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Bladeturner

Getting back into it, a few questions about scales.

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So I was big into chainmail back in the early days of the net.  to the point where I was running my own site starting on geocities, and moving up to my own host (bladeturner.com, which I abandoned and eventually lapsed into non existence.)  I ended up build myself a shirt and coif using stainless 1/8" rings, which took up something like 130,000 rings and a year of weekends free time.  Once kids came, those weekends didn't leave me a lot of time to build.

Fast forward to now, my kids are older now, and I've got more time.  I inevitably ended up back here and I find that scales are a thing, I bought a simple kit, give it a try, and I'm sold.  I'm planning to build up a scale shirt for my brother in law, who does a lot of larping.  So I'm looking for a bit of advice.  I did some searches on this forum, and elsewhere and can't find the answers to a few things:

1.) Is there a pattern for a vest or shirt available?  I recall doing things like the armpits in chainmail was a bit tricky.  Either free or paid is fine with me.

2.) I'm currently adding scale to the piece on at a time.  Is there some equivalent to speedmail for scales? 

3.) What do people do in general to keep anodized scales from getting scratched while working?  I currently cover my work surface with a towel, but if there's something better I'd love to know.

4.) Once the size of the project gets unwieldy, what the best storage option?  I'm going to eventually give this as a gift so something fancy would be appropriate. 

I'm having fun getting back into it.  Thanks for any answers.

-Baldeturner

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THE bladeturner?  of the titular "bladeturner pattern" shirt?  if so, i owe you a few thanks!  i guess if you're looking for a shirt pattern, i can at least redirect you back to your own information.  we talked about it here.

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Hi,

1) As a pattern for my scale shirts, I used this link I found in an old forum post here : https://sites.google.com/site/thehappybarbarianhordelands/scale-tutorial 

2) You can also make long chains of 1 scale - 1 ring - 1 scale - 1 ring - 1 scale for each row you want to add, then attach them to the bottom of the main piece.  I'm not sure it is much faster, but it helps when the shirt is starting to be heavy to manipulate.  And the long chains require less attention.

3) I don't find they scratch that easily, even the mirror ones, and if the shirt is going to be used for larping, I would not worry too much about a few small scratches. But a towel or tablecloth is good to avoid the shirt sliding around too much while you are working on it.

4) I've tried a few things, but I prefer to store and carry around my shirts in those heavy-duty reusable grocery bags.  They make some nice ones now with various themes, that could be a good gift wrapping and useful for a long time.

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4 hours ago, TitaniumMithril said:

THE bladeturner?  of the titular "bladeturner pattern" shirt?  if so, i owe you a few thanks!  i guess if you're looking for a shirt pattern, i can at least redirect you back to your own information.  we talked about it here.

Yeah that is/was me.  I find it odd that the bladeturner.com site got bought up and text from the site randomly hoovered and spray painted back on the placeholder.  

I'm not sure I could use my old shirt 45 degree plan on scales because the rings hang in the opposite orientation.  I'm good at making a basic tube for the body, but I'm not sure if a graduated contraction to the neck line would work better, or if the 45 degree style would.  I would think that the 45 degree seam would look cooler, but since this is going to be gifted to a larper, I want to keep movement in the arms easier.

 

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28 minutes ago, liriel said:

Hi,

1) As a pattern for my scale shirts, I used this link I found in an old forum post here : https://sites.google.com/site/thehappybarbarianhordelands/scale-tutorial 

2) You can also make long chains of 1 scale - 1 ring - 1 scale - 1 ring - 1 scale for each row you want to add, then attach them to the bottom of the main piece.  I'm not sure it is much faster, but it helps when the shirt is starting to be heavy to manipulate.  And the long chains require less attention.

3) I don't find they scratch that easily, even the mirror ones, and if the shirt is going to be used for larping, I would not worry too much about a few small scratches. But a towel or tablecloth is good to avoid the shirt sliding around too much while you are working on it.

