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Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 11:56 am    Post subject: Windlass English War Hammer, good or not?         Reply with quote

Hey, all!

I recently got interested in acquiring a decent warhammer for the purposes of awesomness (okay, bashing things to pulp, partially, but also training and display usage), and found one that seems to be both within my budget AND of a type that I prefer.

Presenting, the illustrious Windlass Steelcrafts' English Warhammer!

http://www.medievalware.com/English-War-Hammer-p/600054rm.htm


Do any of you fine gentlemen (or women) have any experinece with this paricular piece? What are your thoughts on it? For $68, it seems pretty decent to my untrained eye, but I thought it wise to ask those with more experience in this sort of item... I can spot a cheap sword at 100 yards by now, but I'm woefully inept with the more abstract medieval weaponry, such as these percussive beauties.


Thanks so much for your advice and assistance!

Sincerely,
Brogdon Combs



 Attachment: 11.08 KB
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The Windlass English War Hammer

"Here's to you, mister pirate-ship-captain! With your endless booty calls and a violent streak that makes Grand Theft Auto look like Super Mario Kart, only you could bring the wooden leg back into fashion, and only you could fight three men at a time with a patch over one eye and a hook for a hand."
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's a very good deal for that price. Like a lot of Windlass pieces, it would create a fantastic item with some work put into it.

First, the hardwood isn't great. Replace it. That would be ideal.

Second, remove the screws. Use rivets instead. In the past, I've just cut off the ends on real heavy nails, put them through the drilled holes, and mushroomed out the new ends.

The leather lacing on the haft is only glued. Since you're ideally replacing the haft, you won't be reusing these things.

The metal bits are great.

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Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

^PERFECT, thanks, Nathan! That's exactly the best case scenario I could have hoped for, as I could tell that the wood is junk and the grip is ugly... I can re-haft (correct terminology?) it easily, so since the metal is good, I'll surely be picking one of these up soon. I'll update this thread when it's all fixed up, of course. ;-)

Thanks again; it always amazes me how you manage to run myArmoury and still manage to pay such individual attention to minor queries like mine. I feel special. ;D lol...

Long live myArmoury! Not to mention my armoury, but that's a whole 'nother thread.

-Brogdon

"Here's to you, mister pirate-ship-captain! With your endless booty calls and a violent streak that makes Grand Theft Auto look like Super Mario Kart, only you could bring the wooden leg back into fashion, and only you could fight three men at a time with a patch over one eye and a hook for a hand."
-Strongblade.com


Last edited by Brogdon Combs on Sun 11 Jul, 2010 5:33 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Joel Chesser




Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 23 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey, I have this Hammer and like it very much. The head on mine arrived to me a little loose, but id be surprised if that wasn't just a fluke. The handle is very square and the grip not all that great. If you're handy at all it would make a great little project piece. It's one that i have in mind at some point. All in all I really like and have not regretted the purchase. Even if you're just swing it around it's fun. I've hit some light things with it (pumpkins, plastic, cardboard) and it was great fun with no problems to he hammer. I've been very happy with it.
..." The person who dosen't have a sword should sell his coat and buy one."

- Luke 22:36
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The wood is definately poor...but the main issue with windlass hammers is that the steel is pretty soft. I damaged mine on some soft iron. But it handled breaking up large chunks of charcoal just fine. So if your not planning on banging it against metal, your fine. They pass the 10 foot rule with ease so if it's mostly for looks, you'll be fine until they pick up the hammer. For the money, they re nice. If your gonna replace the halft anyways, might wanna harden the head a bit while your at it. That's the plan with my hammer when I get around to replacing the haft.
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I started a thread called MRL English Warhammer. I bought it as the deal of the day at MRL with intentions of scrapping everything but the head. I will say that the head and spike are not intended for heavy use. They are not hardened very well, if at all. I took my ball peen and struck the faces together lightly, and the "warhammer" was marked. I have a very dense hickory handle, two heavy duty mild steel langets fashioned, a bracket to go over the top, and I was considering not even using the head at this point. I might wait and have a simple one made, or try making one myself in the future.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Many, if not a majority of, polearms have unhardened parts.
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Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 5:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the input, guys! I think that this will be fine for my purposes, so I'm going to risk the softness. If nothing else, it'll be a nice light weapon for display and swinging around. I also plan to get the Cold Steel version as a backup, since it's only $35. I *KNOW* that it will be tough, so at least I'll have one hammer that I won't worry about hurting, lol.


