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Juan Cocinas




Location: SF Bay
Joined: 22 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 4:35 pm    Post subject: Poleaxe question         Reply with quote

Hello All! Just wondering about typical poleaxe construction. Haven't been able to find pics ove one disassembled. Were they a)Two-piece: percussive/axe head mounted to shaft w/ spearhead/langets fitted over or b)Three piece: tanged spearhead inserted into shaft/striking head mounted to shaft/ langets folded over. Sorry if that's confusing. Basically, was the spearhead of one piece with the langets, or was it a separate tanged piece mounted withe languets riveted over it to secure it to the weapon. Tanged seems as though it would be stronger, yes?
"Resist your time- take a foothold outside it." Lord Acton
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 4:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Poleaxe question         Reply with quote

Juan Cocinas wrote:
Hello All! Just wondering about typical poleaxe construction. Haven't been able to find pics ove one disassembled. Were they a)Two-piece: percussive/axe head mounted to shaft w/ spearhead/langets fitted over or b)Three piece: tanged spearhead inserted into shaft/striking head mounted to shaft/ langets folded over. Sorry if that's confusing. Basically, was the spearhead of one piece with the langets, or was it a separate tanged piece mounted withe languets riveted over it to secure it to the weapon. Tanged seems as though it would be stronger, yes?


They varied, however the most common version I have seen has the cross piece (the part with the hammer and spike or the hammer and blade) being one piece, the top spike being another piece that sits atop of that and has tabs that overlap it. A large bolt, sometimes with a pyramidal shaped head went through the two pieces to secure them to the top of the shaft. The languets were usually separate pieces that went under the tabs from the top spike.

I am attaching a picture from Talhoffer's 1459 Fechtbuch which, while fanciful and not matching any specific extant piece, gives you an idea of the construction.



 Attachment: 48.74 KB
kamp0230.jpg


Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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Juan Cocinas




Location: SF Bay
Joined: 22 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 4:53 pm    Post subject: wow         Reply with quote

Those drawings are beautiful, thanx. However, I am befuddled still as the top center spearhead in the page seems to have a threaded tang and the langets on the left hand haft are attached only to the wood, not folded over the top of the striking head. Perhaps poleaxes were constructed both ways?
"Resist your time- take a foothold outside it." Lord Acton
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Hugh Knight




Location: San Bernardino, CA
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Reading list: 34 books

Posts: 739

PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: wow         Reply with quote

Juan Cocinas wrote:
Those drawings are beautiful, thanx. However, I am befuddled still as the top center spearhead in the page seems to have a threaded tang and the langets on the left hand haft are attached only to the wood, not folded over the top of the striking head. Perhaps poleaxes were constructed both ways?


There's no evidence the languets ever folded over the top that I have seen. And the piece with the screw is the bottom spike (the "queue"), not a top spike (the "dague"). By the way, I have seen no evidence for the screw-in queue shown in the plate, so I would ignore those.

Regards,
Hugh
www.schlachtschule.org
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James Head





Joined: 09 Mar 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I love all of the weapon schematics from Talhoffer's Thott manuscript. Just the other day I was looking at all of the various duelling shield examples. Anyhow, I just wanted to mention that the pollaxe shown above is most likely a modular design specific to judicial duels. This would explain the threaded pins and what not. A pollaxe manufactured for use on a battlefield would probably have a more permanant construction.
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Juan Cocinas




Location: SF Bay
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 7:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Has anyone built or commissioned a reproduction poleaxe? If so, could you post images to help shed light on this topic? Thanx
"Resist your time- take a foothold outside it." Lord Acton
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Daniel Sullivan




Location: California
Joined: 02 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 8:45 pm    Post subject: Poleaxe question         Reply with quote

Juan

Try the Arms and Armor site. Believe they have a couple of items listed, one of which is inspired by a poleaxe in the Wallace Collection.

Have a couple of their nifty products and I am seriously considering a purchase of this particular piece.

Cheers,
Dan
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Juan Cocinas




Location: SF Bay
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PostPosted: Mon 15 Mar, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: doh!         Reply with quote

Wow, sorry everyone. Just read the poleaxe essay under features here and found the answers... Check it out


Three parallel methods for assembly of the poleaxe were utilized. In the first method, used for heads with or without an axe implement, the head and back spike were made of one piece and sat directly over the haft. The head had a slot to accept a "U" shaped iron piece which fit over the head and formed the langets which fastened the head to the haft. This piece also often included the top spike. In some cases the "U" shaped piece was made separate from the langets and was then attached to them. An example of this type of attachment can be seen in A926 and A925 from The Wallace Collection in London. In addition to the side (integral) langets, many poleaxes also had a pair of langets on the front and back side of the haft. These langets were bent on the inside of the hammer/axe head so that they hooked the head and prevented it from moving up or down.

An alternative method of assembly, commonly used on poleaxes from Switzerland such as the Lucerne hammer, utilized the attachment of the hammer head directly to the top spike. In this case the hammer head was slid over the top spike and was attached to it by a pair of side lugs screwed one on another. This method of assembly is best exemplified by the Lucerne type of poleaxes. A later modification of this assembly method involved shaping the top spike like a wedge and sliding the hammer head, not from the top but from the bottom, over the langets and wedging the head over the top spike. Once the haft was inserted between the langets, which had spread, the head was caught in place and could not slide up or down. The head was still firmly secured by a pair of lugs but the overall assembly was more secure than the earlier version in which the head was wedged on only one side.

The third method of assembly was very similar to that of the halberd: The axe, the top and back spikes and the langets were all forged into a single piece with a socket for the haft. The langets offered extra stability. This method may have developed in the 16th century but was used in parallel with the other two methods.

Looks like we're all right! Big Grin

"Resist your time- take a foothold outside it." Lord Acton
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Dustin Faulkner




Location: BOERNE, TX
Joined: 20 Jul 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 1:07 pm    Post subject: Pollaxe construction         Reply with quote

Hello:

I commisioned Darren Austin to make a replica of a Lucerne Hammer at the Higgins Museum. Basically, the head is placed on the tip of the haft. It is socketed to accept the haft. Then, the top spike (with langets) is placed over it. Then, a threaded spike on either side holds everything together. One has male threads, the other has female threads to accept the male threads.

By the way, Darren did a nice job using pictures the Higgins provided for me.

DUSTIN FAULKNER
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