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Jerry Penner, The Chain Mail Guy

Authentic Armour - Cool Club Clothing - Gorgeous Jewelry

LINK 2006

January 2006 - 10 Years in Business

February 2006 -

March 2006 -

April 2006 - The Chronicles of Narnia White Witch Skirt story

May 2006 -

June 2006 -

July 2006 -

August 2006 -

September 2006 - Metric Rings, How to Keep Aluminum Bright, and New Titanium Colours

October 2006 -

November 2006 - The Okto-Bear-Fest Craft Fair

December 2006 - New Men's Leather and Chain combos, Premium Shipping Now Available


January 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

This month I'm going to tell you about what's planned for 2006. It's big.

10 YEARS IN BUSINESS

Wow. Who knew there was enough interest in a 2,000 year-old armouring technology to keep me knitting for 10 years?

I started in January 1996 when I was out of money, out of a job, and happened to catch a re-run of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome on TV. I saw the dress that Tina Turner wore in that movie and said to myself, "Hey, I can do that!". So I went to the basement, grabbed some copper house wire, stripped it, wound it into rings, threw them on the floor and stared at them until the pattern popped out.

Now I knit 2 hours/day, 6 days/week getting all these cool ideas out of my head so that I've got room to think. I'm afraid that if I leave these ideas inside my head, it'll fill up and I won't get any more until the old ones are out.

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS

For 2006, being my tenth year in business, I'm going to celebrate by rolling back my prices to what they were in my first year in business . Custom work drops from 10 cents CDN/ring to 7 cents for most items. Bags of rings drop from $18.50 ea. to $12.50 ea. The exceptions are silver, gold and titanium.

NEW PAYPAL CART

I've spent the past several days tweaking the website, cleaning up the spelling mistooks, removing items that are no longer available, and replacing the Paypal "Buy Now" buttons with proper shopping cart buttons. Now you can pick up a little of this, a little of that, and not have to worry about doubling up on shipping. The titanium items have drop-down lists which allow you to specify the colour of your item, saving you from having to e-mail me and tell me what you're looking for.

Custom orders are still handled via e-mail. What you want isn't like what anyone else wants, and no amount of drop-down lists will allow you to select exactly what you're looking for. If you can describe it, great. If you can send me a picture or drawing, better.

NOW ACCEPTING VISA, MASTERCARD, AND AMEX

I am now set up for processing of all three major cards. You can download and mail or fax in the order form for the website, or make arrangements to call me and give me your order over the phone.

E-mailing your credit card information is never good idea. Why? E-mail is plain-jane unprotected text skipping from server to server across the internet between you & me. Any one of those servers could be running a credit card sniffer program to collect any card info it finds. A less-than-honest individual could then process that card information and ring up some hefty purchases before you know it.

When making online payments make sure the web address starts with "https" as opposed to "http". The "s" stands for secure and ensure that data transmitted is sent in an encrypted manner. Surfing and filling a shopping cart can be don in an unsecured web space, but payments can only be made securely online in an https webpage.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

February 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

No LINK this month.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

March 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

No LINK this month.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

April 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

This month I have more 10-Year Anniversary specials, and a story of the coolest piece I've ever been commissioned to do.

CAN YOU MAKE THIS DRESS FROM THIS MOVIE?

A few months ago I was contacted by a woman who saw The Chronicles of Narnia and was enamored with the outfit worn by the White Witch in the battle scene. She was so enamored with it she se out to duplicate it so she could wear it for herself. The outfit consists of a leather corset, lion-like mane around the shoulders, a gold crown resembling part of a skull, and a chain mail dress that flows like regular cloth. She had already contacted a leathersmith about the corset, this much was fairly easy. The mane and crown are something she will attempt, but the dress still needed to be completed. She sent me stills from the movie and some of her measurements and asked, "Can you make this?"

Since the dress is covered by the corset and mane, there was really no need to make a full length dress. The effect could be achieved by knitting a skirt, thus saving a significant amount of time & money. Still, the flow of the skirt was odd. I'd only ever seen chain mail do that once before. How did they do it? Luckily the pictures she sent were detailed enough that I could see the knit of the skirt took a turn just past the hips. The top portion was knitted hanging closed, and the bottom portion was knitted hanging open. Hanging closed is when the knit collapses upon itself going around the body, hanging open is when it collapses on itself going up & down the body. Almost every piece is knitted closed-loop because this is what gives chain mail it's ability to hug the body without being restrictive. The combination of the two directions allows the top part to fit properly, and forces the bottom part to take on a gathered effect. There were also triangular expansion panels in the sides to give the skirt more volume and flow.