That being said... I've never heard of the site that I found the English hammer on, MedievalWare.com, before. Have any of you guys done buiness with them, or heard things, good or bad?

Better yet, do you know of an undisputably reputable dealer who stocks these? They aren't on KultofAthena or MueseumReplicas.

Thanks again,
-Brogdon

"Here's to you, mister pirate-ship-captain! With your endless booty calls and a violent streak that makes Grand Theft Auto look like Super Mario Kart, only you could bring the wooden leg back into fashion, and only you could fight three men at a time with a patch over one eye and a hook for a hand."
-Strongblade.com
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Luke Zechman




Location: Lock Haven Pennsylvania
Joined: 18 Jan 2009

Posts: 278

PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 9:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan,
Thank you for that information, I obviously was not aware of that. Well that makes the project a lot easier then. All I have to do now is drill holes and rivet everything together. Just curious... why are polearm implements not hardened?
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 9:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brogdon I'm assuming that you are already aware of A & A and they make a nice warhammer and other quality polearms and you can find some of them on the Kult of Athena site for immediate shipping. ( The info below is also for others who might be new to the site or collecting period reproductions ).

A & A also has a web page with in stock ready to ship stock.

Just in case: http://www.kultofathena.com/armsarmor.asp

As I've said numerous times in other Topics the customer service and reliability of KoA is AAAA+ and I like giving plugs to companies that have given me good buying experiences.

A & A : http://www.arms-n-armor.com/news.html
http://www.arms-n-armor.com/pole005.html

Oh, even the high quality A & A pole arms are usually not heat treated or very hard although some edges can be differentially hardened on request for a small extra charge. ( Best to as Craig at A & A what is possible and doable here and at what price ).

Why not hardened historically ? Probably because they could do the job anyway and most would include the common bill man/soldier and improvised peasant weapons. High end personal weapons of a noble might be of finer quality ?

The Windlass can be made to look very good if you re-do the haft and maybe blue the head and sand it down to a light blue patina.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 9:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luke Zechman wrote:
Nathan,
Thank you for that information, I obviously was not aware of that. Well that makes the project a lot easier then. All I have to do now is drill holes and rivet everything together. Just curious... why are polearm implements not hardened?


There are many conversations of such a thing on this very forum. One of them is here.

The bottom line as to why aren't polearms often hardened? Because they don't need to be.

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P. Cha




PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 10:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Many, if not a majority of, polearms have unhardened parts.


Well unhardened steel is one thing if the steel is decent...but softer then old rusted wrought iron wagon wheels is quite another. I'm not talking about steel one steel, but steel on iron. The steel should win. Which is why I mentioned hardening it up a bit with a nice oil quench HT. I was quite surprised at the damage the iron did to the hammer.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Jul, 2010 10:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

P. Cha wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
Many, if not a majority of, polearms have unhardened parts.


Well unhardened steel is one thing if the steel is decent...but softer then old rusted wrought iron wagon wheels is quite another. I'm not talking about steel one steel, but steel on iron. The steel should win. Which is why I mentioned hardening it up a bit with a nice oil quench HT. I was quite surprised at the damage the iron did to the hammer.


Many, many antique polearms (and sword parts, for that matter) are made of iron.

Modern consumers are convinced that hardening is a crucial element to these things. Perhaps one reason is that they expect to be able to repeatedly bash on one thing or another in their backyards whereas an antique weapon was required to simply do its job: cause harm, perform in battle, and keep the person holding it alive.

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Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jul, 2010 2:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
P. Cha wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
Many, if not a majority of, polearms have unhardened parts.


Well unhardened steel is one thing if the steel is decent...but softer then old rusted wrought iron wagon wheels is quite another. I'm not talking about steel one steel, but steel on iron. The steel should win. Which is why I mentioned hardening it up a bit with a nice oil quench HT. I was quite surprised at the damage the iron did to the hammer.


Many, many antique polearms (and sword parts, for that matter) are made of iron.

Modern consumers are convinced that hardening is a crucial element to these things. Perhaps one reason is that they expect to be able to repeatedly bash on one thing or another in their backyards whereas an antique weapon was required to simply do its job: cause harm, perform in battle, and keep the person holding it alive.



Nathan- while I completely agree with your stance on the subject, do you think that doing a bit of hardeneing on this piece would actually be bad, or would you agree that it's not crucial, but might strengthen the steel a bit? I've never HTed anything before, but it sounds simple enough for something like this, so if you think it could help the over all pice, I'm all for it.

