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Jerry Penner, The Chain Mail Guy

Authentic Armour - Cool Club Clothing - Gorgeous Jewelry

LINK 2002

January 2002 - The Chain Mail Guy introduces Free Shipping!

February 2002 - New pictures and cool websites

March 2002 - Wire Winding Tips

April 2002 - More Wire Winding Tips

May 2002 - Introducing the Chain Mail Corset and Butcher's Glove Repairs

June 2002 - New Rings & Necklaces

July 2002 - What a Busy Month!

August 2002 - Stainless Steel Rings Drop in Price, I Now Take Visa

September 2002 - What I Did at the Fergus Scottish Festival

October 2002 - Chain Mail Gloves, Visa by Mail

November 2002 - How to Measure a Woman (reprint)

December 2002 - Free Knitting Rings Deal Announced & Fun Links to Visit


January 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

In October I announced that 10% of all proceeds from sales will be donated to the WTC Relief Fund. With your generous help, the World Trade Center Fund of the New York United Way will receive $200. Thank you and bless you. To check on the recovery effort, visit www.september11fund.org . Right now your contribution is helping to provide emergency cash assistance, legal counseling, grief therapy, job training and placement, and other vital services for victims, families and others directly affected. Your gift is helping people and communities rebuild their lives.

CHRISTMAS IS OVER, SAVINGS HAVE BEGUN

Boxing day sales? Nah.

January Savings? Yeah. I like that better.

No Taxes! No PST! No GST! Save 15%!......Oh, wait, I already do that.

U.S. Customers pay in US dollars, and use a conversion rate of 1.6, instead of paying in Canadian funds and getting 1.54 at the bank. That's an extra 6 points on exchange!....Oh, wait, I already do that too.

How about.... Free shipping on any purchases over $64 CDN, $40 USD!

Yeah. Yeah!

This offer covers in-stock merchandise and custom orders placed within the month of January. This doesn't mean I cheap out on the shipping, either. Your shipment is still fully insured, tracked, and will arrive in 3 - 4 days. When I ship your item, I e-mail you with a tracking number so you can watch your shipment arrive.

ALTERNATE SHIPPING

The price of shipping under $60 usually comes to about $10.00 - $15.00. If that's too much, I can send your item via regular postal service, and it will arrive in 2 - 4 weeks. Just ask, and I'll work out regular postal service pricing for you. The downside is that your item has no tracking number and no insurance, so there's no guarantee if or when your shipment will arrive.

SANTA WAS GOOD TO ME

Santa brought me a digital camera this year. This means he brought you more and better pictures on www.chainmailguy.com. Expect to see 14K gold filled and sterling silver bracelets in the accessories section (including the cool new magnetic clasps!), necklaces, belts, and chain mail bears.

RUMOURS

This year I'm going to be applying to the Milton Renissance Faire for booth space. This would cover seven summer weekends from July to September, where I'll be showing off jewelry, clothing, funky chain stuff, and offering Rune and Tarot readings. More on this as details become available.

NEW YEAR'S EVE

Stuck for really snazzy clothes for the New Year's Eve party? You can rent the Angel Dress from Studio Celtia in Galleria Mall in London. That's the dress with the full sleeves that drape to the floor and the flared hem. You can see it at www.chainmailguy.com/women.htm . Pick it up Monday Dec. 31, drop it off Thursday January 3, and pay only $84.00. For more info, call 519-858-8966 or e-mail stceltia@gtn.net

Happy New Year, everyone!


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

February 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

FREE SHIPPPING HELD OVER

For one more month, I'm offering free shipping on any purchases over $64 CDN, $40 USD. This offer covers in-stock merchandise, as well as custom orders placed within the month of February. This doesn't mean I cheap out on the shipping, either. Your shipment is still fully insured, tracked, and will arrive in 3 - 4 days. When I ship your item, I e-mail you with a tracking number so you can watch your shipment arrive.

You'll also get my regular savings of no PST & no GST, saving you an extra 15%. In addition U.S. customers can pay in U.S. dollars and use a conversion rate of 1.6 instead of paying in Canadian funds and getting 1.54 at the bank. That's an extra 6 points on exchange.

NEW PICTURES

As promised, new pictures in the Jewelry section showing sterling silver and 14K yellow gold-filled finger rings, bracelets and necklaces. Finger rings start at $20, bracelets at $48.

GONE FISHING

I'll be away from my knitting board from Jan. 30th - Feb. 13th, and so won't be answering e-mail or phone calls. When I return I may have some neato stones suitable for wire-caging. We'll see what the Western Carribbean has to offer...

GOOGLE SEARCH

Enter the phrase "Chain Mail" at Google, and you get about 2.1 million web pages. Guess who's occupying the #9 spot? Enter the phrase "Chain Mail Guy" and there I am, #1 out of 221,000 listings. Tell your friends they can find me by visiting Google. Since all the top search engines share their findings with each other, it's a pretty good bet you can find me at the other well-known search sites as well.

