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Bird Nest chain mandrels

I have been given a set of ‘graduated bird nest chain mandrels’ in
sizes .098, .134, .147, .156 and .173. They are basically 4" steel
rods. I assume that a bird nest chain is the same thing as a
Byzantine chain, but if so, I can’t figure out why you would need
mandrels in those precise sizes as the weaves I’ve seen use links of
uniform size. Can anyone shed light on the subject?

Many thanks,

Perhaps they are for graduated Byzantine?

Intrigued, I Googled “bird nest jewellery”, and mostly it seems to
consist of pendants that actually look like birds’ nests, with beads
in the middle to represent eggs - not what you were thinking of at
all, I imagine!

Then I found this:

Seems to be a beading project as much as anything else, and looks a
bit messy to me (just my opinion!) but it appears to be a Byzantine
weave with large jump rings making a very open and - to my eye at
least - ungraceful chain, but then beauty is in the eye of the

So I guess the different mandrel sizes you have must simply be
mandrels for making jump rings of different sizes in order to make a
Byzantine chain-maille piece. or anything else you might use jump
rings for.

Honestly can’t see where “bird nest” comes into it at all!

Perhaps they are for graduated Byzantine? 

That must be it, thanks! The original owner probably took a workshop
and had the mandrels left over from that.