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Author Topic: 12th/13th century riveted mail hauberk and chausses - Knight's Templar kit  (Read 13791 times)

B. Patricius

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Introduction:
Greetings all!

I know plenty of people have wondered, pondered, and tried a bit at making riveted mail.  For me, I don't know why, but it's one of my favorite types of armor and time period.  So, I need some :D

I've decided that here, I'm going to keep a journal of my journey in mailing.  Also, I'm hoping this can become a sort of future reference for anyone else interested in this medieval craft. 

I've made some mail pieces before, mainly a nice Gallowglass coif with the hexagonal mantle.  But it was your textbook homebrew of 16ga galvanized fencing wire, and butted. 

So, in the Adrian Empire, if I don't want to wear plate, they require us to wear mail, for the very properties that it's good for.  Worst case scenario, I may in fact need to depend on this mail to keep me safe from harm if the worst should happen and a weapon breaks.  Needless to say, I'm totally jazzed about this! 

I've always had a goal of making my own mail, now I have the motivation of a deadline.  Realistically, I have about 6 to 9 months to get all this woven so I'm ready for rebated combat. 

Let me know if anyone would like me to post links to all the resources I have found, via Arador, ArmourArchive, MAILE, and other resources.
« Last Edit: 2013-05-29, 23:02:21 by B. Patricius »
"Be open with your thoughts, Be witty with your humor, Be kind with your words, Be sensible in your acts." - Lord Dane
Never theorize before you have data. Invariably, you end up twisting facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
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B. Patricius

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Day 1: planning
10 rings = 5/8" of coil
soft annealed rebar wire 16ga at Home Depot is 3.98 for 400 ft and 3.5lbs
5/16" ID ring is 1020 per pound
5/16" ID ring is 1691 per square feet

16 2/3 square feet of mail to make my hauberk
28180 rings
27 2/3 lbs for the hauberk

5 square feet of mail for my half chausses
8284 rings
8 lbs

it costs us 1/10th the money for making the rings ourselves vs key chain links
$32 for rebar vs $320 for key chain links
it costs us 4/25th the money for making the rings ourselves vs TheRingLord.com
$32 for rebar vs $200 for TheRingLord rings

we need 11 orders of the rebar wire, so 4400 ft total
9 rings per linear foot of wire
10 rings is 5/8" of coil

MATERIALS/TOOLS LIST:
bolt to flatten ring with 3/4" dia bolt head
MORE 4" CHANNEL LOCK/VISE GRIPS
some kind of punch, either drift, pliers, etc for making the hole for the rivet
masonry nails 3.5" long for punching
19ga "wire nails" - I'm guessing 1/2" long finishing nails are it
setting-pliers
anvil of some kind
"Be open with your thoughts, Be witty with your humor, Be kind with your words, Be sensible in your acts." - Lord Dane
Never theorize before you have data. Invariably, you end up twisting facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
~Officium-Honestas-Sacrificium~
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B. Patricius

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Day 2: purchasing materials
what I already had in my possession
4 - 4" taskforce locking pliers
$1.98 each - Lowes *got these babies on sale, 4 four a dollar!
my wire loom -
5/16" welding rod used as my dowel
don't remember and can't find it online, so I'll post this up when I end up back at a hardware store :D
1 - 4' piece of 1"x4" oak cut and built to hold my dowel

So, went to Home Depot and TrueValue today and picked up some materials for my mail.  I'm also hoping to keep track of all funds used in this craft, including specific specialty tools that won't be used for other crafty things.

4 - 3.5lb rolls of 16.5ga annealed rebar wire -
$12 total excluding tax - HomeDepot
1 - 1/16" pin punch for making the holes for my rivets, we'll see how this holds up -
$5 excluding tax - TrueValue
1 - 3" by 3/4" diameter bolt for smashing with :D
$.25 excluding tax - HomeDepot
1 - Eastwing "Surestrike" 5oz tack hammer
$7 excluding tax - HomeDepot
so about $25 total thus far

also, of note, I gotta say those little 4" locking pliers are by far the best little things mailers can buy. 
When you tighten them down, they multiply your grip strength and make it way easier to weave the chain.
They're also a very safe and effective method of squishing and overlapping the rings for making the rivet spot!

extra tools I employ:
Bernzomatic torch
4lb sledge
12oz ball peen hammer

and currently I'm shopping around for an anvil of some sort.  Unfortunately Murphy's law came into effect today.  TrueValue sells railroad ties for $2 per foot, but come in a 8 foot minimum length!  yeah, so I'm looking around.

Also, I found this baby
http://www.micromark.com/power-punch-tool-kit,7775.html
which may become the greatest little tool for punching the holes in my chain.

Also, if I may ask a favor of everyone.  If by chance you could link to some good HD pictures of period maile, that'd be super.  Since I'm making these myself, I'm going to go as close as I can to getting it right, if I'm capable.  I'll be on the lookout for this too.