4) I've tried a few things, but I prefer to store and carry around my shirts in those heavy-duty reusable grocery bags.  They make some nice ones now with various themes, that could be a good gift wrapping and useful for a long time.

The guide in that link is exactly what I was looking for, thanks!

I'm using medium scales and the standard weave with butted stainless rings.  Do you think I'll get myself in trouble for not using the extra rings in the 4-in-1 weave?   I've tried using the split rings, and found the process really ungainly.  

 

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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.

Edited by Konstantin the Red
added a little more

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12 hours ago, Konstantin the Red said:

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.

The funny thing, is I did end up tailoring and altering the shirt that I based the "bladeturner" pattern on latter on after I'd stopped editing or updating the website, and I did it for the exact reason you listed above.  The shirt sits entirely on the shoulders a belt doesn't take the weight without slipping.  

Looking at the document that Iiriel linked, I think I'll probably use chain in the armpits, and look into the Trevor Barker style.  I'm doing a test piece first to get myself up and running and back into the swing of things.

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20 hours ago, Bladeturner said:

The guide in that link is exactly what I was looking for, thanks!

I'm using medium scales and the standard weave with butted stainless rings.  Do you think I'll get myself in trouble for not using the extra rings in the 4-in-1 weave?   I've tried using the split rings, and found the process really ungainly.  

 

If you are using aluminum scales, the stainless steel butted rings are strong enough in the regular pattern, the "extra" rings are only important on the edges, to stabilize them.  I've never used the split rings myself. 

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Wow, it's good to see you back after all these years.

1. I have a new pattern for scale shoulders now. I keep meaning to post details but there are always other more important projects to attend to. If there was more interest it might happen sooner.

2., 3. & 4. Get yourself a swiveling shirt display stand like one of these. https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/DL888-High-ending-Men-shirt-dipaly_60594788158.html or a valet stand if you want to be fancy. https://karvluxury.com/product/classic-valet-stand/

Once you've finished the mantle piece just hang it inside out on the stand and build down from there. It's the fastest way I've found to weave unwieldy scale shirts and it keeps the scales from getting scratched up. Once the shirt is done flip it right side out and you now have a decent looking display for it.

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3 hours ago, lorenzo said:

Wow, it's good to see you back after all these years.

1. I have a new pattern for scale shoulders now. I keep meaning to post details but there are always other more important projects to attend to. If there was more interest it might happen sooner.

2., 3. & 4. Get yourself a swiveling shirt display stand like one of these. https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/DL888-High-ending-Men-shirt-dipaly_60594788158.html or a valet stand if you want to be fancy. https://karvluxury.com/product/classic-valet-stand/

Once you've finished the mantle piece just hang it inside out on the stand and build down from there. It's the fastest way I've found to weave unwieldy scale shirts and it keeps the scales from getting scratched up. Once the shirt is done flip it right side out and you now have a decent looking display for it.

That's... a great idea.  I'm currently staring at my test piece which starts at the bottom, and am wondering how I could turn it into shoulders.

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14 hours ago, lorenzo said:

Wow, it's good to see you back after all these years.

1. I have a new pattern for scale shoulders now. I keep meaning to post details but there are always other more important projects to attend to. If there was more interest it might happen sooner.

2., 3. & 4. Get yourself a swiveling shirt display stand like one of these. https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/DL888-High-ending-Men-shirt-dipaly_60594788158.html or a valet stand if you want to be fancy. https://karvluxury.com/product/classic-valet-stand/

Once you've finished the mantle piece just hang it inside out on the stand and build down from there. It's the fastest way I've found to weave unwieldy scale shirts and it keeps the scales from getting scratched up. Once the shirt is done flip it right side out and you now have a decent looking display for it.

One of the things that I have coming up is a rebuild of a scale shirt I made using aluminum rings, that I plan on replacing with carbon or stainless. It needs a reprofiling (I'm both better now and have lost 40 pounds), so I'd be really interested in seeing that shoulder design when you've got time.

