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Topic: Chain Maille- I'm extremely confused.  (Read 2695 times)
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Makin' it weird one craft at a time.

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« on: May 17, 2009 07:02:12 PM »

  So I've seen tons of chain maille stuff posted here instead of clothing, so I posted this questioj on this board, if it's in the wrong place then feel free to move it.

Chainmaille is really kind of intimidating to me... It looks simple enough but I'm seeing tons of complicated diagrams, is that only the advanced weaves and simple stuff is just something I should've figured out?

Also where do I get the little rings, and what price range should I be looking for? All I really want to make would be some sort of wristcuff/armwarmer type things. Not looking for anything really intense or high quality since I would rarely if ever wear it.

« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2009 12:10:33 AM »

The rings are Jump Rings and you can get them at www.firemountaingems.com, or you can make your own! However, you might just want to buy them if you want an inexpensive metal and are just going to be making a couple of things.

I've never done chain maille, but the simple stuff doesn't look like it would be too hard. Your best bet is to find a tutorial/free pattern, there may even be some on here-- I know I've seen several people post great chain maille things on the finished jewelry board.

I did a quick google search and found this page:

I also found this page which has tons of resources like different places to buy jump rings, books, websites, et cetera:
« Last Edit: May 18, 2009 12:12:11 AM by IndefatigableL » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009 03:33:06 PM »

ringlord.com has just about any kind of jump ring you could concievably want to purchase.

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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2009 09:00:07 AM »

for what you want to make, the basic e4in1 is the classic weave.

your best bet, since you're not going to really wear them, is to make them in bright aluminum.  although i'm not a fan of the ring lord, because his rings are often dirty and not tumbled, he does have a kit on ebay that would get you started.  he also mails untrackable, and that is not my favorite thing, either.

blue buddha has aluminum
metaldesignz.com in canada is my favorite supplier for my classes.  that's the only time i use aluminum, and i don't cut them myself.

and DON't cut them unless you have a set up or want to spend a long time cutting them with a saw.  pliers pinch, not cut.  and you want really nice clean joints to close, so that they are seamless.

as you can see by my avatar, i am a chain maille teacher, so if you want to pm me with questions, i'll try to help.


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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2009 11:19:47 AM »

I usually do some basic chainmail, and here's a link I googled for you:

it gives you some basic patterns.

To cut on cost, you can also make your own jump rings by using Half Hard wire. I started doing that for convenience.


Once you start really getting the hang of it, you can also change up the pattern by adding texture to your piece. You can space out gold or brushed silver jump rings in between the silver rings to highlight a certain part of the pattern and what not.

Personally for me, I like working with smaller pieces so I can do more detailed links. I use these gold vermeille brushed ones to accent the pattern.

Anyway, I'm rambling now! Hope I helped!

« Last Edit: June 19, 2009 08:42:47 AM by jungrrl - Reason: edited to comply with Craftster guidelines. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2009 05:01:52 PM »

Well other people have given you pretty much everything you need. The only other advice I can offer is ... Jump In...Me and a friend of mine decided to make chainmaille awhile back. So we got a couple hundred feet of wire spun it into coils and then cut the coils into rings and then wove them together to make a chainmaille shirt. Surprisingly the easiest part of the whole project was weaving the rings together the hard part was making the rings. It is a little tricky to get the first row going. If you have any questions feel free to ask I will help out anyway I can. Smiley
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2009 03:11:17 PM »

I've done chainmaille for years, and I do have a few tips as well.

Firstly, checking out mailleartisans.org and also http://theringlord.com/ will help you get started tremendously.  Since you're not looking for anything 'nice,' I'd recommend starting out with copper.  Stainless steel is pretty but it can be extremely difficult to work with--depending on the aspect ratio of the ring, they can be very, very difficult to open and close.  Copper is pretty and it's softer but not too soft, so it's not bad to work with.

You'll need a pair of decent pliers and some rings to get started.  I'd recommend one chain nose plier and one wide nose plier.  I generally use the wider nose for holding the ring, and the chain nose for working the ring.  Additional helpful items would be wire and wire cutters, in case you wanted to add beadwork or in case your rings won't allow you to attach clasps.

Before you buy your rings, try to figure out what weave you want to use for your project.  It's very important to have the correct size rings for the projects that you're making--if you have rings that are the wrong size, you might end up with a really loose weave or an impossibly tight weave.  There's a list at Chainmaille basket ( http://www.chainmailbasket.com/weavechart.php ) that will help you figure out the right rings depending on the AR that is best.  AR stands for aspect ratio--determining the aspect ratio requires a bit of math.  Basically, you divide the inner diameter of the ring (from inner edge to inner edge) by the thickness of the wire (in the same measurement that the inner diameter is measured in).  Luckily, you don't usually have to do the math yourself--if you're investigating different websites, they will likely tell you what good sizes are for the rings.  If you do need to do the math, try to get a ring as close to the recommended AR as possible.

Oh, and I've done some stainless wristcuffs for a friend--I actually used both stainless steel and rubber rings to make it stretchy and therefore not needing a clasp, which he loved!  They turned out awesome.  I used European 4 - in - 1 (the four were metal, the one was rubber) weave because it's a 'sheet' weave, which will make it broader, as opposed to a thinner chain weave.

« Last Edit: June 16, 2009 03:15:03 PM by greengeekgirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009 10:40:19 AM »

i know i already posted in this forum...but tidbits_and_trinkets gave us a great site to try out and I wanted to post it here!


*here's an example of one of their weaves**
incredibly clear pictures, very precise, and simple steps

great stuff! thanks to tidbits_and_trinkets!

« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2009 11:26:18 PM »

Chainmaille... drool.... I've got a parcel coming from theringlord.com that will take a month or two to arrive if it ever arrives at all (friend of friend was a pilot and has seen containers fall into the sea) but it was the cheapest international option. Til now I've wound my own rings with a drill and screwdriver or knitting needles, using copper, galvy, and aluminium, some of which I've gotten from scrap-metal merchants. I love all the info that's around now on the net that wasn't when I started!

Take care of your hands... I had to stop for a few years from RSI because I thought it was smart to try to use spring washers, and ignored the pain. Take rests, and make sure your hands aren't too cold when working with hard metals. Most maillers have to be pretty careful with their hands if they do a lot of it.

If you really get into making your own rings, consider purchasing a tumbler to de-burr, harden, and polish the rings.

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