Any tips on making PVC chainmail? - PAINTED!!

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TK818

Well-Known Member
Or even use stretch material for the armpits.

Also, if you have armor over the chain mail, you could permanently attach the chain mail to the armor.

Then you don't need to worry about making an entire shirt.
Just the sections not covered by the plates.

I'm still going to try an entire shirt though.
I want to do a light archer with just a chain shirt but have the option of putting on the heavy plate armor.

Hey, this thread should be archived.
This is like the 3rd time this method of making chainmail has come up.
It's certainly worthwhile info!
 

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rayra

Well-Known Member
"I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON MAH FIN-GERS!"

so I cut rings today until my maimed hand was too sore to continue (figured it would be good therapy).
Then I wove a sq' of 4in1. Took about 75mins and ~250 rings. Pretty slow going.
Thought about it a bit, and figured there had to be a faster way. So I started just making a 2in1 'rope', figuring to part it in lengths suitable for a tunic, and then stich them together.
Took about the same time (to temporarily run out of cut links) as it took for the square foot. Wound up with 40' of chain. ~1000 links. 4x as many.
It's a little more complicated to stich the rows together, but I'm figuring that even so it will still be faster this way.

And, Man! are my thumbs chafed. rought cut PVC been bery bery bad to me.


Took a few 35mm pics, will insert them later.
 

rayra

Well-Known Member
Waiting for paint to dry on another project, so I spent another hour on 2in1 chain. ~35', ~850 links. Not a bad pace. But man are my fingers sore.
At this rate it'll take (very rough guess) about 45-60mins / finished square foot.

I'm guesstimating I'll need ~22sq' for a full hauberk / tunic. And another 3sq' for a hood.
Crap! just did the math and I'm probably 20% short on rings.
I'll need another round of heinous chop-saw mess.

These are all very rough calculations - everything depends on size of rings, pattern size, how big or small the person is, your manual dexterity and spped of assembling the maille. Too many variables for any solid estimate other than "damn, this is gonna take a while"
 

rayra

Well-Known Member
a few more quick notes, and FINALLY some pics. Got my digicam returned just before I left town (earlier 35mm pix still need to go to developer).
Just got back home after 4 days away, dumping pics, will be back later with more details.

Took my PVC maille junk with me. Had ~85' of 2in1 'rope'.
Wanting a full tunic / hauberk(?), so I draped the rope over my shoulder and to my knees front and back. Broke the rope into 7'6" lengths.




Some may have seen the giant table I made a year+ ago - it came in very handy for assembling the maille (and a nice touch of irony - the table / room are medieval in look).
One of the pluses of this giant crude table was being able to drive nails into it to stake out the maille.





Here's what I managed to stitch together in 2-1/2 hours (while sorta-watching a movie) -






Like I said, back later with more. And I have to go do some research - I think I've screwed up and accidentally created 6in1 maille, have to double check, and if I did, no way am I undoing it all
 

Sandcrawler Guy

New Member
Man... That is really impressive. Now _I_ want to do something like that for a ren faire costume or something.

Dayum... That looks really nice. I can't wait to see more pics.

Rob
 

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TK818

Well-Known Member
Lookin Good!

I'm finishing up my Orc sword tonight and I'll be chopping up rings tomorrow : )

Oh, I found some grey electrical conduit that is the same thickness as the white pipe so I'm going to see how it works.

Because I have armored plates covering the main body I'm going to use 3/4 inch rings for the torso and 1/2 inch rings for the sleeves.

I found some cool shots of the Wetta guys doing the chainmail on the LOTR extras DVD.
I'll post the pics as soon as I put them on my site.
 

rayra

Well-Known Member
Nice pics! Seems I did mine rotated 90 degrees, I was working side to side, sort of like a weaving loom thing.

And looking at those closeups, looks like they used the polyvinyl black tubing! EASY to cut, EASIER to work.

I had a bunch of variance in my ring thickness, the stop I rigged on my miter-saw wasn't solid. The thicker rings really gave me some grief. And the thinner rings, those that met the 1/8" thick 'ideal' went together much more easily.
 

TK818

Well-Known Member
My friend Ed talked to the Wetta guys at Comic Con and they said it was PVC pipe.
They had a special machine to chop the rings so there were no burrs to deal with.

