How to Make Chain Mail Links

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In this instructable, I will show how to make chain mail links out of copper wire. This technique can be used any pattern or style of chain mail, or could also be used to make armor, if you had the time, money, and skill.
An example of a bracelet I made with the English four and one pattern is also shown.

Step 1: Materials

For making chain mail, you will need:

Wire (you can usually find this at your local store. I used 16 gauge copper.)

Jewelry saw, and multiple blades. (A hack saw May work, but I'm not certain.)

A drill bit (pick a diameter you want the inside diameter of your links to be. The smaller gauge wire, the smaller you want your links to be.)

Needle nose pliers. (You may use two pair if you like.)

A sturdy vice.

Step 2: Coil the Wire

Place your drill bit in the vice, and begin to wrap your wire tightly around the bit. Also, be sure to have each wrap close to the previous one as shown.

Step 3: Cut the Links Out

Place the coil of wire in the Vice and snug it up. If you over tighten the vice, it starts to flatten the coil into an ovular shape.
It will also make cutting harder by breaking your blade.
If you don't tighten the coil enough, it may wiggle, and cause the links to twist or the blade to snap.

Use your finger, placing it on the back of the blade to center it on the top of the coil.

Cut until you are through the coil, or can go no farther for lack of grip from the vice.

Step 4: Finish

Loosen the vice and hold your hand under it to catch your newly made links.

You can connect them by opening and shutting the openings with pliers.

If your using copper, you can clear coat them with polyurethane or shine off any tarnish with vinegar.

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    5 Discussions

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    copperhammer

    4 years ago

    I don't know. Depends on how good you get. Maybe two.

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    Flash67

    4 years ago

    Back then... I believe they did it in maybe half a year ( maybe more I'm not certain ) but that's because that was their job. Nowadays... Probably a year ( or more ). But I still plan on making a mail best one day:)

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    dan3008

    4 years ago on Introduction

    how many years would it take for me to make a chain link vest do you think? lol

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    tofugami

    4 years ago

    Very cool way to make the chain links. Bracelet looks good too.