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51 minutes ago, Rob MacLennan said:

One of the things that I have coming up is a rebuild of a scale shirt I made using aluminum rings, that I plan on replacing with carbon of stainless. It needs a reprofiling (I'm both better now and have lost 40 pounds), so I'd be really interested in seeing that shoulder design when you've got time.

Seconded.

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I'll get started on a tutorial then, periodic reminders would be appreciated. BTW Rob congrats on the weight loss, I'm actually trying to lose 40 lbs myself, it's a lot harder now than it was when I was younger.

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32 minutes ago, lorenzo said:

I'll get started on a tutorial then, periodic reminders would be appreciated. BTW Rob congrats on the weight loss, I'm actually trying to lose 40 lbs myself, it's a lot harder now than it was when I was younger.

I got lucky. I managed most of that just by giving up diet soda and going back to the real thing. Not sure that I believe all of that "starvation mode" crap, but that worked for me.

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Here are couple examples of my most basic shoulder pattern. This technique can also be used for more advanced styles. Spaced out for smooth curves, combined with contractions for form fitted tailoring, etc.

Let me know if you guys have any more questions about it.

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The top and bottom pieces are the torso, neckline to the right, sleeve on the left. The longest seam runs from the neck down the trapezius muscle to the acromion and transitions from an expansion seam to a straight seam just past there. The shorter seams run from the neck down into the armpits on the front and back.

Here's a link to some pictures of a dress we made so you can see the technique in situ.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.760886937333833.1073741827.133364950086038&type=1

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On 2/28/2019 at 1:06 PM, lorenzo said:

Here are couple examples of my most basic shoulder pattern. This technique can also be used for more advanced styles. Spaced out for smooth curves, combined with contractions for form fitted tailoring, etc.

Let me know if you guys have any more questions about it.

This is a huge help, thanks!  I'm not sure how long I'll make the sleeves on this, since the recipient of this gift will be larping.  I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.  BTW that dress is amazing!

I'm also going to try to incorporate his sigil into the breast, but since it is rather complicated, I may run some vinyl through a Cricut in scale shaped pieces and experiment to see how robust that will be (i.e. will it abrade off), and see about a good way to adhere to the scales.

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You're welcome. For larp you'll definitely want to fill the armpits in with maille or just leave them open. Scale armpits don't move so well. I never recommend sleeves going past the elbow either. The dress was a costume for a movie and it turned out to be cumbersome enough that the actress wouldn't wear it.

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1 hour ago, lorenzo said:

You're welcome. For larp you'll definitely want to fill the armpits in with maille or just leave them open. Scale armpits don't move so well. I never recommend sleeves going past the elbow either. The dress was a costume for a movie and it turned out to be cumbersome enough that the actress wouldn't wear it.

The piece I'm making is for someone relatively thin, but strong.  I probably won't make it very long, and sleeves just halfway down the upper arm.  The test piece I'm making for myself will likely be heavier because I need to lose some weight and inches.

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Three expansion seams, huh Lorenzo? Somehow I never even thought of trying that; probably helps with the 'stick up' issue you can get with just two expansion seams where the sleeves join the torso too... Damn, I may have to pull out the unfinished shirt back out (intended to be my last piece, for a good while at least) and give this a try...

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Three is a pretty close approximation for most peoples shoulders, you could go up to four for better freedom of movement in some situations. The way these seams are constructed there shouldn't be any issues with scales sticking up, you can definitely make more flexible expansions but these are the smoothest looking that I know of.

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On 3/5/2019 at 5:33 PM, lorenzo said:

Three is a pretty close approximation for most peoples shoulders, you could go up to four for better freedom of movement in some situations. The way these seams are constructed there shouldn't be any issues with scales sticking up, you can definitely make more flexible expansions but these are the smoothest looking that I know of.

Quick question about those images of the shoulders.  What size scales are those?  I couldn't tell if they were large or medium.  Thanks.

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