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LinkSkywalker

Okay, steel does fight back - A new person.

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Yeah, alright, I see now. Steel does indeed fight back. I figured it would be a pain over the course of every hundred rings. I didn't realize it would be a pain every third ring.

While realizing this, I also began to worry. It's tough to close the rings as flush as I believe they can be closed. At the same time I know machine cut rings aren't going close perfectly anyway. I know rings will naturally spring back to where they were, but at the same time, I also figure steel is going to give in that 'return to semi-open' direction just as little as it wants to give in the 'closed' direction, right? As I start my project, I want to confirm that these seem closed enough before I have a shirt of thousands of mostly-closed rings waiting to mostly-fall apart. My phone camera has focusing problems so I have to fight it for weird angles and even then it isn't crystal clear, but if anyone thinks they are closed enough, that'd be a relief. I've been through these forums a handful of times and you all seem plenty helpful.

https://ibb.co/eBkY3p
https://ibb.co/mGvpb9

 

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That's more gap than should be. It's likely in your closing technique. Watch the attached video and look at how I turn the ring past closed, then back again until I can 'wiggle' the ends into alignment. This is aluminum but I use the same technique with both stainless and high carbon steel rings.

 

 

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I can see that. Very cool weave for jewelery though. After my first day working with these rings (14g 5/16 stainless steel) my hands have taken a beating. That said, even if each ring is a pain I have gotten an eye for closing them.

Made a chain 50 rings long (149 in total) and am now starting on the third row, actually making it a weave (and sheet).

 

20181010_204711.jpg

Edited by LinkSkywalker

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Thanks. I usually make beaded jewelry and always wanted to challenge myself and make something that 100,000 other people are not doing on social media. I like Robs video technique on closing the hoops.  I will try that.  I already can tell that if you go pass the closed mark that it usually will slightly bend back in its place on its own so that technique works as well.  And yes.. you will have many the calisus on your hands doing this. lol

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Wow and I was complaining on how long it takes me just to make a bracelet.. lol.. Do you do it in one sitting or over the span of a few days?

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Well, this is my first project and it is day two. I had wanted to get it done by early November but after having to wait a few paychecks to order the rings and then a delay here or there, I finally got to start yesterday. I calculated I'd need to do at least 400 a day to meet that earlier goal -- so obviously that's not happening. If I keep at it each day I might be done in less than 3 months? Don't know. Haven't tried yet.

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Gotcha. Well not sure if it will be for yourself or to sell but if you do sell make sure you charge a pretty penny. The material might be cheap but the labor is what will be the bulk of the price. I have seen Persian style bracelets (very similar to the box chain bracelets I make) go for $90. And your making a shirt so..

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It is for me. That said, it seemed like I could buy one for the same price as I'd spend on the rings, which was odd to me, but I would rather say I did this myself so here I am. Additional plus is that it would be made to fit me and not too large.

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Good idea. Plus you never know. It might catch the eye of the right person that might be willing to buy one from you. That is if your willing to create another one for the right one. Or sell the one off your back ;-)

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Word of suggestion...

Make square patches and connect the patches together.  When you add 100 rings to 2000 rings you don't see any progress but when you connect a 12 row by 12 column patch to another you see a big difference. When I was working on my 1st shirt that's what I did.  Because I got to the point I could make a 12x12 patch in about an hour.  Being able to see the progress made me want to work on it more.

 

V/r

Md

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I imagine this is prophetic advice. Each bag of 200 will make roughly 2.5 rows in this 50 long sheet. 

As my hands adjust to the steel rings, and it is then my patience that tries instead of my muscles, I will probably use this idea. Thanks again for all the encouraging and constructive advice, y'all.

 

Edit: 2.5, not 3.5. 

Edited by LinkSkywalker

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That looks great. It also raises a question I was considering last night. It appears your weave is stretching horizontally. While I'm making this large patch, it's not as though I've decided which way it will face when I begin to form it into the shirt. Is a horizontal stretch the standard? Is it better for longevity than a vertical orientation? I imagine it is a bit better for fit, at the very least. 

