Chainmail - general discussion

Discussion in 'General Weapons & Armour' started by mormegil, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. Talan

    Talan Member

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    Purpose of Chain mail

    So what was the purpose of chain mail, ring mail, plate mail and etc? Can anyone give me a good site that gives detailed descriptions of why various pieces of armor was used and in what time period?

    Thanks
     
  2. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Purpose of Chain mail

    Chain mail is used to stop a blade slicing you. Butchers wear chainmail gloves to stop their very sharp knives cutting them if they slip. THe chainmail stops the knife from making contact with your skin.
    However, a pointy weapon can penetrate the holes in a thrust, or an arrow. It also won't stop a crushing blow. You'll still get squished.

    Chain is very flexible, but heavy. I'm 189cm/6 foot 2 inch and my knee and elbow length hauberk weighs about 15kgs. Mind you that's mild steel worn for re-enactment purposes, but it gives you some idea of the weight.

    Plate armour is exactly what it says - solid plates of steel, shaped to fit the various parts of your body. It can be made very strong and still very flexible but takes great skill to articulate the various pieces so they move together and don't lock up.
    Swords became less effective against such good armour, so people started using war hammers and spiked weapons to smoosh the enemy to death inside their suit of armour, or punch the spike through the armour. Okay so I can't cut you, but if I bash you around enough, you'll still die from blunt force trauma!
     
  3. Talan

    Talan Member

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    Re: Purpose of Chain mail

    Thanks. I thought chain mail was used for preventing slashing blows, but I had no clue about plate mail.
     
  4. Orkin

    Orkin The Fighters Guide House Member

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    Re: Purpose of Chain mail

    Actually, the term "plate mail" is something of a misnomer. Mail is the correct term for armor made of intersecting rings - there are no plates per se. Plate armor by contrast relies on plates of solid metal, thus is not really "mail".

    BTW I know there are foreign hybrid types that incorporate small plates into the mail, as well as lamellar, which is another beast entirely.

    Actually a good site for this is armour archive.
     
  5. Talan

    Talan Member

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    Re: Purpose of Chain mail

    Oh, I see. Thank you.
     
  6. Senekha

    Senekha <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    Hey guys :) Last year I started buying bulk wire and making my own chainmail. I wrap the wire around a rod (hundreds and hundreds of feet of wire!!), slip the coil off the rod, and then cut each link out.

    Then, I start putting all the links together.

    Does anyone else here make chainmail? It's a rather fun hobby, and I like to just sit in front of the tv with a good war movie on while I work. I'm considering actually starting to sell it, if I can get fast at it.

    This is one of the coifs I'm working on at the moment. It's made from 14ga galvanized steel, and when it's finished it will be lined with a soft black material (can't remember what type I bought, but it is authentic! as in...not synthetic.) This one is for my boyfriend....I'm making one out of 16ga wire for myself.

    [​IMG]

    And this is all I have done on the other one:
    [​IMG]


    If I ever get REALLY ambitious, I might try making riveted chainmail.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  7. Senekha

    Senekha <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    Re: Chainmail

    AGH! It's not letting me post an img code in the first post. let's see if it works in a second post...

    [​IMG]

    edit: ahhH!!! What the hell? It's typed in as an image, and coming out as a link. -_- I give up.
     
  8. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    I've merged a few older threads into Sen's new one.

    Nice work there m'lady.

    I swapped some arrows and other bits and pieces for a butted hauberk and coif (I sooo got the better deal out of that lol), I always wear my mail over a padded gambeson. We recently found a supplier of good qualty mild steel black rivetted mail hauberks and coifs, which are stronger but lighter and look really good. Some people still rock out in the old skool butted stuff, but most of us have saved up and bought the new stuff :)

    I stated making my hauberk myself, I didn't mind the process either. Making the long coils on the mandrel, cutting the links with the bolt cutters, joining the links etc.....but Easily Distracted Man is easily distracted :D

    I'll have to try and get some photos of the rivetted stuff and post them here. Dunno when that'll happen though! Mind you winter is mail/padding weather moreso than the Aussie summer!

    I'd like to rock out in a wintery bush setting, in my padding, mail and with my Faramir armour over the top, with my longbow and war arrows. That'd be a cool photoshoot :)
     
  9. Senekha

    Senekha <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    Cutting thousands of 14ga links is quite the workout on the hand, though!!! I get a lot of blisters and calluses from it, actually, if I work a few hours a day. Last Christmas when I was at my parents' place, my dad helped me spin some more links and we'd both sit there with snacks and a movie and cut links for hours.

    I like making chainmail, it's so mindless after a while, you can do it anywhere. Kinda like knitting. Only, I get some odd looks from the old ladies at church when I bring it to bible study. haha

    I taught myself how to make the coif - just stared at a photo of a coif for hours and messed around until I figured out how to evenly expand the top circle.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  10. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    It's okay, I was single at the time so hand strength was not a problem :D

    Yeah my matewho did my old hauberk was the same, he'd veg out in front of a DVD and just cut and join links.

    Bloody good effort learning coifs from pictures, I know several people who've had problems with the top loop.

    Is the lining going to be a separate hood/arming cap, or integral to the interior of the coif somehow? I wear a padded hood so it combines an arming cap with some extra padding for my neck and bony shoulders and collarbones :) Then the rivetted coif over the top. I've copped some stray nocks and they've soaked it up quite well. Padding rules.
     
  11. Senekha

    Senekha <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><

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    I think I'm going to sew the lining right into the chainmail, and line the whole thing. But I'm not sure yet...I'm making the whole thing up as I go, haha. My plan is to have it look like the awesome coifs from Kingdom of Heaven.

    And yeah...first learning the expanding circle...was a pain in the ass. But after I got it, it came easily. That big coif I'm wearing in that pic was my first try ever, and then I experimented a bit and started the smaller one of 16ga with smaller links...looks nice, but it's taking a lot more links to make than the 14ga! lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009