Chainmail

I had an interesting phone conversation the other day about objects we carry with us. Keys come and go, wallets wear out, driver’s licences get replaced, favorite t-shirts wear out, and on and on. One object that has been on my person almost continuously during my waking hours is my chainmail keychain fob. Steve made this for me around 20 years ago, I think. He was interested in chainmail, and pretty much figured out on his own how to make the links and weave them into a vest he was making.

chainmailOne father’s day I woke up to find this lovely fob sitting on the dining room table. I put it on my keyring, where it has stayed until just the other day. One thing I’ve learned about chainmail over the decades is that it does morph while riding around in my pocket. I’ll take it out to use it, and two links from different parts of the fob have hooked themselves together. Or worse yet, some links have come apart, or come out completely. I am not a chainmail expert, but have managed to cobble it back together pretty much until recently.

The other day, I took my keys out, and the poor chainmail fob had some completely apart at one end. I had known it needed attention, but didn’t know that things had reached such a critical stage. I contacted Steve and asked him if I could mail it to him for repair. He said sure as long as I sent him some needle nose pliers and some extra links. I wound 24′ of wire on the jig he and I made all those years ago, pulled off the coils, and cut them with a cut-off blade on my angle grinder. I quickly boxed everything up and shipped it to him. In about a week, during which I had a funny empty feeling in my right front pocket, the package came back. I opened it up and found a completely refurbished fob. Steve said he had to replace about 1/3 of the links.

I put the fob back on the keyring where it belonged, slid the thing in my pocket and said, “ahhhhh.”

One Response to “Chainmail”

  1. wp says:

    I love that form and function, Ted. Quite the zen and the art of chainmail maintenance.

Leave a Reply