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Author Topic: Chain Maille Question  (Read 9328 times)

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Offline ALS

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2009, 08:40:52 AM »
I should note that the maille in the youtube clip YouTube - Machinwelded maille cut battleax  is not butted its welded, I believe this might in fact be the fella from Atlanta Armoury who makes welded chainmaille predominantly for SCA use, so the video does not show butted but welded maille ( hence the machinewelded maille in the clip title ). The axe appears to be Cold Steel.

Offline ALS

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2009, 10:20:40 AM »
I just watched a bit of the Deadliest Warrior video, theres a fair amount of stereotyping portrayed as fact and they do have some fact checking to do. Seems Museum Replicas Limited must have some sort of costuming supply gig with the production company as most all of the European weapons and armour are MRL which is not necessarily always the first stop for accurate gear. If the rest of the shows are of similar character while there is some valid information there they also contain alot of high school history stereotypes and some missinformation, I would veiw them as a launching platform for a direction to go in for further personal research rather than as a Cliff Notes on history that you would quote as hard fact.

Offline Macbain

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2009, 02:55:52 PM »
I'm not intending to imply i'm the be all end all, but the general census on butted mail is inaccurate. I stated previously that those were not the best examples they were simply the only ones i could find to upload. I personally despise deadliest warrior, it will take two weapons and run them both through two DIFFERENT tests and call the results deffinitive. What i could take from that video was a slash on chainmail. http://www.amazon.com/Handbook-European-Oriental-Including-Collection/dp/1443791830/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&qid=1249328156&sr=8-20 This is a reproduction of training manuals for warriors of the period it distinctly mentions "a knights ally is mail" then goes on comparing the merits between"joined links" and unjoined links and concludes that for the humble warrior, butted rings are equitable. Also in research for a european anthropology class we spoke with the proprietor of a musuem who concluded that very few examples of butted mail remain since wealthy knights would store and preserve armor whereas as the general soldier would likely either replace or or use his armor more frequently also it was an item of value and frequently traded. Repairs seem likely to have been needed often for both but durring wealthy periods many knights would go with the fashion of the period. I would also like to add that mail was never effective against thrusting blows, rivitted or otherwise, there simply isn't enough surface area for it to disperse that sort of trauma. And chris i appologize. I can tell i have offended you and that was not my intention. ALS, you are correct and that was my error, there are very few tests of chainmail i can find online.

Offline ALS

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2009, 04:23:30 PM »
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http://www.amazon.com/Handbook-European-Oriental-Including-Collection/dp/1443791830/ref=sr_1_20?ie=UTF8&qid=1249328156&sr=8-20 This is a reproduction of training manuals for warriors of the period it distinctly mentions "a knights ally is mail" then goes on comparing the merits between"joined links" and unjoined links and concludes that for the humble warrior, butted rings are equitable.

I am very familiar with Dean, former head of currations at the Tower armouries around the turn of the last century and while he made some valuable contributions some of his suppositions much as Stone's have been disproven as new evidence has come to light in the 100 years since. Claude Blaire's work around the same time period has held up much better under scrutiny over the years. If I recall correctly when he speaks of " joined links " he is refering to riveted links and when he referes to " unjoined links " he is refering to punched solid rings.

Do you happen to recall what museum? I know a currator or two and would be curious to know who it was as i'm unfamiliar with anyone in the curratorial world espousing this view.

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I would also like to add that mail was never effective against thrusting blows, rivitted or otherwise, there simply isn't enough surface area for it to disperse that sort of trauma.

Actually you would be surprised how effective maille over a good gamboison is against the thrust of the swords of the day ( broader more spatulated tips as they were more geared twords cutting ) and broadhead arrows. I will go looking for my friend from NYHFA's testing he posted on myarmoury its quite illuminating. Also Erik Schmidt has done some test work ( his riveted maille is held to be the most historic currently being made today ) and riveted maille is hard to break unless a thrust specific point, bodkin head arrows or the more ridgid hard tapering diamond cross section of 15th century war swords is used.