COOL WEBSITES

Here are some of my favourite web links regarding chain mail knitting, art, and fun stuff:

www.chainmailconnection.com - Sara's Chainmail Connection. A whole hatful of useful links to knitters, wire and ring sellers, a discussion board for throwing out your questions, and an armourer-finder selector guide.

www.southtower.on.ca - Bill Fedun, also known as Yusef in the SCA, makes some great swords and armour. He's a real medieval looking fellow, and his site is a treat to visit. Very knowledgeable, and willing to share. If you want to learn how to pound armour, he takes in apprenticeS

www.dedemetal.com - A lovely site filled with pretty sterling silver jewelry. DeDe Sullivan makes all her own sterling silver. I really like the oval link boot chain located here. I wish I'd thought of that.

www.chainmail.com - Chainmaille fashions by Lord Randolph. Good work. A bit pricey, considering it's all in U.S. Funds, whereas my prices are in CDN. Nevertheless, a good place to go for pictures and ideas, as well as a basic knitting tutorial online. He also has a bazillion pictures for viewing.

www.sidhering.com - A site dedicated to the medieval sulpturing process. Sidhe Ring studio uses methods developed in the Middle Ages.The original piece is sculpted in clay, wood, or stone and after completion a mould is constructed. The cast is produced using crushed hard limestone and a medieval bonding recipe. When dry, the sculpture is reconstituted stone; moisture free and resilient. The final preparation is a mixture of lacquers, waxes, earth pigments and oxides to produce an all weather protection against the elements. They are revamping their website and will have a whole new look in the near future. If you like, you can e-mail aaron@sidhering.com and tell him to hurry up about it.

www.fetishauctioneer.com - If you're into kinky adult play, this website is loads better than EBay. Get some screaming good deals before the rest of the world finds out it's here and starts bidding up the items you want.

www.askjeeves.com - A search engine that thinks it's people. You ask a question in plain english, and it gleans as many meanings from your question as it can. It then searches for the top websites on the top search engines that can answer your question(s). If you're looking for a thing but you're not quite sure what it is, here's a good place to start.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

March 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

FREE SHIPPING HELD OVER

For one more month, I'm offering free shipping on any purchases over $64 CDN, $40 USD. This offer covers in-stock merchandise, as well as custom orders placed within the month of February. This doesn't mean I cheap out on the shipping, either. Your shipment is still fully insured, tracked, and will arrive in 3 - 4 days. When I ship your item, I e-mail you with a tracking number so you can watch your shipment arrive.

You'll also get my regular savings of no PST & no GST, saving you an extra 15%. In addition U.S. customers can pay in U.S. dollars and use a conversion rate of 1.6 instead of paying in Canadian funds and getting 1.54 at the bank. That's an extra 6 points on exchange.

SUMMER'S COMING

The days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer. Do you have your bikini on order? Visit www.chainmailguy.com/pricing.htm to work out how much of your tax refund will be required for the coolest bathing suit you've ever owned. Modest? No problem. We can line your new suit with regular cloth.

WIRE WINDING TIPS

Winding your own wire is easy provided you've got the right jig. I've recently seen ads for jump-ring makers in the various jewelry manufacturers catalogues. They offer the ability to make hundreds of rings an hour, and cost about $100 - $200 USD and only make teeny weenie little jewelry rings.

I'll give you enough tips here on how to make THOUSANDS of jump rings per hour and do it with nothing more than a $20 bill and a trip to the hardware store.

Start with your winding mandrel. Any old piece of round steel will not do. This is a tool, so be fussy. Standard cold-rolled steel rod is not always round; this will be reflected in your rings. Look for a steel rod that's straight and has minimal manufacturing marks and nicks in it. If you use a rod that's slightly oblong, you'll notice immediately when you wind your first spring and let go. You'll see a spiral pattern around your spring. I prefer Drill Rod. These come in the same sizes as drill bits, can be easily sawed, filed and brazed or welded, and can be hardened. They are also guaranteed round. They come in 3 ft. sections, and typically cost about $5 - $10 CDN ea. If you can't get to Metal Supermarkets a local welding shop or machine shop should be able to help you out.

Cut your rod to a 18" length and file the edges. Cut a 2 X 4 into 3 pieces: 2 bits 8" long, and 1 bit 8" long. Mark a spot an inch down and centered side-side from one end of each of the 8" 2X4's and drill a hole 1/64" bigger than your rod. Now drill a 1/16" hole from the top of the two 2X4s into the holes you just made. These are your end pieces. The tiny holes are oil holes so you can lubricate your jig once you're making rings.

Nail the 8" pieces to the 8" piece to form a U-shape. The short pieces are the verticals, and the long piece is at the bottom. The holes in the verticals are at the top.

Work the rod into the two holes, leaving a bit of rod sticking out the right hand side. There should be enough there to grab with a hand drill. Mark the rod 1" from the left hand edge of the jig and drill a hole there 1/64" larger than the wire you'll be winding. Drilling that hole is easier if you make that mark with a half-round file so the drill bit has a flattish spot to dig into.

