The general concensus seems to be that all links should always be
soldered, all speed ahead and damn the torpedos. Is there a point
at which this becomes lunacy? My Byzantine chain uses 20ga rings
at 5/32" ID, with a density of approximately 35 rings per inch.
I'm with you on this one! I've made chain where soldering felt
necessary, but many tight, well made chains, using the appropriate
ring size and guage, often don't require soldering in my mind. If
the rings are flush and put together properly, they shouldn't catch.
For loose open weaves, say 4-in-1 7mm 18 guage, of course, solder
them! There is a point though where it's not sensible to do.
BTW, It's my understanding that the English name, as in Middle ages,
was just chain. French for it was just maille. Chainmaille is a
commonly accepted merge of the two words which was later modernized
into chain mail. If it were just French I think it's cotte de
mailles, or something like that.
I totally geeked out with the etymology there. Sorry.
Anywho, here's two cents,