I don't think you've offended Chirs ( whom I know, if he lived closer i'd have him working for me part time) I think its that your putting forward something that goes against the accepted modern thought on maille based on the evidence to hand, and theres alot of it, and that he would like to see what your source material is for making the statement. This is common among harcore arms and armour collectors and living history re-enactors of which Chris is both. Please do not take offense but a 100 year old text and a college class will not hold up under acedemic scrutiny, do you have more material that you can sight? In order to disprove the modern concept you will need a fair amount of evidence to the contrary to be taken seriously as there is so much evidence to the contrary. If you can prove out what you assert it would be huge, i've made 100 butted maille hauberks over the years, 4 or 5 dozen butted coiffes, I make almost none now as the demand for riveted ( i'd love to work in riveted but no body seems to be able to keep the supplies in stock with any reliability ) and its greater avaliability from India has made it redilly accecible in the re-enactment and Western Martial Arts community. If you can bring a preponderacne of evidence to bear to prove your statement it would be huge deal but you will need much more material to make your case than what you have so far. Do you have more or can you find more source material to back up your theory, it would be a complete reverse of modern acedemic thought if get together enough eveidence to support it.

Offline Macbain

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2009, 04:52:21 PM »
I will email my professor he should be able to get me the name of the fellow. I unerstand that there is a lot of literature to suggest that riveted was the standard, but the majority of this is derived from surviving peices of armor and thus i cannot give you difinitive proof. I will dig through my library to try and find which book it was, but there was a study or mortal wounds sustained by victims believed to have been armored knights who either died in the battlefield or a hospital shortly after. The overwheling majority of the wounds were consistant with punctures, and while wearing a gambeson some also perished due to internal hemorging from blunt trauma (such as a sword blow that failed to cut links). In tests of mail (all using wrought armor i should add) they found a damage pattern more consistant with butted rings than rivited (i should note that i recall they were wedge rivited as was common of the period). I cannot say this is definnitive, unfortunately i have less experience with maille than i do with other crafts of the period, but i will look for more information to share.
I should also note, when making rivited maille myself i have converted a pair of mini bolt cutters to be able to punch a hole i then take a coil of galvanized steel rings and toss them in my one brick forge. Clear the aera for a while, the fumes from galvanized metal are poisonous. Once it has burned off i take them out and let tham normalize I then cut them with an overlap and pound them flat with a bushing i've made, then punch with my modified mini bolts. I'll generally use 18 guage for rivets in 16 guage. Give this method a try, you can manufacture very quickly, though i wouldnt call it period.

Offline ALS

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2009, 05:20:36 PM »
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I'll generally use 18 guage for rivets in 16 guage. Give this method a try, you can manufacture very quickly, though i wouldnt call it period.

Most of my time is tied up in the production of all our plate offerings, the only way I could effectively work with riveted is by being able to obtain pre punched rings and rivets or wedges ( which is used depends on time period and sometimes nationality ). Theres just not enough hands in the shoppe to detail somebody to flatten and punch rings all day as well as assemble and still churn out the other armour commitments we have.

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I will dig through my library to try and find which book it was, but there was a study or mortal wounds sustained by victims believed to have been armored knights who either died in the battlefield or a hospital shortly after. The overwheling majority of the wounds were consistant with punctures, and while wearing a gambeson some also perished due to internal hemorging from blunt trauma (such as a sword blow that failed to cut links). In tests of mail (all using wrought armor i should add) they found a damage pattern more consistant with butted rings than rivited

The only two titles dealing with that subject matter that i'm aware of are Armour from the Battle of Wisby ( island of Gotland 1361 ) and Blood Red Roses ( Wars of the Roses ). I don't recall anything about butted maille in either text but perhaps you have a text i'm unfamiliar with. I'm also currious how they were able to acertain the soft tissue injuries described. Wisby and Roses are working primarily from exhumed remains form both battles and as such were in large part only able to evaluate the injuries which had damaged bone as this was the only visible evidence of injury on the 450-550 year old remains. If you can come up with the title your thinking of I would very much like to obtain a copy.

