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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 12:35 pm    Post subject: Weekly Special spearhead         Reply with quote

Here's another of those nothing-to-lose MRL deals that keep cheapos like me in arms and armour projects.

MRL's site has this spearhead in its Weekly Specials section for $24.95 USD ($30.90 shipped). I've been wanting something like this to mount in the style of the 16th c., and look what falls into my lap! Won't it be lovely alongside my glaive ( http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=glaive )? Maybe with a different-colored tassle and/or haft treatment (brass tacks? cloth wrap? etching? decoratively filed langets a-la the Imperial Austria book?)

Gentlemen, start your (Dremel) engines....



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ouch! I might have to take this hit, too... I'm so friggin' broke right now, I can barely pay attention. Ugh... WTF?!

I like the idea, Sean... $30 for the head, about $15 for a pole, another $5 for random bits, and you have a pretty sexy spear for about $50!

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
$15 for a pole...


Not for the poles I buy Laughing Out Loud

I still just can't can't bring myself to use ash for these bargain basement polearms. Maybe I'll go the distance, for once, if I can find a good ash pole around here. This piece won't have some of the design flaws that argued against ash for the glaive. This should be a very solid spear, and it would be nice to have a properly-hafted piece.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
$15 for a pole...


Not for the poles I buy Laughing Out Loud

I still just can't can't bring myself to use ash for these bargain basement polearms. Maybe I'll go the distance, for once, if I can find a good ash pole around here. This piece won't have some of the design flaws that argued against ash for the glaive. This should be a very solid spear, and it would be nice to have a properly-hafted piece.


Can't wait to see it come around, Sean! I really like the past couple of projects you've done.

Oh, and IF I could find ash poles... dang, do I wish. Even the specialty woods place in New Orleans doesn't have any, and they STOCK woods I've never even heard of. I was just pulling out what I thought might be a reasonable figure for a poplar one...

I was trying to imagine what you would do with this little dude... got a reference pic or sketch? It's been a long couple of days, and my creative brain isn't happy about working right now...

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you are going to do a project you might as well go all out... Happy

http://www.armor.com/2000/catalog/item118.html

Seriously not using a proper pole is sort of like having a wall hanging sword isn't it? It would bother me at least...

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 2:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

$69 to mount a generic $25 head is way beyond all-out! Laughing Out Loud

Seriously, though, my main interests are in historic looks, balance and weight. I think I'm getting that with the poplar (which is around $8 for a 6' pole, IIRC). As with the glaive, I would use only historically appropriate wood if I intended to do any testing with this piece. Maybe I'll try oak with this spear. Ash was preferred when available, but oak was used too.

Say, Russ, it just occurred to me that you're 40 minutes to my north...do you know a local source for ash?

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This isn't exactly what I have in mind (it's a forgery, anyway), but it's pretty close. Following my own advice from the Instant Antique article, I'll now start collecting and studying as many images as I can find showing these weapons. There are some good images in the Imperial Austria book and European and American Arms. I'll be sure to post my model when I find it.


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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 2:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
$69 to mount a generic $25 head is way beyond all-out! Laughing Out Loud

Seriously, though, my main interests are in historic looks, balance and weight. I think I'm getting that with the poplar (which is around $8 for a 6' pole, IIRC). As with the glaive, I would use only historically appropriate wood if I intended to do any testing with this piece. Maybe I'll try oak with this spear. Ash was preferred when available, but oak was used too.

Say, Russ, it just occurred to me that you're 40 minutes to my north...do you know a local source for ash?


Yeah, it's a bit excessive, but like I said if you can't use it... I don't know just being weird I guess... Funny thing you should ask that... There's a sawmill just down the road from my house that had ash last time I was there. I'll ask him how much for a quartersawn pole...

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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 2:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm diggin' it, Sean...

Now, how about this? I triple-dog-dare you to resist and acid etch the blade!

I like the piece... just looked at my actual funds and have-to's and other stuff already in the works, and I'm sadly going to have to miss out on this one. Sometimes I *HATE* being responsible.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, if they have it in H'ville, I bet I can find it in B'ham. On the other hand, I hear that H'ville is full of engineer types who are allergic to inferior materials.... Wink
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
I triple-dog-dare you to resist and acid etch the blade!


No need to dare. I started looking into the process two projects ago! My only hesitation concerns the acid-what the heck am I gonna do with it when I'm done, and will I burn my face off trying to learn on the job.? Many (most?) of the surviving late glaives and spears are etched like this one, and I think it would look fantastic on both of my pieces.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean;

A good pole would seem work it if the quality of the spear head is high enough to make it worth while. The fact that a good spear head cost you 50 , to exaggerate a little, it should still be worth using a good pole.

Now, with a cheap " mystery metal " spear head, soft pine would be just as good. Razz Big Grin

Oh, here I can suggest a " Sacrilegious " option that would be zero % historical in construction but could be made to look historical " On the surface ": With that standard hardware store poplar pole get a galvanized steel tube, slide the pole inside the tube having covered the pole with epoxy cement. The spear head fitted to the pole before slipping on the galvanized tube that is like a full length all around " languette " in function.

This should give you a heavy spear but almost indestructible pole. Next cover the pole with glued on light cord one or two layers thick. Sand smooth if you want the fact that you used cord becomes invisible when you add the final layer hiding all this " Insult to history " . Finally cover with the Historical fabric of your choice.

You might even be able to add tacks as decoration if you pre-drill small holes for them, hammer and maybe glue the tacks in place.

Should look good, will probably weight more than it should but should be good for heavy duty practice.

Anyway, either you will like the idea or you will be running screaming away from your computer screen. Razz Eek! Eek! Eek!