Cheers, and hope everyone is enjoying faire season and staying safe enough with their practices, tournaments, competitions, and training.  Sir James, congrats on the 15minutes of fame over on the local news channel!  That's awesome bud!

I've got some maile to make.

YIS B. Patricius

PS:  also, I need to make a shout out to my lady B)
she bought literally everything on these lists thus far.  She's so supportive of this endeavor and is having a blast helping me when I let her.  Beyond that, she made a smart funny little comment today: "Consider this your early Father's Day present."
I'm humbled.  Her daughter is not mine, but I love her dearly as any father could.  I've also known my lady since four days after her little half-pint's conception.  So I've been there since the beginning.  Half-pint loves hanging out with me, since I'm the one watching her while Momma works full time, watching me make mail, as she makes stuff with her duplos while we watch My Little Pony or listen to some good tunes like Sir Edward posted with "Two Steps from Hell."

Could a Knight ask for more?
« Last Edit: 2013-05-29, 23:31:00 by B. Patricius »
"Be open with your thoughts, Be witty with your humor, Be kind with your words, Be sensible in your acts." - Lord Dane
Never theorize before you have data. Invariably, you end up twisting facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
~Officium-Honestas-Sacrificium~
my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/murphy.patrick.j

Silvanus

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Patricius, you have my admiration, sir. Thanks for all the details thus far; it really helps to see just how much planning goes into a project like this. I can't wait to see some photos of the work in progress.  :)
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B. Patricius

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Day 2:
life has a funny way of getting in the way sometimes :D so I didn't get much done, but I got plenty of "timing" done for all this.  I figure this may be helpful to anyone else wanting to decide amount of money versus time and effort:

all measurements come with a standard of:
5/16" dowel
16.5 gauge annealed rebar wire
as I said before 1 feet of wire makes about 5/8" of coil on a 5/16" dowel
5/8" of coil made about 9 rings... well, I was wrong, by quite a bit in a long run type of measuring
good news 1/2" of coil makes 10 rings, even! so that is easy for future math

I made 40 inches of coil and cut them into rings in about an hour.  This was about 64 feet of wire.  I'm basing that off of math, not measuring out the wire as I go.
so, what did I make in about an hour :D
I made give or take 800 rings in an hour.
now, TheRingLord http://theringlord.com/cart/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=25&cat=Machine+Cut+Mild+Steel+Jump+Rings
sells their mild steel 5/16" 16ga rings for $7.70 for 1 pound, at 1020 rings or so per pound.

taking into consideration that I made only 800 in an hour, I'm "working" at about $6 per hour coiling and making rings! That doesn't even consider the fact that when you start buying bulk at TheRingLord, you get discounts.  My 40 pounds of rings for my hauberk and chausses would have cost $262 plus tax and shipping, so figure probably about $300 total.

So, is it practical for me, to make my own rings?   :o
Yes.   8) because I'm cheap  ::) and crazy. 

Actually in reality it's more that I enjoy the whole process, and that I'm making this kit completely from scratch, myself.  That to me is priceless.

Better news, believe it or not, I'm working more efficiently than I thought I would.  800 rings is about 75% of a pound.  So, if I make 800 rings in an hour, that's 12 ounces of ring an hour. 
40X16= 640 ounces
640 onces divided by 12 ounces an hour = 54 hours.... so in reality terms for someone self-employed, it's about a standard work-week or less.  With me watching the half-pint 40 hours a week, I should have all my rings made in about two weeks, because let's face it, she's priority and I don't get much dedicated time  8)
but her, and the cat messing with me, while watching My Little Pony marathons: priceless

It's also going to be nice that for less than $100 or so, I'll have my full hauberk and chausses.  It just takes some time
"Be open with your thoughts, Be witty with your humor, Be kind with your words, Be sensible in your acts." - Lord Dane
Never theorize before you have data. Invariably, you end up twisting facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
~Officium-Honestas-Sacrificium~
my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/murphy.patrick.j

Lord Dane

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Sounds like a busy endeavour. Can't wait to see the final product.  :)
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B. Patricius

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Thanks for the warm words of encouragement Lord Dane :D I certainly hope it will be going a bit faster than I first thought given what I learned yesterday about my coiling speed.  Believe it or not, that was the part that concerned me the most.  It just seems to take forever!

And what am I doing today?
Day 3:
still coiling some wire, making some rings  8)
"Be open with your thoughts, Be witty with your humor, Be kind with your words, Be sensible in your acts." - Lord Dane
Never theorize before you have data. Invariably, you end up twisting facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
~Officium-Honestas-Sacrificium~
my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/murphy.patrick.j

B. Patricius

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I'm posting this over at MyArmoury as well, but what I'm wondering is if anyone knows when hauberks and such became all riveted versus riveted with punched rings?  My kit is going to have to be all riveted because of the lack of attaining a good punched ring for a price I can succumb to.  I'm just wondering how inaccurate it will be being full riveted?

