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bjorn

Coif collar

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I started a Coif recently and I have brought it down to right at the bottom of my neck area. (I'll try to include a picture in the next few days work has me a little crazy at the moment)

So my next step is to start adding the collar buuuuut.... Here's the crux of my dilemma.

I have not been able to find a decent tutorial that fully explains how to add diameter onto a set of rings.

Not entirely sure I am putting this in a way to be understood so I'll try to elucidate.

So we will say for arguments sake that my neck is 10" (It is no where near that size its just a nice round number). I want to add probably 5 to 6 inches onto that diameter in order to drape the collar of the coif onto my shoulders and not have a weird hanging coif like what I currently have. 

I'd appreciate any pointers any one might have in order to set me on the correct path.

BJ

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There are two ways that you can go.

You can make a series of truncated triangular panels and join them with 45 degree seams. The number of panels is dependent upon the size of the rings that you're using, because different sizes of rings will tend to give different angles of hang.

https://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=31

The other way to go is to add expansions at equal points around the collar. This imparts a curve to the chainamil, while allowing it to grow in size as you build it outward. Just add them as it feels natural, as the collar grows in size.

https://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=423

 

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Perfect.

And I promise going forward to always search the forum before posting repeated topics. I realize now that this is a definite repeat of the same question posed by many other authors. 

Mea culpa.

BJ

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Not so culpa.  Questions like these are ones you have to ask at the beginning -- though you can have some reading fun searching the site on words like "expansions" etc. -- or "tailored shirt."

Not only are we here to be bothered, we also help with the mailler jargon that has developed over the years, so that soon you pick up both the "that's how you fix/do that!" and the lingo.

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I'm currently working on a translation dictionary.

But I'll have to find some of the more obscure bits of jargon scattered here and there.

Believe me in my field of work there are tons of bits and bobs floating around where laymen have no idea what we're talking about.

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Just FYI the part of a coif that covers the shoulders is typically referred to as a "mantle" or when made as a standalone piece without the coif sometimes a "bishop's mantle" or "mail standard".

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The 15th-16th-century bishops-mantle was a great big capelike affair, of several configurations from big-doily to angled but broad strip, that manages one way or another to close at the throat -- tied with a length of thong mostly.  They hang about to the elbows, completely mantling the shoulders, upper torso, and upper arms.  It may or may not feature several -- never many -- large triangular dags to extend coverage a little beyond the edge of the mantle, while also saving weight. It was popular with German and Swiss Landsknechts of the time, as a cheap, simple, fairly lightweight, one size fits all piece of armor, and often enough it was the one piece of armor they bore, without even a helmet.  Though they might shade their eyes with a fashionable hat with slashings to go with their slash and puff garb. And notable beards.

Mail standards are as a rule smaller -- these really are collars, and feature a band of mail close about the neck, again closing up with lacing  or sometimes strap and buckle.  Their particularly important bit is this neckband, with the cowl below being considerably abbreviated -- sort of a border or fringe, often with dags to it.  Helped it stay tucked in under the breast and back armor.  Standards were knightly equipment in fifteenth century plate harness, before the articulated plate gorget developed.  Standards seemed to be called that because they stood up around your neck, and might be of tight-weave (small AR) links which would give it some further body.

Somebody probably combined such a neckband with a bishops-mantle, as a deluxe model; I've never heard of an example coming down to us in the present day.  Both standards and bishops-mantles are depicted in period artwork.

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A rule of thumb for circular mantles for anything is that four expansion links added in per linkrow around yields a flat circle -- a big tin doily -- and three per linkrow gives a shallow cone shape.  Which is quite okay for shoulders.

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Tin Doily would be a great name for a metal band...

I'll try to post a couple photos here later today. 

Going to have to fiddle around with it. 

Read a post that led to a link which made me depressed about how I built the darn thing which isnt at all how it was built according to the article. But hey live and learn and thousands of rings.

BJ

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18 hours ago, Konstantin the Red said:

A rule of thumb for circular mantles for anything is that four expansion links added in per linkrow around yields a flat circle -- a big tin doily -- and three per linkrow gives a shallow cone shape.  Which is quite okay for shoulders.

Just a quick correction, it's actually six expansions for a flat circle. Less than that forms a cone, more than that forms a ruffle. With a loose AR the difference between 4-8 expansions per link row isn't very noticeable.

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Again great name for a metal band...

WE ARE... HYPERBOLIC RUFFLE!!!

BJ

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So basically I'm probably going to have to mess around with the number of expansions needed to allow the mantle to fall along my shoulders.

