Tutorial - Chain mail

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

CoolleKotten

New Member
Hello everyone! :p

I know chain mail is not really what predators have as armor, but on a request by Sorin (impaiatu) I thought it would be good to have for those who are making other kinds of costumes, that needs chain mail. This is also for you who wants it to look as genuine it can.
So, I have now put together a tutorial.
Because I do not come from an english speaking country, I may have some words and sentences wrong but you just have to live with that. :lol:
I thought that the best thing to do is to take alot of pictures, because explaining is not always the best way. So I simply put together pictures in three steps, along with a "problem" and "tools" pic.
I will explain a bit along the way, not leaving it all to the pictures.
Hopefully you will have use of this tutorial.

Tools
You will need a Snap ring plier and rings/links of steel or other kinds of metal (also called Jump Rings, thanks to Zero!).
The most common I know is used, is steel links that measures 8 mm (0.31 inches) i diameter.

(In Swedish it is called "fjäderstål" but I can't find the right translation for it, so I will use the word "steel".)

For a whole chain mail that covers your upperbody, you will need at least 20 000 links, depending on your size.
I bought my links at a shop in Sweden that sell very unusual stuff for hobbies. They have old things that you can have in role playing games or things like that, that is not so usual to find in everyday shop. I do not know where you can buy this in YOUR country, but the shop can sell to you if you call them. If you need help on that, just ask and I can help you translate the page if needed.
Svarta Katten (Black cat) shop

EDIT: Links to Jump rings:
The ring Lord
Beads and Pieces


Chain_mail_tutorial___tools_by_CoolleKotten.jpg


Moving on to Step one!
First you will have to make a Butterfly. Open one link and put four in it, close the link. Do NOT pull too hard when you are opening the links, that will make the link unable to pull back in to its former state and close, and will allow the links connected to it to be set free. And we not want to begin all over again do we?
Then open a new link and put two in it. These are your main small chains that will create the whole one. We can call them soldiers. Without soilders, the butterfly - lets say General instead - cant have an army. So just keep adding soldiers in a straight line and then you will have you chain.
IMPORTANT - the links have to have the same leaning towards each other in the same line, so the middle link that connects to four others, have, lets say, the right corner up to the sky. Then the four around it have the left corner up to the sky. I have painted this in step 3.
Now, in the picture you will see me using a pen. This is just something I did to hold it better and in place, you can do whatever you want that fits you.

Chain_mail_tutorial_Step_1_by_CoolleKotten.jpg


Step 2
Connecting the soldier to its General, butterfly. Open the link that has the two links inside of it, and put two links from the butterfly in it. This is where you need to check if you have connected them right. After some struggle, you may find out the esiest way for you to adding them, I do not have a perfect or easy way.

Chain_mail_tutorial_Step_2_by_CoolleKotten.jpg



Step 3 In page 1.

Kotten
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Cavaler Urban

New Member
:lol: oh yes ,Ive been waiting for you Obi-Wan! this lair is richer ,now!I always want to do my own chainmail suit , I already have an ideea to make those links since I don't find it around my place!
I always said this lair is the biggest data base of " how to do"!
just great, I'm looking forward to see the third part of this!:p
thank you Nicole!
 

CoolleKotten

New Member
Okey, on to step 3!
Sorry if the pics looks like a kid make them, but I just wanted it to be as simple as possible :p
When you have the desired lenght of you chain, and have another one the same, it is time to connect them and make them wider.
Put your two long chains next to each other. It is important that they will have the same leaning here as before. The pictures shows better.
Then you need to open a new link that will link these two chains together. Open the link with your tool and add 2 links, one from each chain, into the link. Then add the next 2 links before it.
I hope the pictures shows it well how you are supposed to do, it is hard to explain.

Chain_mail_tutorial_Step_3_by_CoolleKotten.jpg


When you have reach this point when you can make chains and connect them, you are then on your way of creating a full chain mail. It takes some time in the beginning, but after a while it just keeps on rollin.
For your working space, you kind of need a clear area or at least a steady table and two hands. It does not take much space, but you will drop some rings and then it would be best if you could actually find them later on. :lol:

Chain_mail_tutorial_End_result_by_CoolleKotten.jpg


Now, on to the problems.
You can make a simple chain without any problem, then you put it down for a later time, and you come back to see that some of the rings has now flipped over and making the chain look wierd. You do NOT need to begin all over again, this can be helped. By locating the link that is wrong, you can then turn its neighbour (one link on the same line) over two of its own links, and the pull the two links up from the single link, and then problem solved. Ok, not a good explanation, hoping the pics will do better:

Chain_mail_tutorial_Problems_by_CoolleKotten.jpg


Note that this can only be done when you are making a single chain, not when you have a full piece. If you notice a deviant in your chain, then you have to locate which one of them that is causing the trouble and then figure out how to make it right. But dont go and take links off and hoping it will turn out ok, beacuse it wont. Just take it easy and you will fix it.



