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Chain Maille Tools

Getting Started

What you really, really need to start is two pairs of pliers, one for each hand. You can go as crazy as you want after that, but the pliers are the basics.

==J B Brouwer

Just pad the jaws of the pliers so you don't mar the rings of softer materials

== Seamboat

A special clamp designed specifically to close rings. Here you must forgive my awful English... i don't know the exact name of this tool... its essentially a "clamp", with a circular "mouth". Inside the "mouth" is a small cavity where you can place an opened ring. Its very easy and fast to close the rings this way, and you'll not hurt the rings as you would with a normal clamp. I strongly recommend to buy this tool, if you plan to be a mailmaker. here in Brazil it can be found in all big hardware stores, and the common users of this are people that make automobile and furniture leather refinishing.

==Doug D.

In Australia I think we might call those 'circlip closers' but I'm not sure as I just use 'ring closer' pliers I got from the jewelers for light mail or some custom made pliers with the jaws ground off and little pockets ground into the jaws that I tooled up.

==Rob Jan

Nice to Have

(note: there are disagreements here, but we're just presenting what we've gotten.)

Explore our maille links for more details on all the tools.

A circular saw to cut the rings. The advantage about circular saws is that, when PROPERLY AND TIGHTLY FIXED TO A TABLE AND HANDLED WITH CAUTION, they can cut much, much more rings at a time, in a much faster way. the rings cut with a circular saw have their opening "straight", not "bladed", so they close tightly and won't pinch your cloth or skin below.  Believe me, this is very, very useful. BUT, BY ILUVATAR'S SAKE, BE CAREFUL!

==Doug D.

If novice mailmen (and women!) want to try something a little less hairy than using a heavier bench mounted circular saw to cut bulk rings from coils (and I must admit I'm curious as to how you run the coils across the blade!) I suggest they use a Dremel tool or some other light portable rotary tool. You can clamp the coil down and run the tool along its length, and if you have some kind of positioning guide you'll get a neat cut.

==Rob Jan

Doug D. Described a clamping tool that makes closing rings easy.
Here in America they are called Hogring Pliers. Used in automotive upholstery to close metal  hog rings to secure fabric to frame work of seats. I found a nice pair from the Eastwood Co. @ ( i have never used them for maille I worked in an auto interior shop for a short time)  A word of caution though hog rings are made to overlap themselves  some hog ring pliers are made with unparallel grooves to make clamping easier and faster .  These may not give the desired results but the really good  hog ring pliers only cost about $7-$15. Take your time in selecting a pair and make sure they will work with the wire you are using.

== MrSchnuh

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This page was last updated 04/22/08