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Having the 'stretch' be horizontal is the norm for European 4-in-1. It allows the chain to better follow the contours of the body and the mail is more dense when hung this way, therefore, it's more protective. If the mail is hung the other way then the links tend to hang fully open.

This doesn't mean that you shouldn't also tailor it to fit when it's "hanging closed." My shirt is loosely based on the "A2" pattern, which can easily be found with a Google search. It involves expansions across the shoulder blades, to allow proper forward reach, and contractions at the waist, to avoid bagging. I'll be adding another 10" or so to the length.

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On 10/10/2018 at 9:25 PM, LinkSkywalker said:

It is for me. That said, it seemed like I could buy one for the same price as I'd spend on the rings, which was odd to me

If you're worrying about your own closures, you would not be happy with the quality of the pre-made shirts at those prices.
 

On 10/10/2018 at 8:57 PM, LinkSkywalker said:

The goal is a shirt. Short sleeved, high on the thighs, so not too long. 

14g 5/16" stainless is 3.7 lbs/sqft. Stop at your belt, or keep weaving until mid-thigh. Or wear a cup when you walk.

Tips for weaving: if it hurts, stop for the day. You started a marathon of a project. It'll be done when it's done. Try Vetwrap on your pliers' handles (https://www.amazon.com/3M-Vetrap-Bandaging-Yards-Black/dp/B000FA201C)

Edited by Eric

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1 hour ago, Eric said:

If you're worrying about your own closures, you would not be happy with the quality of the pre-made shirts at those prices.
 

14g 5/16" stainless is 3.7 lbs/sqft. Stop at your belt, or keep weaving until mid-thigh. Or wear a cup when you walk.
 

Yeah, I've seen reviews of some of those $100.00 butted steel rings shirts. A couple were unboxing videos and, straight out of the box, there were loose rings rattling around in the packaging.

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Basically any shirt that seems to cost as much as the rings themselves throws me, so yeah I imagine they aren't my ideal. Regarding the length, I'll keep the location in mind, hah.

Regarding the patches, I switched over to trying an 8x8 patch yesterday (113 rings), and found preclosing 64 rings took me 25 minutes (and that was after a bit of a slow start) and then weaving the 8x8 took me 50 minutes, so it took an hour and fifteen minutes in total. That said, what I found most impressive was that I could sit down and do over 100 of those rings in a sitting, so that's how I will go from there. Might up it to 10x10 though. Thanks for that tip.

 

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On 10/10/2018 at 5:57 PM, LinkSkywalker said:

The goal is a shirt. Short sleeved, high on the thighs, so not too long. 

The palms of your hands, where you are feeling the soreness, will toughen up.  You just need to give them their daily healing time.  At the first twinge of pain, down tools and do something else; let your flesh rest.  You're good for about an hour starting out; then rest 'em.  Only gradually increase how long you weave, like every few mailling days.  Use big pliers too, for leverage, such as ordinary 9" handle slip joint pliers.  Blunt their teeth with a little bit of filing if you want.

As you twist your links closed with a motion like revving a motorcycle just a bit, shove the link ends together as you twist.  Take two or three snick-snacks back and forth if needed; I often do two.  You can even close pinch cut links, good for armor projects, that way, butting these facet to facet not point directly to point.

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The shirt you're making is known in armour parlance as a haburgeon.  Also spelled haubergeon, anciently something like hauburjon -- medieval French for "little hauberk."  Give it, as Eric said, enough length so the hem of the haburgeon does not ride exactly at nuts level, or it will slap you awfully in three steps.  Mid thigh is good, or a little higher.

Small triangular dags woven onto hem and sleeve are authentic details, and cool looking too.  Good way to use up extra links.  There is a big-dag style of mail piece, but it's associated with the 16th century bishops' mantle mail piece, rather like a short cloak or a huge collar of mail, armoring the upper body and upper arms.  Specific to the Landsknechts, who were an interesting if uncouth bunch that didn't always wear much armor, since they were foot soldiers.  Advanced armor is heavy on a long road march.  And armor was never cheap.