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Clear the aera for a while, the fumes from galvanized metal are poisonous. Once it has burned off i take them out and let tham normalize

Pick up mechanics wire/black iron wire, its steel wire straight from the puller so its scale black but you don't have to worry about the galvinization fumes while cooking it. You can find rolls in the harware store or most any metal place that will sell by the sheet.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 07:18:59 PM by ALS »

Offline Chris B

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2009, 07:06:53 PM »
You did not offend me at all.  Allan is right in that I would welcome evidence to the contrary, but I researched that issue extensively before buying my own hauberk, chausses and coif, and I have seen no evidence at all for butted maille except for what were believed to be minor field repairs for a small patch.  I also agree with Allan that with a good gambeson, riveted maille can offer fair protection against period weapons.....even with a thrust.  It would be interesting if you could find solid archeological evidence for its use.

You have to be careful using modern tests of any armor to substantiate such a claim though.  Just because our modern minds come up with new ideas, test it, and prove that it could be effective on a battlefield through testing doesn't make it accurate historically.  I see plenty of Roman enthusiasts wearing boiled leather cuirasses and segmentatas too, but all evidence strongly supports arguments to the contrary.

PS.  I take those comments as a major compliment coming from you Allan.  Thanks. 
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 07:07:41 PM by Chris B »

Offline Macbain

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2009, 11:59:48 PM »
Before i get into my comment, Chris, i'm glad you are not bothered i've been lurking in the forum for weeks absorbing topics and i have enjoyed reading your posts and endeavors and would mean you no slight.
ALS, it's true, there is no "fast" way to make riveted mail, but a good setup goes a long way. I use Galvanized because i can get it in very specific sizes offordably and it will maintain a more period look and hold up longer than other mild steels, if the wire you speak of will hold up similarly i'll definately need to check it out ~.o
I'll rifle through my documents when i get into my storage junk and i'm still waiting on a reply from proffessor Nuepert.
Talk to you soon fellows :)

Offline SirRichardBear

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2009, 07:40:33 AM »
I read some place that the Japanese used butted rings to hold the sections of their armour togeather instead thread or cord.  The reason given for the Japanese using butted rings while Europeans didn't was that the Japanese used steel rings while Europeans used iron.  Plus the fact that the Japan only used rings to cover the areas between plate sections.

Does anyone know if this is true or not,  I can't find the book I read it in and fear it might have been in a lot sent to Half Price books.
Beware of him that is slow to anger: He is angry for something, and will not be pleased for nothing.
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Offline ALS

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2009, 08:11:44 AM »
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The reason given for the Japanese using butted rings while Europeans didn't was that the Japanese used steel rings while Europeans used iron.  Plus the fact that the Japan only used rings to cover the areas between plate sections.

Bear, the iron used for maille rings in Europe was of very hig quality and thus strength, the key with the Japanese maille of which you speak is that the carbon content is high enough to be tempered so the rings were heat treated like a blade to make them harder which you cannot do with iron due to lack of carbon content.

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if the wire you speak of will hold up similarly i'll definately need to check it out ~.o

Its consistantly gauged throughout, we actually us it for the blackened maille option we offer for our helmets so you shouldn't have a problem.

Offline Chris B

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2009, 09:47:03 AM »
I read some place that the Japanese used butted rings to hold the sections of their armour togeather instead thread or cord.  The reason given for the Japanese using butted rings while Europeans didn't was that the Japanese used steel rings while Europeans used iron.  Plus the fact that the Japan only used rings to cover the areas between plate sections.

Does anyone know if this is true or not,  I can't find the book I read it in and fear it might have been in a lot sent to Half Price books.

The Japanese also sewed their rings to cloth behind each ring which means they move less independently than the European maille.  If you go to the armored personas thread, you may be able to see the use of maille in my Japanese armor.  It it placed to cover the gaps between splints on the shins and on the arm guards. 

