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Full Version: Lorica hamata- jointless welded rings
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According A. Jouttijarvi  jointless rings are often described as being welded but in the meantime welding  such a small ring is very difficult and therefore those have been  seldom seen, at least in the north Europe and during roman period.
Nevertheless it looks to me a not so rare technique in roman hamatae, I'm pretty sure I saw it previously several times.

Does anyone know which  is the most typical roman technique on making jointless rings? Is the welded one used in roman  times?
I even guess that such a technique disappeared in the middle age, most likely because it is very difficult, but I'm not sure.
 
I wouldn't say the technique of welding rings was difficult, though you do need a special forge set up to do it effectively... that and a fair bit of practice, accuracy and speed for positioning the ring just above the anvil is the essence ;-)
Roman mail seems to have mainly been made using solid rings punched from plate, not welded, but the easiest way to forge-weld a ring is to simply hold it in the heat and press it closed with tongs - the pressure is more than enough to apply the weld. Trying to do it on an anvil is difficult because the anvil sucks out the heat too quickly.
Quote:Trying to do it on an anvil is difficult because the anvil sucks out the heat too quickly.

Which is why I said "positioning the ring just above the anvil" ;-)
Bloomery iron is dead easy to forge weld. Squeezing a link with tongs welds it solidly closed. It is a lot quicker and easier than messing around with anvils.
The camail of the Anglo-Saxon Coppergate Helmet (8th century) was made of welded rings.
But, generically speaking, what is the difference in the technique to make rings between roman era and middle age (if there is such a difference)?
I wonder if there is a technique typical of the roman era and one of the later times. I know that in the middle age often chain mails were made using only rivetted rings, with wedge shaped rivets. Even the rings diameter increased in the later times.
IIRC in Europe, mail continued to be made from alternating rows of solid and riveted links until around the 13th-14th century when they started to change to all-riveted mail. Most of those solid links were punched from plate but there are examples of welded links. In India and the Middle East solid/riveted mail continued to be made for much longer. In Germany, starting in the 13th century, they began to use flat rings rather than rounded rings and they used wedge riveting instead of round riveting - but they still used alternating solid/riveted rows. In other places such as Italy, they continued to used round links and round rivets. This mail had changed very little from Roman mail a thousand years earlier and the same tools and techniques would have been used. The main difference is that hardened steel was starting to be used. By the medeval period there were a lot more varieties of mail than the Roman period but the tools and techniques to make all of these are essentially the same. The skillset is more akin to that of a jeweller than an armourer.

This might help
http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_mail.html
I found this image on internet, it should be an european one from the middle age. Is it welded in your opinion?
Looks like all of the links are riveted. There is a lot of wear so the rivets are hard to distinguish. On a lot of examples you can't see the rivets without an x-ray. My first guess is that it is Italian mail - maybe 14th - 16th C. Second guess is that it is Indo-Persian - maybe a little later.

If you are looking for historical evidence of mail made entirely from welded links then, as far as I know, there is no such thing. It is made today for things such as shark mail and butchers gloves.
Thank you, Dan.
You have a PM.