Supporting Miniature Wargamers Above and Below Ground
RSS icon Home icon
  • Making Chain Mail

    Posted on August 22nd, 2003 Rob No comments

    First off, there are several ways to spell chainmail: Chainmail, Chainmaille,
    and maille. It is often refereed to as Maille (by people who are in the art
    of making maille), but is most commonly known as chainmail. Before you start,
    you'll want to decide if you want to make your own rings, or order them
    premade. Making your own rings is pretty easy, and quite cheap. I'll start
    off by saying how to make the rings. If you want to order premade ones, then
    skip over this section.

    Section 1!!!

    Materials Needed: A Steel rod/dowel, Some wood, Gloves, wire, a pair of wire
    cutters, a drill. To start off, go buy some wire. Throughout the article, I
    will be referring to Standard Wire Gauge, other than American Wire Guage. A
    good place to start off with is either 14, or 16 Gu(Gauge). Now you'll want
    to buy a dowel, get o­ne with a diameter of 5/16″ or 3/8, Home Depot carries
    these in the hardware section.Now get your wood, we are going to make a mandrel.Here
    is an example of a mandrel:

    Now to make that its simple, find a drill-bit the size of your rod (maybe 1/16″
    larger) and take two pieces of wood the same size as each other, line em up,
    and drill a hole right through both of them. Then attach the base.For a handle
    there are several options, you can make the handle as shown above, you can use
    a vice-grip, or my favorite, a drill! With the drill it makes winding much faster,
    but you can easily screw up with it.Now for attaching the wire the the rod,
    so you can wind it, the best option is to drill a hole right in the bar, and
    put the end of the wire through that. Another way is to use a clamp and clamp
    the wire o­nto the bar (beware, if you're going to clamp the wire o­n,
    don’t use a drill to wind, the clamp could come flying off… I was stupid enough
    to try that, and the clamp missed my head by inches and dented the wall behind
    me)Now if you don’t have the right tools to put a hole through the rod, but
    still want to drill, you can always use a method i use. With your fingers wind
    the wire around the bar twice, then, get some packing tape (or duct tape) and
    tightly tape the wire to the bar.Now that you got the wire securely attached
    to the bar, its time t wind! With o­ne (gloved) hand, guide the wire, with
    your other, crank the bar or push the drill button. If your going to use the
    drill, go in short 1 second bursts, if you hold it down, the wire gets really
    hard to guide, and you end up with a mess.When you finish winding, you should
    have a spring that looks like this:

    Don’t worry if you have gaps. Now you can get to cutting the rings out! Take
    some good wire cutters, and make sure they are flush with the end of the wire,
    and cut out a ring, it should look like this:

    Make a whole bunch of these, an average shirt can take up to 30,000 rings,
    or more.

    Section 2!!

    Okay, first off, if you’ve ordering your rings, a good place is
    They are based out of Saskatchewan, Canada. Now you've got a whole bunch
    of rings, and you don’t know what to do with them? Well weaving them is really
    easy. Well start off with the simplest weave there is! European 4in1. The name
    basically says what it is, 4 rings in 1.You'll want to close a lot of links
    before you get started, this is easy. Take 2 pairs of pliers, and covering as
    much of the ring as possible, move the two ends together.

    Now you'll want to assemble some 4 in 1 units. get o­ne opened ring
    (to open o­ne, do the opposite of closing) take 4 closed rings, put them
    through the open o­ne, and close it.

    Make a while bunch of those units, then you can assemble a chain. Since pictures
    say more than words, I'll show you.

    Now to assemble the chains together is quite easy also.

    There are also other ways to make 4 in 1.make a chain as long as you want going
    2-1-2-1 it should look like this(from the side)=O=O=O=O=O=O=then lay it out
    flat so it looks like o­ne of the chains above, then add a single link at
    a time in uniform according to what’s above it (kinda hard to explain).Well
    that’s the last i have to say about making chainmail, the rest is up to you!To
    learn more weaves, I highly recommend
    they have great pictures, and well detailed instructions o­n the different
    weaves. If you need any help, I recommend The Ring Lord's Discussion
    . The people on these forums are very helpful, and they know what
    they are talking about.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.