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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
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


It sounds worse than it is, actually... I'll probably do something like this at some point when I get the time, just to see what's up with it. If I do, I'll post a series on it. No clue when that will be - my shop schedule is friggin' hammered until probably the end of the year, actually... but I might get a wild hair, you know?

Sean Flynt wrote:
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


I can only run about 200 feet in any direction... Hurricanes can do immense damage to vessels and structures out here. I don't have specifics, but it's in the news, so I feel ok mentioning - there's a platform out here that took on a 20 - 30 degree list from Dennis - they are still working on pumping out the ballast tanks to return stability. Much more, and it would have capsized. Last year, Ivan tore up a bunch of stuff - took like 3 months to make repairs enough to bring one location back online. Nasty business... Have to be exceedingly careful coming back out, too... always a danger of loose grating or damage to the facility. Power may be totally off and turbines soaked. It's a real mess sometimes... I'm hoping Emily will stay south, but even if she does, this season is the worst on record so far, with projections to remain nastty throughout.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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(He is stronger who conquers himself.)
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Matthew Kelty




PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Suggestions, and another Trick...         Reply with quote

Thoughts for your successful etching happiness...

Since I use an Electrolytic Method for removing Rust (details below), I always have one of those 5 gallon paint buckets around with about two gallons of Water and a quantity of Baking Soda in it.

Muriatic Acid can be quite nasty, but it's not too scary to handle, and I usually operate with goggles and heavy rubber (elbow length) gloves, and haven't had a problem yet. Knowing I have two gallons of Base nearby makes it easier on the nerves, too.

I usually do a 50/50 Muriatic/Water for heavy cleaning operations, and as for the disposal, it's simply dump the acid into the 5 gallon bucket. It fizzes for a bit while it's neutralizing, but not like the Volcano effects one imagines, and the size of the bucket helps. You can then pour it down the drain without getting the EPA all up in arms.

Why do I have two gallons of base nearby? Tee Hee... Whenever I'm needing to knock back the finish on something, or remove heavy rust particulate, I use an Automotive Battery Charger and Base to remove rust electrolytically. Attach the positive pole to the objet' de Rust, and the negative pole to a piece of scrap steel. Dunk both pieces in the bucket, turn her on, and wait.

The Anode attracts the rust to itself, and you just let it suck the rust off of your piece. If you purposefully rust something, and then use this method to remove it, you get that nice steely gray color, and don't spend a minute polishing, or using any abrasives whatsoever. Just wipe down, oil, and you're done.

At any rate, I'm looking forward to seeing the results... Happy
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More good info. Thanks, Matthew!
-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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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 12:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At the risk of over-simplifying things: Sean, etching isn't really that big of a deal. If you've ever poured liquid plumber down your drains or used Lye or other caustic cleaning supplies, you've shown already that you can handle caustic materials without randomly dropping your face and eyes into them. I'm not trying to make it sound like a walk in the park: It's not. But with proper handling and care, it's nothing that's going to cause you problems.

I think you'll need more practice with the actual application of the resist and subsequent decorative removal of it. That's a pain in the butt, in my opinion.

I'd suggest going out and buying some sheet metal and playing with it. It's a lot of fun! I've used wax as a resist, building up a "dam" of sorts to hold the acid on the surface so that I wouldn't have to submerge the piece in a pool of acid and could limit the amount used. I then used a base to neutralize it. This was a long, long time ago so don't ask me about the materials I used: I don't know any more Happy

Disclaimer: ignore all the above for anyone who is clumsy, careless, or not willing to wear safety items

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe I'll try this after all. I've been sculpting and drawing since I could hold the tools, so the artistic aspect isn't of too much concern (famous last words?). The idea of using a dam to contain a small amount of acid is appealing. I also just found this online:

"Chemical etching was not used regularly in Europe until the fifteenth century when it
was used to decorate suits of armour....The earliest reference to this process
describes an etchant made from common salt, vinegar and charcoal acting through a
hand scribed mask of linseed oil paint."

Now, that I think I can handle.

-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: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
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.....


Lol, no problem I was just trying to get back at you guys. The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of geeks here, but it's geeks I want building the rockets and missiles we turn out here. Happy I'm all about the oak shaft by the way!

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2005 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Keep in mind, Sean, that while simple etchant described may work well on mild steel, it may have little effect on hardened steel other than a darkening.
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Kevin Toomey




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jul, 2005 8:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my experience finding a good shaft is tough. Getting a long one shipped,expensive. My solution has been to cull through the piles to find the straightest grain 4/4 board, a narrow one to keep cost down, Rip it, and laminate to form a 6/4 square, shape to the round taper i want. This way it's possible to get historical length, strong poles for 6-12 bucks.

A parallel shaft doesn't look good to me. I made one thrusting spear @ 7' with a larger dia. butt tapering to socket dia. at the tip which feels and looks good imo. A javelin shaft, i think, should be barrel tapered, and would take some experimenting to get the relationship between head weight, shaft length, stiffness, for the vibe nodes to work properly.
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Steve Grisetti




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Jul, 2005 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
...Disclaimer: ignore all the above for anyone who is clumsy...

Well, I guess I won't be doing any etching. But I do enjoy reading about all of these techniques. Please, continue!
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jul, 2005 8:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The spearhead arrived last night, and I'm pretty impressed by it. Very sturdy construction. Massive central rib and reinforced point. Certainly worth every penny. Unfortunately, I was unable to turn up an oak dowell of appropriate length (6',) so I had to resort to poplar again (sorry, Russ!). Nevertheless, this is going to be a formidable and functional weapon when complete.

