Chainmaill, anyone doing it?

Discussion in 'General Weapons & Armour' started by Gavaha, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm round rings cut from steel fence wire. Theirs were flat due to it being cut from plastic pipe. That would be awesome, being able to snap it all together like that. Grr.....
    And mine is Helm's Deep style too. Split at the front and back for riding a horse.

    Mine is still in the works (being made by a friend, allegedly!), in the meantime I'm borrowing another guy's hauberk who can't fight due to working on weekends. I wear a padded gambeson under it as well. Hot as heck but surprisingly effective.
     
  2. Gavaha

    Gavaha Art House Member

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    why type of gambeson (what material)
     
  3. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Synthetic quilt padding, that realy thin gauzy stuff you can see through. With the help of our costuming guild lady, I stacked 8 layers on top of each other then sewed them into cotton fabric (red with black edging), and stitched it all up in a cross-hatch (?) pattern. It looks like a scored ham, let's put it that way ;-)
    It laces up on my left side with eyelets and leather lacing. It's also got removable sleeves which I don't wear under the chain, but do wear when I'm playing combat archery. I'm thinking of re-doing the sleeves though for a tighter fit.
    Same style as the chain, split at the front, but also at the sides.
    It ain't the prettiest thing in the world but it amazing how much protection seemingly thin padding can give. Anyone who's eer worn bike shorts can tell you, that tiny bit of padding makes a huge difference! :)

    I really should try and get some photos taken of me and my friends, putting on all our different layers.....hmmm......
     
  4. Gavaha

    Gavaha Art House Member

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    I would love to see that
     
  5. Gavaha

    Gavaha Art House Member

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    by the way, what pattern did you use, not the 4 in 1 type of pattern, but the pattern for a shirt or whatever?
     
  6. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    The pattern for the hauberk or gambeson?

    For the hauberk, it's just the basic "T" shape. Long trunk section, with the arms and leg draps connected.
    For the gambeson, we basically drew the shape onto the fabric and cut it, then cut the padding to shape! :) Pretty easy really. But trying to dig holes in a quilt to put about 8 pairs of eyelets for the side lacing was NOT fun. Because the padding is so soft and squishy the eyelets would have pulled out, so I had to handstitch over the top of them to keep them in place. But it all works :)
     
  7. Dementia

    Dementia New Member

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    Just curious, but has anyone tried making chainmail with some added joining plates?
    (like how japanese chainmail was made)

    the example i was shown was considerably lighter than traditional european chainmail, but the plates sure would protect against the odd whacking too.

    just wondering how well it all goes together and protects/wears/holds up.


    D.
     
  8. Gavaha

    Gavaha Art House Member

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    I wouldn't know, but I have seen pics about what you are talking about and the japanses looks like it gives the worst protection
     
  9. Dementia

    Dementia New Member

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    any reason why?
    or are you just going to leave me hanging?
    :)

    i know that the japanese mail is only butted mail, but with the double rings and the true temper the strength of the mail itself is said to be more than traditional mail

    thats kinda why i was hoping someone has tried it.

    D.
     
  10. Gavaha

    Gavaha Art House Member

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    their types leave big gapes, from what I have seen
     
  11. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    This from one of my really kowldegable re-enacting buddies:

    "There are many versions of Japanese mail. They experimented a lot with patterns and the use of steel plates, leather lacing through the rings and mail sewn inside cloth.

    I am not sure how much mail saw active service but from experiments performed on butted mail I can tell you it is pretty stuffed against a hard thrust (Arrows, spears) but still fine against cutting. My feeling is that the mail would be okay against swords since the Japanese blades did not have penetrating
    sword points and thrusting was considered a "soft" attack. They favoured the big hewing cuts of course and butted mail can stop that.

    The laquered wood and steel armour (plate, lammellar style) on the other hand would have been excellent against spears and arrows."

    And how's this for a bizarre conincidence? I just found in the lobby of my work the latest Premiere movie magazine with Tom Cruise on the cover wearing - wait for it - Japanese chainmail/plate armour!!! What are the chances?
    I've scanned the pic but how do I put it in my post?
     