This piece is going to be the experimental one for me and the next piece will be more period correct with the lace up the back of the neck.

Now for my next question... I have seen many different tapestry and movies which depict a mouth covering for lack of a better term which is tied up somehow and when not used falls loose on a sort of hinge or just an angled bit of mail. 

1.) What's the proper term for this part. 

2.) And what time period or is it even a functional piece that was included in coifs before plate was more widely used.

BJ

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I'm not aware of a specific term for the flaps on coifs but perhaps Konstantin will know. 

Coifs as a rule were only in wide use before plate armor was. During the transitional period they fell out of use in favour of the aventail or camail and were pretty much gone by the time the age of plate armour came about.

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46 minutes ago, lorenzo said:

I'm not aware of a specific term for the flaps on coifs but perhaps Konstantin will know. 

Coifs as a rule were only in wide use before plate armor was. During the transitional period they fell out of use in favour of the aventail or camail and were pretty much gone by the time the age of plate armour came about.

I was beginning to doubt my search skills, but eventually found that it's called, rather unsurprisingly, a "ventail."

https://learning.battleofbannockburn.com/battlepedia/armour/mail-coif/#.XvUjfed7mHs

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You know, I'd forgotten "ventail."  Whether the term is period-medieval or not might not matter.

"Ventail" is also a term that migrated to plate armor, for that part of a helm or a close-helmet (that's the stereotype knights' helmet with the visor) you breathe through.  Very necessary! The holes and slots cut in there are dubbed breaths.

Circling back to articles of mail, there's the aventail, that is a drape of mail covering neck, throat, chin, and more or less of the shoulders.  The term may have arisen from a misunderstanding, since nobody really breathes through one,  but it's long established. Centuries.  Aventails, a/k/a camails -- the word I like better -- hung from 14th-century bascinets.  See the Tomb of Edward the Black Prince for a famous depiction.  It makes a very simple solution to the problem posed in protecting the neck and allowing all of the neck's motions, and was about as effective as any piece of mail ever got, owing to being suspended a little off the neck it protected, and particularly when large enough to just lap over the shoulders -- a sword blow landing there had to bash its way through space, inertia, and mail's dragginess over any bodily hump.  Really soaks up the impact.

The Black Prince's camail seems to have a lightly padded liner below it, to give it that  neatly sloping profile; armour nerds have observed a little something petticoating the camail gives the shape seen in period art, like / T \ and not what it falls like when not lined with an extension of the helmet lining, which is more a    _| T |_ shape, dropping straight down at the shoulders before spreading.  We have the Creative Anachronists wearing camails -- camailed bascinets are among their favorite helmets because they fight real good --  to thank for that datum.  They mostly haven't put liners in.

Edited by Konstantin the Red
Come to think of it, there's more!

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 Should've expected something as simple as "ventail". 

I haven't ever heard of the term or really outside of movies such as the robin hood with Russell Crowe seen it even. But as with every other project I begin I wonder to myself..."This isn't half as difficult as I could make it what can I add"

I will not be adding one to this coif but who is to say about the next one.

Also going to be BBQ ing for dinner tomorrow so a great opportunity to see if I can anneal rings in a coffee can in the coals! I cook with wood so once the food is all cooked ill just throw the can in there and see what I can do.

Didn't have too much luck with just normalizing them with a propane torch. They pretty much just skipped off each other rather than flatten. Been using tie wire for rebar which the internet told me was the best wire to use to try riveted rings.

If you lovely folks have any tips or tricks for that too I'm all ears. Seriously due to a horrible set of genetic circumstances my ears are HUGE.

BJ  

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Well, look up what the late Ross Perot said during his abortive presidential campaign in the late eighties -- you've got distinguished company.

Rebar wire is well suited to making riveted links with because as you note it's so soft, almost like it was lead -- so you've got a head start.  It can also be found in hardware stores and online as "black annealed tie wire," what used to be baling wire and maybe still is. 3 1/2 lb rolls usually, or even packages of these. Hard to find any gauge other than 16ga (.063") though you can find some in 18ga (.048") from online vendors.

And rebar wire rusts plenty fast -- talk about  your authenticity!  I've taken a poke at normalizing rings of the stuff stringing them on smallish loops of wire and chucking these into the coals, burying them.  Seemed enough to get them to dull red anyway.

Trying to close them up in a can more evokes case hardening, or cementation, and that's a bigger deal and the classic way wants a coal forge and a little bit of forced air.  It also takes hours at red heat, inside an airtight steel case with some carbon source enclosed.  Or you break out that torch again, and, better living through chemistry, surface harden your metal with Cherry Red hardening compound.