Next decision: To shorten the socket by creating langets? It would look great, but the mounting would be stronger left as-is (more wood in the socket and a wider section of wood through which to rivet). Some originals have langets, some do not. Since I went the hard way for my glaive, maybe I'll mount this piece more simply. I probably will still make a tassle, but not the same color as my glaive's. So, if any of you polearm afficionados want to make a tassle, I'll be happy to pass along the burgundy material left from my glaive tassle. Then you'd just need an X-acto blade and some brass furniture tacks. First come, first served.

-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 21 Jul, 2005 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean;

I'm a bit puzzled about making languettes ( French spelling ) with this spears' socket because they would be very short and would weaken rather than add to the strength of the joining of head to shaft. If you could weld 12" to 18 " ones to the socket it would look better.

I could be wrong but very short languettes just don't seem functional to me and were very short ones ever used historically ?

A nice bead welding filed down flush and finished to blend in with the head would be nice + some nice rivets / bolts ?

Would a garage / small machine shop be able to do the welding if you don't have the equipment to do it yourself ?

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 21 Jul, 2005 11:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

C. Blair's European and American Arms shows a German boar spear (though he calls it a javelin) with such short langettes. They appear to be approx. two inches long and are either made of a piece with the socket or forge welded to it in line with the ridge of the blade. So, such short langettes are at least historically reasonable for the weapon shown. Without measurements it's difficult to know why Blair called that piece a javelin rather than a spear (he is as close to an authority on polearms as I can find and even Oakeshott defers to his work on the subject). Imperial Austria shows a boar spear with decoratively filed langettes that appear to be separate from the head, but these may be secondary langettes.

Although boar spears of this period typically have very broad, short sockets, some have a relatively long socket like that of the MRL spearhead. That, I think, is the main argument for mounting it as-is. I mean, it's historically accurate and is a LOT less trouble.

So, I've just about decided on a full socket, tassle, no etching (yet), antique finish, no langettes, but possibly brass tacks on the upper haft. The overall length of the piece will be appropriate for the weapon type (approx. 6'10")

-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 21 Jul, 2005 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
So, I've just about decided on a full socket, tassle, no etching (yet), antique finish, no langettes, but possibly brass tacks on the upper haft. The overall length of the piece will be appropriate for the weapon type (approx. 6'10")


Sounds like a pretty good plan, Sean... looking forward to what you come up with on this. Wish I had the stuff to try to etch something here... I've had a fair amount of down-time this hitch with plenty of time yet to go... pretty much a waste, sadly.

-Aaron Schnatterly
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug, 2005 6:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Unveiling! I may finally have scraped the bottom of the bargain barrel with this one. Total cost on this, including shipping, was approx. $40 USD. I've mounted this in the style of the last quarter of the 16th century, using for my model a plain boar spear shown in a painting depicting a march of the Catholic League through Paris in 1588. That detail from the painting (see The Renaissance At War) is shown below, along with the finished piece and the spear at the mounted-but-not-finished stage, which many of you will prefer as it is could easily represent different era. My only complaint about this spearhead is that the central ridge of the blade does not taper to the point, which seems to universally be the case with originals with pronounced ridges. The haft is poplar (ash or oak are preferred). Although the socket of mine is longer than the one shown in the painting, socket length varied pretty dramatically, and some boar spears have long sockets like this one. This is great fun to handle! Now I just need that black half-armour and cabasset....
Overal length: 6'8".
Weight: 2.75 lbs



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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: Mon 08 Aug, 2005 8:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another thought on that mid ridge tapering thing... is there anything that would keep you from grinding it down or heck even filing it down?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Aug, 2005 8:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
Another thought on that mid ridge tapering thing... is there anything that would keep you from grinding it down or heck even filing it down?


Nope. You could do it with a file or Dremel. However, that's a lot of work for a minor issue that, while ungainly and not true to most originals of the type, isn't out of the question, historically. The shape of the ridge actually makes good design sense because that wide upper portion of the ridge reinforces the tip (many polearms of the period have such reinforcement of spikes, tips, etc.). Frankly, if you wanted to do that much reshaping, you'd probably be better off having A&A make you a custom spear head. It probably wouldn't be very expensive, and they could get everything exactly right. This finished piece is a bargain, but, of course, that term is relative. In terms of historical accuracy, construction, material & design compromises, etc., it's about what I'd expect from MRL for around $150. I'd be surprised if A&A couldn't supply something dramatically better on a custom basis for $200-250 for the complete weapon. That's judging only from the prices of their stock spears, which seem to be in the $150 range. Maybe they could supply head-only for around $100-150.

By the way, the cross section of the medial ridge of my spear is a fat lozenge shape. In the photos it almost looks square, but that's an optical illusion. Otherwise, the blade is flat.

-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: Mon 08 Aug, 2005 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another inspiring image for this project, this time from Albrecht Dürer's famous drawing of Irish warriors ca. 1521. The figure at far left carries a boar spear (pointing backwards at throat level, I might add. Keeps those Kern alert on the march, no doubt).


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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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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 31 Oct, 2005 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A new image:


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leger2bt.jpg


-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: Tue 01 Nov, 2005 5:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Sean,

Some interesting partizans and roncone in the background as well.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 01 Nov, 2005 6:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

See many more photos of those arms and others here:

http://www.truefork.org/Photography/Burgundia...eapons.php

He has great armour shots as well.

-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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