  12. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    And this from another friend:

    "From what I have seen of the Japanese chain armour with/without the plates
    added I would doubt it being stronger? than European Mail (we'll call it
    European even though the Japanese started using it as well). The problem with
    that statement is it gives no indication of what type of force the armour is
    resisting and also doesn't indicate which of the 3 types of Japanese Mail you
    are talking about.

    So gusari - is single rings connected in square pattern
    Seiro gusari - same pattern but with either double rings or coils (2 circles
    of wire but 1 peice of wire)
    or
    asa no ha gusari - single rings but a hexagonal pattern

    All varieties were more likely to have plates than not. Although the plates
    were commonly only added to areas that needed more protection (chest,
    shoulders and forearms).

    The asa no ha gusari I would say was probably 'stronger' than European Mail
    except against thrusts as there would be too many gaps. Seiro gusari would be
    of a similar 'strength' overall and So gusari would probably be 'weaker'
    overall. The reason for this is one of Mail's greatest strengths is its'
    flexibility.

    there is a whole discussion paper and practical tests required by this topic
    to answer it with any clarity and I for one can't be bothered. I must say
    though I like the look of the asa no ha gusari but the other 2 versions look
    too open and weak to give any confidence (but then again would have been so
    much easier to make and so afford and would be much better than just a couple
    of layers of cloth)"
     
  13. Dementia

    Dementia New Member

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    from what i was able to scrounge up for info the double rings were as strong as riveted mail.
    personally i dont know if i would put my faith in that sort of a comment...
    which is why im curious as to how it does stand up.

    in some of the single ring mail there are large gaps that would provide little protection - which is rather silly.
    though im wondering if the mail was meant to be worn over hardened leather or something of the like.

    the thing that i like about it is the light weight of the stuff.
    last time i tried to put on a mess of chainmail i nearly fell over.

    so i was always curious as to how much protection it would afford.
    oh well .. i guess it comes down to 'make it and see' ..
    pity it doesnt fit into the dark ages setting or id actually bother to try it.

    D.
     
  14. Skyanide

    Skyanide The Big Meanie Staff Member

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    I wonder if anyone has designed a chainmaille-making machine?

    You could probably make a fortune, seeing that 9/10 of the cost is labour....
     
  15. Dementia

    Dementia New Member

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    i know that a couple guys from the reinactment group looked at getting a machine made up to help in the production of riveted mail ..

    but the engineer that they spoke to basically said it wasnt worth all the trouble.

    though, when you consider the costs of riveted mail, i find that hard to believe.

    D.
     
  16. Gavaha

    Gavaha Art House Member

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    prob all it does is punch in the little pin.
     
  17. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Btw Dementia and I are in the same re-enacting group here in Western Australia, hence references to "the group" :)
     
  18. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    Was that costume based on anything or is it just a fantasy costume of your own creation?
     
  19. Bors

    Bors New Member

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    Hi everyone!
    This looks like a good place to start for your first post.
    Hopefully my pictures will load if not please be patient till I get a handle on how things work around here.
    I make Maille as a hobbie in the last year I have made 4 shirts and 1 vest. I mainly use Stainless Steel split rings because there very strong and they don't rust. I have posted a few of my shirts (all but the light weight are for sale. PM me if you are interested) in the gallery.
    Please Let me know what you think.
     
  20. Tilion

    Tilion Was never a

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    Hi Bors, I'm new too here. I like your use of split rings and solid punched in your light weight vest. It must be pretty strong, as strong or stronger then riveted maybe? Doesn't it take up a lot of time attaching split rings though? Also, at what sort of places can you get large amounts of them at a low price? Last question ;) ; is it very noticeable that you used split rings because from close up I can imagine it wouldn't look so fantastic.

    I have some pics in my gallery. Two of my first coif I'm working on and one of a piece of maille I just thought looked nice. It'd be great to make a shirt out of it, but so time consuming :rolleyes:. It's ID 8mm = ~5/16th inch. 14 Gauge galvanized fench wire. I'm still a bit new to the art so not at all familiar with places I could get good wire (I do make my own rings though).