Chain Mail Lab Coat?

Chain Mail Lab Coat?


Alright everyone welcome back to Cody’s lab. So today I’m going to be starting a rather ambitious project and that is to make a chainmail lab coat. It is basically gonna be a hauberk, a shirt made out of metal rings. I am doing this to provide a little bit of protection. You know in case something blows up it’ll provide some shrapnel resistance, but mostly I’m doing it for the weight. You know some passive exercise. I’ve been packing on a few extra pounds lately, and I figure this might be a fun way to get rid of it. In fact, I have done experiments where I’ve worn this chainmail shirt right here, in fact, for a month straight. Now this thing is in excess of 60 pounds and as you can see it’s incredibly stiff. It can stand on its own, practically. So I want to make something like this. This one currently doesn’t fit me anymore. I could retool it, you know, expand it out a little bit and make it fit me again, but by then it’d be just way too heavy, so I decided I would like to go and try to make something out of copper. So you can see I’ve already cut a few rings here. I coiled up some 12 gauge copper wire onto a three-eighths inch steel mandrel using the lathe and then I’ve cut them off using a pair of hoof nippers, I decided to go with copper because mostly I like the look and feel of it, but it’s also easy to work with and, you know, relatively easy to get. Now, copper by volume does weigh more than steel. It has a higher density, but these rings are much smaller–as you can see much smaller diameter–and instead of doing the six in one weave as you can see here I’m gonna be doing the four in one we like I did on the sleeves of this one, so more of this looser weave here. So it would be far more flexible, and I’m currently calculating that the weight of this finished shirt will be roughly 45 pounds, so about 20 pounds lighter than this one would be. Unfortunately copper is a lot weaker than steel, and so I’m going to have to mitigate that a little bit. You know if I’m going to be wearing this a lot, especially out in public, I want to have something that if somebody stabs it with a knife, it would still protect me. It doesn’t need to survive much, I don’t plan on doing any actual combat but you know a little pocket knife stab is something that may happen if I’m wearing a chainmail shirt and somebody decides to test it out. So I need to make something that can survive a jab with a knife. So let’s try some different methods of closing these rings and see which works best. The weave that I’m gonna be making the shirt out of is going to be the same pattern as what you have in the five Olympic rings. Except of course that the pattern will be extended out much much, farther. So instead of five it’ll be 20,000 rings. But for now let’s link them together into a little chain like this. Let’s hook this to a little spring scale, let’s see what the breaking strength of this little chain here is. So Maybe set this. Let’s figure out how much tension I can put on this before this little chain breaks. Not very much, you know copper is very weak, if we zoom in here… Yeah, so ten pounds, just under five kilograms. That’s not very much tensile strength there. So here are the three different joining methods that I’ve tried. This one was just using a lead-free solder. What’s nice about this is that I can just use a blowtorch or even a soldering iron to do it. This one–I just heated the copper until it flowed together. It’s probably not good because you can see that the metal is thinner right there. And finally, on this one I did pretty much the same thing, except that I added a little bit of this brass wire as filler. Let’s test their breaking strength now, shall we? So first up is the soldered Yes it broke quite quickly. Well it said about 20 pounds, almost twice what we had before. That’s a pretty significant increase. So now we have the welded copper chain. [grunts] Okay! Not as much as I thought actually. Was that 33 pounds? So roughly three times what the butted rings did? So now we have the brazed rings. Let’s see how well these do. Oh yeah, that’s much stronger! Okay! Roughly 40 pounds. So, that is the best. And it’s actually a little bit easier to use the filler rod when I’m welding, so that’ll be the way to go. So, full disclosure I actually ended up buying a bunch of rings off of a company in Canada that sells chainmail supplies, TheRingLord This isn’t sponsored by them in any way, I just found that they were a pretty easy way to get these rings. So these are copper rings. They’re actually a little bit heavier gauge than what I was using, and the alloy is a little bit different. This has a higher tensile strength, so it will be stronger, also a little bit heavier, not significantly heavier though. This definitely saves me a lot of time now that I don’t have to make all these rings. Because actually making the rings is definitely a huge time sink. So I just finished making a little sample of chain, it’s about four inches by four inches. Just so you can see what the finished shirt’s gonna look like. You see every ring is welded shut, or I guess brazed shut. I think that looks very nice, it’s fun to play with, it feels amazing, that’s pretty cool. Just for comparison’s sake I’ve also made another piece with just the butted mail so these are the butted rings, they’re not welded. So let’s test out their different… Well, let’s see if they can handle a knife. Let’s see how different it is. Maybe if it’s about the same, I’ll just do the butted and save myself a whole bunch of time. Of course I very much doubt they’ll end up being the same. Let’s test it anyway. Block of wax, sheet of paper and here’s the butted mail. Let’s jab this with a little kitchen knife here. That does not look fun. That’s that’s some penetration. Yes. You can see that it opened the ring right up. Cut into the paper. A nasty gouge into the wax. In fact, how deep is that… Yeah, I wouldn’t want to have that happen in my belly. So, let’s see how the welded mail holds up shall we? Same test. They get about same orientation and everything. Same thrust. Ow! Okay, actually cut myself a little bit there! The knife bounced right off of there. Didn’t cut into it at all! Awesome! So it passes that test! I have to go bandage myself up here. I can’t even tell where I hit it. In case you’re wondering what happened here, is when I hit with the knife the knife bounced up into my hand and cut me there. It’s not that bad, but obviously, I’m gonna need some sort of chainmail gloves at some point. So that’ll be on the list of things to make. So yes obviously this is gonna take me a long time to finish the complete shirt. I have 20,000 rings plus! Fortunately, this is a project that I can do kind of passively, you know well if I’m watching youtube videos I can just sit there and kind of knit. I won’t have to give all of my attention to it. Even still it’s going to take me several months, at least. My current goal is to have this finished or at least into a wearable state by VidCon, but I would be unsurprised if I’m still working on that this time this next year. So I guess until I’ve got a bunch of progress done on it. I’ll see you guys next time! Here’s another chainmail shirt that I’ve made. This one, I actually made back in high school it’s made out of galvanized fencing wire. And it barely still fits. I can get it on, but it’s not really all that good anymore. This is the first time I’ve worn it in about seven years. Oh, yeah. See my pudge… See, this is what I want to get rid of. Yeah, this one doesn’t weigh very much, it’s very light and also you can see the the rings, you could get a knife right through that. So this one isn’t very good.