Offline SirRichardBear

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2009, 09:39:27 AM »
Thanks it good to have verification from other sources when you read something.
Beware of him that is slow to anger: He is angry for something, and will not be pleased for nothing.
Benjamin Franklin

Offline jcbanner

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2009, 04:10:22 PM »
an interesting topic you've got going on here. Some things to consider though on the topic of rejecting a claim that butted maile could have been just as common as riveted maile.theres a quote that is pretty much a standard in scientific study, don't know if other academic fields apply it as well though, (I study science, not so much history)

"The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

Basicly a warning to not reject a thought too soon just because it is not easily supported. There are many "facts" or "known truths" that have no solid evidence, yet they are still accepted as true simply because there is not an apparently better solution.

we can all agree that spoons are not a modern creation, correct?  well earlier this year I met a man who studies of all things spoons.  he's a wood worker who has spend the last several years studying wooden spoons from historical eras.  according to his sources, there are very few surviving samples of wooden spoons.  does this mean that only metal spoons were used? no, it means that the metal spoons survived better. obviously because of the stronger material, but also because they were more expencive and so better care was taken of them.


IF, and I do stress if, Macbain's claim is correct; that the common soldier was given butted maile, while the knights, and those with money had the riveted maile, what are the chances that the butted mail has as good an opportunity for survival into modern times?

And yes, I did just ask a serious academic question using a spoon as a premises for possibility.  :P

Offline ALS

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2009, 08:57:56 AM »
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Basicly a warning to not reject a thought too soon just because it is not easily supported. There are many "facts" or "known truths" that have no solid evidence, yet they are still accepted as true simply because there is not an apparently better solution.

While this is all well and good, there is no evidence either written, artistic ie. painted or drawn, or archelogical of butted maille made or used in Europe so the burden of proof falls on the claimant, and they will have to have some pretty substantial proof to do so. Simply stating that something is does not make it so, if this were the case I would have had a million dolllars in the bank yesterday. Your talking about trying to change the current thought on the subject reached by museum currators and acedemics the world over and your going to have to present a body of proof to even begin to have a discussion as thats what they used to arrive at thier conclusions, written, artistic and archeological evidence. You will need like to refute like. There is research and evidence behind the modern thought on maille in Europe and one will need research and evidence to posit an idea that is contrary to it to be taken seriously.

The idea that you don't need to have proof, only plausible theory, for something to be taken seriously as real, is a very slippery slope in modern arms and armour use. This idea is how you end up going to a 15th century Hundered Years War re-enactment and end up surrounded by guys in fantasy leather armour looking like orcs. Orcs and fantasy gear are fine and dandy for ren faire or LARPING but for WMA or living history re-enactment not really going to work, for these endevors proof is needed to give conetext for both period and place usage of arms and armour as accuracy is the goal. People can come up with some very elaborate theories to justify using things in the field of arms and armour, by way of example, I once had a fella in the SCA try to convince me that they had duct tape in the Viking era, and he had a very elborate construct to justify it, complete rubish but there was more than a bit of time and thought that had gone into it.

If the original presenter of the idea that there was butted maille in Europe is ever able to present a substantial body of proof equivalent to that which was used to arrive at modern thought on the subject it would be huge, it would revoulutionize the way its thought about and I would love to see him do that, as I stated earlier I used to make tones of butted maille in the past but now there is very little demand, but without that body of evidence the idea will not even be taken seriously.

Offline Monsignor de Beaumanoir

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Re: Chain Maille Question
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2009, 09:22:54 AM »
Just an offering:

The Royal Armoury at Leeds concluded that, "...it is almost impossible to penetrate using any conventional medieval weapon..." A good sword blow, arriving in exactly perpendicular angle to surface, could cut through the links; when the mail was not riveted a well placed thrust from a spear or thin sword could penetrate, and a poleaxe or halberd blow could break through the armour, but generally mail provided excellent protection to the soldier.

Yes or No?

 

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