Yes, I can make that. I gave her two prices, one for 1/2" rings and one for 3/8" rings. The 3/8" rings would have matched the skirt in the movie, but 1/2" rings offered a more economical price without looking too out of place. I went with galvanized steel with stainless accents to show off the lines and added belt loops at the top to hold the whole thing up. When I finished, I speed-aged the whole thing by dropping it into bleach water for several hours and then tumbling it in WD-40 and rags to get the zinc down to the dull grey as seen in the movie. The finished piece was so big that I had to cut it into 2 pieces to fit it into the tumbler.

The whole thing took me 6 weeks and should have taken 12. I knitted like a madman. The weight was about 25 lbs, and final price was $600 CDN.

SPECIALS ON STAINLESS STEEL

Spring is here and summer isn't far behind. If you're thinking of making some fine-knit chain mail items such as a bikini then you'll want to take advantage of this 10-Year Anniversary bulk discount deal. 1/4" X 1/16" stainless steel or 5/16" X 1/16" stainless steel rings; 5,000 rings for $100 CDN (about $85.00 USD). That's 20% off the regular price. This special is available for April and May.

SPECIALS ON GALVANIZED STEEL

If you're thinking of getting ready for the Renaissance festival season with a new chain mail shirt, you'd better get started knitting right about now. This special includes a copy of "Chain Mail Basics Third Edition" which has a pattern in the back for a shirt that fits up to a 54" chest and includes the 8,000 rings you'll need to do it. The special 10-Year anniversary pricing for this item is $160.00 CDN (about $139.13 USD), a savings of over 20%.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com


May 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

No LINK this month.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

June 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

No LINK this month.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

July 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

No LINK this month.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

August 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

No LINK this month.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

September 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

It's been awhile since I've sent out Link. That means that I have much to tell. I'll tell you about new rings, the new jewelry book, the new payment options, the new ring size chart, the new titanium colours available, and a cool way to get your aluminum to stay bright.

NEW RINGS

I've been getting an increasing number of requests for jewelry-sized jump rings and for metric-sized rings. Jewelry-sized rings are usually under 1/4" in diameter and use wire that will fit through a bead hole, usually under .040" or 1mm. To satisfy those requests I've stocked aluminum, stainless steel, and silicon bronze wire in sizes from .030" (.75mm) to .045" (1.2mm). These are now listed in the Rings and Tools section of www.chainmailguy.com in their respective metal categories. Pricing is still $12.50 CDN per bag of 500 with free shipping on orders over $60.00 CDN.

NEW JEWELRY BOOK

Chain Mail Jewelry is the latest craft book to be published by Lark Books. You may remember me spreading rumours a year ago about a new book coming out; well, it's here and it's gorgeous. Full colour, hardcover, with beautiful pictures and clear-concise instructions for all 30 projects. The projects range from an inlaid pendant to a 3-dimensional cube to chandelier earrings. My contributions are a rubber and titanium choker and bracelet set and a necklace, bracelet and earring set in sterling silver and red enameled copper in the King Chain knit.

I've been reading it myself and the diverse collection of projects has been pushing *me* in new directions. You can see it in the Rings & Tools section of www.chainmailguy.com. As an added bonus, I'll personally sign your copy with your custom message for no extra charge. This book makes a great gift for any chain knitter.

NEW RING SIZE CHART

Take a look in the Free Stuff section to find a handy chart on decimal inch, fractional inch, and metric sizes. It's in PDF format so you can download and print it and hang it on the wall as a handy reference.

NEW TITANIUM COLOURS

I've been fooling around with my titanium anodizer these past few months, getting some funky colours and playing with it to see what else I can make it do. Most of my colours to date have been under 50 volts so I decided to see what else there is between 50 and 100 volts besides Bubblegum Pink at 64 volts.

I found this cool Ocean Green at 94 volts. At this voltage we've gone past the blues a second time and are starting back into greens, but not entirely green. There's still a little blue in it. Not a blue-green in the traditional sense, but an iridescent blue-green with green in the center and blue at the edges. as you turn the ring, the blue stays at the edges. Very cool. This is a tricky colour to get and the colours may not be as consistent from lot to lot, but this new colour does add an exciting new dimension to chain mail. You can select this new colour from any titanium ring size in the Rings & Tools section.

