Scalemail from found metal

Scalemail, front

Apparently there are a lot of abandoned costume jewelry factories in Providence, Rhode Island. And somehow or another, boxes and boxes of old rusty metal jewelry has been sitting abandoned in the basement of a friend’s space here. I scored a lot of weird earring pieces, each about 2″ tall and 1″ wide (I’m eyeballing that). And I’ve recently renewed my interest in chainmail and assorted fuedalpunk DIY projects.

They seem to work pretty well for scalemail. I used this youtube instructional video about linking scales together, mixed with some split-ring links I got recently from The Ring Lord (what an fitting name for the main manufacturer of chainmail supplies in North America). It took me awhile to figure out how to drill the pieces. The Ring Lord’s scales (featured in the above video) have a single large hole, but the teardrop shape of these earrings wasn’t right for that method (I tried). I hit upon putting three holes in each with a 13/64″ bit and a drillpress.

Fresh-drilled scales

And then started linking them together. The top hole ends up with two rings through it, each bottom hole with only one. Here’s the pattern, viewed from the back.

Scalemail, back

Since each row is offsetted, I’ll probably use rows with alternating numbers of scales. At the moment, each row alternates between 3 and 4 scales. We’ll see how big it’ll need to be to make nice pauldrons for a leather jacket or a chainmail byrnie or whatever the hell I put it on first.

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