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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Jun, 2008 5:58 pm    Post subject: Securing spear head to shaft?         Reply with quote

Helo all. I have an A&A 12th century spear like this:


The spear head seems to be press fit for lack of more knowledge to the shaft. My problem is that when it is dry in my house the head becomes so loose on the shaft that it falls off if the spear is tilted down. What would be period correct ways of better securing the two together? I would prefer not to drill holes if possible. Would it be period correct to wrap leather cord around the two securing them together? Should I have any concerns about using leather in regards to damaging either the spear head or shaft? I know that in modern drawings they show this method of securing them.

Any help would be appreciated.
Scott
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Acton Vale (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Jun, 2008 6:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

maybe just glue it with epoxy would work if you don't want to drill holes.
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Jun, 2008 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A rivet is very easily installed with basic tools; a peening hammer, dikes and a drill is really all you need. Just drill a hole through the socket and haft, being careful to ine the hole up perpendicular to the haft, not the outer wall of the socket. Then push a nail through the hole, clip it to fit and peen it over. It should take less than five minutes.

The nail can be pretty small and still do the job; even a finishing nail will keep the head from coming off unless you're sticking the spear into wood or some similar abuse.

As an aside I'm very suprised that A&A didn't secure this better.
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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 736

PostPosted: Thu 26 Jun, 2008 7:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Etienne,
That was my next thought after using leather cord. That way it would be secured and unseen. Though if I was going for just practical I would use 550 cord and not worry about looks.


Gavin,
As I said I would prefer not to use a drill and risk damaging the spear head. That and this is what happened the last time I used a drill.


Which lead to this:


Which will not be fully healed until September at the earliest. WTF?!
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 4:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

never heard of anything like a rope or cord holding a spear head on. i've seen people sand down the shafts and then beat them into place. also heard of someone heating up the metal shaft and then beating the wood into it. when it cooled it wouldn't come off.
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Chris Artman




Location: USA
Joined: 12 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 6:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That fracture is not a normal fracture... you actually fractured thru an existing lesion... there was a pre-existing lesion in that finger before the fracture... looks like you had an enchondroma (benign lesion) in the proximal 4th digit.... Look at the fracture line: that fracture is thru an expansile lucent lesion, and the cortex around that lesion is thinned. Did they mention that to you? That is typical of a pathologic fracture through an enchondroma. That is why your finger fractured fairly easily in that location... If there wasn't an enchondroma there, it would have almost assuredly not broken.

You needed some langets on that finger :-)

As for mounting a spearhead to a shaft, I just sent my spearhead and buttcap to Ollin...


Last edited by Chris Artman on Fri 27 Jun, 2008 6:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 6:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The historical way to attach the spear point is by rivet. "A single rivet passing all the way through, or two rivets passing at least half way through" to quote the norwegian Leidang requirements.

We use glue, rivets, or both for our spearheads. A spearhead secured purely by rivets will start to wrigle after a while, but this really doesn't matter as long as the rivets don't fall out.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd say rivet it because it's easy, historical and reversible. I've tried to get epoxied hafts out of sockets and I don't care to do it again. See the description above for materials. If you have a workbench, add a very inexpensive bench vise (the kind with a tiny anvil on one side). I don't know what I did before I got mine (bled some, actually). You can't drill through your hand if the piece is held by a vise, and the anvil part will be handy for setting rivets (make a small divot in the surface with a large drill bit).

Be sure to seat the head well before you do anything else. Thrust it into a stump or 4x4 or something similar. If you don't do this and the wobble is at the top of the socket, the rivet will simply become a pivot point. If you want pants and suspenders, use epoxy and a rivet.

-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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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Securing a spear head can be a daunting task Wink what A&A does is heat the shaft up and then pound it into the spear socket. Getting a shaft out once you have epoxied it is easy just stick it in the fire most epoxy looses its hold, if it doesn't just burn off the shaft. Epoxy works but a better way is to use Ferrel-Tite used for arrowheads. Chucks way works very well. Another way is to use medieval glue made from antler shavings boiled with beeswax you can find instructions to make the glue on the net. My suggestion however would be to contact A&A and explain your problem to them.
Best of luck Happy
Hadrian
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Craig Johnson
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Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 10:28 am    Post subject: Hi Scott         Reply with quote

First off I hope the finger is better that is a nasty break.

