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Stretch Chainmail Bracelet

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This is my entry for the Instructables Gift Exchange. It is a standard 6-in-1 pattern, with every other column being rubber rather than aluminum rings. The unique thing about this bracelet is that there is no need for a clasp, which are hard to add to mail, and can be flimsy. 

The bracelet can be as narrow or as wide as you want, as long as it's a multiple of the ring width. Below you see 2 7 wides (the Silver, Blue, and Black; and the Silver, Blue and Green), and an 11 wide. 

The seven took me 3+ hours to complete, and the 11 about 5 hours. I usually do this while watching a movie or sports on TV, at night, or during the winter.
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials
Tools:
  • Wide pliers x2
  • Needle Nose pliers, preferable curved x2
  • Cloth Measuring Tape
  • Cups to hold rings (optional)

Materials:
  • Rings (See step 4 for ring count)
There are multiple different sizes of rings you can get. These are 16 AWG (Gauge) 1/4" ID (Inner diameter) rings. I ordered mine from The Ring Lord.

Step 2: Optional Tools

Picture of Optional Tools
You may have noticed the coating on my tools. This was to protect the finish of the rings, as they are easily marred by metal tools. You could go and by some tools specifically made for this purpose, but I found it easier and cheaper to just take some dollar store tools and dip them in Plasti-Dip. Plasti-Dip is usually used to repair the handle coating on tools, but I used it on the jaws instead. I found it for a couple bucks a Harbor Freight.

The large pliers, I actually ground off the teeth and cutters  so they were nearly perfectly flat, so it wouldn't damage the coating. The small curved pliers only had a little knurling on the surface so I didn't bother to smooth them. It won't last forever, in fact they were almost completely gone by the end of this project, but it does work well, and actually gives the tools more grip.
Partatoes3 years ago
Love the tut. Man, you were right though, that last step took me forever.
IMG00204-20100830-2128.jpgIMG00203-20100830-2128.jpg
mrmucox (author)  Partatoes3 years ago
Very nice job there! It looks perfect!
great instructable, but i was just wondering where you can get the rings? if you know of any stores or websites where you could get hem that would be great
He gave the link in the 'Tools and Materials' step. The Ring Lord
EGiR3 years ago
THANKYOU!!! It is so well made, i shall wear it with pride! I'm amazed at the care that has gone into it, and you've documented extremely well. it is quite bizarre watching the video and looking at the object on my wrist, now halfway across the map. I hope other people are as chuffed with their exchange as me.
mrmucox (author)  EGiR3 years ago
Well... you're very welcome! I can't believe how much people are liking this! So many views and ratings!
Hathos962 months ago
How many coats of plasti dip did you use in the needle nose pliers?
mrmucox (author)  Hathos962 months ago
Just one. The dip will go bad after a while in the can. You might want to consider the spray version, it might take a few coats, but won't go bad in a couple weeks/months.
Hathos962 months ago
One more question. The only pliers I have have teeth and aren't smooth. Will the plasti dip make the pliers smooth or should I get pliers with no teeth?
mrmucox (author)  Hathos962 months ago
You'd be better off with smooth pliers, probably cheaper too.
Hathos962 months ago
Is there an alternative for using plasti dip like covering the pliers in something?
mrmucox (author)  Hathos962 months ago
You could buy the plastic jawed pliers specifically made for chainmail. You could also use smooth jaw pliers without any coating. Otherwise you could use anything that is durable enough to withstand the use. I've found the plasti-dip fails fairly quickly.
bridenbaugh3 months ago
Thanks for the tutorial! Came out great. It's hard to tell but the middle is a matte white ring with a grey undercoat. And the outside is royal blue, and the rest is black rubber rings. Thanks again for the great tutorial!
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HarryF-184 months ago
I'm too lazy, but this looks awesome
Steel rings are very simple to make. I used to make them by the thousands on weekend afternoons for my friends at school. Made a few dollars doing it too.
Euphilia2 years ago
Is there any way to get the plasti-dip to stay on the tools longer? After about 15min of use the rubber comes of my tools and mars a ring. also, for either weave, you have to keep putting the aluminum rings on the last two previous rubber rings throughout the whole project, right?
mrmucox (author)  Euphilia2 years ago
If you're having that much trouble with the plasti-dip, maybe you should just by the tools that they sell with nylon jaws. I'm not sure I understand your second question, but every metal ring should have 3 rubber rings through it. So I suppose, yes, if using the row method, the previous 2 and one new rubber ring. If using the column method, on the completed side you would put out through 3, and the additional column would be through 2 and a new one. O hope this makes sense.
Mrballeng3 years ago
I really appreciate the time and effort you put into this. 5/5 and followed.
mrmucox (author)  Mrballeng3 years ago
Thanks! I've been meaning to try a few of your instructables too! I've got the tools, just need the time.
Pola B.3 years ago
felicitaciones,estan my lindos.....Pola
i know that this is probably really late but you can also just wrap the tips with a little bit of duct tape
bastir3 years ago
Hi there!
This is great work! I absolutely love these bracelets - especially the blue-green-bright one you are making in this instructable. I'm wondering if I should try this and present it for christmas... But as I'm very acurate, I want to make sure that everything fits perfectly when I get the rings. The ringlord really has a wonderful assortment, but I'm worrying about the sizes right now. You said, that you used
"16 AWG (16ga on the RingLord site)",
but as I understand it (and you can read here), the 16ga is SWG which is the same as 14 AWG!

