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New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

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New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Kobalos » 2012-01-13

First off, is there desire to see me propose this before I take off for my long trip, or can/should it wait? Here's my OP from the DUMB:

So, since I've gotten into making chainmaille, one thing that has annoyed me are the chainmail (AR2) specs:

Chain mail must be made with links no larger than 1/2" rings of 12-gauge steel or bronze; 3/8" rings of 14-gauge steel or bronze; or 1/4" rings of 16-gauge steel or bronze. Chain mail made of sturdy links that fails to meet the requirement of AR2 will be AR3, e.g. shark mail would fall into this category.


The strength of mail armor depends on the aspect ratio (ratio of ring inner diameter to wire diameter). For example, 12-gauge (SWG) steel is 0.104" wide, so the Aspect Ratio of a 12g 1/2" ring is (0.5)/(0.104) = 4.8. Doing the same for the other standards, we get:
Code: Select all
12g (0.104")   1/2" ring   4.8 aspect ratio
14g (0.080")   3/8" ring   4.7 aspect ratio
16g (0.064")   1/4" ring   3.9 aspect ratio
18g (.0480")   not given, even though it's legal for metal armor!


That last jump from 4.7 to 3.9 is huge. If we adopt an aspect ratio of 4.8 as the standard, to avoid making current armor illegal, it would look like this:

Butted Mail
Code: Select all
12g rings could be 0.499" or smaller:    1/2" (0.5")       or 12.7mm
14g rings could be 0.384" or smaller:    3/8" (.375")    or 9.8mm
16g rings could be 0.307" or smaller:    5/16" (.312")    or 7.8mm
18g rings could be 0.230" or smaller:    3/16" (0.188")    or 5.8mm


And that's just a standard for butted mail. Riveted mail is much stronger, so we could increase riveted mail to perhaps 7 or 7.5. I would like to add a "looser" standard for riveted mail because not only is it inherently stronger than butted, but it's also historically accurate and I wouldn't want to punish someone who takes the effort or expense to get riveted armor. Here's an example of historical-spec riveted mail. Using an aspect ratio of 7.5 for riveted mail would give this:

Riveted Mail
Code: Select all
12g rings could be 0.780" or smaller:    3/4" (0.75")      or 19.8mm
14g rings could be 0.600" or smaller:    9/16" (.562")    or 15.2mm
16g rings could be 0.480" or smaller:    7/16" (.438")    or 12.2mm
18g rings could be 0.360" or smaller:    5/16" (0.312")    or 9.1mm


Thoughts?
--Κοβαλος

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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Sir Gwydion » 2012-01-17

How does the weight of riveted compare to butted rings?

There are two battling concepts in my mind: Historic appearance is good. Weight balance is good.

Since riveted rings are stronger, and more historical-appearing, then it stands to reason that they should be allowed to be built to a strength-based specification.

At the same time, you want to avoid using rivets as a way to reduce weight to AC balance. Similar to the titanium argument regarding $$ -> AC.
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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Prince Andrick » 2012-01-17

Riveted is going to weigh less, but not a whole lot. And btw, butted is historically accurate. It was used mostly in eastern/middle eastern areas.
Personally I think the flat riveted chain looks like crap, just looks too much like washers to me. Round riveted looks completely bad ass though.
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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Lord Dubh » 2012-01-17

Sir Gwydion wrote:How does the weight of riveted compare to butted rings?

There are two battling concepts in my mind: Historic appearance is good. Weight balance is good.

Since riveted rings are stronger, and more historical-appearing, then it stands to reason that they should be allowed to be built to a strength-based specification.

At the same time, you want to avoid using rivets as a way to reduce weight to AC balance. Similar to the titanium argument regarding $$ -> AC.


The difference is not significant. It still ways more than plate.

Duke Andrick wrote:Riveted is going to weigh less, but not a whole lot. And btw, butted is historically accurate. It was used mostly in eastern/middle eastern areas.
Personally I think the flat riveted chain looks like crap, just looks too much like washers to me. Round riveted looks completely bad * though.


Flat riveted are also historically accurate, used by the Celts and Romans if memory serves.
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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Prince Andrick » 2012-01-17

I know flat is accurate, I just don't like the look of it.
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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Kobalos » 2012-01-20

The only weight savings would be in slightly fewer rings being used for riveted, with the higher allowable Aspect Ratio. Keep in mind that a riveted 9/16" ring probably has the weight of a 11/16" ring, because there needs to be enough overlap for the rivet.
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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Kobalos » 2012-03-14

At the event this past Sunday, I realized we don't have standards for European 6-in-1 weave chainmail. It's stronger, but requires bigger rings by its very nature. Has anyone ever seen a suit of 6-in-1 at Darkon?
--Κοβαλος

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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby LordTyrantCort » 2012-03-14

I have, but it hasn't been for several yrs. and it was 6 in 2 weave.
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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Prince Andrick » 2012-09-25

Bump for further consideration. I really think this is a great idea and would like to see it proposed to Senate.
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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Gor Strayhorn » 2012-09-25

why do we use specific numbers in this? When I check chainmail, I check to make sure the armor is heavy, durable, and safe. I have only seen one person (myself) be measured for mm of my chainmail.

If the armor isn't heavy, I question it. Most vendors don't tell you the details we will be measuring for, hell most I have seen only give gauge and weave.

Just my two copper.
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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Prince Andrick » 2012-09-25

Simple really. So if you see an armor that is questionable, you have something to refer to. We already have measurements, this would just standardize them and differentiate between butted and riveted chain. Otherwise, id you fail an armor because "it's not heavy enough " you could end up arguing about it.

And really, what would be the point of not having set specs? We do for every thing else.
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Re: New chainmail specs? (lotsa numbers)

Postby Ogre Solaris » 2012-09-26

Honestly, I can make some sturdy chain out of the 17 gauge wire I have (electrical fence wire). It currently counts as AR3, but with a small enough inner diameter it can be brought to the acceptable aspect ratio in the original post. I haven't had it out in a long time and marshals who have checked it seemed to think it was good enough for AR2 until I told them that by the rules it can't be (16 gauge is all the smaller our current rules allow). No one's pulled out a tiny measuring tape and checked the numbers on it.
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