Hope this tutorial will be of some use to you here!
And Sorin, if you are making the links yourself, you will need them to be strong so they can close without any links falling off. This is the most important thing of all. If the links spring back, then you will end up with a pile of links... not a chain mail.

Have a nice day,

Kotten
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Cie

New Member
Having a piece of chain mail could be a good addition as a trophy. Anyway I did some chain back in the day and we would spool and cut out own links. I will look around and see if i can find the drawing for the spooling rig we use to use. Basically:

1 power drill
1 steel rod 12" - 18" long (diameter varied depending on what size rings)
1 wooden box or stand 15" - 24" long (width isn't so important)
1 roll of bulk galvanized wire (gauge varies if you are going to actually use it of just look at it :p )


Drill a small hole in the steel rod at one end approximately 3" - 4" from the end that goes in the drill chuck. then slide the steel rod through the holes in the wooden box so the steel rod is supported at each end. Put the drill on the steel rod and lock it down and then just insert one end of the bulk wire through the hole you drilled in the steel rod. Finally and very slowly tap the trigger on the drill the wire will start to spool around the steel rod. Just take your time and make sure you get a tight spool. Once you have a coil cut the wire where it goes through the rod and then move the rod so you can slide the wire coil off. then just cut off your links as you need them.

Very important note when you push the trigger do it SLOWLY AND GENTLY and do not use a drill with a lock ---- otherwise you may end up with a giant wire weed eater and you holding it. Trust me it is not a pretty sight :lol:
 

CoolleKotten

New Member
-CoolleKotten

Could you check this link out and tell me if these are what you're talking about. If it is they are called Jump Rings.

http://www.beadsandpieces.com/round-silver...jump-rings.html
Checked the link, I think that is what im talking about, yes. :p Thanks for the help!
But those are very expensive towards the ones I bought. I bought a 1000 rings for 70kr (8dollar) and those are 144 rings for 4dollars. But you can use them. :lol:
The most important thing is that they are strong enough to hold up.

If you guys see anything that is wrong, help me rephrase it and I will change it.

Kotten
 

CoolleKotten

New Member
Having a piece of chain mail could be a good addition as a trophy. Anyway I did some chain back in the day and we would spool and cut out own links. I will look around and see if i can find the drawing for the spooling rig we use to use. Basically:

1 power drill
1 steel rod 12" - 18" long (diameter varied depending on what size rings)
1 wooden box or stand 15" - 24" long (width isn't so important)
1 roll of bulk galvanized wire (gauge varies if you are going to actually use it of just look at it :p )


Drill a small hole in the steel rod at one end approximately 3" - 4" from the end that goes in the drill chuck. then slide the steel rod through the holes in the wooden box so the steel rod is supported at each end. Put the drill on the steel rod and lock it down and then just insert one end of the bulk wire through the hole you drilled in the steel rod. Finally and very slowly tap the trigger on the drill the wire will start to spool around the steel rod. Just take your time and make sure you get a tight spool. Once you have a coil cut the wire where it goes through the rod and then move the rod so you can slide the wire coil off. then just cut off your links as you need them.

Very important note when you push the trigger do it SLOWLY AND GENTLY and do not use a drill with a lock ---- otherwise you may end up with a giant wire weed eater and you holding it. Trust me it is not a pretty sight :lol:
Hah, trophys is a good idea!
Thank you for giving us another way of doing the rings for ourself. You can post the pics here if you find any.

Kotten
 

Cavaler Urban

New Member
my way in doing links are similar but a little bit simple ,soon I'll post some pictures so everybody can see how I proceed!
I have already a big pile of links and I'm scared already looking at it :p , untill now I made only draws about what I want to do!GERONIMOOOO....!!!
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

zombie td

New Member
Cheers for the tut Kotten
I was actually looking at one the other day but it was knitting it out of wool
but this would look so much better

Cheers again
~Jay
 

Cie

New Member
I checked and can't find the old drawings for the spooling rig but i am redrawing them. I will post it as soon as I get it done. We found it is really cheap to make and you can turn out lots of links for pennies. Oh yeah I almost forgot, you can use any type of wire you want once you have the rig so you can use brass wire which turns out some awesome chain for a trophy or what ever.

