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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Oct, 2007 8:35 am    Post subject: Spear Brainstorm         Reply with quote

I've wanted a good spear of the late 15th c. for awhile, but didn't see anything appropriate among the stuff I can afford, and nothing I can afford among the stuff that looked appropriate. Then lightning struck when I glanced at the Hanwei Viking Throwing Spear. It has the general profile of many late 15th c. Italian spiedi da guerra, including one of my favorite spears (at the Frazier). Can I jump six centuries with some filework and a wicked rivet? We'll see.... Big Grin


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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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Michael Ekelmann




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Oct, 2007 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From just looking at the pictures, I'd say that you could. The hanwei does look quire similar to the period example you have. Really the only thing making it "viking" is the decorative work on the socket.
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Gary A. Chelette




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Oct, 2007 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Ekelmann wrote:
From just looking at the pictures, I'd say that you could. The hanwei does look quire similar to the period example you have. Really the only thing making it "viking" is the decorative work on the socket.


It'll be ashame to sand off all that nice decorative work though. But all n all, I'd say you have a match.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 19 Oct, 2007 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary A. Chelette wrote:


It'll be ashame to sand off all that nice decorative work.


That's the fun part! Laughing Out Loud

-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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PostPosted: Fri 19 Oct, 2007 8:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am eagerly looking forward to seeing what you do for the hook. I love that piece and thing its a great fit for the Hanwei viking spear.
" Hang fires are all fun and games untill someone gets their eye poked out... by charging calvary." - J.Shoemaker

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 19 Oct, 2007 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

GEt over to a hardwarestore adn see what type of coat hooks they have..... you may be able to then get some bar stock, hammer one end squarish then peen it into the bottom of the hook? You'd need an angle grinder to grind the hook down.

RPM
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2007 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm wondering if that huge rivet block is just a nut/peen block. Some of those large sallet rivets are made by passing a thinner shank through the formed block, then peening that small shank. I could make the block out of square stock. I think I could make the hook out of round stock, tapered to a point, then ground halfway through to make the hook and further ground to make the shank that passes through the socket and block. May be more trouble than it's worth!
-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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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
I'm wondering if that huge rivet block is just a nut/peen block. Some of those large sallet rivets are made by passing a thinner shank through the formed block, then peening that small shank. I could make the block out of square stock. I think I could make the hook out of round stock, tapered to a point, then ground halfway through to make the hook and further ground to make the shank that passes through the socket and block. May be more trouble than it's worth!


On the hook:
-Yes that would be the way to do it: shape it from round or square stock, forge or grind down a shank that passes through the socket and rivet against a rivet block shaped like a tapered dice. Pretty straight forward.

The "too much than its worth" apsect in this project would be that a viking trowing spear is about half the size of that 15th C war spear. (please note: I have not seen the production spear featured in this thread and do not know its size)

Those 15th C war spears Ive seen are about 50 cm long from socket to point. They can be bigger or slightly smaller. They do not really compare to viking spears, other than the fact both types have a pronounced midrib. Few viking spears are this big, even though you do find occasional large heads. Those are lances and not throwing spears, of course.
A viking thorwing spear is a thick but narrow and light litte thing. Like a small but stout dagger set on a socket. The socket is dimensioned for a shaft that is slim as well (12-14 mm). Such a shaft would not work well as a two handed staff weapon.
Again, I do not know the dimensions of the Chinese replica, but if it is anywhere close to an original viking throwing spear, it would be diminutive compared to a hefty war spear of the type you want to reproduce.

I think that is where youll run into problems.
Sorry to be a dream crusher, but sometimes size does matter.
Wink
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2007 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Peter!

Size was a concern for me as well, which is why I was surprised to see that the "Viking Throwing Spear" is 40 cm! That might put the repro in acceptable range for a 15th c. spear. For once, a manufacturer's poor research serves my purpose!

The subtleties of section are another matter. The original shown above has a tip of square section, while the repro tapers uniformly to the point. It's hard to tell from photos whether or not the repro will be of convincing thickness for those robust 15th spears. Anyway, I figured it would be worth a try for $30.

I used to have a nice little collection of 15th spear photos, mostly from Czerny's, but can't find them. Sad

-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 22 Oct, 2007 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Found a few in my files. As Peter notes, these things tend to be quite large. The hunting spear is from Hermann Historica. The others are from Czerny's.


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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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David Martin




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2007 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean,

If you were to write a reference book (ideally rich with photos) on how to turn these sow's ear weapons into the silk purses I've seen you create in these forums, I would buy that book in a heartbeat. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with this time.

Best of luck!


David

"When war-gods meet to match their might,
who can tell the bravest born?
Many a hero never made a hole
in another man's breast."

