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Hank Reinhardt




PostPosted: Tue 06 Dec, 2005 1:23 pm    Post subject: General Polearm Discussion         Reply with quote

I am interested in pole arms, and am interested in talking about them if anyone else is interested.
Hank Reinhardt
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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Tue 06 Dec, 2005 1:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh I suspect you will find a bit of interest on the subject. Since you are a person close to the industry side of things. I was wondering if you could tell us your thoughts on why more pole arms aren't offered in the production market? Are the sales volumes just to low to make it worth while?

At the moment I'm in the midst of trying to put together a roncone using an Arms and Armor head and some local ash. I would love to do the same with other types of weapons as I've got a pretty good bit more ash lying about but I've discovered that pole arm heads are in short supply. Especially those that are readily available in the United States. Have you done much of a study of polearms along with your other pursuits?

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Hank Reinhardt




PostPosted: Tue 06 Dec, 2005 3:00 pm    Post subject: pole arms         Reply with quote

Two things hurt the sale of pole arms. One is sales. They are often more difficult to make if you are trying to produce an accurate reeproduction. As a result the manufacturing cost are higher, and yet the sales are not that great. Still, if it weren;t for the second factor, they could still be done. The second is shipping. There are limitations on size with just about all of the shipping outfits. This means that the pole arm has to be disassembled to be shipped. You wopuld be shocked and dismayed at the number of pople who require instructions to fit a simp[le spear head onto a preshaped shaft. When you have langets its much harder. Del Tin was willing to make some polearms for a few years, but then they decided that making them was cutting into the time they could spend making swords, so they were reluctant to do any more. We made a few in the shop, made them out of saw steel which we got from Pacific Hoe & Saw. Then the moved to Oregon, and that ended that. That steel was really tough. I've made a few here at home, since I am partial to glaives, or more accurately, swords on a stick. they work pretty well. Have finally completed a sparring model that works pretty well. Highly irritating to have all this stuff become available, and I'm getting to old to take advantage of it.
Hank Reinhardt
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Dec, 2005 3:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These posts were taken from a topic that asked about a link to a vendor site that was placed in the off-topic forum. Since they're not related to that topic, and they're not well-placed in the Off-topic forum, I've split them off into their own topic.
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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Tue 06 Dec, 2005 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hank,

Are polearms something that in your expereince is a no go period in all production niches, or are they something that you think could work at the high end of prodcution? I found the only way I could get a reaonable reproduction was to go custom. Something I don't even normally do for swords! :-)

I could almost have purchased an antique instead but I'm not sure I want to muck about with a real piece of history.

Joe Fults

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Austin Demshar




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PostPosted: Tue 06 Dec, 2005 8:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
Is the best type of wood (high strength, good look, and ability to stain with dark wood finishes) really ash that i can get from Lowes ? Im repoling (hafting) my polearm cuz the wood it has on it now gets etched by my fingernail and its wobbly. Thank you for the help !
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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2005 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Austin Demshar wrote:
Hello,
Is the best type of wood (high strength, good look, and ability to stain with dark wood finishes) really ash that i can get from Lowes ? Im repoling (hafting) my polearm cuz the wood it has on it now gets etched by my fingernail and its wobbly. Thank you for the help !


It's my understanding that ash was typically the wood of choice. It's very strong, relatively light and although I've not tried it (yet) I suspect that it will stain pretty well. I have heard of oak and beech also being used in a pinch. I'm wondering about the dimensions of what they have at Lowes for your purposes though. Most of their stuff is 1X I think isn't it?

Hank, do you have any pictures of your various and sundry pole arms? I'd love to see them if you do. I'm a bit partial to glaives myself, but the only one I've found to date that looks worth purchasing is one from a outfit called Lutel in the Czeck republic www.lutel.cz . They have a number of other interesting pieces as well.

If I may ask what do you know about how the poles were finished historically? Were they stained? Some equivalent to linseed oil? (Or heck linseed oil for all I know) How about things like tassels, leather wraps and that sort of thing? The reading I've done suggests that tassels were mostly on hunting weapons but that leather wraps might have been found on military use items on the handles.

