Ok, let’s start with the wire for the rings, for your chainmail.
I will say it again, that you can order the rings pre cut at The Ring Lord . com and save your self a ton of labor. But if you can’t afford that, you still can make your own rings. Here is how.
I begin with some 12 gauge copper wire that is used for wiring houses. I am an electrician for my day job so I end up with a lot of scrap pieces of wire. 12 gauge is great for chain mail. It is listed as AWG 12, (American Wire Gauge) in my country. Smaller diameter wire like 14 makes your chainmail look a bit weak and lightweight. It will still work but 12 is much better, and it is readily available. What ever size you choose, stick with it for the entire project.
The wire in the photo is commonly called Romex or NMB, (non-metallic sheathed cable). It is typical for wiring up a house. This one in the photo happens to be 12-3 which means it is 12 gauge and has 3 current carrying conductors. The only important thing to remember is you need 12 gauge solid wire.
Strip off the insulation on the wire to leave it bare.
Above, I am using a razor knife to slice the yellow outer insulation off to get down to the conductors inside.
A slice opens the yellow jacket up to expose the wires inside.
In my example I have a white, a red, a black, and a bare copper. You may not have a red. It doesn’t matter.
Untwist all the wires, and pull that paper off the bare wire. You can cut this into lengths of 24″ or so if you desire to make all of this easier. Pieces as small as 6″ can be used.
Now take your wire strippers and begin removing all the insulation from all the wires. A razor knife can also be used. This part takes a long time. Do small chunks then do something else, then come back and do some stripping. All of your wires will end up bare.
Now you can see all the shiny copper. Wear some gloves if you desire because the edges can be sharp. Beware of the wire springing back and hitting your face. When the wire is stripped, cut them about 12-24″ long each with your wire cutters.
Next we will look at how to take the raw wire and make rings out of it.
Go ahead, make a mess, strip some wire, have some fun.