Second the way to attach spears has been an ongoing issue for us over the years. I have tried many of the variations mentioned and continue to always have customers who prefer something different. The reason we have been friction fitting them for several years is that when we riveted them they would eventually rattle a bit after the wood has expanded and contracted a few times to create room for its self. (side note this occurs via the compression of the wood not the stretching of the metal.

Thus we went to seating them with aggressive force. This holds very well in the short term 9to the point we sometimes can not get them off with out heat) but they can work loose over time. If you like give me a call and I can send you instructions and a rivet to address the issue.

To all, we are reconsidering bringing back the riveted construction on our spears would this be something you would prefer?

Best
Craig
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Hi Scott         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
First off I hope the finger is better that is a nasty break.

To all, we are reconsidering bringing back the riveted construction on our spears would this be something you would prefer?

Best
Craig


My 12th century spear head came loose also but I used a nail that looked somewhat hand made. I think it was a masonry nail with ridges running it's length.

Used only one nail but it was hammered hard into the other side of the socket ( Undrilled side ).

As to epoxy I put just a bit at the rim of the socket but avoided filling up the socket with epoxy so that the hold of the epoxy is only on the last 1/4" or so of socket. The nail was also covered with epoxy.

Did the same for my Viking spear and added buttcaps to both spears ( Historical accuracy not being a big issue ).

Just glad that I later learned that this was actually " close " to the historical way to secure a spear head.

The 12th century spear head seems " solid " for a long time but just fell off one day I picked up the spear.
( Fixing this wasn't a problem though. Wink Laughing Out Loud ).

The date on the X-ray seems to be 1970 Eek! so I assume that the finger is all right today. Wink Confused
Does this mean that Scott has not used an electric drill since 1970 ? Seems like it made an impression then ?

Chris's comments make me think that Scott may have blamed the drill or his skill with the drill all this time when the problem was pre-existing. ( Hope the finger ended up O.K. though Big Grin ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Chris Artman




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll have to ask Ollin how he is going to mount that spearhead... As far as the finger, yea, you can see the enchondroma the fracture is going thru... it is simply a weak area since it is a bunch of cartilagenous material and not much bone in that region... they might have curretaged out the enchondroma and packed it with bone...
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Hi Scott         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:


To all, we are reconsidering bringing back the riveted construction on our spears would this be something you would prefer?

Best
Craig


If I weren't comfortable drilling the socket myself and making a rivet, I think my preference would be for a pre-drilled socket and rivet shipped with the pressure-fit piece. Then I could drill the haft and rivet after the wood adapts to my environment (hot or cold, wet or dry).

It would be of greater use to me to have head-only purchase as a standard option to save on assembly and shipping costs and give me more hafting options (especially since you introduced that beautiful new poleaxe head Big Grin ). Someday....

-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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Scott Kowalski




Location: Oak Lawn, IL USA
Joined: 24 Nov 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all for the replies. I looks like once the hand is able to use a drill again this will be one of the first projects I undertake.

Craig,
Thank you for the response. I think that this is one of the great things about this site. The actual craftspeople who build what we are all so passionate about take an active part and show us how good of people they are. I will be PMing you later about your offer.

Jean,
You got me. Almost as soon as I popped out of the womb I grabbed a corded drill and did this. It just took 38 years and 23 days to finally hurt! Laughing Out Loud

Chris,
Spot on with his diagnosis as that is exactly what my doctor said and then did. The bone graft came from my right wrist so this whole summer is shot for me to do anything fun. Can anyone guess what my predominant hand is? Eek! So I have plenty of time to try and figure out all of these mysteries of life.

Thank you,
Scott
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 27 Jun, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:

You got me. Almost as soon as I popped out of the womb I grabbed a corded drill and did this. It just took 38 years and 23 days to finally hurt! Laughing Out Loud

Thank you,
Scott


Oh, that is funny: The date I noticed must be your birthday ! I just saw the other date that shows that this is a recent injury.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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