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Hank Reinhardt




PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2005 9:49 am    Post subject: pole arms         Reply with quote

Let me try to answer some of these questions. Pole arms will never sell as well as swords, and only a few outfits will actually go to the trouble of making them. The difficulty of making them depends on the type of polearm, and its much easier with a simple glaive, bardiche, ox tongue, etc. Some like the Scorpione are more trouble, as the blade takes a lot of work, or if its cut out, (rather than forged) wastes a lot of steel. Again, a big problem is the shipping. In buying an old halbard, it was costly to have it shipped, as it had to be trucked. Three inches past the limit.
New World wood such as hickory would be the best, but quite inaccurate. Ash, maple, elm, oak, all of these will work, but ash is preffered. It is tough, springy, fairly light and easy to work and stains well. I use Jacobean stain when I stain some of mine, as it looks nice. But then I've also lacquered some black. Would like to use some red lacquer but can't find any. Poplar will work quite well for spears, even though it is light, it is also pretty tough, but I'm not sure I would trust it for heavy chopping, but it might work. You can find some attractive poplar shafts in the drapery departments of a lot of stores, and some of them will be quite long.
Most all of the old fighting weapons were stained dark, but I'm not sure what was used. I don't think I have ever encountered any discussion on that . Tassles were used fairly often, this helped, but did not stop,the blood from running down the shaft. You may also see some tacks, leather strips, iron wire, used on the shafts to both protect and give a better grip. I frankly want my shafts to be oval or oct-hex-agonal so that I will also know where the edge is at all times. Many originals were made this way, but there are also a lot whose shaft is just plain round. One thing it is necessary to remeber is that all of these were individually made. even those made for city armouries. As a result, there is no hard and fast rules about them.
I will take some pictures of some of the pole arms I have made, as well as some of my others, and post them. I have made some pole arms I really like out of various sword blades, and they work quite well. I just need my daughter to do it, or teach me how to. As I have said before, I am not a computer person, and anything more complicated than a wedge confuses me.

Hank Reinhardt
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Jeremiah Swanger




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2005 10:02 am    Post subject: Re: pole arms         Reply with quote

Hank Reinhardt wrote:
Pole arms will never sell as well as swords, and only a few outfits will actually go to the trouble of making them.


We also have to take into account the Victorian-era romanticists who assigned values of valor and chivalry to the sword, a mystique which survives entirely intact to this day, hence the popularity of the reproduction sword market.

As for myself, I absolutely love polearms. My personal favorite would be a toss-up between the winged partisan, the swiss and german halberds, and the lucerne hammer (as per Talhoffer's Fechtbuch)-- I really can't decide!

While you're at it, Peter Johnsson made an exquisite hafted sword that is somewhere on this site...

I own your video on the Medieval sword, btw. I have since shown it to many of my friends who had a lot of incorrect assumptions about the medieval sword. I consider it a valuable resource for the beginning sword collector/practitioner.

Enjoy your time here at myArmoury!

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Rhaegar fought valiantly.
Rhaegar fought honorably.
And Rhaegar died."

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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2005 11:09 am    Post subject: Re: pole arms         Reply with quote

Hank Reinhardt wrote:
Let me try to answer some of these questions. Pole arms will never sell as well as swords, and only a few outfits will actually go to the trouble of making them. The difficulty of making them depends on the type of polearm, and its much easier with a simple glaive, bardiche, ox tongue, etc. Some like the Scorpione are more trouble, as the blade takes a lot of work, or if its cut out, (rather than forged) wastes a lot of steel. Again, a big problem is the shipping. In buying an old halbard, it was costly to have it shipped, as it had to be trucked. Three inches past the limit.
New World wood such as hickory would be the best, but quite inaccurate. Ash, maple, elm, oak, all of these will work, but ash is preffered. It is tough, springy, fairly light and easy to work and stains well. I use Jacobean stain when I stain some of mine, as it looks nice. But then I've also lacquered some black. Would like to use some red lacquer but can't find any. Poplar will work quite well for spears, even though it is light, it is also pretty tough, but I'm not sure I would trust it for heavy chopping, but it might work. You can find some attractive poplar shafts in the drapery departments of a lot of stores, and some of them will be quite long.
Most all of the old fighting weapons were stained dark, but I'm not sure what was used. I don't think I have ever encountered any discussion on that . Tassles were used fairly often, this helped, but did not stop,the blood from running down the shaft. You may also see some tacks, leather strips, iron wire, used on the shafts to both protect and give a better grip. I frankly want my shafts to be oval or oct-hex-agonal so that I will also know where the edge is at all times. Many originals were made this way, but there are also a lot whose shaft is just plain round. One thing it is necessary to remeber is that all of these were individually made. even those made for city armouries. As a result, there is no hard and fast rules about them.
I will take some pictures of some of the pole arms I have made, as well as some of my others, and post them. I have made some pole arms I really like out of various sword blades, and they work quite well. I just need my daughter to do it, or teach me how to. As I have said before, I am not a computer person, and anything more complicated than a wedge confuses me.