Now clamp the jig to a table using a C-clamp, pull the rod out of the holes, put lots of light machine oil in the oil holes, insert the rod, and spin the rod for a few minutes. Work the rod back & forth to get the holes working well and the get the oil saturated into the wood. Wipe off the rod, wipe away the excess oil, and you've got a jig that will spin enough springs to get 10,000 rings per hour.

This works well for 1/2" - 1/4" rings in aluminum, steel, and brass. Next month I'll cover how to make a jig 8" long springs in smaller diameters without bending the winding rod.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

April 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

WIRE WINDING TIPS

Last month I discussed how to wind thousands of rings per hour using a jig that costs under $20 and a little sweat equity. As promised, this month I'll discuss how to make rings smaller than 1/4".

As before, you're going to be using a drill to spin the rod, and the jig is still made of wood in a U-shape, with the bottom part of the U being about 6" long. Since we're working with a rod that's so small in diameter it will bend easily.

For 1/4" - 1/8" rods I use drill rod. These come in the same sizes as drill bitss, can be easily sawed, filed and brazed or welded, and can be hardened. They are also guaranteed round. They come in 3 ft. sections, and typically cost about $5 - $10 CDN ea. If you can't get to Metal Supermarkets, a local welding shop or machine shop should be able to help you out.

For 1/16" dia. springs I use piece of unfluxed brass brazing wire. Since I use these for making rings anyway I have these in stock. They are round, less expensive than drill rod, and can be quickly replaced when they are bent. As a matter of fact, once the brass rod is bent such that it can't be used as a winding rod, it can be wound into rings itself.

Prepare your rod by cutting to 18" and filing the edges smooth. Cut a 2 X 4 into 3 pieces: 2 bits 8" long, and 1 bit 6" long. Mark a spot an inch down and centered side-side from one end of each of the 8" 2X4s and drill a hole 1/64" bigger than your rod.

Nail the 8" pieces to the 6" piece to form a U-shape. The 8" pieces are the verticals, and the 6" piece is at the bottom. The holes in the verticals are at the top, with the larger hole on the left if you're right-handed.

Mark the rod 1" from one end using a file and drill a hole there 1/64" larger than the wire you'll be winding. Drilling that hole is easier if you make that mark with a half-round file so the drill bit has a flattish spot to dig into. File or sand the drilling burr off the hole.

Now clamp the jig to a table using a C-clamp and insert the rod into the small hole on the right side of the jig. Make the hole in the rod just protrude from the drill jig and insert the end of your wire into the rod hole. Run your drill and hold the wire, winding the wire against the right side of the drill jig. Allow the wound spring to pull the winding rod through the hole in the jig. If your winding rod is thin enough you'll notice that as the spring gets longer, the winding rod will start wobbling around. Slow down the drill. When your winding rod is full, cut the wire loose from the winding end first, then cut the end inserted in the hole in the winding rod (you may need a third hand here to hold the wire, the drill, and the cutters).

Pull the rod out of the jig, and your spring should pull free. If it doesn't, you've got a burr on the drill rod hole that's stopping it.

This is the method I use to make my new Spring Necklaces and Bracelets. They can be seen at www.chainmailguy.com/jewelry.htm


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

May 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

Usually I send out Link a day or two ahead of the last day of the month, but since 25% of Canadians are poking themselves with pencils and wishing they had filed their taxes a month ago, I thought I'd wait until the e-file rush settled and the Net has resumed a normal flow of traffic.

NEW STUFF

If you're receiving a tax refund this year you need to save some of it for your new wardrobe. The Chain Mail Guy is about to introduce Chain Corsets.

Yep, chain. You Link readers heard it first. Weeks before everyone else.

It looks simple enough when you see it, but it still requires the same measurements you need to give anyone who will make you a cloth & boning corset. It lifts, pushes up & together just like a cloth corset, but since it uses no boning or stays, it's much more comfortable.

These are available polished in black steel or brass, and look fantastic. My own dear lady is a 40DD, and after lacing her in I was able to take her down TWO dress sizes and push her bustline up so high she couldn't yawn! Despite the torture on her midesction, she was able to wear this for 9 hours straight without complaint on her part. Again, no boning or stays, so the whole thing offers support instead of pushing at strategic points. I've seen lesser corsets buckle their boning when presented with a real-sized woman, but this one just doesn't do that.

This corset needs a name. I'm thinking the GENESIS Corset - "Let There Be Cleavage." You don't know how happy this corset makes A-cup women.

These are available for bra sizes A to FF. You e-mail your measurements to , and I'll quote you a price. Typical pricing is between $125 - $225 for sizes 5 - 20. Terribly inexpensive compared to a custom cloth or leather corset.

For sizing, the numbers I need are:

1) Put on your best bra and measure around the underband in inches, the fullest part of the bust in inches, and under the arms in inches.

2) Measure from the top of the hip to the bra underband in inches.

From there I can quote exact pricing. Note that there are no pictures on the website yet, this product is that new. Look for pix in the next few weeks.

