This is my page describing the construction of two articles of armour. The first is a mail Coif made out of 14 AWG Gauge Galvanized Steel. The second is a Hauberk that I made out of 12 SWG Gauge Galvanized Steel. The Hauberk took me a little over 2 weeks to make.

Thi page last update December 5, 2007

Sir Michael, defender of Southbrook

Coif, October 10, 2007

Below is the progress of the Hauberk over the first weekend. I starting working on it Saturday November 17, 2007. I would later find out that I had to add some girth to it.

November 17, 2007 Hauberk

Progress as of Monday November 26, 2007.
November 26, 2007 Hauberk

Completed Hauberk December 1, 2007.
Dec01, 2007 Hauberk

Notes on how to make the Hauberk

Using a lathe to wind the coils. I always made each coil the same way with the same amount of turns. I ran the lathe in reverse and used a live center on the end. The Mandrel was 1/2" ground bar stock with a hole just large enough to fit in the wire. The end was cut with a center drill, but not to deep to make removal difficult. This was the most high tech component in the process. Also check out the off-site link to Paul Blackwell's Mailmaking page for details on how to make Mandrel's, and how do link expansion and contraction.
Making_1 Making_2 Making_3 Butted Mail: A Mailmaker's Guide

Stretching the coils. I found that stretching them to about 2 1/2 times the original length was the optimum. If they were too close together they were very hard to cut. The cut coils can be linked to more easily if there is a bit more than 1 link width of the gap. Stretch them too much and they don't sit flat when they are closed.
Making_4 Making_5 Making_6

Cutting the links with aviation shears. This part took the most strength to do and was very hard on my hands. You have to make sure that the lower jaw of the shears is as far into the ring as possible. This gives you more leverage. The cut is also a bit cleaner than with bar cutters, and makes a slanted cut as you can see in the weaving sections below. I had to resharpen the shears twice with a diamond file before all of the cutting was done. The shears also needed adjustment frequently, and oiling them helped too.

Making vertical links. This weave was used for making the sleeves. Both pieces were made with the 4 in 1 pattern. Both weaves start with closing a ring, then closing 4 rings around that first one. You will need to make lots of these rings. After you have made some 4 in 1 rings, you attach them together as per the second picture. Attach the "chains" together as per picture 3. The thick padded pliers are easier on your hands, like the ones below. You will also want to get pliers that have smooth inner faces on the jaws to avoid scratching and burring the rings.
Making_8 Making_9 Making_10 Making_11

Making horizontal links. This was used for the main body of the Hauberk. I found this weave to be a bit more difficult to do than the vertical weave. The vertical weave was shown in the first 2 photos after being turned 90 degrees.
Making_12 Making_13 Making_14 Making_15 Making_16 Making_17

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