They also plated the rings before putting them together.

To paint them they put the loose rings in a tumbler machine (basically like a big clothes dryer), added paint and let them tumble until they
were dry.

They did the same thing to plate the rings.
They couldn't plate them in one heap because all the rings stuck together.

Mat is going to rig a bucket tumbler to pre paint his rings.

Before he paints them he's going to tumble the cut rings with some gravel and see if he can de burr the rings.

I'll post the results.
 

TK818

Well-Known Member
"Seems I did mine rotated 90 degrees"

I hope you haven't laid out the links so they don't lay correctly for your tunic!

Chainmail has a direction to it.

It flexes well in one direction but not the other.

For example, if you made the selves with a weave going the wrong way, it would be hard to bend your arms.
 

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rayra

Well-Known Member
so which is the proper direction for flex? The way I've got it hanging, seems to have some expansion side to side and not up and down...
 

impact1

New Member
In an attempt to save time and effort,
I tried an experiment last
night. After cutting 20' of 3/4"
conduit, I placed ~1200 plastic rings
in a galloon bucket and then covered
them in sand and small rocks. I
then placed this in my dryer and
wedged it in place with some foam,
and ran it for 45 minutes with no
heat. It worked out great. The
tumbling removed the sharp edges and
deburred the rings. It also
sanded all the plastic surfaces in
prep for paint!

I then washed, drained and sorted the
rings by thickness. All the
thicker rings in the split ring pile
and all the thinner rings in a
solid ring pile. And divided the
medium rings between the to sorted
piles to make 2 equal size pile. Each
of the sorted piles comes out to
~2/3 gallon. I place each pile in a 1
gallon bucket and shot it with
spray paint. Place the lid on and
shake. repeat about 10 times. I then
seal the bucket and place it in the 5
gallon bucket and tumbled in the
dryer for 20 minutes. This gave a good
even coat over most the rings.
Except on the inside surface. It might
get the inside surface as well
if I drop in some 1/4 bearings as
well. Or pour in enough liquid paint.
I spread the rings out on a
large pieces of cardboard and got the
inside edges this morning, and
misted with the hammered black
metallic.

Ring mail shirt, here I come.

"Orcs, the other dark meat"

Mat
 

TK818

Well-Known Member
"so which is the proper direction for flex? The way I've got it hanging, seems to have some expansion side to side and not up and
down..."

For the body of the tunic it might not matter.
I was going to make a big T shape for my tunic but I was told that was wrong because the selves would bind.

The site I mentioned has patterns for shirts and showed direction of weave:

http://www.theringlord.com/
 

rayra

Well-Known Member
Impact gets the title 'MasterTumbler'

Can't wait to see. (and Hammered (finish) paint, great idea.)

here's the pattern I'm sorta following:

[attachmentid=4198]
 

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rayra

Well-Known Member
Here a few more shots, running out of time.

Here's my jury-rigged chopping setup. The wood block serves as a stop - butt the bundle against it, cut. Same ring-width every time. The back / upright part is a jury-rigged sheet-metal extension to the back wall of my miter saw - keeps the rings from clogging things up.



Without the back wall, could only make 3 cuts (30 rings), before things started getting flung all over. With the wall, able to make 7-8 cuts before the pile got in the way.


And some more progress shots -

These two 'scarves' go over each shoulder, and reach to my knees for my tunic.



And here's a shot with the chest portion completed. I'll be splitting the hem on each side and front and back, for mobility. You can see the split for the front, here -

 

Seabass

Sr Member
this should definately be archived, now I wanna make some!!

looked into it a little before, but the pattern/weaving messed with my head. now i think im getting it
 

Indigogyre

Well-Known Member
Hey Rayra,

Good progress on your stuff. I have a couple questions for you. What is the kerf on your saw blade? Did you think of possibly using a small kerf blade? Lastly, did you look into those cutoff wheels they use for tiles and metals. You can get them for a 10" miter saw, or at least pretty sure. I like the way yours is turning out but could use less waste in the process though.

Thanks,
Dean
 

leiasky

New Member
Are you making yourself an Orc costume? What are you going to wear this with....?

If I only had the patience to do that...It falls along the lines of hand sewing....I hate it with a passion....
 

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