'Chain' Mail Production Techniques
as taught by Duke Manfred Kreigstriber, MSCA, OL, Lion of Antir, etc, etc etc
(mka Mark Chapman, Industrial Engineer)

The primary tenets of this technique are that you

  • Never (or at least seldom) have to pass one link through four, you usually only pass one link through two, and sometimes only through one
  • Never set your tools down while working, you keep your pliers in our hands at all times, never setting them down when you pick up a link at add it to the project.
  • For a typical application like making a camail or hauberk you start by sliding several dozen links onto a long straight wire or cloths-hanger.

  • You then add the next row, note the black lines are -not- links, they represent they represent the overlap between two links

  • You can then continue to add rows until you reach some reasonable sized block of links.. You can then remove this block from the wire for further work.

  • You may then need to increase the length of this chain. You can do this very similar to adding rows of links. If you are making a hauberk you will need a chain of links long enough to reach around the chest (with gambison as needed). If you are makin g a camail the chain will need to reach around your helmet. Once the chain is the required length you will need to link the ends together, here you have to pass one link through four.
  • If you are building a camail (or your chest isn't your largest diameter) you will need to make the rows longer (wider) reach row. The way to do this is to adding links. I usually add three links more per row, building with 15 gauge wire and a 1/4 inch (6mm) ID., But you may need to change this based on the size of your links. The image below shows one link added.

    You may also need to decrease the diameter of your project, this is done by dropping a link, as shown below.

    Lastly to build circular object, like a coif. Start with a single large ring (I use a one inch (25mm) dia 10 gauge ring. I then add several links to this ring. You want enough links so that when you add the next row these links are not pulled tight, they need to fit loosely. Once more you will need to increase the diameter of the project with each row, which means adding links.