Posted by: clover_ring on Jan 12, 2011
This is my first attempt at starting a blog. Ever. So here goes nothing!
I've been in the SCA for around a year, but being a full time college student hasn't given me much time to be an incredibly active member, though I would like to be. Over the winter break, I went to my barony's (Bryn Madoc) 12th Night celebration, and it was there that one of my good friends taught me what he had discovered about the art of making chain mail. So far, I have only learned a little bit of what he knows, but I hope to be able to learn as much about it as I possibly can, as I have taken a great liking to it and I figure that it's about time I learn to make something.
So far, I've learned how to use a basic 4 in 1 pattern to make a long strand that will eventually become a belt. He's going to teach me a few other patterns that look pretty neat when made into bracelets as well. At this point, I have bought two pairs of pliers to actually handle the metal rings with, but I'm going to have to wait until I can come up with a little extra cash before I can buy the wire and something to cut it with. I borrowed some metal rings from him so that he could teach me how to make the 4 in 1, and by the end of the event, I had come up with around 7 inches of belt, which I am very proud of. A problem that I've run into, however, is that when he made the rings, whatever he used to cut the rings with pinched the metal so that the ends of the rings are pointy. This makes it difficult to completely close them, and this means that if the open bits of two rings come into contact with one another, they detach from the whole piece. I can see where this may be a problem later on.
From what I understand, to make the rings, he wraps steel wire around a dowel rod many times, slides the coil off, and then cuts the coil. Does anyone know of a tool that can be used to make a straight cut instead of pinching the metal?
I got some aviation snips from a friend and they work great! The belt ended up turning into a dice bag, but that's alright because at least I know what I'm doing now. =)