Henrik Olsgaard, aka Henrik of Havn, has been proclaimed King of the West six times. Obviously the guy is deft with a sword — you don’t get to be King in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) without winning several bouts in the annual Crown Tournament. But his triumph is also testimony to his skill at making chainmail. Henrik has been fashioning chainmail of every description for the past four decades — from beautiful, sterling silver belts to a 50-pound battle hauberk (a knee-length shirt).

And now, I’m going to teach you what he taught me: how to make your own chainmail. With just a few basic patterns, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to fashion a helmet, shirt, belt, coin purse, and even a full hauberk.