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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Are there any books about polearms manufacturing? Reply to topic
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Dustin Faulkner




Location: BOERNE, TX
Joined: 20 Jul 2008

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PostPosted: Thu 27 Nov, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: Are there any books about polearms manufacturing?         Reply with quote

Hello:

I was wondering if there is a book which discusses the basics of how polearms were (or are) made. I am intrigued by medieval polearms, and I am curious about how certain components were made - like the prongs found on Lucerne hammers. How were spike/langets made?

I admire the craftmanship and accuracy with which these weapons were built. For example: how were the components of an Ahlspiess made straight and then assembled straight. It just seems like polearms took a lot of skill to make.

If any of you know about such things, feel free to let me know. I am simply curious for intellectual reasons. It would be nice to go to a museum and not only identify a polearm, but also know how it was made ... maybe how it was used too. Thank you.

DUSTIN FAULKNER
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D. Austin
Industry Professional



Location: Melbourne, Australia
Joined: 20 Sep 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Thu 27 Nov, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Dustin,

You appear to be a man after my own heart. Unfortunately I don't know of such a book but perhaps some day I'll write it (if I figure it all out). I'll be sure to let you know. Living in Australia, I don't have a lot of opportunity to study antiques but I am certainly planning a mission to Europe to do so. I've made a few polearms (see attached picture) and formulated my own opinions as to how it could be done, but other than axes, have no real insight into how they were made.

From my blacksmithing experience and from experimentation, I can only assume that there was a fair bit of forge welding involved in producing polearms. I don't want to go too far into my own theories as at this stage, as they are only educated assumptions, but would love to hear from more studious individuals. I am also quite interested in lucerne hammers and similar war hammers and pollaxes. It appears to me, from perusing pictures of originals with rather rectangular sockets, that the heads may not have been drifted, but that they may possibly have been forge welded with a 'bit', 'poll', and "cheeks" (not sure if this is the technical term). I guess that it would probably turn out that both methods have been used by period smiths.

Note: I didn't make the spear head in the picture below.

I'm looking forward to reading other people's responses to this question.

Darren.



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polearms.jpg

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Jeff Kaisla




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

Posts: 106

PostPosted: Thu 27 Nov, 2008 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a copy of "The Art of Blacksmithing" by Alex W Bealer...it has a little on everything from making tools to horseshoes, hinges, candlesticks....and has a good section on arms and armor. Bills, spears and halberds are included. It doesnt go into great detail on many different patterns but rather gives you a few examples and the basic "how to" approach to forge it into shape, form the sockets etc...for the price its not a bad place to start.
http://www.myArmoury.com/books/item.php?ASIN=0785803955
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Alex Spreier




Location: Central Oregon
Joined: 21 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Thu 27 Nov, 2008 10:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am also a HUGE fan of polearms (pollaxes especially). I would also be really interested in books, etc. discussing methods for making them. BTW, those are some gorgeous polearms.
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C. Gadda





Joined: 20 Aug 2007

Posts: 135

PostPosted: Fri 28 Nov, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject: Re: Are there any books about polearms manufacturing?         Reply with quote

Dustin Faulkner wrote:
Hello:

I was wondering if there is a book which discusses the basics of how polearms were (or are) made. I am intrigued by medieval polearms, and I am curious about how certain components were made - like the prongs found on Lucerne hammers. How were spike/langets made?

I admire the craftmanship and accuracy with which these weapons were built. For example: how were the components of an Ahlspiess made straight and then assembled straight. It just seems like polearms took a lot of skill to make.

If any of you know about such things, feel free to let me know. I am simply curious for intellectual reasons. It would be nice to go to a museum and not only identify a polearm, but also know how it was made ... maybe how it was used too. Thank you.


John Waldman's "Hafted Weapons in Medieval and Renaissance Europe" is what you want. I believe it is still in print, but the price is steep - north of $100 if I recall. Well worth it, though, since it covers at least in outline much of what you are looking for. You'll learn alot from that book. Pretty sure you can order through Amazon, though I've not looked lately (after all, I've already got one...)
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Joined: 21 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Fri 28 Nov, 2008 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep, Waldman is what you want. He does a good job of explaining/showing exactly how different types were made.
-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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