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Chainmail Armour For Dog


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#1 azezal

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:39 PM

I want to make a suit of chainmail armour for my dog. I don't know anything about how to do this. My budget on equipment and parts is about £300. Ideally I would like to make it from iron, or any other material suggested. I figure steel would be too hard to work with, because of the high melting temp. It just needs to be practical and not too heavy.

I opted out of using platemail because it is just too difficult for a newbie like me to make.

Would it be easier and cheaper to buy stock chainmail and build it from there? I would rather go for the slightly more expensive option if its easier.

#2 Frostfly

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:07 PM

I want to make a suit of chainmail armour for my dog. I don't know anything about how to do this. My budget on equipment and parts is about £300. Ideally I would like to make it from iron, or any other material suggested. I figure steel would be too hard to work with, because of the high melting temp. It just needs to be practical and not too heavy.

I opted out of using platemail because it is just too difficult for a newbie like me to make.

Would it be easier and cheaper to buy stock chainmail and build it from there? I would rather go for the slightly more expensive option if its easier.


sounds like you have a VERY big budget. It kinds depends on how much work you wanna do, vs how much you wanna spend. Iron is not a very viable concept, it's hard to find in much varity, Mild steel is MUCh easier to find. you could order Wire and wind your own rings, easily the most time consuming method, but you learn the entire process. You can buy rings some place...maybe like this site, and weave it from there. you could pay someone to do it for you I suppose too. Which option you can afford depends on the size of the dog and how full you want the "suit" to be.
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#3 Cynake

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:38 PM

http://jeffdeboer.co...77/Default.aspx

He's done a bunch more. Like, 15 or something.

(edited 'cause pics weren't showing up)
(edited again 'cause I can't get 'em to show up, he's probably disabled hotlinking, click the link, be amazed).

Edited by Cynake, 30 January 2010 - 01:34 AM.


#4 WeekendWarrior

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 06:33 PM

Posted Image
Posted Image


There are no words to describe how awesome that is

#5 losthelm

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 07:44 PM

What bread and size dog do you have?
Do you want to build this your self or would purchasing be an alternative?

http://www.pitbullar.../dog-armor.html
www.pitbullarmory.com/dog-armor just incase the link does not work :)
Even after the excessive postage it still comes under budget for an average dog.
The custom fit would drive the price right up if your dog is not a pit bull in the 65lb range.

Armouring dogs can be odd. I have the Nylon walking harness replaced a number of times due to chewing.
Leather straps would probibly go just as quick but that depends on the temperment of the animal.

For costume ware I would sugest a base garment of sometype under the mail. useing a dog coat pattern for the base garment.
Replaceing the hook and loop tape with leather straps and buckles. A free pattern if you need one
http://www.finedivin...oat-pattern.pdf
I would sugest useing two layers of trigger/duck cloth and cotton batting for a quilted look.

Once you have the base garment done overlay the outer shell with chainmail.
E4in1 or J6in1 would be a good starter weave.
After finishing the chainmail layer stich to the chainmail to the base garment.

Edited by losthelm, 29 January 2010 - 07:47 PM.


#6 Konstantin the Red

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 10:55 PM

I want to make a suit of chainmail armour for my dog. I don't know anything about how to do this. My budget on equipment and parts is about £300. Ideally I would like to make it from iron, or any other material suggested. I figure steel would be too hard to work with, because of the high melting temp. It just needs to be practical and not too heavy.

I opted out of using platemail because it is just too difficult for a newbie like me to make.

Would it be easier and cheaper to buy stock chainmail and build it from there? I would rather go for the slightly more expensive option if its easier.


First, welcome and well come, Azezal! May your stay with us be long and profit you much.

Er... melting temp?? What do you think mailmaking entails?!

Chemically pure iron is now pretty much only made for chemistry supply. Very pure Fe, and consequently expensive per pound. It is both softer and more brittle than mild steel wire, which is practically every kind of ordinary wire that isn't high-tension cable, stainless steel, or springs.

