How Do You Make Chainmail by Hand?


Quick Answer

To make chainmail by hand, wrap metal wire around a dowel, cut individual rings out of the wrapped wire and piece together the rings with pliers. This process is tedious and takes a lot of time: especially for those who are not skilled with the craft.

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Full Answer

Most chainmail is made with about 16-gauge metal wire, but lighter decorative wire for jewelry applications can be used. Making a shirt of chainmail requires about 1/2 mile of wire, but the exact amount of wire needed depends on the project.

Choose a dowel that is slightly smaller than the size you of the rings with which you would like to work. Drill a small hole in one end of the dowel, and thread the wire through the hole. Wrap one end of the wire around the hole to secure it on the dowel. This helps the wrapping process to go a little faster. Wrap the wire around the dowel tightly. When you have wrapped the entire length of your dowel, use wire or bolt cutters to snip the end of the wire. Cut the wire close to the hole in the dowel to allow the coil to slide off of the dowel, and snip the coil into individual rings. Rings can be pieced together with two pairs of needle-nosed pliers.

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