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Nathan Spence




Location: Virginia
Joined: 11 Mar 2007

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Question about a viking axe         Reply with quote

I was thinking of getting a one handed axe to go with my Viking era kit.

Does anyone have any opinions on the Mammen Axe produced by Paul Chen?

This is a link to a great web store who carries it for sale.

http://www.viking-shield.com/index.html

I am just not sure if it
will be something that can be presented in living history. I am looking for a useable
realistic one handed fighting axe. It may get used to chop some wood as well.

Any guidance is very appreciated.

Spence
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Jonathan Eells





Joined: 09 Dec 2007

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 11:25 am    Post subject: Get a real axe         Reply with quote

I love the look of the Chen Mammen axe, but for a real axe that would do your ancestors proud and that you can use for wood, get a Gransfors axe. Look them up online, there's a few dealers, and Gransfors does a historical line that should get you drooling. No silver inlays, but you can do those yourself!

Jonathan
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 12:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote


Hanwei/CAS Iberia Mammen Axe

A hands-on review by Alexi Goranov

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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only complaint I have about the Mammen axe is that the haft is tiny; it feels like an axe head on a drinking straw. Maybe it just wasn't meant for hard swinging.

Other than that it's got to be the best looking mass produced axe I've ever seen. It's razor sharp too Big Grin

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Chase S-R




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 31 Jan 2008

Posts: 166

PostPosted: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another axe you might consider is the Viking axe by arms&armor I have one and love it,
the Cas iberia axe is one of the best repros of a historical weapon, side by side with the original you can barely tell the difference, the antique just looks older and rustier Wink

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Lin Robinson




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 4:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Question about a viking axe         Reply with quote

Nathan Spence wrote:
I was thinking of getting a one handed axe to go with my Viking era kit.

Does anyone have any opinions on the Mammen Axe produced by Paul Chen?

This is a link to a great web store who carries it for sale.

http://www.viking-shield.com/index.html

I am just not sure if it
will be something that can be presented in living history. I am looking for a useable
realistic one handed fighting axe. It may get used to chop some wood as well.

Any guidance is very appreciated.

Spence


The Mamen Axe is definitely not a fighting axe, at least as it is reproduced. This is a replica of possibly the most ornate axe head ever found in a Norse burial mound, in Denmark. The handle is very small and light and made of the usual Asian hardwood, meaning it will break if actually used as an axe.

There are more useable axes out there. This one is a nice display piece.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

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Posts: 650

PostPosted: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 6:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The handle is very small and light and made of the usual Asian hardwood, meaning it will break if actually used as an axe.


I wouldn't call it a hard use axe, but I think it would work with a better handle. I'm tempted to buy one and just make my own handle on it from some cherry wood that's seasoning in my back yard. It's amazing to me that they can make these for as little as they do; it seems to defy the conventions of mass production and custom work all at once.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Nathan Keysor




Location: WV
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have one of these along with most of the other Paul Chen axes. Yes the handle is dinky. The detailing is OK but the black finish looks a bit modern to me. I'm much more fond of the Paul Chen bearded axe personally.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 29 Sep, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The finish is actually the same finish, or very similar to, what is on my custom danish axe. The maker simply left the head black after tempering and it has the same blue-black sheen to it. I don't think it looks modern at all, but we are used to most weapons having this oxide polished off. Naked steel seems more authentic to the modern eye; in everythng from axes to helms.

Powdercoating or painting are the common modern finishes that are applied to a lot of axes that make them look dreadfully modern IMO.

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Nathan Spence




Location: Virginia
Joined: 11 Mar 2007

Posts: 66

PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2008 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks very much for all who have given some advice.

What about this axe. Its called the Paul Chen Short Viking Axe.
This one is for sale at Viking Shield dot com.



 Attachment: 12.03 KB
Paul Chen Short Viking Axe.jpg

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Tony Peterson




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 25 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2008 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You should think about making one yourself. You can get some fine Axe heads from here:

http://www.walhalla.com.pl/sklep/index.php?cPath=22_48

Ive used this site a few times now and they've never let me down. They are cheap, well made and stand up very very well in combat.

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If we die... it will be for GLORY, not gold.
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Jeff Kaisla




Location: Qualicum Beach, B.C., Canada
Joined: 09 Jan 2008
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Posts: 111

PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2008 7:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan, I just looked at the Mammen tonight. Its not a bad little axe though if you want to chop wood with it you wont be able to cut anything much bigger than kindling...its hatchet sized. It does look very similar to the origional for sure..the decoration isn't all that impressive up close,almost looks like it was done with a center-punch, and the decoration doesnt stand out as well as in the picture I found. I think the silver inlay on the origional would have been very pretty. Also the finish isn't black, its actually brown which looks rather nice. I personally havn't had much success with hanwei's axe hafts, but a trip to your local hardware store to pick up a hickory handle would solve that right quick! Wink

Hope this helps....probably would be worth the money.

