Tutorials

 

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For those of you who share our joy in making maille, we've included some of our own secret developments, in tutorial form.  Feel free to comment or submit suggestions.

 

See the Gatherings links at the bottom of this page.

 

High-Strength Connector Tutorial

Used to connect a wider strap to a single, stronger chain, or to a hook, toggle, or loop for closing.  Much stronger than reducing the width by tapering the strap or ribbon.

Step 1:  First, you need to find a fairly fine-grained piece of wood, since the holes you will be drilling are very close together.  Then mark the centers of the rings you'll be connecting to.  This strip is 9 rings wide, 5 in one orientation, and 4 the other.  I found it easier to do this for the EVEN numbers... tut1_1.jpg (59306 bytes)
Step 2:  After marking the centers of the rings, move the strip back, and verify they're correctly aligned. tut1_2.jpg (52104 bytes)
Step 3:  Then make a mark some smallish distance away, centered.  This will be where your single-ring connector is located. tut1_3.jpg (40296 bytes)
Step 4:  After you've completed marking, drill a hole the size of your mandrel at each location, approximately half-way into the wood. tut1_4.jpg (33865 bytes)
Step 5:  At some point, you'll need to have the proper number of posts the same diameter as your mandrel.  My mandrel is a bit shorter than it was. {grin}   I like to have slightly different length posts, to make certain steps easier.  (and maybe I didn't measure them anyway) tut1_5.jpg (56432 bytes)
Step 6:  First I insert the central post, and wrap tightly TWICE around it.  In this case, with 17 gauge wire and 3/16" posts, I started with about 8 inches of wire.  Take note that the tail on the right is on the bottom. tut1_6.jpg (39941 bytes)
Step 7:  Starting with the tail that is on the bottom, I proceed to wind outward across the 2 posts.  I find it's easier if each post is slightly higher than the last.  Getting the wire tight enough often requires a good tug with pliers. tut1_7.jpg (50436 bytes)
Step 8:  After finishing 1 side, I flip the partially completed connector left for right, and insert the 2 posts on the left.  Now the OTHER tail is on the bottom, and I proceed exactly as in step 7. tut1_8.jpg (52902 bytes)
Step 9:  Make sure both tails and all loops are nice and tight, and then PUSH the whole thing against the wood to flatten it.  Re-tighten, if necessary. tut1_9.jpg (54299 bytes)
Step 10:  This is what you get, after removing the posts.  Note how each side starts from the central loop, and heads towards the CENTER of the connector.  That is, the tail on the left emerges from the top of the doubled loop, and tends DOWNWARD through its outer loops, and the tail on the right emerges from the bottom of the doubled loop, and tends UPWARDS through its outer loops. tut1_11.jpg (38214 bytes)
Step 11:  Trim the tails, and flatten as much as possible, and you end up with this. tut1_12.jpg (54206 bytes)
Step 12:  Use the thing.  In this case, I'm connecting 17 gauge, 3/16" aluminum rings on the right to 16 gauge, 1/4" stainless steel rings on the left.  Note that this connector will not pull loose unless enough force is applied to open all 5 of the aluminum rings holding it to the ribbon. tut1_13.jpg (74899 bytes)
Not A Step:  This is just to show you what happens if you don't choose the proper side when beginning the outer loops.  Note how difficult it would be to get this thing to lay flat enough to use.  Contrast with Step 10. tut1_10.jpg (50031 bytes)
 

 

New England Nano-Gathering

Some pictures we took while Simon was down from the Great White North.

NE NG 2002

East Coast Gathering Three

Some pictures we took while experiencing the staggering draw of the Garden State and Leanashe's toeses...

ECG3