Chain mail/Armor

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Warning:Chain mail armor is not bullet proof! We do not recommend chain mail armor for anything other then decoration or disguise.

For starters, you can use galvanised steel rings for armor. They are strong, but not too hard and have some resistance to corrosion. Also, they are cheap. Ring with an ID of 0.25' and a gauge of 16 swg or awg is good. The standard weave is the European 4-1 for armor and is a basic weave in the European familly of weave.

The armor is separated in different parts

  • The body is protected with an Hauberk [1] [2]
  • The head is protected with a coif [3]
  • ...

Closing rings[edit | edit source]

There are four types of ring closures: butted, riveted, welded and punched. Only the butted, riveted, and punched closings are historically accurate. Butted rings are ring where each end are bring together but the only thing that holds them together is the strength of the ring. Riveted rings are rings who have their ends overlapping each other and a 'pin' is put through both ends in the overlapping part. They take more time to do, but are stronger then butted rings. Welded rings are rings where both ends are welded together. The strength of these rings is the strength of the weld. Punched rings are rings that are punched in a metal sheet. They are not round but rather flat. Historically the punched rings were used with riveted rings alternating by row.

For closing butted rings, you must have leverage on the two ends of the ring to properly close it. A properly closed ring have both ends aligned and they are touching each other. Their are two techniques for closing rings: by using 2 pliers or by using 1 pliers and a special finger ring.

  • If you use two pliers, you should take each end of the rings with one pliers and bring them closer by moving both pliers. Moving both pliers minimizes the deformation of the ring and lower the stress on wrists. As the stress is lower on the wrist this allow for longer period of mailing.
  • If the material of the ring is soft, you can replace one pliers with a special ring that you put in one finger. This ring has an opening on its side that allow you to put one end of the ring in it. So you can use it to move the end of the ring. I personally think this can be dangerous if the material is hard, as it put pressure on the finger in a direction that is not supposed to support for long time. Also, closing soft rings individually by this technique seems to work, but it is not always possible to close rings while assembling them. But it can be used to pre-close batch of rings.

For butted rings, if the ends of the rings have cuts like \\ or || (not ><) you can give them while closed extra strength when well closed. This is caused by the extra resistance to deformation given by the friction of the two ends if moved. The extra strength exists if the deformation occurs in some direction.

Pliers[edit | edit source]

There are many types of pliers. Pliers with springs are preferable as you will open/close them very often. Otherwise we can characterize the pliers by their end, the length of the handle, the grip of the handle and their weight. To test many different combinations cheaply before buying good pliers, you can go to the 1$ shop and buy different type of pliers. This will allow you to test the different characteristics of the pliers and allow you to wisely chose better pliers which you can easily use. The length of the handle is important, as a too short handle will put pressure on the palm probably always on the same spot. This can hurt when mailing rings if they are hard or if mailing for long time. The grip of the pliers can cause harm to the hand if of poor quality (like in 1$ shop). It must be comfortable and not hurt if lots of pressure is applied. Also having pliers that are too heavy will make it hard to mail for long periods of time.

Rings patterns[edit | edit source]

There are many different ways of assembling the rings to form a sheet of chain mail. Here are some.

Full name Short name Link(s)
European 4 in 1 Euro 4-1 [4]


European 6-1 Euro 6-1 [6]

References[edit | edit source]