Making rings: Cutting off

The step, that follows after coiling the wire is cutting rings out of the coil and there are again different ways to do this. You can cut rings for riveting or butted rings. For the riveted rings, you need the ends of the rings to be overlapping, whereas the ends of butted ring just slightly touch each other. It means the butted rings are neither open nor closed after cutting but in the state inbetween both. The ends of butted rings should match exactly together, otherwise the connections of the weave could reopen. The shape of the ends should also be smooth and without a protruding burr, that could damage garmets worn with the weave. This is less improtant for riveted rings due to the overlap being flattened by hammer strokes. The cutting can be done by a chinsel, a saw or pliers. I use a pair of nipper pliers. It works faster and easier for my. I think a saw is no good choice for it creates rings with ends, that don’t match and have burrs. Besides it’s not possible to cut overlapping rings for riveting. However some butted rings you can buy are cut by saw. Maybe the sawing machines work faster or are easier to build.

My cutting tool is a ordinary pair of pincers, which I modified for this purpose. I extended the handle with two pieces of aluminium pipe for a better leverage. I also grinded a cavity into the side of the pliers head. It is a little bit deeper as the diameter of the wire. I did this with an electrical rotating grinding wheel, which was made for sharpening knives. Furthermore I drilled and filed a recess respectively a hole into the blade, that is settled in distance of one wire diameter to the border. Due to the pliers beeing hardened it there was much scuff at the drill and the file. A better way would be to forge such a pair of pliers and to bring it into the desired shape before hardening. Anyway the way I did it, would propably be more practical to the hobby mail maker. The function of the hole is that the outer loop of the coil is spared yet the secont loop gets cut. This creates the overlapping. My pair of pliers is a litte bit blunt and somtimes a rings gets not completely cut like shown in on eof the pictures. In this case I grap it and bend it until it falls apart.

vertical-and-diagonal-cut1
Senkrecht bzw. quer zum Draht abgetrennte Ringe

Working with this tool makes a cut, that goes verticaly through the wire and in parallel direction to the coil. It is also possible to make a cut, that is parallel to the coil, yet goes diagonal through the wire which creates an overlapping, too. I make such cuts with the unmodified side of my pliers. It’s a littlebit tricky, because it does deform the ring, especially for pointed angles. The deformation makes it later on nearly to hammer the overlapping to a flat shape, where both ends lie still over eache other. This deformation is caused by the flat shape of the pliers edge, whereas the wire in the coil has a curved shape. In my opinion better results can be gained by pliers with a curved edge shape, but I have not tried this out yet.

If you cut the rings verticaly to the wire and have a good pair of pliers and some expierience, there is no reason at all to worry about deformed rings. Though in my opinion the diagonal cutted rings have the better shape. Thier overlapping looks nicely oval rounded after flattening, whereas the overlapping of vertical cutted rings looks rather rectangular with protruding edges. I think, that this edges can damage garmets worn with the mail weave.

cutting-machine-by-amandeis-youtube
Cutting machine by amandeis (youtube). The coil lies on a leading rail, which is fixed at the upper arm of the pliers. The piece of spring wire in the middle pushes the coil away form the head of the pliers to gain space for the new cut rings to fall down.

Instead of working with the pliers in the hand, it might be quite comfortable to fix the tool to a table. The next picture shows the ingenius ring cutting machine made by amandeis, a german hobby mail maker. He has a youtube channel with an chainmail workshop. The tutorial is spoken in german language, yet you know, the moving pictures speak their own language. His machine is made for cutting butted ring.

Merken

Merken

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