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Anton de Vries





Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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Posts: 265

PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug, 2009 4:06 pm    Post subject: 2 minor projects         Reply with quote

Recently I obtained a lovely Hanwei skeggox which I've actually been drooling over for years.



I really like the look of those, and very much prefer them to the Danish-style axes.
As I wanted to use it with a shield I decided to turn it into a one-handed version.

Recent unfortunate circumstances cost me 80% of my physical strength and the unmodified axehead was simply unmanageable.
Mr. Thibodeau probably wouldn't have a problem ;-) but a weakling like me, well...
So I had to remove a bit of material. Or a lot. Really.
I've always considered Hanwei products less than great, to say the least.
Much to my surprise the heat treatment on this product is very impressive, and grinding it into the shape I wanted well...I was more or less grinding the grinder, I'm not kidding.
Removing the necessary amount of material took just about forever.
Afterwards I attempted to harden the fresh edge but have no way to verify if this was succesful. (produced spectacular sounds though...)
I also wrapped the handle with thick leather cord.

I can sort of manage the weight and balance of the result and I'm happy with the looks too.
This object will make short work of anything and anyone, and easily destroy the armor they wear in the process too.



Last edited by Anton de Vries on Mon 24 Aug, 2009 5:54 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Scott Kowalski




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

Posts: 755

PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug, 2009 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really like what you did to the axe Anton. I congratulate you on having the nerve to try it, no matter the cost of the item. I have not been able to bring myself to try a project such as this myself. As of yet at least.

Scott

Chris Landwehr 10/10/49-1/1/09 My Mom
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Anton de Vries





Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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Posts: 265

PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug, 2009 4:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Recently I watched Warriors- Zulu Siege.
In spite of the obvious shortcomings I liked and enjoyed the series.
I really liked the Zulu spear or iklwa and decided to make something similar (the real thing greatly exceeded my meager budget....)



It was pretty obvious that the Zulu's in the documentary used Indian-made spearheads.
I decided to walk (or stumble...) the same path.

Prototype:



I do not want to go into the historical facts here, those interested can access Wikipedia or Google "Shaka Zulu" or whatever.

I figured the blade looked too european so I grinded the "shoulders" off and etched the blade with vinegar & salt.
This is usually a hit & miss affair and much to my surprise the result was a beautiful "craquelé"-like structure.



Iklwa shafts usually flare outward for balance and as extra grip in case the weapon gets slippery and/or stuck in the ribcage.
In this case I decided to go with a metal "butt" to offset the extra-large spearhead.
Etching didn't work as it's apparently a layer of nickel or aluminum, so instead of weathering the metal I polished it extensively.
*Bling* ;D



Tiny spear with huge head next to a normal-sized weapon:



As I'm pretty much a sword-nut I wanted this thing to be functional, and will probably use it for tameshi-giri and soda bottles and such.
Therefore it's got a modern-ish construction with perfectly shaped shaft glued to the head, and additional screws.
The butt got a similar treatment.
The (gilt brass) wire and leather on the grip and butt are just for looks and serve no real purpose.
For the same reason embellishments were kept to a minimum as I don't want exploding parts when I cut with it.

The antique iklwa I've seen pix of look a bit more utilitarian, and I guess mine is more of a fancy-pants iklwa.
Well so be it. I like the looks. A lot.



And a final pic of the whole thing:



This was a fun project. Easy to do, very cheap @ about 50 euros, and it greatly greatly greatly exceeded my expectations.

Much to my surprise this is a really, and I mean really, fearsome weapon. It's technically a spear but actually handles like a sword.
Very fast and nimble too, at 116cm and 920grams, with a balance point that's located somewhere near the index finger.

This thing will probably not decapitate due to the low weight and close POB, but it will definitely remove an arm without problems, and probably do a leg too. Without too much resistance.
Ouch.
Wielding this, would I want to face an opponent with a 1.5 hander? No I definitely would NOT! I don't have a crossguard and would probably die without realizing wtf is really going on.
Okay what about an opponent with shield & spear/assegai?
Ya gotta be kidding me the poor guy would be just about defenseless. I'll disembowel him in de first second.



