Galvanised Mail

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Rurik
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Galvanised Mail

Post by Rurik »

Hello everyone!

I had a go at making some butted chain mail for starter kit using galvanised fencing wire, and I was wondering how noticeable galvanisation is on a full piece. Is it worth removing the zinc coating, or just buying mild steel links, for greater authenticity?

Many thanks.

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Neil of Ormsheim
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Re: Galvanised Mail

Post by Neil of Ormsheim »

Always get rid of the galvanising. It stands out a mile and just looks wrong. Burnit off (in a well ventilated space) or dissolve it away but please - just get rid of the zinc coating. :)
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Langley
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Re: Galvanised Mail

Post by Langley »

As Neil says - if you burn it off try to do it outdoors in a stiff breeze and stay upwind. Very toxic indeed sniffing vapourised zinc. But do get rid of it. It will rust like anythign afterwards so heating and quenching in oil will give you a nice finish which will resist that. It is difficult to get it evenly hot (should be glowing red all over) but putting it in a big tin in a hot bonfire usually works. It will of course reharden the steel too.

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Strickland
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Re: Galvanised Mail

Post by Strickland »

What they say, but I do remember my first galvanised wire shirt after a short time of use turned a lovely burnished colour ie darkened off quite nicely. Just my groats worth!

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m. demetrius
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Re: Galvanised Mail

Post by m. demetrius »

The zinc can be removed chemically by immersing the metal in a plastic bucket with enough plain white vinegar to cover. When it stops bubbling, it is done, and that could be a day or two. Do this outdoors, as the zinc gas is toxic. Zinc is nasty, isn't it?

Rinse in clear water and dry quickly with a hair dryer or reversed vacuum cleaner. A light coating of some kind of thin oil (I used WD40, but wished I'd used something with less odor, maybe mineral oil) should help keep the rust away. The more often it's worn, the less the rust can establish itself.
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ForTheMarshal
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Re: Galvanised Mail

Post by ForTheMarshal »

Huh, didn't know the zinc fumes were toxic, will have to warn anyone else thinking of doing this

/did this back in my university days many moons ago
//awaits lung cancer or similar :worried:
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The Iron Dwarf
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Re: Galvanised Mail

Post by The Iron Dwarf »

burning zinc destroys the cells in your lungs and will give you flu like symptoms, I know of at least one person admitted to hospital for several days because of it.
do not weld on galvanised stuff or burn zinc.
you may find out more by looking up 'metal fume fever' here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_fume_fever
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Re: Galvanised Mail

Post by guthrie »

ForTheMarshal wrote:Huh, didn't know the zinc fumes were toxic, will have to warn anyone else thinking of doing this

/did this back in my university days many moons ago
//awaits lung cancer or similar :worried:
Fortunately zinc oxide fume is fairly obvious, being very white, almost like snow or suchlike. I don't recall reading that the effects are long term, rather you get some nasty side effects, depending on the dose. If you are stupid enough to breathe it for a minute or two it'll kill you. It's toxicity isn't any worse than many other common metals, rather the problem is that it is so easily vaporisable because of the low boiling temp, so although say, same quantities of iron and zinc fume would do the same damage, you'll get exposed to much more zinc fume because of its chemical properties as above.

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Re: Galvanised Mail

Post by ForTheMarshal »

Just glad I did it in the garden! :P
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Re: Galvanised Mail

Post by m. demetrius »

I don't recall reading that the effects are long term, rather you get some nasty side effects, depending on the dose. If you are stupid enough to breathe it for a minute or two it'll kill you.
I sense something of irony in this, or am I reading it wrongly? Death, to a Texan anyway, seems like a long term effect.... |( :D
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Re: Galvanised Mail

Post by guthrie »

Yes, I did rather poorly word it.
I thought Texans thought death was something that happened to other people?

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