Also, http://homepage.ntlworld.com/trevor.barker/farisles/guilds/armour/mail.htm#sect3-1 "A Mailmaker's Guide" is very cool at showing period mail pieces and how certain ones were made.  I've gotten quite good at reading mail patterns for expansions and such, and I'm wondering if anyone knows of a good source/extant example that someone has had the pleasure to look over and give a pattern to like his from the Wallace Collection, or if that's the best for what I'm doing?

thanks

YIS
B. Patricius
"Be open with your thoughts, Be witty with your humor, Be kind with your words, Be sensible in your acts." - Lord Dane
Never theorize before you have data. Invariably, you end up twisting facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
~Officium-Honestas-Sacrificium~
my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/murphy.patrick.j

Sir Edward

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My understanding is that punched rings came later in the period. I think if you're going for 14th C. and earlier, all riveted is just fine.
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Sir Wolf

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you know, ice falcon just got a shipment in of alt row riveted hauberks instock lol

Ian

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you know, ice falcon just got a shipment in of alt row riveted hauberks instock lol

Yeah, they're discounted too because he apparently received them by accident.
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B. Patricius

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you know, ice falcon just got a shipment in of alt row riveted hauberks instock lol

Yeah, they're discounted too because he apparently received them by accident.

Are y'all trying to tell me something?  ;D  Also, no offense to Ice, or Erik D Schmid, but I've seen some of the mail up close from India, and I'm not impressed with it.  There's always room for improvement, and I think they have quite a bit of improving still to go.

it would be quicker if I could just purchase the mail, but expensive still, especially in comparison to what I've found in my research.  I'd rather have that money go to other things I can't make, like my helm, swords, etc.  Plus, this is actually homework  :o I know depending on y'all's personal taste, this might be worse than doing business accounting or macro-economics, but for me, I think it's a blast!  Hence why I'm keeping a log here, I want to keep track of my progress and have a journal of sorts to revert back to when I start writing my paper. ;)  So, it would be quicker to go to Ice, but I also think in the academia world, since I've already told my professor I'm making as much of the kit as I can myself, it would also be construed as cheating.  At least to me.  I know how to make mail, and it's fun and enjoyable for me.  It's also nice that the money I'm saving can go towards one of my swords  ;D


My understanding is that punched rings came later in the period. I think if you're going for 14th C. and earlier, all riveted is just fine.


thanks for that. It's funny, but everywhere I've gone and researched, there doesn't seem to be a definite "they did it this way only" sort of deal when it comes to mail.  I know the ancient Romans used punch rings, and there's some theories that continued up through the Crusades Era, but all we really have of extant evidence is a hunk of metal that definitely can't be closer examined without risk:
http://www.djurfeldt.com/patrik/kungslena.html
yeah... lol

I did notice TheRingLord has their "recycled punch rings" available in mild steel again, and for a nice price too.  If I decide to go that route with the punched rings, I'd go through them, order theirs and modify them to better looking on my anvil.  For the price I won't complain they're "dimpled" and "not centered."  This is a picture of their titanium rings: http://theringlord.com/images/products/rings/P-16732-TI.jpg

As for my progress:  I'm almost done with my first 3.5lb spool of wire!  8) not bad considering real life has taken precedence these past few days and I haven't had as much time to work on it. 

If I can actually have some time, I could probably get all 14lbs of wire I currently have all coiled up by this time next week.  But let's face it, it'd probably take a small miracle for me to be able to accomplish that with everything else I have going on, so I'm just plugging away.
"Be open with your thoughts, Be witty with your humor, Be kind with your words, Be sensible in your acts." - Lord Dane
Never theorize before you have data. Invariably, you end up twisting facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
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Sir James A

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I was posting about romans and punched rings, and got ninja'd on it.
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Ian

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Are y'all trying to tell me something?  ;D  Also, no offense to Ice, or Erik D Schmid, but I've seen some of the mail up close from India, and I'm not impressed with it.  There's always room for improvement, and I think they have quite a bit of improving still to go.

While Icefalcon is a distributor of imported Indian maille (just like GDFB and all the other mass-market maille providers), Erik D. Schmid is nothing of the sort.  He makes his stuff the way it was done in period, and reproduces the most historically accurate maille this side of the Late Middle Ages.  Please don't mistake Erik's work for what the Indian maille producers are churning out.
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Sir Wolf

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ummm erics is as close to perfect as you can get. its not Indian mail, he draws his own wire etc. Indian mail now is loosely based off what forth armoury gave them to work with.... before they sold his copies to other companies. noneof there rivets are close to being right. wedge or rivet, it still looks differently