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Chainmaille Vest - Detailed
5 71 1K (1 Today)
By zikes   |   Watch
Published: November 10, 2004
© 2004 - 2019 zikes
My apologies for the rather large 1.31MB file size, but trust me it's worth it! I wove all them rings and by god you're gonna see them all! :D
Yeah I finally got my hands on a decent digital camera. I was sure my uncle John had one, so I asked him at work today if I could borrow it for a day or two and he said "Ohhh no, I know you're going to that Marilyn Manson concert on Thursday and that camera costs $1000!"
:rofl: As soon as I finished laughing I explained I was expecting to come back with broken limbs and bruises and there's no way I'd even think of taking a camera like that to a Marilyn Manson concert. So of course he ended up agreeing and now you all get to see my maille in all it's glorious splendor! :w00t!:

--

When I first started this project all I had was a spool of wire, a pair of needlenosed pliers (I promise I'll give them back someday dad ;)), a power drill, and some wire cutters. I used the power drill to coil lengths of wire around a steel rod to turn it into a coil, then cut each ring from the coil. Then I used the European 6 in 1 weave (where each ring passes through 6 other rings) and constructed this over the course of a very long and boring summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school.

The approximate ring count: 55,000 :eyepopping:
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1944x2592px 1.31 MB
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Comments71
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SCEyeballKid's avatar
SCEyeballKidProfessional Filmographer
Dude, do you any battle re-enactment? This'd be really good for that.
How much did this cost you to make?
zikes's avatar
zikesProfessional Artist
Actually, it was free :paranoid:

The wire was a big spool of 18 gauge aluminum welding wire (alloy 5356) that was given to me by my boss at the time. The rest of it was sweat, time, time, and more time :B

Never done any re-enactment, but it sounds fun =D
SCEyeballKid's avatar
SCEyeballKidProfessional Filmographer
Epic. Re-enactment is fun. I'll be bringing some weapons when I visit Inki and Frocky, you could give it a try then if you like.
arathalion's avatar
Cool! What diameter/radius was your wire/rings? I made the mistake of using 2mm wire with 6mm inner diameter. It was hell to cut the rings, let alone making the darned thing! Fortunately, I never ever lose rings like you do with some, and it's pretty impenetrable, unless you've got a skewer/fork. I shot it with my bow and the arrow simply bounced off! (ok, so it was only 34lb bow, but still!).
On the down-side, it weighs 25kg, with no arms (It used to have them, but I took them off and replaced them with the plate shoulders I made).

I found that the thing became a *lot* more comfortable when I added some rows around the neck. Perhaps it was just because mine was fairly tight, but might be worth a go. Also, I have fitted mine to my body (it's slightly corset shaped) and put straps/buckles on the back so it's dead easy to get on and fits anybody. I'll have to put some pictures up at some point.

Anyway, nice to see somebody else who spent a few years constructing some high quality maille!
zikes's avatar
zikesProfessional Artist
I used 18g (.0403in/1.02362mm) aluminum wire with a 1/4in (6.35mm) inner diameter. It's very flexible, yet dense enough that it almost appears solid. Since I was more interested in maille as a display piece and used aluminum, this vest only weighs roughly 9lbs (4.08kg) and once a person gets it on they could actually forget they're even wearing it.

:comic: "Anyway, nice to see somebody else who spent a few years constructing some high quality maille!"

Actually, I only spent 3 months on this vest :paranoid: I made it some years ago before I had a job, and spent all summer on it.