MORE NEW STUFF

I've been asked many times over the years if I can make butcher's gloves. Yes I can, but machine-knit stainless gloves made by a robot are much cheaper than anything I can hand knit.

Repair, however, is another matter.

The Chain Mail Guy can now repair blown out fingers in butcher's chain mail gloves. I use 1/8" dia. rings with .035" dia wire in 316 stainless steel. This is a little heavier wire size and almost exactly the same ring size as the rings in a commercial butcher's glove, and exactly the same food-grade steel. Most gloves can be repaired with as few as 40 rings, even gloves with multiple wounds in multiple fingers. I charge $10 to add up to 40 rings to repair your glove, and 25 cents/ring after that. If your glove takes less than 40 rings to bring it to full function, I'll put the rest in areas that look weak.

My repairs are so good that an untrained eye can't see where the repair went! The joints aren't welded like the original rings, they're butted. Since the rings I add are slightly thicker wire than the original rings, this is not a problem - the rings will stay closed.

Got huge hands? A standard butcher's glove doesn't fit? Get it modified! Combine the low price of a machine-made glove with the custom fit of a hand-made glove and have me modify your ill-fitting glove. I can take in or let out the fingers, the palm span, and the webbing between the fingers to let your glove fit *YOU*. Pricing is $10 for the first 40 rings I add, 25 cents/ring thereafter.
Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com


June 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

NEW STUFF

Lord Of The Rings - Yep, I can offer the famous ring from the movie. These are not the cheap brass-plated junk-metal ones that look like you had to turn a handle to get it, nor is this the solid gold version version that comes with a certificate of authenticity. This is good quality vermeil (24K gold-plated sterling silver) with the runic inscription on it. Others are selling this good quality ring for $100 - $125. I, on the other hand, am not greedy. I can offer these for $60. You specify the ring size. These are not yet available on my website, you have to e-mail me directly with your order at . If you ask nice, I can even put it in a nice glass-topped display box for you.

Articulated Rings - I now have these, too. These are the rings that look like the finger portion of a knights glove, and cover your finger from the first to the third knuckle. Sterling silver, there are two styles. One has more filigree and fancy loops than the other, both are available in sizes 8 - 12. Because of the sheer size and weight of these rings they are more expensive than your usual sterling silver ring. These are selling for $75 ea. Then again, who do you know who has one?

The trick to trying on an articulated ring is to not push too hard. These go on MUCH easier than they come off if it's a close fit. If you're sliding one on your finger and you think it's a little tight, STOP! Try another finger, or you may end up actually paying for a ring you can't get off.

I have new necklaces for the summer. I call them BeadWire necklaces. Various beads are strung on the front of a food-grade stainless neckwire, and fancy bends and folds are sometimes added between the beads to make things interesting. The wires are perfectly round, and are between 16" - 20" long. They sit like chokers, but the larger ones won't cut off your circulation. The food-grade stainless wire means your skin won't turn funny colours, either.

The BeadWire necklaces are all different, and it's impossible for me to properly display each and every one on my website. You'll just have to come and see them in person. Either make an appointment for a private showing, or follow me to an event. Since they're only $7 ea. they make great gifts.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

July 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

BUSY SCHEDULE

Wow, what a busy month! 7 shows in 5 weeks, including the Rochester Kinky Fashion Show, the Hamilton Kinky Craft Fair, three Pride festivals, and the Windsor Celtic Festival. I've met a lot of interesting and fabulous people, including Leela in Windsor, who looks fabulous in the skirt she picked up. Look for pictures of her in her new satin and stainless skirt in a week or so. You'll find her at the bottom of the Women's Wear page at www.chainmailguy.com. I've never seen that skirt look so good.

Now all my goodie boxes are empty, and I can start knitting like a madman. I've got lots and lots of rings made up, and I've got a headful of ideas. If you have anything you'd like to see, e-mail me at and we can talk about it.

NEW PICTURES

Finally, the corset pictures I've been promising are on the website! Visit the Women's section to see them. I took my model down 2 dress sizes (4 inches!) for the picture, and gave her a lovely shaped waist. Most guys don't see her waist when she's wearing the corset. Have a look and you'll see what I mean.

RUMOURS

Visa and Mastercard are in the works, and I should be available to take credit card orders by the end of July.

Will I be able to take online orders? That's a totally different animal. E-merchants make credit card companies nervous, because 22% of all online credit card orders are bogus, fraudulent, or incorrect. That's almost 1 in 4. The industry standard for over-the-counter credit card fraud is 5%. That's a lot of chargebacks and hassle for a few more sales. Credit card companies require secure e-business websites, and have people hired specially to try and break your site. Since I don't know one end of a CGI script from another, I'll have to call on the expertise of someone who can make it simple and secure for you, the customer.