Another okay method for armor mail is to save time pre-opening half your links.  Mail may be woven and speed-woven from a half-and-half supply of opened links and completely pre-closed links.  To pre-open half your links, take half your coils before cutting them into steel cheerios, grab either end of a coil and pull it, stretching the coil out to a little over twice its original length, but don't go farther or your rings will all be bent -- what we call pringled rings, a saddle shape.  That's a hundred links and more, all opened up enough to weave in in about two seconds; lots better than twisting them open individually.  Cut them off the stretched coil as you would an ordinary coil. Store preopened links in a separate container from your closed, or just-cut raw, links.  Preopened links are extremely tangly, like a game of Barrel of Monkeys.  When I dip into them, I grab out a tangled clump with my pliers, and thump the clump on my worksurface, knocking preopened links loose to use.  Use 'em up and repeat the thump for the next batch of loose links.

Preclosing links is another good chore for TV watching.  Or while chatting with friends if you're the talkative sort.  It's all good.

You may have noticed that small mail patches of E4-1 weave can have the links at the edges turn over and get all messed up, position wise.  You will get better with practice at smoothing turned-over, flopped links back into proper position.  A big help is to avoid picking your mailpatch up off your work surface until it's grown big enough, but to slide the link you are going to put into the weave (two links if you're speedweaving) onto the edge you're adding to, closing this link without picking the mailpatch up.  A slightly resilient worksurface is helpful here too.

Mailpatches may be large, especially with shirts of mail, hardly less with mail sleeves (a modular component of harness) or the fourteenth-century camail.  I generally begin a mail shirt with a long chain of doubled and single links, alternating, beginning and ending it with a pair of links, that is as long as the distance from armpit/armscye to the hem, and build a rectangle of mail sufficient to go around me with some slack in the mail, say about as big around as my waistline plus twelve inches, measured when the mail is pulled out to full stretch -- so, a quite large mail patch.  It has a couple of slits included, going from the top edge to about upper kidney level, which are located over where my shoulder blades will be.  These slits are filled in with triangular contraction arrays, flaring the top edge enough to go well around the chest, which in you I presume is a larger measurement than your waistline.  Mail will flatter your form if you have a good one -- and exhibit your Buddha belly if you don't!

You can subdivide great big mailpatches of 30x100 plus into smaller patches of 10x10 or whatever, if convenient -- they are at least not so heavy to push around.  The instructions and construction technique in the link below suggest, in fact, that mail shirts were typically assembled from premade rectangular mailpatches of varied sizes, assembled as needed to make up a shirt.  Rectangles and triangular expansion/contraction arrays (contraction is just expansion turned upside down) and single expansion links were all used together, leaving rectangular zones of no expansions or contractions within them hardly at all.  Zip your smaller patches into big patches as you like.

Shape your shirt, tailoring it, per the instructions here:  https://web.archive.org/web/20160508055350/http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm -- a recipe of how to copy a c. 1438AD historical shirt in the Wallace Collection from when the infantry wore mail for keeps.  (That date is unusually precise for a piece of mail -- attested to by old city records of Hamburg, Germany.) Expansion/Contraction arrays are vital to making armour pieces, and they neatly, easily weave right into the rest of the E4-1 mail weave -- or any variants.  These triangular arrays can be made up ahead of time if you want, and fitted into the mail piece as required; you need some slack in the upper back of the shirt to keep it from binding you and let your arms come all the way forward easily.  You've got enough freedom when you can swing bent arms forward, right arm wrapping to the left and vice versa, and stack your elbows in front of you.  The expansion-contraction array gives you the extra you need behind your arms.  It biases the sleeves rather forward for arm freedom -- which you don't need towards the back.  Your arms don't go that way.

A fitted, tailored shirt actually helps keep some of the mail's weight off your shoulders, with use of a waist belt pulled in snug to put some of its weight on your hips for comfort.  A shirt with some shape won't try and slip down through your cinch belt as you move about. Don't use that cinch belt for a sword belt; use another belt to carry a sword on, so you can remove it when you sit down.  Shorter things than swords can go on your cinch, like a purse and a knife.  Swords get awkward.  Really big swords were more typically carried around over the shoulder like rifles or pole arms.

Those cheap shirts of butted mail are made in a big hurry by people who don't wear them.  In India.

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