Do, please, expunge immediately from your vocabulary the unfortunate Victorianism/gamerism "platemail." Plate is plate, mail is mail, and from an armoring standpoint they work on practically opposite principles, both of which have their strengths. The armoring and mailling communities have come to despise the term as indicative of the most dreadful sort of dilettante.

And a considerable part of forming plate armor may be done cold anyway. However, the how-to for that is better found on another site: ArmourArchive.org. Very cool, educational place. I post there and I recommend it.

I suppose you'd prefer to make your dog suit as butted mail rather than go so hardcore as riveted mail. Unless you are actually spearhunting wild boar on foot -- in that case you truly need the hardcore stuff and not the comparatively costume-ish butted mail. Riveted mail can use lighter wire, and come out 5/8 the weight of comparable-sized butted, and twelve to fifteen times as strong to boot. And it takes more supplies and time to make -- about four times the man-hours, and that's after you've learned how.

Bookmark this site: Butted Mail: A Mailmakers' Guide How-to for making finished mail from scratch -- a coil of wire, that is. This is the cheapest way to go, and is often recommended for largeish mail projects of this kind. You will want the resilient direction of the mail to run parallel to your dog's spine and very likely you will have it, or the dog jacket under it, fasten under his belly. This is opposite from the resilient direction for a shirt for you, which is necessary for an upright-standing primate both to wear a mailshirt and to remove it.

Can you tell us some more about the context in which you intend to deploy this armored dog? Like is this just costume, or something more rigorous like Living History, or reenactment stuff? Knowing your intended use will greatly affect the advice we give.

Edited by Konstantin the Red, 29 January 2010 - 11:00 PM.

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#7 The Metaloids

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 12:16 AM

Another option that hasn't been mentioned yet, depending on what you want the armor for, would be the welded chainmail that TRL sells. They sell it by the square foot i believe, relatively small stuff but it's fairly strong, similar if not the same as they use for shark suits. You could buy it by the roll and then tailor it from there, either using butted rings if you care less about strength, split rings which would help a little but still be weak points, or even welding the last rings in, depending on your abilities and resources.
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#8 Worldantiques

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 06:56 AM

Posted Image.................authentic antique Edo period samurai dog armor
American Samurai

#9 azezal

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 01:32 PM

Hi. Thanks for all the replies. I've got a chain tunic myself. It is the 5 rings in 1, butted type I think. So it will give me an idea of what to do, when I start this project. I would rather go for the simple option for now, after that I can try riveted mail.

He is a medium size hunting dog, although the armour will not be for hunting, just for keeping him safe in the woods. I would ideally like to have his body, most of his head covered. He wears a muzzle when off the lead so I should be able to work around that.

I don't quiet understand about it being resilient. Do you meen it would have to be able to fit on and off backwards? I'm thinking of a similar style to the one pictured above.

Edited by azezal, 10 February 2010 - 01:46 PM.


#10 Konstantin the Red

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 12:07 AM

The resilient dimension: this is something you have to grasp before you can do very much at all with European 4-1 mail. Grab hold of your mailshirt, laying it on a flat smooth surface so you can readily spot the difference. If your shirt is properly constructed, its resilient dimension will be across the torso. You can pull the mail out quite a bit side to side, you can squash it down into something far narrower side to side.

Now try the same thing up and down. Notice that it doesn't slide together smoothly nor stretch out, but instead pretty much insists on just sitting there the same spread all the time?

This is also easy to see holding the mailshirt up in the air. It doesn't stretch out longer hardly at all, does it? But it does get a lot narrower easily, and the rings get all dense together. This is the effect of the resilient dimension, or direction -- the mail is hanging in its collapsed state, as tight as it can conveniently get from gravity's pull. It tailors the shirt to your person so the shirt fits rather like a slightly tight sweater.

If you really want your pup safe in those pretty fierce woods -- and again, what are you doing that calls for such a thing? Badger hunting? -- your best bet would be the commercial shark/butchers' mail, such as AZON and others sell, like TRL. Light weight, corrosion resistant, low profile. You could conceal it entirely within a dog jacket if you like -- sandwiched.

Edited by Konstantin the Red, 13 February 2010 - 12:08 AM.

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