I included a couple of links to some armoring sites. the doc file on the first has a rig he uses but he doesn't use the drill -- oh well no fun there :p

www.prolarp.org/armor_tut.doc

This is like the haven for rings if you just want to buy the rings -- he has some exotic metals as well.

http://theringlord.com/

alright i'm out for now but i'll post that rig drawing we used in a few.
 

CoolleKotten

New Member
my way in doing links are similar but a little bit simple ,soon I'll post some pictures so everybody can see how I proceed!
I have already a big pile of links and I'm scared already looking at it :p , untill now I made only draws about what I want to do!GERONIMOOOO....!!!
You can post pics here too, anything that can help people is great.
Sorin, that pile of rings is scary... but it wont bite you. Unless you do what I did... somehow droped the handle of the snap ring plier which caused the link to clench right on to my finger... that hurts. :lol:
But that is just my luck.
So what are you planning to do?

Kotten
 

Zero

New Member
You can post pics here too, anything that can help people is great. :lol:
Sorin, that pile of rings is scary... but it wont bite you. Unless you do what I did... somehow droped the handle of the snap ring plier which caused the link to clench right on to my finger... that hurts. :p
But that is just my luck.
So what are you planning to do?

Kotten
I know those ones are expensive, I just wanted to make sure that those were what you were talking about before I go and order the wrong thing. I'm waiting for a buddy of mine to get back to me so I can start planning on making a Black Orc costume for him from Warhammer. But first I have to finish the predator suit before Comic Con.

http://stevblogs.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/black_orc.jpg
 

CoolleKotten

New Member
I checked and can't find the old drawings for the spooling rig but i am redrawing them. I will post it as soon as I get it done. We found it is really cheap to make and you can turn out lots of links for pennies. Oh yeah I almost forgot, you can use any type of wire you want once you have the rig so you can use brass wire which turns out some awesome chain for a trophy or what ever.

I included a couple of links to some armoring sites. the doc file on the first has a rig he uses but he doesn't use the drill -- oh well no fun there :p

www.prolarp.org/armor_tut.doc

This is like the haven for rings if you just want to buy the rings -- he has some exotic metals as well.

http://theringlord.com/

alright i'm out for now but i'll post that rig drawing we used in a few.
Post the pics when your done, no rush.
Great link for The ring lord! Those are excactly what I use. Thanks for the help guys, its very appreciated. :lol:

-Zombie.td
I am using this for my viking-pred costume, and I wanted it to look as genuine and true that it could.
It may take awhile to do it all, but when the end result looks really great all that hard work is forgotten.

Kotten
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

CoolleKotten

New Member
I know those ones are expensive, I just wanted to make sure that those were what you were talking about before I go and order the wrong thing. I'm waiting for a buddy of mine to get back to me so I can start planning on making a Black Orc costume for him from Warhammer. But first I have to finish the predator suit before Comic Con.

http://stevblogs.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/black_orc.jpg
You can also try and buy from The ring lord, as Cie pointed out. Those may be better to work with, and have better price. But you can do as you want. :lol:
Good luck on the Black orc costume! :p

Kotten
 

zombie td

New Member
I am using this for my viking-pred costume, and I wanted it to look as genuine and true that it could.
It may take awhile to do it all, but when the end result looks really great all that hard work is forgotten. :lol:

Kotten
Yeah i was thinking of a way to get chain mail for one of the pred armor ideas i had ( medieval barbarian warlord )
and thought knitting it would be cheap and give a similar effect, but now lookin at this and seeing the price of links
i think your rite im sure after the long work the finished product will pay off

So i might add it to my to do list :p

~Jay
 

CoolleKotten

New Member
It really pays off, it looks good and it moves like it should. It have a nice ringing noice to it too, when it moves. :p
Good luck with it Zombie.td. :lol:

Kotten
 

kwalsh0000

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Great tutorial! I have recently gotten a goof few lbs of rings for my jaffa suit and have been doing 4 in 1 but was thinking about using it for a pred aswell and liking the patter you have done. Looking forward to seeing what people come up with
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Top