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Recommended links
I have compiled a list of links that I think are best suited to various tasks.  The information below is very generalized and there are many possible execption (like oriental styles of mail). You are of course free to choose any ring you like for any application you like.  If you what my opinion on what type of link to use for a specific project please ask or fill out my help form.
 



Mail for combat use
General:  Mail is not a very popular body armour choice for medieval recreationists but is very useful for camails (neck protection that hanges from your helmet.  The main reason for this is recreated fighting uses blunt weapons and mail is really only good and stopping an edge.  Mail armour worn for combat should have rigid padding underneath or should be very stiff.  A friend of mine uses mail body armour over a gambeson for SCA fighting but he uses steel 14 Guage 1/4” rings (very stiff and very heavy).  Much of the protection of mail armour comes from its weight, a piece of light titanium mail would be strong enough but my not provide adequate protection.  Good examples are camails and mail skirts. A camaill hangs in front of your neck and kinetic energy from a sword thrust is transfered to the mail instead of your neck.  An upward sword stroke is effectively stopped by a mail skirt before coming is contact with you know what.  In these 2 cases mail is more effective then rigid protection (best protection is to wear both.)

Ideas:
1.  Several link types work good for both 1 in 4 and 1 in 6 mail.  A piece of 1 in 4 mail attaches perfectly to a piece of 1 in 6 mail of the same link type.  A mail shirt with 1 in 6 in places where protection is needed and 1 in 4 where flexibility is ideal.

On metal types:
Steel: looks medieval but rusts
galvanized: looks close-enough to medieval after being in the armour bag for a while.
stainless:  Doesn’t rust and the hard stainless makes strong mail.
Brass: Use only for trim and expect repairs

4 in 1 weave 
galvanized steel 12Ga 7/16" OK
galvanized steel 12Ga 3/8"  Good
galvanized steel 14Ga 3/8"  Barely acceptable, very flexible
galvanized steel 14Ga 5/16" Good
galvanized steel 14Ga 1/4"  Good protection, fairly stiff
galvanized steel 16Ga 1/4" OK
galvanized steel 14Ga 3/8"
steel 14Ga 3/8”
steel 14Ga 5/16”
steel 14Ga 1/4”
stainless 16Ga 1/4”
hard stainless 16Ga 1/4”
hard stainless 16Ga 5/16”

6 in 1 weave
galvanized steel 14Ga 7/16" OK
galvanized steel 14Ga 3/8"  good
galvanized steel 16Ga 5/16" OK



Jewelry
I have made over 1000 pieces of mail jewelry.  My material of preference for good low cost jewelry is stainless steel or nickel silver.  For pieces that are in constant contact with skin tarnishing is a problem.  People react differently to metals; my wife’s skin tarnishes metal very quickly but my skin is much easier on the metals finish.

Most mail jewelry that I make does not use standard 4 in 1 mail weave so it is difficult to advise on which links to use.  If you want to know what I use for a certain piece from my jewelry pages just ask.

On metal types:
stainless: will not tarnish with skin contact
Brass: tarnishes to dark bronze color
Nickel silver
Silver or Silver plate: tarnishes to blackish color
Copper plated steel: tarnishes very easily
any metal 20Ga 3/32” -tight 4 in 1 weave, most other weaves not possible
any metal 20Ga 1/8”
any metal 20Gu 3/16" - excellent for 6 in 1 and full persian.
any metal 22Ga 3/32”
any metal 18Gu 3/16"
any metal 18Gu 1/4" -loose 4 in 1
any metal 16Ga 1/4”
any metal 16Ga 3/16”  -tight 4 in 1 weave


Costume mail
This is a tricky one and there will be many exceptions.  The rings I have chosen are easy to work with.

On metal types:
Aluminum:  Light
Brass:  Adds nice color contrast when used as trim
Galvanized: OK
Stainless: clean, good for contact with skin
Steel: not recommended but useable

4 in 1 weave
Brass 14Ga 3/8”
Brass 16Ga 5/16”   -not very strong
Brass 16Ga 1/4”
galvanized steel 14Ga 7/16”  -fast mail making
galvanized steel 16Ga 5/16”
galvanized steel  16Ga 1/4”   - strong
stainless 16Ga 5/16”