If I continue to treat the website as an online catalogue and use it to take mail orders, that would offer the best of both worlds. There is a PDF order form in the works, but don't expect to see that until the pumpkins are ripe.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

August 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

LOCAL SOURCE FOR GALVANIZED WIRE

TSC Stores has found a new supplier to replace the one that went under a few months ago. They once again have 1/4 mile spools of 14AWG galvanized steel fencing wire, and the price has only increased by about 10%. I haven't purchased any yet myself, but I did take a cursory look at it, and the quality of the galvanizing is good. No nasty spikes or drips along the wire. If you've been waiting for wire, wait no longer.

STAINLESS STEEL RINGS DROP IN PRICE

In my hunt for another wire supplier, serendipity handed me a supplier of stainless steel welding wire. This stuff is 316L welding wire, .0625" dia.,*spooled* in 30 lb. rolls. The 316L means it'll withstand harsh acids, alkalines, and even (gasp!) fighter sweat. It's mirror shiny, so it gleams like the smile of the Cheshire Cat. 316L is also very tough, which means less fixing. The spooling means I no longer have to buy it in those annoying 3 ft. sections, which allows me to wind and cut faster, which allows me to drive the price down. Since my new best friend also supplies welding supply companies, he can offer me the spooled version for *way* under the $30/lb my original supplier was offering.

I was charging $18.50 for a bag of 125 pieces of 316L stainless rings in 1/4" or 3/8". No more. An $18.50 bag of 316L 1/4" or 3/8" stainless now contains 500 rings.

Still with that same characterstic angle cut which makes my rings so nice to put together, still with the buy-4-get-1-free deal, and still offering a USD exchange rate of 1.60, making a bag $11.56 USD.

If you'd like rings in a larger wire, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

Note that these prices aren't on the website yet. That will change in a few weeks. Consider this advance notice. When ordering, just mention that you saw the new pricing for stainless in the August issue of Link and you'll get the new pricing.

VISA IS HERE

If you see me at an event or catch me in my New Hamburg Studio, you can now pay by Visa card. Internet transactions? According to TD Visa Merchant Services, you need to be specially authorized to carry out credit card transactions via Internet. I am not specially authorized. I've looked into various third-party credit card authorizing companies, but I haven't been able to find one with the right combination of easy, flexible, convenient for the customer and the merchant, and cheap. By fall I should have a downloadable order form in place which allows you to peruse the online catalogue, confirm pricing via e-mail with me, and then order your item. You still have to mail in the order form, but at least you don't have to rush to the bank for a money order.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

September 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

FUN WEEKENDS

I've been having some fun weekends in August, meeting all sorts of fun new people and swapping stories.

I managed to get into the Fergus Scottish Festival on little more than a month's notice! They did a recount of their vendor spaces and found they had a half-spot left. Not only were the vendors some of the friendliest and most open people I met, but the folks camped behind us were from the U.S., a family with the last name of Fergus, who come every year to the Fergus Scottish Festival to hold their family reunion. Are they Scottish? Nope. Irish? Nope. English? Nope. Good ol' Amurrican Southland, drawl & all. Why celebrate a family reunion so far away from their family roots? Because their last name is Fergus, and the town they celebrate in is Fergus. No other reason.

I also met a fellow in Fergus who really likes chain mail. Really REALLY. He brought his motorcycle to the festival and showed me the gas tank and fenders. Other folks get fancy paint jobs on their bikes - this fellow got chain. Real European knit 4-in-1, 1/4" galvanized rings covering the gas tank and fenders, with hand-formed hooks to catch under the fenders and hold the chain in place. We dressed him up in a stainless hood and Defender's Jacket, and snapped a photo. You can find it in the Gallery. He says the only problem he has with riding while wearing his kilt is that occasionally the wind grabs the front and flashes him to oncoming traffic.

Five different women nearly bought the Angel Dress in Fergus. Two envisioned it as a wedding dress, and both saw it paired with a white lace bodysuit beneath it. Everyone knows the entire wedding ceremony is all about how beautiful the bride looks coming down the aisle. I can't imagine a bride more beautiful than one in chain and lace.

I also met a fellow who has a galvanized steel Bishop's mantle made of 3/8" dia. galvanized steel. He wanted a hood for it, and we decided on a brass top to offset the grey of the steel around the shoulders. When he tried on a sample hood that I had available, he found that my hood didn't catch or pull hair like his mantle does. I was able to show him that the rings on his piece were cut with sidecutters, with the point in the middle, and you could see light through the joins in each ring. Then I showed him the rings in my hood he just tried on, and pointed out how the rings are offset cut, making it possible to close the rings such that one can't feel the join. I also showed him that you can't see light through my joins. This cures the hair-pulling problem.

At this point he got a bright idea. "Hey, if you close your rings properly on your work, can you reclose the rings on my mantle so they won't pull hair either?" Excellent question. The answer is yes and no. I can reclose the rings properly, but since the point of the cut is in the middle of the face of the cut, the join won't line up properly. Sure I can offset-join the ends and make it so that you can't see light through the join, but the ring won't look or feel round, and I'll have to charge my usual 9 cents/ring CDN. to do the work. Why so much? I'll be working each and every ring as if it were my own, and closing them all. The price of the raw material is so small compared to the amount of labour that goes into a piece like that. For the price he'd pay me to close all his rings properly, he could have a new mantle made with the best rings, closed properly.

