myself. As long as they know what a commitment a large project can be, I don't see why a shirt can't be a first project. In general, I'll agree with you, but it's certainly possible to start big is all I'm saying :)

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My first ever project was a SS hauberk. It got me hooked on mailing, and was a great way to learn how to do it. After all, doing that many links that many times for that many weeks is great training. :)

As long as you accept that it IS a major undertaking, and you have lots of patience, it will be fine, and you'll love the result.

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I personally think that making a shirt for a first project is a bad idea because it is a big job, and many people will get discouraged before they finish. I suggest something that can be finished rather quickly so they have that in hand while they tackle the bigger projects.

When I show people the projects I have they all ask how long it took. I often hear "I could never do that," when I tell them I took a month to build my shirt. I get that reaction much less when I tell them I made a necklace in an hour or three in front of the TV.

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My first project was my shirt, I wound and cut every ring by hand using 16 AWG galvanized bailing wire I bought from lowes. My rings were wrapped around 5/16 dowel and I used about 38,500 rings to complete the shirt.

ChainmailleArmourSuit294.jpg

I later found TRL and bought AA rings to do the cross inlay on the front.

Good luck!

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My first project was also a shirt.

The trick is to do smaller patches and then connect them together later. It takes forever to finish a large sheet and can get depressing. If you work in little bites things go better and you feel like you are getting somewhere.

chain.jpg[/img]chain.jpg

My basement rack still not showing everything I have around here.

Edited by Shadowcat

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A galvanized steel shirt (16 gauge 3/8in. i.d. rings) was my first project back in 1993/1994. All rings hand wound and cut. I still have it, though it is almost black and smells like wet dog now. I've made and ended up selling two others over the years and I am in the middle of my fourth. I've helped friends with the 'grunt weaving' parts of their mail as well. Though not a large body of work compared to some, you will be surprised at just how much you've improved between each project. Keep it simple for your first time to avoid undue frustration and get the basic techniques nailed down. Good luck.

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Ok, something isn't quite right about this thread! It has been established that a shirt makes a fine first project. My first project was a shirt...it wasn't successful...14G 3/8th's galvanized steel from home depot...hand wound and cut...European 6-1...weighs about 50lbs...sits in a box that I've lugged around a few different countries because I don't like it...and it smells...and I'm a bit ashamed of it!

So with that said 16G 5/16 aluminum will complete a number of different weaves, euro 4-1/6-1 for a shirt etc. I wouldn't use it. If someone asked me to make one and offered a ridiculous amount of money I might because business is business but I wouldn't be particularly happy about their choice. Shirts undergo a lot of stress, I've had stainless rings pull themselves apart in a morbid attempt at ring suicide so saying that aluminum isn't my first choice is understandable from this standpoint...(sidenote: I'm still working on that shirt and fixing it may involve a welder). If you were to make a shirt out of 16G 5/16th's euro 4-1 it will create a nice loose weave that shouldn't add much stress to the rings if they're stainless and the shirt should last a nice long time without having to deal with repairs all that often. If you use aluminum you could be seeing repair work every other week. I guess that was my point in responding. By all means make a shirt. Make a shirt out of aluminum (who am I to tell you what to do). Many people on this site and off have created one-off numbers out of aluminum that would put me to shame. Before you begin however, understand what you're dealing with. Aluminum is great for a lot of things...I can't think of any right now because I rarely use it....but I am of the opinion that a shirt isn't one of them unless you want to be dealing with a project for a long long time. I offer a life time guarantee on anything directly made by me and I've had one complaint because of a clasp issue on a bracelet, everything else has either withstood the test of time or the person lost track of me...probably more of the latter! Good luck in your endeavor, by all means make a shirt, I have 5. None of them were using the tutorial above but it's not a bad tutorial, just not my thing. I hope this helps.

Whitesmoke

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