Hmmm not familiar with Jacobean I'll have to give that a look. I've always wondered about the properties of poplar for that sort of thing as I have that readily available as well, but based on how easy it is to cut I don't think I would want to use it for any sort of application where it was going to be subjected to a lot of lateral stress. For my roncone I was going for an octagonal grip, It should be fairly easy to do with a router table and a table saw I'm thinking. I would like to see a picture of this Scorpione thing as I've never seen anything with that designation before although perhaps I know it under another name? Posting the pictures is rather simple on this site. When you have the pictures ready just say the word and any number of people around here would be glad to help you out I'm sure.

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Peter Hell




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2005 4:03 pm    Post subject: Pole arms         Reply with quote

Hello!
I am also just beginning to collect some pole arms. I have ordered now two berdiches, one of the is from an austrian sword smith, Johann Schmidberger. He isn't very cheap, but the things he make are really authentic. There is a famous weapon chamber in austria, the "Grazer Zeughaus". Many of the things that are there are from him. Maybe you take a look on his website: www.schmiede-schmidberger.at

Greetings, Peter Hell
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Hank Reinhardt




PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2005 4:54 pm    Post subject: pole arms         Reply with quote

We carried several of Schmitbergers at MRL, but had to stop because we couldn't get delivery. I have several of his polearms and also the huge two hand bearing sword. We also copied the berdiche at the Tower. It is supposed to have killed Colonel Gardner at the battle of Preston Pans in 1745. We had to make the blade a little thicker than the original, or people would not have bought it. Thinking was wrong. However I had one made for me that is an exact copy of the original. One difference on mine is that the point is flat, whereas on the original the point is thickened for about 1/2 inch back. It balances very nicely, but I still prefer some of my others.
Hank Reinhardt
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Austin Demshar




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2005 5:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I checked lowes and they dont have much for poles. Just some 1 1/4 inch 4' poplar dowels. Maybe home depot, orchard, or ace might have some?
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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2005 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Austin Demshar wrote:
I checked lowes and they dont have much for poles. Just some 1 1/4 inch 4' poplar dowels. Maybe home depot, orchard, or ace might have some?


Local lumberyards will often carry closet pole. Another option at garden centers and hardware stores are pruning pole extentions and replacement poles. You might have to lop off a bit of hardware but they are often ash or hickory.

Cheers

GC
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Austin Demshar




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PostPosted: Wed 07 Dec, 2005 11:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you guys.
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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Thu 08 Dec, 2005 6:36 am    Post subject: Re: Pole arms         Reply with quote

Peter Hell wrote:
Hello!
I am also just beginning to collect some pole arms. I have ordered now two berdiches, one of the is from an austrian sword smith, Johann Schmidberger. He isn't very cheap, but the things he make are really authentic. There is a famous weapon chamber in austria, the "Grazer Zeughaus". Many of the things that are there are from him. Maybe you take a look on his website: www.schmiede-schmidberger.at

Greetings, Peter Hell


Thanks Peter, Isn't that the same guy that used to turne out the "Austrian Masterpiece?" It seems like I remember people wondering a while back if he was even alive. It would appear that he is. Happy

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Peter Hell




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2005 3:15 am    Post subject: Hi!         Reply with quote

I don't know anything about the "Austrian Masterpiece". I only know that Schmidberger was very sick for a long time. He was waiting for a new kidney (or a liver, I cannot remember), so it was a little bit quiet around him for a while. When I met him first time, he was allready convalesced. Is the masterpiece this one? http://www.gindat.at/wse/schmidberger/images/...erter3.htm

By the way, his fathers name was also Johann Schmidberger. He was manufacturing till the late Sixties, then his son overtook the manufactury. I don't know exatly, but Mel Gibson's sword in "Braveheart" was made by him. The other weapons were from Deltin. But I cannot give guarantee for this information. You can read a lot in the www...

Best regards Peter Hell
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Peter Hell




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2005 3:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Austin Demshar wrote:
Hello,
Is the best type of wood (high strength, good look, and ability to stain with dark wood finishes) really ash that i can get from Lowes ? Im repoling (hafting) my polearm cuz the wood it has on it now gets etched by my fingernail and its wobbly. Thank you for the help !


I made the experiance that ash is very difficult to get. For my lance I used a beech. It is hard enough to be a good pole for a pole weapon, and it is easy to get (here in austria).

Greetings, Peter Hell
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Russ Ellis




PostPosted: Fri 09 Dec, 2005 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To be honest I've never seen a picture that I recall of the "Austrian Masterpiece" I think it was more of a production sword that was marketed with that name here in the United States. I'm sure someone will point one out at some point here.

As for the Beech that sounds just fine. According to several sources I've read that is well within historical parameters, for some pole arms, although I don't claim to know anything about lance manufacture.

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Austin Demshar




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Dec, 2005 8:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What are closet dowels made out of. There is usually the white wood kind, and thats what im talking about. Not the redwood.
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