Those of you who don't know, chainmail was a thin, flexible armor worn by soldiers in the medieval periods. It was woven from chains of rings, hence the both clever and witty name. Chainmail was less expensive and easier to make than plated armor, so it was far more widely worn by military personnel. It also helped in filling gaps between the plates of armor suites. Basically, chainmail was your go-to-guy when you climbed from your straw mattress and scratched your head about what to wear to the impending battle that awaited you later that day.
Some folk go all 'olde' by spelling it with an extra 'L' and 'E' tacked at the end, and good on them for it. Wonderful show, and what not. But it doesn't really matter, and barely anybody knows what you're talking about in that case.
But what's the use of all this idle rambling? Well... when's there ever a use for it? The point (Because yes, despite what you may be thinking at this point, there really is a point to all this.) is I've been meaning to weave myself some chainmail for several years now, but kept being distracted and never really looked into it. But semi-recently I sat down and did myself a bit of research. Turns out, it's really not that difficult to make a bit of the stuff. And I picked it up pretty swiftly. So for those interested. I'll give you an idea of the process I use to make chainmail. Most of the tools and things that I use I bought at the Ace Hardware store where I work. Also - because I'm an employee there, I have a pretty out of sight discount which is incredibly handy when I have DIY projects like this one.
First, I built this little rig. It's made of an old two-by-four I found and a steel rod I purchased at Ace. The rod is 3/8ths of an inch in diameter and something close to a yard long. A shorter rod may have been more manageable, but it works well enough.
It just makes sense to me, to make four four-in-ones and then weave those together.
The pattern continues. One ring for every four. Two four-in-ones make up the length on the right.
And again, one ring for every four. I use a pair of pliers per-hand to twist the steel rings into shape. (One which my dad gave me about a lifetime ago and one I bought at Ace Hardware.) On small bits like this, it's not difficult at all. But when working on larger lengths, the steel will start to get heavy.
The length on the left in this illustration is the four four four-in-one pictured in the last photo. And the length on the right is only two of those. For as much fun as I find this to be, it's really tedious and made much easier by listening to a totally rad' playlist all the while. Which I do. I haven't finished weaving anything wearable yet, but I'm working on it. Hopefully I'll have my coife (Headpiece like a hood, usually worn under a helmet.) worked out and finished soon. Chainmail is awful fun to fiddle with, too. I know that probably sounds really random, but just fashion a small length and you'll be unable to put it down. It just begs to be swished around and shaken and dropped and... well, and worn. But I'm getting there!