[edit] Lots of st00pid problems with the pictures. Solved.[/edit] Big Grin


Last edited by Anton de Vries on Mon 24 Aug, 2009 5:45 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Anton de Vries





Joined: 19 Nov 2004
Likes: 3 pages

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug, 2009 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Kowalski wrote:
I really like what you did to the axe Anton. I congratulate you on having the nerve to try it, no matter the cost of the item. I have not been able to bring myself to try a project such as this myself. As of yet at least.

Scott

Gotta say that the cheapo belt grinder made a huge difference in the decision-making process.
It makes many difficult projects *very* easy. At about 45 euro's this is about the best purchase I've made in a very long time.
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Anton de Vries





Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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Posts: 265

PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My neighbour commented that I should quit my job (I'm actually on sick leave so that's really a non-issue) and make a living selling projects like these.
I'm so immensely flattered I'll probably be blushing for days to come. Blush
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug, 2009 11:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anton de Vries wrote:
My neighbour commented that I should quit my job (I'm actually on sick leave so that's really a non-issue) and make a living selling projects like these.
I'm so immensely flattered I'll probably be blushing for days to come. Blush


Well the work on the spear is very attractive and it looks very functional. ( Nice finish on the blade of the spear ).

With the axe as long as you didn't overheat the edge by getting it too hot you should still have it as hard as when you got it, whatever that is/was. Wink Big Grin

if you use a diamond hone and the steel feels sort of glassy when you try to sharpen it, it should be hard enough or more to keep a sharp edge. ( One might even have to worry about it being too hard and possibly brittle ? ).

Good size for a one handed throwing axe and also nice work. Big Grin Cool

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





Joined: 19 Nov 2004
Likes: 3 pages

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Sun 30 Aug, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Well the work on the spear is very attractive and it looks very functional. ( Nice finish on the blade of the spear ).

I did some light-ish cutting with it and it worked much better than I expected.
Of course the head is supposed to be able to cut as it's a modified Windlass "Long Bladed Hewing Spear Head".
I expected it to feel like a sword, which it doesn't. The shaft with metal pommel that extends quite a bit beyond the grip makes it feel like there's an invisible second hand on the grip, adding quite a bit of leverage.
Very strange sensation for someone who's used to swords.
I figured a single hand cut wouldn't be able to decapitate, but I'm not so sure now.

The finish, well...I know that you know that I simply got lucky. Happy

All in all I'm very happy with this object, not just as a succesful project but also as a very special and effective type of weapon.
Quote:
With the axe as long as you didn't overheat the edge by getting it too hot you should still have it as hard as when you got it, whatever that is/was. Wink Big Grin

if you use a diamond hone and the steel feels sort of glassy when you try to sharpen it, it should be hard enough or more to keep a sharp edge. ( One might even have to worry about it being too hard and possibly brittle ? ).

I think it was quite brittle to begin with.
Only the top of the edge is still glassy, the rest is softer. Still took a good edge though.
I'll see how it holds up if I ever use it for cutting or throwing. it's quite thick so I expect it to hold up quite well unless I hit a rock or metal.
Quote:
Good size for a one handed throwing axe and also nice work. Big Grin Cool

Blush I really appreciate the compliments.
What I really wanted was to show that persons with disabilities, which is effectively what I am right now (I do however expect to recover) can execute quite nice projects with a bit of planning.
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Stuart Thompson




Location: Walton-on-the-Naze
Joined: 15 Feb 2010

Posts: 118

PostPosted: Sun 27 Mar, 2011 6:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been thinking of trying my hand at that or the Iwisa (?) Happy Is the 'cub' a solid piece of wood? Unlike the Native American clubs that were stone bound to wood. or around etc.
sverđ er manni vargr, af bardaga er dýrđ, í dauđa er dýrđ.
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