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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Well, if they have it in H'ville, I bet I can find it in B'ham. On the other hand, I hear that H'ville is full of engineer types who are allergic to inferior materials.... Wink


Ha! Looks like I'm not the only one picking on poor Russ today! Razz

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2005 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
I triple-dog-dare you to resist and acid etch the blade!


No need to dare. I started looking into the process two projects ago! My only hesitation concerns the acid-what the heck am I gonna do with it when I'm done, and will I burn my face off trying to learn on the job.? Many (most?) of the surviving late glaives and spears are etched like this one, and I think it would look fantastic on both of my pieces.


I'd LOVE to see this project. I've considered doing it myself - probably will with something at some point.

No, you won't burn your face off. If you are concerned, I would highly recommend a face shield, and if you want to go all the way here, splash goggles, a lab apron, and nitrile gloves. It shouldn't erupt on you, though... won't be a violent reaction. Toss some baking soda in there, on the other hand...

What do do with the acid once you are done? That's a bit of a different question... pour the acid in the water, not the other way around. You won't need a ton of acid to do this job... you could neutralize it CAREFULLY with a base, or dilute it with enough water to render it pretty harmless and rinse it down a drain. Get the molarity down enough, and it won't hurt anything - may even clean the pipes.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
Sean Flynt wrote:
Well, if they have it in H'ville, I bet I can find it in B'ham. On the other hand, I hear that H'ville is full of engineer types who are allergic to inferior materials.... Wink


Ha! Looks like I'm not the only one picking on poor Russ today! Razz


What are you guys trying to say we are some sort of geeks out here? Huh? Well? Are you?... um well okay nevermind you might be right...

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just kidding, Russ. That forest of rockets I pass on the way to UAH is evidence aplenty that attention to detail pays off when lives are on the line.

I've just about decided to use oak for this haft, and here's my rationale: This weapon is generically known as a "boar spear". It was used as such, but also was a military arm that most often served as an officer's leading staff or guard's weapon. The advantage of ash, apparently, is that it is very strong but also very flexible. Sounds like just the thing for an axe/halberd or any other weapon that will used in a way that puts powerful lateral force on the haft. Ash's flexibility may not be as important for a thrusting weapon, but it's toughness certainly would be. Since oak also was used historically, I think it makes sense to use it for the haft of a rigid, robust spear. I won't have to do as much inletting with this haft compared to the glaive haft, so I'm not worried about the relative difficulty of working with oak. My langets, which I intend to create by cutting down the too-long socket, will be very short-maybe 1.5". I have a photo showing such langets on a boar spear of the mid 16th c.

Etching: I wonder if I could use a common, relativley mild acid and just let it work longer. Muriatic? Vinegar? The pitting I get from my vinegar and salt antiquing solution is deep enough to show good relief, but it'd take some experimentation to gain sufficient control over the process. I really want to try this.....

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 7:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Etching: I wonder if I could use a common, relativley mild acid and just let it work longer. Muriatic? Vinegar? The pitting I get from my vinegar and salt antiquing solution is deep enough to show good relief, but it'd take some experimentation to gain sufficient control over the process. I really want to try this.....


Muriatic acid does a heck of a job cleaning stuff... haven't left anything in there too much longer than that, though. It's a weak HCl solution, though the specific molarity, I don't know. It's wicked compared to vinegar... In Price's Techniques of Medieval Amour Reproduction, there is a chapter on etching things like brass using the resist/acid bath method. I don't often bring books with me offshore - too heavy to deal with in any quantity - but I did happen to bring this one this time. I'll look at it in the next day or so, and see what info I can pull from it for you.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 8:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oooh...that would be very cool. If that's a very detailed chapter, I may need to go ahead and spring for that book. Imperial Austria has some info about etching technique, but no specifics about materials. So you're out in the Gulf now, huh? Say hello to Emily for me.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Oooh...that would be very cool. If that's a very detailed chapter, I may need to go ahead and spring for that book. Imperial Austria has some info about etching technique, but no specifics about materials. So you're out in the Gulf now, huh? Say hello to Emily for me.


Bubba, if Emily's projected path turns much further north, we'll probably let Emily have the Gulf (at least here and further west) all to herself. I don't want any part of riding something like that out on this structure.

I just skimmed the section of the book (which is interesting throughout, not just on this particular topic). It had some good info... here's a quick summary.

Price recommends Nitric acid (70%) diluted at 3:1 for brass or 2:1 for steel, always add acid to the water, not the other way around. Paint on the resist, do your design work by removal of the stuff. CAREFULLY place the piece in the bath (use a glass or plastic container). Etching will commece - once bubbles form on the "newly cut edges", the etching is done. Remove (with proper PPE - i.e. gloves - and tools) and place in a plain water diluting bath for a few minutes, then in something basic - a soda bath or a soap bath - to neutralize the acid. Removing the resist should be easily done with gasoline - let it soak for a few minutes, then wipe it off.

If anything is unclear here, please ask me, Sean... This stuff isn't exactly human-friendly, you know?

Oh, and just for that little bit of info, the book isn't worth it. I just gave you most of the info that was in there about etching... If you are interested in armour construction (even just to read about it and never pick up a hammer), it's definitely worthwhile.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 8:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Many thanks for the info! Sounds like more than I want to bite off, at present....I wonder if stuff that caustic was used historically. Fortunately, I can always etch later (when my new life insurance policy takes effect, for example). In fact, though I currently don't want to touch this stuff with a ten foot pole, in a few years I may be willing to touch it with a seven foot pole. Laughing Out Loud

As for Emily....these things are scary a couple of hundred miles inland. I can't imagine trying to ride one out in cage in the middle of the Gulf. Worried

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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