Here is a list of tools on Amazon that you can use for making riveted chainmail following the 8 steps of making riveted chainmail.
Step0: Chainmail Wire
If you have no particular preferences, I recommend 16 Gauge / 1.3mm iron wire like this one. It’s good for rings with 5/16″ / 8mm inner diameter. For more variety, there is an extra list of chainmail wire.
Step1: Steel Rods for Coiling Wire
Short metal rods in various diameters. You can use them for coiling wire into spirals. You can either build a manual crank or mount it directly into an electric drill.
Step2: Pliers for Cutting Rings (Precursor)
When you make riveted chainmail, you want to cut rings with an overlap. For that purpose, you can modify a pair of pliers like these with a little gap to skip the first coiled section of wire. In the riveted chainmail set you see the result.
Step3: Gas Welding Torch for Annealing
A welding torch comes in handy to quickly heat up some rings or rivets to red hot. This is especially helpful when you are just starting out to make mail or trying new things. For big quantities of rings, it’s more efficient to put them into a campfire.
Step4: 25-Pound Anvil for Flattening
When you strike the rings, it’s good to have a heavy piece of metal underneath. This one is a good deal for getting exactly that. If you want to do more blacksmithing, you should better click further for more quality anvils. Check the Amazon reviews.
Step4: 2-Pound Rounding Hammer
With a heavy blacksmith hammer, you are able to flatten rings by a single strike. It makes the task quicker and easier.
Step5: Second Annealing with a Crucible
The second step of annealing is the same as before. If you decide to heat a lot of rings at once, you need a container for them. Any metal pot does the trick, but for a small price, you already get a proper graphite crucible that lasts longer.
Step6: Punch for drifting a Rivet Hole
The punch is always something to experiment with. You can work with this shape or sand it a bit pointier – just as you need it.
Step6: Plate for Drifting a Rivet Hole
This is a great base for rivet hole punching. When you drift through a ring, you let the tip of the punch enter into one of the holes. The picture makes it look small. It’s about 2.4 inches respectively 6cm in diameter.
Step7: Pliers for Cutting Rivets
You can make your own rivets: Just cut off small pieces of wire. They don’t need a preshaped rivet head. Any cutting pliers do the job, but small bolt cutters work smoothly. Furthermore, you could modify these for cuttings rings.
Step8: Riveting Pliers Precursor
You can modify these and drill in divots for riveting. With groove pliers, you can open the jaws wide enough to get access. This one in particular has enough flat section in the jaws. If you can, cut off all the front of the jaws and make the divots close to the axis. To be honest it’s very tricky to make good riveting pliers. Here is the shortcut: Ironskin riveting pliers.
More Crazy Tools on Amazon
Modern Toolset for Punching
This set is great fun to experiment with different rings. It is actually designed to punch holes into metal. The smallest punch roughly fits the size for rivet holes. Yet it’s real value enfolds if you modify the exchangeable parts for setting rivets. It’s not enough for flattening.
Hole Punch Pliers for the Rivet Hole
Some people take these for punching the rivet hole. The diameters fit well for holes of 1.25mm or 1.5mm. Choose it slightly bigger than the wire that you are cutting rivets from. Don’t expect this to work just by squeezing. You probably have to strike the punch part as well.
Metal Forming Set
If you’re into metal shaping like making plate armor gauntlets, helmets and there like, this is a great playground for you. Regarding chainmail, the tiny anvil is useful for reshaping rings.
Electric Melting Furnace
Perhaps a wooden campfire is too low-tech for you – or you simply want to anneal with less trouble for your neighbors. This lets you heat treat your rings comfortably up to 1200°C/2192°F.
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