He's saving his pennies for a new mantle next year.

My show schedule is slowing down for the winter, so if you want to pick up some screaming good deals for Christmas and get the shopping out of the way soon, contact me and we'll arrange a private viewing in my New Hamburg studio. If you don't want to travel, le me know what you're looking for and I'll send you some pictures of what I currently have in stock.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

October 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

GLOVES AT LAST

Every once in awhile someone will ask me if I make gloves. The standard answer I gave was, "Sure. Hand-made chain gloves are $600 ea. how many would you like?"

Not anymore.

I've found a supplier of stainless steel chain mesh gloves for way less than custom hand-knit price. These are the industry standard for meat cutters and are made of tiny food-grade stainless steel rings, individually machine-welded. They come in a long cuff and short cuff version, and are available in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes. They are ambidextrous as well. Just flip them inside you and you're good for the other hand.

If you're in the meat-cutting industry, work security at a bar or club, or just want something cool to play with, this is the glove for you. It works great with fetish leather, fighting armour, or hidden under a large glove for suprising a knife-weilding attacker. Imagine his suprise when you grab the business end of his knife and take it away from him. You'll wish you had a camera.

The short-cuff version sells for $238 CDN and the long-cuff version sells for $290 CDN. The long cuff version is pictured at www.chainmailguy.com/men.htm near the bottom of the page. The long-cuff version comes with two Velcro wrist straps, the short-cuff version comes with one.

As always I take care of the taxes. Since the price is over $64 CDN, I take care of the shipping costs as well. That means the price you see is the price you pay. U.S. residents who pay by money order can take the CDN price and divide by 1.6 to get the U.S. dollar amount.

As for repairs, they are still best done by hand. I can repair a badly blown out glove for $10 plus shipping. The $10 gets you up to 40 new rings, and this is usually enough to repair a glove with four bad fingers and a blown out web between the thumb & first finger. I use 316 stainless in a slightly thicker wire for the repairs. This makes the butted joint I use almost as strong as the welded links they replace, at a reasonable price. The 316 stainless is better than food grade, so there's no problem with the mend passing FDA requirements. The mend is pretty much undetectable.

VISA IS HERE

Finally, you can use the website like a mail-order catalogue. Since most of the work I produce is custom, here's how the order process works:

1) Look at the website and e-mail me at with a description of what you're looking for. We'll discuss measurements and materials and I'll work out an exact description and pricing for you.

2) You download and print the order form from www.chainmailguy.com/pricing.htm and fill in the description, quantities, and such as we discussed. You fill in the credit card information or purchase a money order for the desired amount, and fill in your mailing address, e-mail and phone #.

3) Mail me the order, and when I get it, I'll send your item. You'll receive a tracking # by phone or e-mail so you can watch your shipment arrive.

It's that simple!


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com


November 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

This month I'm offering a reprint of an article I sent out last December on how to measure a woman. It met with such good response that I'm running it again. I'll also tell you my new mailing address and confirm a previously dropped rumour.

THE CHAIN MAIL GUY HAS MOVED

Actually my post office has moved. It seems that New Hamburg has become such a thriving metropolis that the old P.O. box system and the postal code just aren't enough anymore. Too bad. I liked Box 911. If you ever needed to write to me in an emergency, you could just send a letter to Box 911. Not anymore. Now I'm back to my street address of 77 Arnold St.

The postal code has really got me ticked. I've lived at N0B 2G0 for thirty-six years. "Knob-To-Go". Easy to remember, right? Everyone in New Hamburg knew the postal code as "Knob-To-Go". Now I have to come up with an equally clever mind hook for N3A 2C6. Hmmm. How about "In Three, Eh? Two Seasicks". Let me work on it. In any case, my new postal address is:


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

77 Arnold St.

New Hamburg, Ont.

N3A 2C6

CANADA

RUMOURS CONFIRMED

The order form is ready. You can now order your favourite Chain Mail Guy merchandise by downloading the order form in PDF format, filling it in and mailing it along. You can include payment either as an International Money Order in U.S. Funds, a Domestic Money order in Canadian Funds (Canada Only) or include your Visa card particulars. U.S. residents paying by Visa will be billed in Canadian dollars. Your bank will convert to your local currency on your statement.

You can find the order form by visiting www.chainmailguy.com/pricing.htm and clicking on the link, or download it directly at www.chainmailguy.com/cmgpix/orderform1.pdf

MEASURING A WOMAN

Picture this:

A fellow walks into a lingerie shop and tells the woman behind the counter, "I'd like to buy some sexy lingerie for my wife."

"Great" says the saleslady. What does she like?

"Ummm...... I dunno. She likes blue. What do you have that makes her look sexy?"

She gestures toward a rack in the store. "We have some nice teddies near the back. What size is she?"

"Ummm... about your size."

News bulletin: Guys, this isn't helpful.

You have to know some basic stuff about the size of your ladyfriend before you go shopping. Finding out without her knowing isn't that hard, as long as you keep your eyes open and use your head.

