Making welded chainmail
I built a spotwelder out of scrap materials and made some stainless steel rings with overlapped ends, and shoved one in. BZZZOWNT! It did a fairly nice job of welding. After some practice and some adjustments to the system, I can do semi-precision welds that compress the overlapped metal to perhaps 1.3x the thickness of a piece of wire. The rings, once welded, can be clamped in a vice and twisted repeatedly without giving, and can support over 100 kilos without breaking. So I'd call it a success.
It does not work very well at all with galvanized steel rings -- the galvanization blows off and the welds are quite inferior. Stainless steel works beautifully. So far I haven't had much success in making welds in titanium, but believe me, that's in progress.
I have a couple future projects. I need to write some software for the computer that controls the weld timing, to increase the repeatability of the welds. I also would like to experiment with cutting the rings helically rather than axially, so that the ring, when closed, has a long scarf joint. My hope is that this will allow me welded mail that approaches the graceful appearance of butted mail rather than an obvious, bulky weldjoint.
This page created 3/15/02, last modified 3/23/02
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