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Ben Kircher




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2015 11:49 am    Post subject: Chainmail care         Reply with quote

I have recently acquired a riveted mild steel mail hauberk. My question is in regards to the proper care and maintenance of the item. It was pre oiled with DW 40 and has no visible rust. What is the best process it maintain this item? Is it better to simply oil and then wipe down prior to wear then reapply after wearing? Or is there another step I am missing? I am mostly concered with stains on my gambeson which is a natural ecru color.
Helfen, Wehren, Heilen
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2015 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can't prevent stains on your gambeson unless you wear a layer of cloth between it and the mail.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2015 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

But for to tellen yow of his array,
His hors weren goode, but he was nat gay;
Of fustian he wered a gypon
Al bismˇtered with his habergeon;

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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T. Kew




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Feb, 2015 5:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You will stain your gambeson. It's a fact of life. One of the key things the lining layer does for mail is take the stains instead of the nicer clothing you might be wearing underneath it.

The other thing you'll want to do is replace the oil with a more suitable one. I'm assuming the DW 40 in your description is a typo for WD-40. WD-40 is great, but it's not designed for long term rust prevention - it solves the specific problem of driving water out of hard-to-reach areas very well, and that's about it.

The favoured oil among my friends who own mild steel mail is Joker 440, which is a brand of motorbike oil that's friendly to leather and other natural materials. Spray-dispensed, so you just make sure your mail is clean, then give it a nice dusting every so often and keep an eye for rust developing. Oil more if you've been wearing it in the wet.

As long as you keep it relatively clean, you shouldn't get too many stains on your gambeson. It's if you let it get dark and rusty that you'll really much up your underlayers.
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb, 2015 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've worked in machine shops for 7 years and I'll second that. WD-40 is a great water displacer and cleaner, but it's a crummy rust inhibiter.

I recommend Fluid Film for that job. It comes in aerosol spray, a pump spray, and 5 gallon tubs. It's derived from lanolin, the stuff that makes sheep wool repel water. At work we coat mild steel machinery with it to prevent rust on sea going research vessels. It stands up to salt water spray better than anything else we've used, and it's safe to use on wood and leather.

As far as staining, I'd say let it stain. Having reenactment clothing super clean and new looking ruins an authentic look.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Mon 16 Feb, 2015 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fluid Film beats all other rust inhibitors hand down. No comparison.

Learn to love the staining. Immaculate clean clothes makes you look like a wuss.

If you develop rust on your mail:

1. Thoroughly clean the mail with a grease solvent
2. Soak the mail in Evapo-Rust overnight
3. Quickly blow dry with a heat gun at low heat
4. Spray with Fluid-Film

Evapo-Rust is water based, so the mail has to be completely degreased for it to work.

Degreased mail will rust very quickly when exposed to water - in a matter of minutes. The Evapo-Rust seems to do a pretty good job of preventing flash rust during the drying process. I also dip my mail into a solution of rust inhibitor before blowing it dry. I got the rust inhibitor at a scuba shop, used to prevent the inside of steel scuba tanks from forming flash rust during the drying process.
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Ben Kircher




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2015 5:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks everybody for your replies. You were all right, after putting the hauberk the stains on my gambeson made it look far better and gave it a bit more medieval feel.
Helfen, Wehren, Heilen
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2015 8:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The traditional way to clean mail was to toss it in a barrel with some sand and roll it down a hill a few times. You could do that with a chemical drum from a car wash. If you ask they usually will be happy to hand them over, I think they pay to have them disposed of, so it saves them a couple bucks.
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 17 Feb, 2015 10:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No evidence for sand -- bran is documented.
http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=153535

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Harry Marinakis




PostPosted: Wed 18 Feb, 2015 4:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
The traditional way to clean mail was to toss it in a barrel with some sand and roll it down a hill a few times. You could do that with a chemical drum from a car wash. If you ask they usually will be happy to hand them over, I think they pay to have them disposed of, so it saves them a couple bucks.

It would take more than "a few times" to remove rust.

I have a scuba tank tumbler, which is a roller machine that spins scuba tanks at about 60 RPM to remove rust. You fill the scuba tank with a ceramic tumbling media and the tumble it for about 15-30 minutes to remove rust from inside of the tank. (I do a lot of scuba equipment inspection and repair.)

I tumbled my mail using a lapidary tumbling drum filled with a very clean sand. Hours and hours on the tumbler and the rust was still there. I tumbled for so long that I thought I was gonna burn out the motor.

The technique of tumbling did not work very well.



Last edited by Harry Marinakis on Wed 18 Feb, 2015 8:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Robert MacPherson




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PostPosted: Wed 18 Feb, 2015 6:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A fellow over on the Armourarchive tested about a dozen different rust prevention treatments on mail. He treated mail samples with the products, and then sprayed them periodically with salt water. http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...70738& The results are worth noting.

Mac

Robert MacPherson
http://www.lightlink.com/armory/
http://billyandcharlie.com/
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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Feb, 2015 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Harry! Thanks for the experiment and the post! I must have heard that and it sounded feasible and just parroted it as a fact.

Learn something every day.

I've also heard that in use it didn't rust because as you wear it it polished itself, I wonder if that's true.

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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