Hello dyi dudes. i was thinking that it wouldn't be that hard to make some chainmail. so i decided i'd give it a shot and got off to a hardware store and bought some 2 mm galvanized (which i know is not the right thing to use) steel wire and some pliers. i bought 100 meters of the steel wire which i think should do me for something at least.
so when i got home i drilled a small hole at one of the ends of a 35 mm diameter steel pipe. i then stuck the end of the steel wire through the drilled hole and then started wiring the wire around the pipe. it was quite relaxing just sitting there rolling the wire up into a coil spring on the pipe. when i reached the end of the pipe i clipped the piece of wire that i had stuck through the drilled hole off and just slid the spring off. i'm fairly certain you can roll the coil up on a cylinder of wood too, but i imagine it would be hard to get it off once you're done, because even with the metal pipe it took a bit of an effort to get it off.
here you can see the spring. the whole coil was as tight as it is on the left end before i tried to get it off the metal pipe.
then i used a dremel to cut along the whole of one side of the coil to create the actual rings. this took some time because the steel wire was a lot harder than i thought (i'm just a skinny nerd, i'm not used to working with metal) so i broke one of the cut blades and it scared the shit out of me because it shattered and the pieces flew everywhere. luckily i was using safety glasses and gloves. i also embarrassingly enough accidentally set fire to some old rags with turpentine on them with the sparks flying everywhere. or well it wasn't really set on fire, i managed to catch it before he situation got heated
here you can see some of the rings, it's strange because you think you'll get so much more rings from that whole coil. now sure that wasn't the whole coil but still, it seems like you have 35ish cm of coil and you end up with a small amount of rings. i guess it's good that i bought 100m. and what you end up after you've cut it are rings where the edge of one end should sort of meet up with the opposite edge of the other end. that's why it's sort of important to roll the coil as tight to the previous layer as possible.
here you see what the rings look like after you've cut them.
then what you have to do is close up 4/5 of the rings. this is because you use one ring that needs to be open, then thread four closed rings on to make a 4:1 pattern. that's what i read at least. and since i know nothing at all about metal working or chainmail linking you can obviously trust me.
and here you can see the pattern that i am creating. it's really therapeutic to just sit there and link the rings together. i think it's kind of like knitting, only manly, and in the end you might actually get something that you would use.
the only real problems i've had so far is that i found that while it's easy to just continue the pattern lengthwise it was a bitch when i tried to broaden the weave. i messed it up a couple of times, but i think it will be easier when you have a piece that's a bit longer to work with. i also realise that i'm using the wrong material, that i'm probably using the wrong technique, that the rings should be welded together once they're on there. but the thing is i don't really know what i'm going to do with this (i will attach it to something i can wear, but i don't know just what yet.) and i don't reckon i'll be getting into any swordfights where i'd really have to rely on it to protect me. i just want it to look the part and not fall apart when i move it.
anyway, the plan as of now is to make some sort of studded leather armor and perhaps work this into it somehow. i'll update this thread with progress on whatever i make.