The second chainmaille ring

5/64" ID, 24-gauge titanium rings

January 2009

A month or so prior to making this ring, I had accidentally lost the first one. I still have no clue where it went, but I'm guessing it was tangled with my keys in my pocket sometime (I take it off to wash dishes), and thusly fell somewhere when I was retrieving my keys. In either case... the original ring was a quick job that didn't take much time or effort. For the second ring... I wanted something that actually takes a little more effort. If I thought the last ring was a challange... this would be tenfold. I decided on making the Wilbert weave that I had invented in honour of my father. It just... seemed like the right thing to do. So first up... I had to get new rings. REALLY tiny ones. The smallest titanium capable of making that weave from TheRingLord was 24-gauge, 5/64" ID rings. I ordered me some (approximately 100 times more than I actually needed by the end it seems... but I can always make more stuff). Upon arriving, I set forth on my new project. To begin... it starts with nothing more than a simple chain (and big rings added on the end to make it easier to handle).
I made a decent length of chain, and then with a little manipulation, I twist the chain around a bit, add another ring on the side, and the chain instantly becomes European 4-1 style. You can see the size of the rings really well in this and the last picture. For the record... if you want to attempt something like this, give your eyes a rest every few hours. Your vision kinda starts to go wonky after staring at very tiny things for a long period of time. Luckly, I'm nearsighted, so I could take my glasses off to get a cleared, bigger view.
Several hours of work later, my technique was down, and I was mowing along at a good speed. The pattern of chain to European 4-1 to Wilbert Weave seemed to work the best. As you can see here, the weave is so dense that the completed part naturally curls. Coincidentally, it curls at about the exact curvature needed to make the ring. I think this is about as dense as the weave is physically capable of getting before the rings start to pull apart from the stress. They're still easy enough to turn, and there's still some flex in the ring... so I shouldn't have to worry about that. But the important part is that the work was going fast... since I wanted this completed quickly.
And the ring is complete! Exactly 216 rings inside of it, and every one worth the work. Well... not that the first few really took that much work. Or the European parts. The LAST few rings however... oohhhh did those fight. And that's not even the half of it... I had to mostly-finish it THREE (3) times, followed by disassembling a bit of it to get it to fit my finger correctly. At first it was too big, and then it was too small. Looks like the third time's the charm, since that's the size that remains.
It doesn't slide past my knuckle on its own, and I can still take it off easily. The fact that it's still slightly flexible probably also helps me not even notice wearing it, since if I grab something, it will still contort to an extent to not be a nuisance. There was actually a few mistakes in it that I noticed earlier, (repaired in the previous picture, but this one technically still has them... not that you could tell) but they have since been repaired. I've gone over the ring thoroughly to check for mistakes, and have systematically closed slightly-open rings, fixed the aformentioned two mistakes, and rotated most rings to hide any seams in the ring "inside" the weave, so to speak. All in all... a complete success, even if likely took 10 years off of my sight :P


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