DRESS SIZES

If you bring her a dress that's several sizes too big, she'll think you see her as fat. If you bring her a dress that's several sizes to small, she'll think you see her as thin, and she really *is* fat.

Finding out her dress size is as easy as looking in her closet. Look for the tag at the back collar of the dresses in her wardrobe, and make note of them. Make note of the manufacturer and retailer as well. Dress sizes are a variable thing; a size 12 at Store X can be a 14 at Store Y. Write all this stuff down. Next time she goes shopping for herself and she shows you her newest purchases, take note of the name of the store on the bag. Go there.

Some women are one size on top and another size at the bottom. Good swimsuit stores will allow you to mix & match tops & bottoms of different sizes, and I can't understand why all retailers don't do this. It doesn't make sense to buy two bikinis and throw away one too-big top and one too-small bottom.

The Chain Mail Guy avoids all this women's dress sizing voodoo and uses good old inches. To measure for a dress, get her bra size and hip measurement, and the length you want the dress to be. The rest is a style issue.

Styles: Make note of the colours and prints. Does she like bright and flowery, or is she a fan of beige & brown? Note the styles. Are the dresseS tight, short, long, flowing, puffy or plain sleeves? If you can get away with it, steal a dress for a day and take it shopping. The salesfolks will gain more info from that pilfered dress than you vaguely waving your hands around to indicate the size you're looking for. If you're going to go this route take something from the top of the drawer, the front of the closet, or from the clean-clothes-not-yet-put-away pile. The stuff at the back and bottom is not her favourite.

UNDERWEAR

Same deal. Look through her underwear drawer, note the sizes and manufacturers. Note: The sexy underwear in her drawer is for you, the comfortable stuff is for her.

Panties: Does she like high-cut, low cut, white, black, neon, mesh, cotton, silk, boxers? Is there trim along the edges? As a general rule, thongs are uncomfortable. They were made to come off shortly after going on.

Bras: Stap, strapless, full support, flimsy support, white, black, lace, underwire? Take note of several bra sizes in her underwear drawer. One woman can wear multiple bra sizes for two reasons: first, women change shape during their monthly cycle. Second, a woman can juggle the cup/band size a little if she can't find exatly what she's looking for. Let's assume we have a lady with a 40C bust, but she can't find a 40C bra she likes. She can either wear a 42B, or a 38D. By going for a slightly larger band size she can go a bit smaller in the cup without losing support and fit. As a side note, most women don't know their own bra size. For detailed measurement information, go to www.chainmailguy.com/pricing.htm and look up the fitting and measurement info.

Heck, make a game of it. Tell your sweetie that you found this website that tells you how to measure a woman for bra size, and ask her if she's ever been measured. If she hasn't, offer to do it. Think of it as foreplay.

SHOES

Shoes are a mystery. They involve a complete mental inventory of the woman's closet, her favourite combinations thereof, and a fashion sense identical to hers. Size you can get by pilfering a pair for a day of shopping, but you'll *never* get the right style. If you want to get her shoes, pick a nice place and get a gift certificate. Make sure you get a gift certificate for two pairs; she'll *never* be able to pick out only one pair.

JEWELRY

First basic question: gold or silver? Look at what she usually wears and there's your answer. Does she have any metal allergies? Some women can wear only sterling silver, some can only wear 18K gold, most can wear anything. The Chain Mail Guy offers jewelry in nickel-plated and gold-plated brass, lab-grade stainless, sterling silver, and 14K yellow gold filled. 14K and 18K solid gold in yellow and white is available by special order. Name your style and metal and I'll work up a price.

I can also offer earrings with nylon earhooks. This gets around the metal allergy in a new way, and gives some women with nasty metal allergies a new chance to wear pierced earrings.

NECKLACES: Here's the basic sizing:

Tight Choker: 8"

Choker: 16"

Turtleneck Length: 18 - 20"

Cleavage Length: 22 - 24"

Lanyard: 28"

Again, look at the length(s) she usually wears and go from there.

The coolest clasp on the market is rare-earth magnetic. No fiddling, no breaking a nail to trip the clasp open, just show the two ends to each other and -CLICK- they go together. How strong are they? You need not worry about losing your necklace; these are strong enough to withstand even the most vigorous athlete. The price is a little higher than lobster and spring ring clasps, but doing away with the fiddling can be worth it. One caveat - it's not a good idea to give magnetic clasp jewelry to someone with a pacemaker. I have these clasps as an option on all my jewelry. Just ask & I'll put one on for you.

BRACELETS:

Bracelet size is a little more critical than necklace size. Typically, bracelets with clasps can be 7 - 8" in length, but measure her wrist to be sure. How? If she has a wristwatch with a non-expanding bracelet, measure that. Do not use your own thumb & middle finger to measure her wrist. I can guarantee you'll end up with something too small every time. If she wears bangle bracelets that slide on over the hand, measure that. For a clasp bracelet I'll just take it in a little. For a non-clasp bracelet, I can make it the same size as the bangle you measured. Magnetic clasps are available here as well.

