chainmail: a better way??

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bobthebuilder
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chainmail: a better way??

Post by bobthebuilder »

Can sum one please help me i've been making chain maille for a long time and i need a better way of actually making the wire round right now i just spin it around a metal dowel but it is killing my thumbs and so i was wondering if any one could tell me a better way. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

m300572
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Post by m300572 »

Bob, are you spinning it using your hands to hold the dowel and wire - no wonder its hard work.

Make up a winder - straight length of dowel with the end bent at right angle and then again to make a handle - this can be mounted in a wooden base for winding your wire.

If you have access to a friendly engineer then he could make you a more elaborate one - mine has a permanent fixture at one end to clamp it to the workbench.

bobthebuilder
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Post by bobthebuilder »

Yes i was doing it by hand but if i made a winding rig then would i still have to guide the wire with my hand or would it releave the stress off my thumb.

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Ace Rimmer
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Post by Ace Rimmer »

Well, I'd imagine it would halve the amount of work you're doing :)

failing that, if no-ones watching, you could whip out a pair of leatherman's and bend them with those :P
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Neibelungen
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Post by Neibelungen »

I usually use a lathe mounted mandrel to turn the wire and mount a clamp on the tool head to control the tension in the wire.

If you used a handle turned mandrel you could mount a clamp on a sliding rod to control the wire. Run it through a lubricated pad clamped around the wire and you merely slide it along to follow the line of rings built up. The reason for the tensioning is to control the amount of stress in the wire and the tightness (springback) that forms on the mandrel.

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saxon
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Post by saxon »

Just slide some thick pieces of leather over the fingers you need to protect, when demonstrating mail making I just use a thick piece of linen to protect my thumb and forefinger to show MOP's how the wire was coiled. Depends how hard the wire is which you are using.

bobthebuilder
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Post by bobthebuilder »

well i spent the night making a winding jig and invited my friend over to help me and the coils turn out rather neat and without the strain on my thumb thanks.

m300572
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Post by m300572 »

if i made a winding rig then would i still have to guide the wire with my hand or would it releave the stress off my thumb.
The thick leather protection is good - saves slowly sawing the top of your thumb off as the wire goes through - if you have got any scrap leather that will be ok - don't use your best gauntlets unles you want holes wearing in them!! :cry:

If the wire is a bit rusty then you could run it through a wad of emery cloth to derust it.

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