- Sigurd, The Lay of Fafnir
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Nathan Keysor




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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2007 6:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean,

I own a couple of these Hanwei spears. One thing to note which is not visible in the stock photos is that the socket on all of them is split up the backside almost to where the blade starts. Here is a pic of what I'm talking about


Nathan



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David Martin




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Oct, 2007 5:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's quite a seam there. Thanks for posting that photo, Nathan. I was considering a Hanwei spear, but now I think I'll pass.

Sean: Have you considered the MRL Viking Hewing Spear for this project?

"When war-gods meet to match their might,
who can tell the bravest born?
Many a hero never made a hole
in another man's breast."

- Sigurd, The Lay of Fafnir
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Oct, 2007 5:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Keysor wrote:
Sean,

I own a couple of these Hanwei spears. One thing to note which is not visible in the stock photos is that the socket on all of them is split up the backside almost to where the blade starts. Here is a pic of what I'm talking about


Nathan


I've seen historical spears with splits (somtimes large and sometimes crudely done) in their sockets. The concept is certainly historical.

Happy

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Gary A. Chelette




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PostPosted: Tue 23 Oct, 2007 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you really wanted to, a weld job could fix this and make it look better and be stronger. Since you are going to sand away all that nice inlay work, that should be acceptable.
I'd use a MIG welder to do it fast and clean if you have access to one.

Are you scared, Connor?
No, Cousin Dugal. I'm not!
Don't talk nonsense, man. I peed my kilt the first time I went into battle.
Oh, aye. Angus pees his kilt all the time!
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Oct, 2007 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, the seam doesn't bother me too much. I'd rather it be solid but as Chad notes even some late medieval spears (and beyond) had crudely-closed sockets, as did some polearms. The main thing to do with this piece is to keep it rather plain. I wouldn't expect to see an open seam on a finer weapon of this period. It's a "munition"-grade spear as far as I'm concerned, and that may even argue against the elaborate rivet and faceted socket. I'll just have to see what looks appropriate when it arrives. Mine may end up looking like this one:


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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)


Last edited by Sean Flynt on Tue 23 Oct, 2007 7:35 am; edited 2 times in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Oct, 2007 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's all here! You get it for free!

David Martin wrote:
Sean,

If you were to write a reference book (ideally rich with photos) on how to turn these sow's ear weapons into the silk purses I've seen you create in these forums, I would buy that book in a heartbeat. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with this time.

Best of luck!


David

-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: Tue 23 Oct, 2007 7:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A little more candy while we're on the subject....
These are all from the period of my interest--late 15th. I think all of these are Austrian or German. Notice the great variety of spear styles and lengths. I can't find one I'm looking for....shows a large, triangular blade, long socket and rondel, relatively short haft. A rondel could be an interesting addition to a large spear to give it a more German/Austrian flavor ca. 1500.



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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: Thu 25 Oct, 2007 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I now have the spearhead in hand, and I can report that although it's a very attractive piece, it will be a bit too light and narrow to represent the robust infantry spear pictured in my original post. However, it should work perfectly for the last antique spearhead I posted above. That's my new target. Sorry, folks--no funky hook-rivet this time!

FYI: This spearhead is of two-piece cast construction. The socket appears to be plated with a silver-like metal. This is scraped off relatively easily, revealing a layer of copper beneath. This scared me, at first, because I thought the entire socket might be plated copper, but a little more scraping revealed steel beneath the copper. Hmmm...and....yes, I've just stuck the head to the side of my iMac Laughing Out Loud and the internal magnet confirms that both blade and socket are steel.

This is a very nice item, well worth the $30 I paid for a pre-owned one or even the full price of ca. $45. Should be good to represent spears from a variety of periods (just not an a "Viking throwing spear," I guess. Big Grin).

-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: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here are some photos of the finished project in case anybody is interested. I mounted this to roughly 7.5' for practical reasons (don't want holes in the ceiling of my library). So, it's a light infantry spear. I didn't spend much time on the finish--mainly just removed the deepest file marks. A steel wire brush bit took off most of the blackening of the blade. I closed the seam a bit by compressing the socket in a vise and planned to leave it open the rest of the way but the gap was small enough that peening the rivet closed the seam fully. The second photo shows the seam side of the socket. The blade seems to be cast, and is hollow for approximately half its length, making this head relatively light. The steel is soft and the acute tip of the blade is prone to bending. The hollow construction would not be unusual for 15th century heads, but the steel should be harder. If we could combine Windlass steel and construction with Hanwei design, we'd be on to something good. Still, for around $36 I got a faux late 15th c. spear. One could do worse.


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-Sean

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