Making chains in chain mail

Ok, now you have a lot of open and closed rings. Let’s combine them together to make our chains.

Take four closed rings and put them on one open ring. Then close that ring. This is the basis of medieval chain mail pattern 4 in 1. It has 4 rings attached to 1.

four in one

four in one

Now lay it out on a flat surface to look like this:

beginning

beginning

See the pattern already forming? Make sure your center ring is facing the same way as the photo. Notice how the middle slants to face one direction and the sides slant to face another.

Now make another one just like that first one. And lay it directly below the first one on the flat surface.

second piece

second piece

Slide the second piece up to the bottom of the other one until it overlaps. Ensure the rings are slanted the same direction as the upper one.

needs a ring

needs a ring

In the above image, the second set is slid up to the first set. See the green line? That is the link that is missing. We will take a link and follow the green line in the same order. Go down through the two rings on the left, then come up through the two rings on the right. Again, it is 1 ring that connects to 4. The whole pattern is just a repeat of 4 rings connected by 1.

So, take an open ring in your pliers. I usually open the ring quite a bit more than normal to make it easier to fee through. Follow the green line.

open ring

open ring

I am using a different colored ring so you can follow along. Notice how extra open the ring. Hold one end in your pliers, and thread it through following the green line.

first two

first two

Above, I have threaded the first two rings. Go down on the left two rings, then keep going.

second two

second two

Now I have come around the back, and have come up through the two on the right, just like green line showed.

catch all 4

catch all 4

Notice how I have caught all four rings. Now, take your pliers, and grab one end of the new ring. Hold tight and lift the whole assembly. Don’t worry about anything except holding that ring in place.

grab the ring

grab the ring

Once you have a good grip, grab the second end of the new ring with your other pliers.

two pliers

two pliers

Now use the two pliers to close the ring just like normal. Once it is closed, lay the whole assembly back out again.

new ring

new ring

The new ring is now inserted. Notice again how it goes down two rings on the left side, and up through two rings on right side. Notice also how one ring connects through four other rings.

make another

make another

Make another group and slide it up. You can make little batches of 4 in 1 assemblies and connect them later.

attach

attach

I used another copper ring to attach the third assembly. See how quickly you have a chain? When you have a chain you can side attach it to another chain or to your other work piece. Slide the chain next to the work piece and align it properly so the links match. We will be adding a link where the green line is.

side attach

side attach

Again, pick four links that need to connect, and add one ring. Follow the green line again. Down through two on the left, up through two rings on the right.

connecting

connecting

The ring is in place, now just close it.

done

done

Now you can see the new ring in place. Keep going to stitch the pieces together.

Make some little assemblies, add one ring to connect to four others.

Go ahead, make some chain mail, have some fun.

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