100 Replies to “Chain Mail Lab Coat?”

  1. Makes chainmail shirt to block small knife stabs coming from assailants trying to test effectiveness of chainmail shirt…..

  2. 2:30 if somebody stabs most chainmail the knife would go through and probably nick your skin. A slash, on the other hand, you would probably be pretty much protected from. Also, if you wanted something maybe just a little stronger/lighter you could use thin ribbon-like rings of steel.

  3. "This time next year" Checked the date in fear that this video was just released and was pleasantly surprised that it was almost exactly a year ago.

    Any progress on it?

  4. "What happened is that the knife bounced up". No. You weren't holding on like you were trying to stab someone to death. I suggest you don't need the armor, just better RP. You make believe you're in a different time then act like you need the proper gear. If you can make believe the unrealistic part, why not closer to home? Really. Oh, vanity.

  5. Wait a minute, you decide to wear a mail shirt to protect you in case someone wants to stab you to test your mail shirt….
    Sounds logic enough to me

  6. On the next video: Cody will be making a double play chain mail box to see if it can contain an explosion made from gunpowder piss and rocket fuel from plants

  7. Lol I thought “he needs chain mail gloves” and almost immediately he said he’d need chain mail gloves.

  8. do you think you could make a suit with mercury ? you know, something like a bulletproof vest

  9. Chain mail lab coat for when somebody wants to stab you. Chain mail gloves when you want to stab them back.

  10. Btw I love how you own it when you cut yourself. If that happened to me, I wouldn't upload, and I'd go into hiding.

  11. I really respect that you didn’t edit out cutting your hand. It may prevent someone else from doing the same. Anyone can make a mistake very easily. I find very few who will own theirs. Very Honorable, Good Sir.

  12. Somebody make Cody a badass dagger to go with his chainmail, also so he can stab something without cutting himself.

  13. Start following the diet in "Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough To Live Forever" …it works. You'll drop all the extra weight. The mail's still a good idea, though, for muscle.

  14. There's a reason why only the richer fighters had chainmail back in medieval times. The stuff was super time consuming to make, and as a result, expensive as hell.

  15. Why is it that everytime I watch (again) this video, you cut yourself again?! Haven't you learned your lesson from last time I watched the video?????? 😹

  16. Love your channel and your content! My only comment is MORE EYEPRO! Dude, protect your glasses, protect your eyes. Keep it up! And do you own the Chicken Rock area? That's pretty sweet! Hope the chicks fare well against this coyotes.

  17. I think the chainmail will be much stronger when you wear it compared to your wax test, since your body will give in to the impact blow and thus dampen the effective force on the chainmail

  18. A method I have for making mail is to take an open ring and add four closed rings to it then close the ring. Taking two of the closed rings, pass another open ring through them and add two more closed rings and then close that ring. Continue to repeat until you have a length you're happy with and then start a new one. Once you have enough strings made then you can join them which is the more awkward part of it.

  19. Tried makin a shirt from hanging wire from the dry cleaning when I was a boy. Worked ok but I didn't have the skills to make it right. Then I saw it took you a zillion hours to get it good. Coat hanger steel is the future against the the other loons. I'm guessing we're loons too.

  20. Update on the knitting please? Or have your time gone into some of the other fun projects I have been seeing of yours?

    Much love bro!

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