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Chainmail Buyer's Guide, Part 2

The Ring Incident
Blog Entry Index
blog pictures
Saw-cut ring incidents

Categories: Instruction and information; Messages and statements; Jewelry

Word count/read time: 450 words; 2 minutes

FACT: The biggest causes of poorly closed rings are laziness and junk rings (anything that's not saw-cut). Only a fool with cognitive defects would say or think otherwise since the math and science of a properly closed ring are indisputable.

RING INCIDENTS - A ring incident is a major defect that results from unfinished work, substandard construction, or inferior raw materials...preventable things, in other words. According to everything chainmaille they are unacceptable. True artisans don't have them in their finished work.

Some believe these disfigurements are OK, like maille has independent thought or Hephaestus decreed it. Making great maille requires time, nothing more. It starts with saw-cut rings, continues through a careful assembly, and finishes with a proper presentation.

Historical chainmaille (armor) was designed to protect the user. Ironically, its modern masochistic manifestation with ring incidents will shred fabric and cut flesh. Expect premature failure as the rings slip through each other. They will impair function and prevent free movement.

A scientific process can identify the offenders without favoritism or prejudice. If it fails any part of the test, then it fails altogether.

  • When a light shines through a joint, it's a gap.
  • When the edges don't align, it's a misaligned edge.
  • When flesh or fabric is left on the chainmaille or there are visible burrs, it has jagged or sharp edges.
  • When there is a mar, gash, or divot then it is a damaged ring.
  • When the ring isn't round, it is an out-of-round ring.
  • When the ring is cut crooked, it is not cut properly.
  • When it is a pinch- or shear-cut ring, it is a ring incident by default.
  • When it can be observed, seen, measured, qualified, or quantified as anything other than perfect then it is a ring incident.

Or is everything as long as only a little light passes through or a little edge sticks up or a little more than half the rings have burrs or gashes then all's well? Does everyone get a blue ribbon? Would any category have meaning if the reject pile suddenly became a world-class contender?

For another way to determine quality, a three-step process works well:
  1. How far away before any ring discrepancies begin to show (not necessarily a ring incident but an unusual-looking link)? A: Under a foot
  2. How long does it take to find an actual ring incident? A: Can't find any
  3. How many separate pieces from a given artisan before discovering a ring incident? A: Can't find any

The next entry defines all the categories. No rating will change what a piece already is; it will only describe it better.

Posted by M: July 26, 2016

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