Jeff
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Gavin Kisebach




Location: Lacey, Wa US
Joined: 01 Aug 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hanwei got into this business of patina a few years ago - basically offering most of thier viking weapons in a normal finish or a "rustic" finish. Some of thier weapons, like the trowing and lugged spear, are actually difficult to find in the original finish. Their bearded axe has a peened finish with a brown paint of some sort that I think is supposed to make it look ageworn and pitted, but I think it just looks peened and painted. Confused

Jeff, is the axe that you looked at one of the "aged" pieces that I'm describing?

There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them. ~ Emile Chartier
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Jeff Kaisla




Location: Qualicum Beach, B.C., Canada
Joined: 09 Jan 2008
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 111

PostPosted: Tue 30 Sep, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gavin Kisebach wrote:
Hanwei got into this business of patina a few years ago - basically offering most of thier viking weapons in a normal finish or a "rustic" finish. Some of thier weapons, like the trowing and lugged spear, are actually difficult to find in the original finish. Their bearded axe has a peened finish with a brown paint of some sort that I think is supposed to make it look ageworn and pitted, but I think it just looks peened and painted. Confused

Jeff, is the axe that you looked at one of the "aged" pieces that I'm describing?


No, I know what you mean, I own Hanweis hero axe. Wink No this one is polished smooth (except for the decoration which is done in the peened manner), with a browned finish.....almost like if you were to quench it in vegetable oil. Kind of a brown metallic sheen. The edge is polished to a mirror finish like the other axes.
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 575

PostPosted: Fri 03 Oct, 2008 7:34 am    Post subject: Re: Question about a viking axe         Reply with quote

Nathan Spence wrote:
I was thinking of getting a one handed axe to go with my Viking era kit.

Does anyone have any opinions on the Mammen Axe produced by Paul Chen?

This is a link to a great web store who carries it for sale.

http://www.viking-shield.com/index.html

I am just not sure if it
will be something that can be presented in living history. I am looking for a useable
realistic one handed fighting axe. It may get used to chop some wood as well.

Any guidance is very appreciated.

Spence



For the same price you might want to check out the "Nordland" axe by A&A. It was recently reviewed favorably here. It has a painted coat that you should remove before doing living history though. Also, if you are a real purist and don't want to use a cast axe head but rather forged, you might check out:

http://www.paul-binns-swords.co.uk/Axes.htm (well known in reenactment community)

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 798

PostPosted: Fri 03 Oct, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Spence wrote:
Thanks very much for all who have given some advice.

What about this axe. Its called the Paul Chen Short Viking Axe.
This one is for sale at Viking Shield dot com.


I have this axe. It's a nice-feeling axe, at least to me; that is, it feels useable.

Admittedly, I haven't put it to much actual cutting use, so I can't tell you how it holds up under the stress of "real work"..... but it's a nice wallhanger and "air cutter"....

I second the recommendation for A&A's "Nordland" axe. It's a nice little axe.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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Hadrian Coffin
Industry Professional



Location: Oxford, England
Joined: 03 Apr 2008

Posts: 398

PostPosted: Fri 03 Oct, 2008 6:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have the nordland axe
I used it against one log and the head fell off, and then the paint came off which makes it ugly looking because all the casting flaws show up
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Jeff Kaisla




Location: Qualicum Beach, B.C., Canada
Joined: 09 Jan 2008
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Posts: 111

PostPosted: Fri 03 Oct, 2008 9:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How is the head of the Nordland held on? I would think that a good metal wedge pounded into the end of the haft would tighten the head up. Also if the wood dries out, it shrinks. Failing that one could use pins. For my two bit axe I used 2 pins (as well as a wedge). I used 2 large nails, pounded them through, cut to length and peened over. Ive since cut a fair bit of wood with it and the head has not loosened up.
Here are some pics of how I fastned my axe head after I re-hafted it with a hickory sledge hammer handle. This is how it was origionally held on but I had to replace the pins
Here are the pins
http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj118/jak-999/001-2.jpg

Here's the wedge
http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj118/jak-999/002-3.jpg

Overview
http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj118/jak-999/004-2-1.jpg
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