Edited by Konstantin the Red

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On 06/24/2020 at 3:31 PM, bjorn said:

2.) And what time period or is it even a functional piece that was included in coifs before plate was more widely used.

And this one comes out to:  the Crusades and before, plus into about the first decade or two of the fourteenth century, the century of transition from hauberk, mail chausses, and bucket helm -- and extra stuff on the body -- to  nearly complete harness of plate head to foot by century's end.  With a couple decades in the middle where they'd keep a hauberk and put plate bits on over that:  the time of the armor of Visby.  They saw the full hauberk was less and less necessary, and as they armored their limbs in plate, the hauberk shrank to the haburgeon -- a "little hauberk."

Exciting times! -- also the time of the Black Plague.  This may, in a few short steps, have led to more invention of plate armor, because of a shortage of labor.

I digress.  Under early helmets (late Viking times and forward, call it the eleventh century) and under helms, a mail coif covered the rest of the head and neck.  In the couple centuries of the Crusades, early helmets first evolved some curious shapes, still worn over coifs, and by the middle of the thirteenth century, had grown into flat topped helms with eyeslits and breaths, as seen in the illuminations of the Maciejowski Bible.  In that time, hauberks included coifs integral to them, also long sleeves ending in mailed mitts. In the Maciejowski, there is a picture of David bending over and taking a hauberk off. 2nd Samuel, if memory serves.

Armor history, like much history, is full  of all kinds of curious neat... schist.  Yeah.

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Huh now that I think of it kingdom of heaven is where I saw the ventail as well. Which plays into the crusades timeline.

The mitts are another thing I've been interested in I mean I have to complete my first byrnie first buuuut I can dream.

 

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8 hours ago, Konstantin the Red said:

Well, look up what the late Ross Perot said during his abortive presidential campaign in the late eighties -- you've got distinguished company.

Rebar wire is well suited to making riveted links with because as you note it's so soft, almost like it was lead -- so you've got a head start.  It can also be found in hardware stores and online as "black annealed tie wire," what used to be baling wire and maybe still is. 3 1/2 lb rolls usually, or even packages of these. Hard to find any gauge other than 16ga (.063") though you can find some in 18ga (.048") from online vendors.

And rebar wire rusts plenty fast -- talk about  your authenticity!  I've taken a poke at normalizing rings of the stuff stringing them on smallish loops of wire and chucking these into the coals, burying them.  Seemed enough to get them to dull red anyway.

Trying to close them up in a can more evokes case hardening, or cementation, and that's a bigger deal and the classic way wants a coal forge and a little bit of forced air.  It also takes hours at red heat, inside an airtight steel case with some carbon source enclosed.  Or you break out that torch again, and, better living through chemistry, surface harden your metal with Cherry Red hardening compound.

I'll definitely try just burying them this time instead of the can.

The rust definitely will add to the authenticity! That's the best part!

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And rustiness controlled with light oiling using a rag rounds out the authenticity picture.

I don't know if I've said mail pieces seem to have a shelf-life, in the three-way race between corrosion, wearing out, and maintenance/dry storage, of around six hundred years, but that's how it looks.  Mail can get destroyed in battle, corrosion eats the stuff on all its surface area, and knocking off rust and oiling what's left is helpful but more a management than a cure.  Mail pieces definitely older than six hundred years are extremely rare and sometimes only studiable by x-raying concretions with remnants of mail inside.

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Fair enough. Hell if my pieces last ten years or so I'll be over the moon (armor wise that is jewelry is another matter I want that stuff to be heirlooms darnit)

I was thinking of, if I ever manage to perfect the annealing and hammer blows needed, of maybe going to a sheep farm and trying to get some wool straight from the sheep and packing the coat in there. Thinking the lanolin would help protect the coat and maybe waterproof a smidge. Plus getting the whole sheep to stand still long enough to put the nails in the box is too difficult.

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The one time I bought some lanolin it was in a jar, from the local health food and notions supermarket, where they think they sell lanolin for an ointment ingredient.

I said nothing to them about how lanolin cut a little with glycerin -- bought at the same store -- are significant components of bagpipe bag dressing for leather bags (there are also sythetic bags of the Gore-Tex persuasion).  The mix worked.  Bag dressing is to keep breath moisture from affecting the bag.  But do keep the stuff off your drone reeds even though they're close neighbors, right there; it stops them sounding and you have to clean the goopy stuff off to set them right again.

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Haven't worked up the courage yet to actually buy a set. I have the chanter to practice songs and stuff but not the whole bag.

Also thought you were building a bomb at first the ingredients just sounded like Macgyver for some reason.

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