How to Make a Mandrel for Chainmail (maille)


Introduction: How to Make a Mandrel for Chainmail (maille)

About: vdubs, bobbers, and weird hobbys

I wanted to make chainmail and i needed a Mandrel and there were no instructables for a mandrel. The overall cost should be about 10.00$(I already had everything I needed except the dowel)

Disclaimer: use at a very slow speed or else serious injuy could happen.( I am not liable for your injuries )

Step 1: Getting Materials

1) You need a 2*4 and two smaller peices of wood equal size (I used a piece of batton from when we sided our house with board and batton)

2) A metal or wooden dowel (3/8 diameter) I used metal but if i were to redo this i would use wood cause the metal bends.(cost 2.49)

3) And a Few nails not very many about 5 or more

3/8 diameter drill bit
a vice came in handy but was not needed

Step 2: Time Too Build

Ok now connect your two pieces of wood to the 2*4 by nailing them space them. Space them aproxamently 1 foot apart depending on your prefrence mine are about 1 foot

Step 3: Drilling the Whole

Drill a Hole in both pieces of wood were the dowel will go through and make shure the rod will spin nicely in the whole

Step 4: Inserting the Dowel

Insert the dowel in the whole and make maker shure every thing is running smoothley and efficient. I would drill a hole in the dowel to insert the wire so you dont have to tape it on. (sorry I dont have a picture of this I have lost my camera and cant find it)

Step 5: Add the Drill

Add the drill so you can spin wire faster you dont need it but i find in faster

Step 6: Now Spin Baby Spin

atach wire and weave



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    47 Discussions

    I'm more interested why you have a lightbulb on a rod in the background also ty for guide!

    My advice from experience: Don't use wooden rods. Metal may bend, but wood shrinks/expands. It will be impossible to get a consistent size. Can someone please tell me, what's the best way to bend the rod for hand winding?

    lol thanks for clearing up the size of the steel rod in this i'ble! i was looking at ones for making maille and none had size listings... thanks!

    i'm starting to get into making jewery and this will definatly help so thx

    I was making maille, but some fat kid stole my leatherman that I used to cut the rings :'(

    I am currently working on some chainmail that I am making from trampoline springs. The spring metal is so tough that I have to cut it with a dremel. I was sort of wanting it to be stronger than usual and be able to with stand allot of damage probably more so than the average coil of wire. I hear that electric fence wire is good to use as well and plan on making my next project be of the electric fence wire. I also work with a leather and plate combo where I buy plates from the hardware store with precut holes and just rivet it to leather. I made a mandrel similar to the one pictured above so hopefully this next project will prove to be a good one

    14 replies

    coat hanger is hard to weave but worth the time you spend on it because the wire is strong enough its almost never going to bend out of shape. I'm not saying it won't bend out of shape but it is some really tough and thick wire to work with. I like me some good challenges XD

    I also use 1 subject note book spiral and 3 and 5. I use a mandrel for the 1 sub that is about the same diameter as a ink cartride inside a pen.

    I seen those gloves that they use in meat packer plants made from wire sorta like that. Those gloves are suppose to be some tough stuff and knives cant cut them or any thing so I assume that might work to some degree.

    That shark suit stuff when you just glance at it looks like regular cloth until the light hits it just right. I like the stuff a lot. Its amazing how small a person can get their rings but for now I like my rings to look like medieval style chainmail weaves. I do alot of different armor making but chainmail seems to be a lot more easier than forging plate armor. I like the way soda tab chainmail looks because it almost gives off a scale looking look at first glance.

    Cloth with lots of holes in a pattern. Mine are small but they are medieval weaves. And you dont forge plate armour now, you just bend metal plates from home depo and drill a few holes, connecting it with some mail. Soda tab mail looks like trash, and its spiky, unless you do a lot of work to it. But thats just my opinion.

    Nope, I buy my sheet metal from a welding shop, use a torch to heat the metal and dome my peaces out with hammer and anvil. Its true a lot of the metal working with sheet metal can be bent but I go through a lot of steps to make my armor look good. I grind the sharp edges with a grinder and like I said I use a torch to further temper the steel while allowing the metal to be shaped around a rounded anvil I made from a trailer knob. I am currently working on raising a helmet from a 17 by 17 inch peace of 14 gauge sheet metal. I have an entire shop that I do my metal working in heh....

    Sounds cool. but Ive seen plate armour here that looks pretty good that doesnt take much work. The helmet does sound beast. Like to see how that turns out.

    I kinda agree with the soda tab opinion but you have to admit its creative. experimented with some of that tab stuff myself and found it to be kinda neat but nothing like my chainmail. I like how the coat hanger and galvanized fencing wire rings look together. The galvanized are shiny while the coat hanger wire is slightly dull so you can make patterns and if you want a slightly old and aged look. Rust is no problem with me because if the rings get a lil rusty I just polish them on my electric wire brush.

    I use to use that stuff to fix mah necklaces when the lil ring at the top broke off. I would just wrap that note book wire around it and it never broke again after that. I have one that is made of puter that I have had for over 12 years and it still has not broken or came unwound. Good stuff I can see making very very small rings from it but as far as using it for armor I cant see that working out too well.

    3 and 5 subject are quite a bit bigger, and they are stronger than a lot of rings. it just takes a little more time to make a finer mail. It looks better, and its more comfy to wear since it can flex more.