so could you please tell me the diameter of the wire?
16ga = 14 AWG = 16 SWG should be 0.0625'' = 1.6 mm
16 AWG = 18ga = 18 SWG = 0.048'' = 1.2 mm

thanks again for this great instructable!


mrmucox (author)  bastir3 years ago
Whatever I used in the instructable, is what The Ring Lord site states, didn't realize there was a difference.
sakrow3 years ago
What kind of rings do you use? I didn't find that kind of ring. so i bought washers, dunno, will it work?
he said go to theringlord.com for the rings
mrmucox (author)  sakrow3 years ago
The ones shown are Anodized Aluminum and rubber, 16 AWG (16ga on the RingLord site), 1/4" ID. The anodized aluminum rings can be found here, and the rubber rings can be found here.

I suppose rubber washers and split metal washers could work, you just need to make sure they will mesh properly. If the rings have too small an ID, or too thick gauge (smaller AWG number), you'll never get the 6-in-1 pattern, but 4-in-1 would work too. Too large an ID or thin gauge (larger AWG number), and it will be loose and floppy. I guessed the sizes I would need to make this the first time, and got lucky. I could not do a 6-in-1 weave of all metal rings, as there is not enough room. The rubber rings are slightly deformed (stretched) in my bracelets, but you can't see it from the outside.
jademyst133 years ago
I can't WAIT to try this I want to get into making chainmail so badly and this looks awesome!!
sakrow3 years ago
Thanks, when i was looking for them in stores i just said "Have you got ring like in the game sonic just aluminum and with different colors" lol... Thanks, you really helped me
thankyou, just wanted it!!
sosogood3133 years ago
Hi, Can you tell us approximately how many rings will be needed? I understand that this will vary depending on ring size, but if you can ballpark the amount, that'd be great. Thanks!
mrmucox (author)  sosogood3133 years ago
See Step 4
Urhotus3 years ago
Would anyone happen to know a site like The Ring Lord in Europe? Lord's shipping fees here are quite high...
crystol3 years ago
i want to make sure of something. I have an 8 cm wrist so i would need around 170 per bracelet correct?
mrmucox (author)  crystol3 years ago
You better re-measure. If you had an 8cm wrist, your wrist would be about the size of a quarter. This measurement is the circumference around your wrist, not the width. See the photo below, and make sure you are using cm and not inches like the photo below:


Photo by Tenuki Handcrafts and used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License
crystol mrmucox3 years ago
i forgot to acount for the fact that my measuring tape goes one two three four five six seven eight nine TEN one two three four five six seven eight nine TWENTY so yes i have an 18 cm wrist, can i ask about how many you tink it will take per bracelet?
mrmucox (author)  crystol3 years ago
For an 18cm wrist, you will need ~54 rings per column, so, for example, if you were making a 7 column like in the instructable, you would need 54*4 = 216 metal rings, and 54*3 = 162 rubber rings. You'll definitely need to buy extras though, in case you mar a metal ring or tear a rubber ring. Good luck in making one, and post a picture when you finish.
crystol mrmucox3 years ago
Thanks. I have to order some rings now. This will be excellent! Thanks for the amazing instructable!
leonardml3 years ago
Great instructable; well made and explained. Especially liked the music added to the video. Kudos!
Where do you get the rubber rings??? Thanks in advance. And thanks for great instructions . . . . .
mrmucox (author)  metalgrannie3 years ago
The answer to your question is right in front of you! But seriously, as I put on the materials Step, and as LuminousObject reiterated, I got them at The Ring Lord
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