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mccamper

6:1 Chainmail

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I want to start making my own chainmail.

I own a 4:1 hauberk (bought it, didn't make it).

I had to make adjustments around the neck so I had some extra rings.

I practiced how to do a 4:1 but then I found that there are other patterns like 6:1 and 8:1.

I tried 6:1 and I love it. It looks great and will protect much better.

The rings I have are galvanized and are 3/8 ID, which is kind of tight for a 6:1.

What ID sizes rings should I use? I want it a little tight, but I want to be able to move pretty easy with it.

I want to order some rings today.

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I want to start making my own chainmail.

I own a 4:1 hauberk (bought it, didn't make it).

I had to make adjustments around the neck so I had some extra rings.

I practiced how to do a 4:1 but then I found that there are other patterns like 6:1 and 8:1.

I tried 6:1 and I love it. It looks great and will protect much better.

The rings I have are galvanized and are 3/8 ID, which is kind of tight for a 6:1.

What ID sizes rings should I use? I want it a little tight, but I want to be able to move pretty easy with it.

I want to order some rings today.

6:1 is a waste of time for a shirt. It's not as strong when making butted link armor and a LOT heavier for the size.

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What are you trying to protect yourself from?

foam weapons, Rattan, rebatted steel are the most common but each group can have differnt standards.

the SCA for instance requires hard plates over key areas even if your wearing a full haulberk

For the simple reason that chainmail does not provide enuff protection from blunt force trauma.

Some larp groups have very spacific requirments on what counts as armour with assigned proteciton values.

Galynized works well to learn, for demonstrations, or renfairs.

Aluminum works well for fairs and demonstraitons being light, and low matenence if your just standing around it does not hold up as well.

Stainless is more expencive and weighs a lot more but it will hold up better for actual use in SCA or rebated steel or rought larps.

Galvy is cheap and readily available some people don't like the way it looks, or smells with a slight rub off from the zinc oxidation leaveing a gray grim on costuming or other fabric.

Spring steel is harder to work and holds up better then stainless to direct force if your investing that kink of time and money I would start something small. i'ts not rust resistant so a regular tumbling or some light oil will be neaded the oil/rust can transfer to fabric.

I would hold off on ordering materials untill after you have done a bit more research into your project.

www.cgmaille.com tutorials and patterns

http://www.theringlord.org/forum/Index.php?app=gallery great pictures from other board members

www.mailleartisans.org another chainmail centric forum with other tutorials and another gallery

A lot of chainmail armour is imported from pakistan and india so trying to compeat on a comercial leave with basic armour is a waste of time.

There is intrest in custom, inlay, or specialty armour but the basic E4in1 rivited, welded, or butted is just to labor intensive to compeat with these cheap imports.

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I am so tempted to save the following diatribe so that I can paste it in ever time a newbie discovers chainmaille shirts and 6-1.

The main reasons not to use 6-1, 8-1, etc in a hauberk.

Chainmaille laying against flesh does almost nothing against blunt force trauma. It is a matter of physics. Mail is not stiff enough to spread or stop the blow and there is not enough movement for the mass of the mail to absorb the blow. In most modern combat, SCA, german longsword, etc, one is not getting sharp force trauma but blunt force trauma. In a crushing blow, say a rattan sword or blunted steel sword, the force of the blow goes right through the mail and into the body. That is why chain maille is not considered armour in the SCA. If you are wondering what was used to protect against blunt force trauma it is the padding under the mail that absorbs the blow. Mail protects against cuts; padding protects against impact

As one goes up in number of rings (6-1, 8-1, etc) to maintain flexibility the aspect ratio (the ratio of the inside diameter of the ring to the wire size) must also increase. As aspect ration increase the strength the of the rings decrease. Therefore to increase the strength of a shirt by going to 6-1 one is decreasing the strength of each ring in the shirt; one end up very close to where one started in terms of strength.

The beauty of 4-1 is that it expands and contracts easily to compensate for weight change, breathing, bending etc. To make a 6-1 shirt the weave is much less flexible and does not expand /contract much at all. This make breathing and movement more difficult. Less movement means being hit more.

6-1 and higher get very heavy very fast. If you look at 6-1 from the side you can see it gets very thick. I have a piece of 16G 1/4" 6-1 and it is almost 3/16" thick. This make a full shirt 2-3 times the weight of a 4-1 shirt. Would you rather wear 40lbs or a 80lbs? With the heavier hauberk you will move slower (getting hit more) and tire quicker. There are many examples of 6-1 shirts sitting in closets of taken apart because they are to heavy to be practical.

There are reasons what there are few if any historical examples of 6-1 hauberks. There are examples where certain parts such as chest and kidney areas where 6-1 were used but these are rare and never a full shirt.Considering that their lives depended on it they probably knew a lot about constructing chainmaille.

So if one wants to make a restrictive, heavy, historically inaccurate hauberk that can only be worn for short periods of time (due to tiring or being 'killed') go right ahead and make a 6-1 hauberk.

Movak

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I agree with the above; in fact E6 is actually weaker than E4 if you use the same wire rings (with a bigger AR, of course).

If you really want a more dense look, you should give Oops! (European 4 in 1 Unbalanced) a try. It is about 1,5 times as dense (and heavy) as regular E4 with the same AR rings, and almost as flexible. I think it's stronger than E4, but probably not by the same amount as it is heavier. You could also go for Trinity (a 3 in 1 weave) with smaller AR (and therefore stronger) rings; another dense but flexible weave. Both are not historically accurate, though, and I wouldn't recommend them for a beginner's hauberk.

But as said above, chainmail doesn't really protect against blunt force trauma, no matter what weave or rings you use.

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Actually, I'm in the middle of making a 6-1 shirt right now, just to prove that it's a viable armor. Mine is made from 18 gauge, quarter inch rings, which allows for plenty enough flexibility. I'm slightly worried about armpit flexibility, but we'll see. Either way, personal experience through experimentation shows that it can stand up to a sword thrust, as long as the blade width is wider than 3/4ths of an inch and at least 1/8th of an inch thick. As others have said, don't try this at home. Underprotection is vital when wearing chainmaille. Either way, if someone tells you it can't be done, do it just to spite them. That's my motto, at any rate.

A word of advice: 6-1 takes a LOT longer than 4-1, takes a LOT more material, and is nearly twice as heavy. Otherwise, shoot for the stars, and good luck!

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I have a couple of questions to ask;

1. How much have you done?

2. What material are you using?

Considering that riveted 4-1 does not stand up to sword thrusts, as proven many times by extensive test, I doubt very much that butted 6-1 is proof against the same attack. The problem is that any sword point will enter the rings and spread them. 6-1 will be harder to penetrate than 4-1 but not impossible.

You said yourself that the 6-1 was nearly twice as heavy as 4-1. Considering steel 4-1 hauberk can weigh 40 pounds, is an 80 pound hauberk really practical? I never said it was impossible; just impractical for how it is going to be used.

Movak

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I am actually in the middle of making a hauberk of 14ga 3/8" e6-1. It is moderately flexible, but I plan to go down a size and use e4-1 at strategic points for flexibility. It is stiff enough to spread out the force of a blow, although padding is still needed underneath. With regard to weight, I have carried an 80lb backpack for 12 miles in about 4 hours--and maille distibutes the weight better.

Go for it.

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