I'd like to see your vest if you can get some photos of it. If you post it to dA leave me a comment or note so I can check it out :D
Goddesofwolves's avatar
GoddesofwolvesHobbyist General Artist
nice cainmail. So do you like midevil wepons to? You are pritty good at that.
zikes's avatar
zikesProfessional Artist
I love everything midieval and fantasy, I have a healthy obsession with dragons & wizardry and even have a sword hanging on the wall :D
Goddesofwolves's avatar
GoddesofwolvesHobbyist General Artist
Lucky I am not old enough to buy a sword. *sigh* I plan on getting some for my 18th birthday from my dad. Mid-evil things rock! did you know that the first case of bio war fer was in the mid-evil age?
zikes's avatar
zikesProfessional Artist
Yep, they used to fling dead animals with catapults :D
Goddesofwolves's avatar
GoddesofwolvesHobbyist General Artist
of humans with the plage. god that would suck sitting at home minding your own buines and a dead body lands on ya that would suck!
Koolaidmaid's avatar
KoolaidmaidHobbyist Traditional Artist
Good greif. So splendid. Love the shine they have. I have but one question. Most of the chian work I have seen is really neat looking until you get up close. Now it may just be customers are hard on others hard work and don't care if they don't handle it with respect. But inveriably I see links missing and pulling apart. Do you have some king of sodering you do to them? Or is it just be gentle and humble with the chain work?
zikes's avatar
zikesProfessional Artist
lol of all the people that have handled this vest I've probably treated it the worst :D

I've had to make many, many repairs to it over the years as I've done some rather foolish things with it. I made it during high school and brought it to school with me a number of times in my book bag, which was often thrown, trampled, or otherwise beaten upon throughout the course of the day. Repairs are fairly easy to make, though, as the pattern makes it relatively easy to get rings in and out of a few of the more cramped spots, so it's all good. As a matter of fact there are still a few repairs I need to make right now, as with a piece so large as this there are invariably going to be some rings which were not closed properly in my haste, and have slipped out of place.

I've seen examples of soldered and rivetted chainmaille before, but don't really have the urge to try it myself on larger pieces. I'd love to give it a try for jewelry pieces, though, as most of my jewelry is inherently weak and must be handled with relative care.

Anyways, thank you I'm glad you enjoy my work! :D
Koolaidmaid's avatar
KoolaidmaidHobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for the reply to my question. I one day will own a bit of chainmaille. But for now I have to many other hobbies that take up all my time. I should learn the linking process before I buy any. Or I may find repair work a bear. *laughs*
l33tg4m3r's avatar
l33tg4m3r Writer
Holy crap! Where can I get a tutorial for that? I wanna make one now (someone here *couch*me*couch* has waaaaay too much time...) I want! Very cool! :+fav: >^_^<
zikes's avatar
zikesProfessional Artist
Thanks! I haven't really found any good tutorials for making vests, I mainly just did this one by trial and error. They're really not as difficult to make as you might imagine, I suggest just giving it a shot with some larger, cheaper rings as a quick practice run and then moving on to the smaller, more expensive aluminum.

My first vest was actually 16 gauge galvanized steel in the European 4 in 1 pattern. It was very open and very quick, but it helped me to gain an understanding of what would lie ahead for this particular vest.
l33tg4m3r's avatar
l33tg4m3r Writer
Did get some work done trying it out and it's loads of fun/work. Definitely going to make a chain shirt with 4-in-1 first 'til I learn to correct and repair all errors I can make with that, then move to 6-in-1. As did you, I'm using 16-gauge galvanized steel wire of which I'm wrapping myself. >^_^<
zikes's avatar
zikesProfessional Artist
Great! I can't wait to see the finished product :)
l33tg4m3r's avatar
l33tg4m3r Writer
Prolly won't be for awhile (obviously), but I'm learning to pick up the pace...even learned the proper way to take the wire off the winding spool (broke my first one and had to rebuild it...heh). What tool do you use for cutting wire (assuming you don't buy pre-cut links); I use tin-snips. >^_^<
zikes's avatar
zikesProfessional Artist
For my aluminum I use some modified Klein D2000 diagonal cutters. They don't come with springs to reopen them after each cut so I put my own on it. When I was still cutting galvanized steel I used some bolt cutters.
l33tg4m3r's avatar
l33tg4m3r Writer
I should get some bolt-cutters then...tin snips are kinda hard to use on wire. >^_^<
Gawrak's avatar
cool this 6 in 1 look great, awsome job man

Bye:wave:
zikes's avatar
zikesProfessional Artist
Thank you! :D
zikes's avatar
zikesProfessional Artist
Thank you! :D
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