KEEPING ALUMINUM BRIGHT

Here's a tip from Rev. Rob Sheppard:

"To keep aluminum from rubbing off black against your skin, dip the finished piece in a pot of boiling water with a teaspoon or two of mineral oil in it. Dip the piece in, pull it out, and rinse it off. The aluminum will stay bright even when worn against bare skin. I don't know how it works, but it works!"

If you have a chain mail tip, send it to and I may include it in an upcoming issue of Link.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

October 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

No Link this month.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

November 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

This month I'll tell you about Okto-Bear-Fest, my galvanized steel shirt deals, and let you in on a rumour.

OKTO-BEAR-FEST

In October I participated in the Okto-Bear-Fest craft fair. The organizers indicated that there would only be top-notch bears there, nothing under $100. Since I dress bears in that price range, I decided to take a table and show off what I can make.

What a different world. I had no idea that there were such serious bear collectors and artisans out there. I saw people making bears from faux fur, mohair, and actual bear hide. Each one a collector's item, not to be played with by children.

There were bears dressed as clowns, brides, firemen, Victorian lords and ladies, but I was the only one showing armoured bears. People seemed to enjoy the look, and I had a good time joking with people about my wares. "In the USA people have the right to keep and bear arms, in Canada we have the right to keep and arm bears."

The bears I dressed for the show are available for viewing at http://www.chainmailguy.com/accessories.htm#bears .

RUMOURS OF STAINLESS

The price of metals have been steadily and dramatically increasing for the past few years, ever since Bethlehem Steel went bankrupt and the assets moved to China. In an effort to keep my prices down I've been researching wire suppliers and looking for the best deals.

Traditionally I've been selling #316L stainless rings because it's a tough stainless with a very high abrasion resistance. It's also expensive. I found a supplier of #304 stainless wire who can give me a much better price. #304 is the grade that is used for making kitchen sinks, and you know how much abuse you put your sink through. Both grades work the same, since the #304 is 3/4 hard.

Look for good pricing on #304 stainless 3/8" X 1/16" and 5/16" X 1/16" rings in the new year.

ANNIVERSARY PRICING

My 10th year anniversary pricing ends Dec. 31, 2006. If you want the Anniversary Pricing on rings, you need to place your order before then.

WHERE I'LL BE

Mr. Leatherman Toronto

November 25 - 26, 2006

10:00 - 5:00 Saturday, noon - 5:00 Sunday

111 Carlton St., Toronto

www.mrlt.com

If you want to see buff, cut guys in leather, you need to be here.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

December 2006

Greetings, LINK Readers!

This month I'll tell you about Premium Shipping, new cool stuff I've posted on the site and shipping cutoff dates

NEW COOL STUFF

After doing the Mr. Leatherman show in Toronto last week, I looked at the larger pieces I have and realized the leather wasn't on the website. This has been rectified, and you can now see three different men's leather jackets that I have in stock. One is trimmed in front with titanium rings over the zipper flap, another has stainless adorning the tops of the arms, like racing stripes, and the third is a motorcycle jacket with a removable stainless half-shirt over it. All very cool. Check them out in the Men's section.

PREMIUM SHIPPING NOW AVAILABLE

Canada Post typically gets slower over the Holiday season as the volume of shipped packages increases. Shipping is via Canada Post Expedited Parcel. Delivery to the USA is about 12 business days, other international destinations are up to 30 business days.

If you would like to receive your order faster, click on the Premium Shipping button and your order will be shipped via Canada Post Expresspost. This level of service guarantees delivery within the continental USA within 6 business days and features station-by-station tracking so you can see where your parcel is. When I ship your item I contact you with the tracking number so you can watch it arrive.

SHIPPING CUTOFF DATES

Canada Post has a handy shipping cutoff date chart at http://www.canadapost.ca/personal/dec/send/deliveryschedule-e.asp where you can see how soon you have to place your orders with the Chain Mail Guy to have them arrive for Christmas.

ExpressPost shipping gets your order to you in the Continental USA within 6 business days. If I have it in stock, and you place your order before Dec. 8th and select Premium Shipping, I can guarantee your order will arrive in time for Christmas.

ANNIVERSARY PRICING

My 10th year anniversary pricing ends Dec. 31, 2006. If you want the Anniversary Pricing on rings, you need to place your order before then.


Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy

www.chainmailguy.com

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