Again, look at what she has, what she wears, the styles - big & chunky, small & delicate, plain, Japanese, Celtic, Roman. Does she like or collect animal figures or something else? Does she belong to a group that identifies itself with specific colours or patterns?

RINGS:

Rings are a tough measure if you don't have the right measuring tool. Every jeweler has a ring and finger sizer, and can tell you what size you need. These tools aren't expensive ($40 gets you both), but it's not likely that your neighbourhood jeweler will let you borrow his. Use her best friend. If she doesn't know her ring sizes, she is more likely to get her into a jewelry store to try stuff on without suspicion than you are. Remember that women's fingers swell and shrink with their monthly cycle, arthritis, heat and cold. When you buy a ring make sure you get a guarantee that you can bring it back for sizing if it doesn't fit. Getting the sizing wrong on a ring is less tragic than getting the sizing wrong on a dress. She doesn't expect you to know her ring sizes, because she doesn't know either.

On all my cast finger rings, what you see is what you get. Exchanges are not a problem with the receipt, but I may not have the size you want in stock. On the knitted chain rings sizing is no problem at all and I can do it while you wait. Because finger rings are a personal thing, you may want to think about a gift certificate here, too. I can better serve your lady-friend if her fingers are right there in front of me.

Toe Rings: If she likes toe rings, get her one. Or two. Or three. You can never have enough toe rings. They get lost in socks, come off at the beach, and another to take its place will always be welcome. Most toe rings have a split in the back of the shank so they can be adjusted to fit any size toe. These also make excellent rings for children or slim-fingered women since they are adjustable. My toe rings are all $10 - any style. Just ask and I'll e-mail you a picture of what I currently have in stock.

CUSTOM ORDERS

It's not too late to place your custom orders with me. I can still have a dress done by Christmas if need be. Start stealing her measurements now and think about what she would really like. Keep the measurements written down with her name on it in your wallet. If she happens to find your notes you'll win points with her for knowing her sizes.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

December 2002

Greetings, LINK Readers!

This month I'll share some fun links that have nothing to do with anything, and tell you how you can get knitting rings for cheap, or free.

FUN LINKS

I've been scouring the web for various things, and every once in awhile I'll type in a URL hoping for one thing and get something completely different.

www.raduga.com is such a link.

The entire site is written in an Asian script, and so people like me who are limited to English are using it blindly. Then again, this online game website is so obvious in its operation that it's not hard to figure out what to do. A little bird-figure appears on the screen (presumably Raduga), and jumps from spot to spot. A timer counts down the remaining seconds in the game, and a tally counter keeps track of how many times you click on the little fellow. Every time you successfully get him, he flaps his wings and squawks.

A silly little game and a complete waste of online time, but it does appeal to one's childlike instincts. Then again, I still play Space Invaders.

For a more adult offering, check out www.mrlt.com. This is the official website of the Mr. Leatherman Toronto contest. If you like pictures of attractive well-buffed men in various leather outfits, visit the Art Section. If you're curious about the gay leather subculture, check out the FAQ section. This site is informative, down-to-earth, and doesn't take itself seriously.

http://www.mailleartisans.org will take you to the largest collection of chain mail knits and weaves on the net. Click on Weaves at the top of the page and prepare to be amazed. Over 200 knits in four categories. If you're good at staring at things and figuring out how to duplicate them, you'll burn out your computer monitor learning new ways to weave wire rings. All I can say is wow...... WOW!

KNITTING RINGS FOR CHEAP

Not done Christmas shopping yet? Still have to buy for someone who like to make things? How about a Chain Mail book/rings combo? Get the "Chain Mail Basics - Second Edition" and a bag of 500 aluminum 3/8" dia. rings for $28.00 CDN instead of $31.00 CDN. Get your order here by Dec. 13th, and I can have it at your house for Christmas. To order, visit www.chainmailguy.com/pricing.htm and click on the Order Form link to download the order form in PDF format. These rings are soft enough that if the recipient doesn't have two pairs of pliers, they can still twist them together with their fingers on the living room floor on Christmas Day. (Boxing day, however, they'll be off to the hardware store to purchase pliers!)

This offer extends to Dec. 31, 2002, and is only available to LINK readers.

KNITTING RINGS FOR FREE

Would you like a chain mail shirt but can't afford the price of the rings, let alone a pre-made one? No problem! I'll GIVE you the rings! Here's how it works:

1) Purchase 2 bags of rings and my book from me.

2) Knit the 2 bags of loose rings into a pair of ribbons as described in the book.

3) Send me the ribbons.

4) I send you THREE bags of rings.

5) Repeat until you've got enough rings to complete your own project.

This offer is conditional upon your knitting being good enough for the Chain Mail Guy. If you read the book and are meticulous about quality workmanship, there won't be a problem. If you want to send along a sample first to see if you're on the right track, that's a good idea. If you have any questions about technique or how to do better, ask at and I'll let you in on the little secrets. For more info on this offer, contact me at
Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com