Otherwise, though, I'll stick with the stock version. Wink At least as far as the head goes, I mean!


Thanks,
Brogdon (who's realizing what he's been missing by visiting myArmoury only one every few motnhs; this place is great. 8-) )

"Here's to you, mister pirate-ship-captain! With your endless booty calls and a violent streak that makes Grand Theft Auto look like Super Mario Kart, only you could bring the wooden leg back into fashion, and only you could fight three men at a time with a patch over one eye and a hook for a hand."
-Strongblade.com
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Jul, 2010 8:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Funny...when I read this last night I thought, "I wish MRL would put its "New War Hammer" in the Deal of the Day bin. This morning I checked the DOD and found...the New War Hammer, for $62! So, I'm going to have a hammer project as well!
I've wanted to do this for years and I finally got a good deal on it. I'll be mounting mine as either a poleaxe or waist-height streithammer, which is often seen in Austrian artwork of the late 16th c., especially in the hands of militia.

-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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Brogdon Combs




Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2009

Posts: 52

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jul, 2010 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
Funny...when I read this last night I thought, "I wish MRL would put its "New War Hammer" in the Deal of the Day bin. This morning I checked the DOD and found...the New War Hammer, for $62! So, I'm going to have a hammer project as well!
I've wanted to do this for years and I finally got a good deal on it. I'll be mounting mine as either a poleaxe or waist-height streithammer, which is often seen in Austrian artwork of the late 16th c., especially in the hands of militia.


You just have to love cool coincidences, don't you? Wink I'll look forward to seeing how yours turns out! I wish I had some extra $ to get that one as well.. it looks cool. 8-)

Best of luck with your soon-to-be new project!

-Brogdon

"Here's to you, mister pirate-ship-captain! With your endless booty calls and a violent streak that makes Grand Theft Auto look like Super Mario Kart, only you could bring the wooden leg back into fashion, and only you could fight three men at a time with a patch over one eye and a hook for a hand."
-Strongblade.com
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Jerzy Miklaszewski




Location: The Castle of Krak
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PostPosted: Mon 12 Jul, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Episode 12B
how to recognise different types of trees from quite a long way away.

The conifer tree

That is what comes to my mind first - it has the conifer wood, which is very unpleasant for battle purposes - and if you are capable, that would be the first thing to change.

nevertheless, with some light tools for metal managment, you could make it a fully historical hammer. I attach a screen from the beresteczko excavations. Those warhammers are quite typical ones for the europe.

Whatsoever - It is cheap, but for the western countries level of prices - In my country those are made for not so much, a fully historical axe would cost around this price Happy The problem is that makers from my country are quite shrewd, and they take twice their normal price from foreigners.



 Attachment: 142.75 KB
berest104ij.jpg


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P. Cha




PostPosted: Tue 13 Jul, 2010 1:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
P. Cha wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
Many, if not a majority of, polearms have unhardened parts.


Well unhardened steel is one thing if the steel is decent...but softer then old rusted wrought iron wagon wheels is quite another. I'm not talking about steel one steel, but steel on iron. The steel should win. Which is why I mentioned hardening it up a bit with a nice oil quench HT. I was quite surprised at the damage the iron did to the hammer.


Many, many antique polearms (and sword parts, for that matter) are made of iron.

Modern consumers are convinced that hardening is a crucial element to these things. Perhaps one reason is that they expect to be able to repeatedly bash on one thing or another in their backyards whereas an antique weapon was required to simply do its job: cause harm, perform in battle, and keep the person holding it alive.


Yes but if the head deforms rather drastically, it's not gonna continue to cause harm. And since warhammers are umm weapons of war, I expect that the head should be strong enough not to take serious deformities in a few wacks against iron. I'm not talking about small stuff here, the damage was significant...course it was equally easy to file things down a bit to fix it. Iron, steel, hardened or not, it's just too dang soft for a weapon that is suppose to be whacked against armor all day long.

Course since I have no idea what kind of steel it is, hardening it may just cause more issues :P .
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Hal Siegel
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Location: Austin, Texas
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jul, 2010 7:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just a head's up - Windlass discontinued production on the English war hammer last year, so if you find a dealer that has them in stock, it's last call time.

(this is a Public Service Announcement, not an advertisement - I don't have any of them left)

Hal Siegel - TherionArms
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Carl Massaro




Location: NY
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Posts: 87

PostPosted: Wed 14 Jul, 2010 9:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I must have an older version of this warhammer. I bought it from MRL in the 1990's. Mine has an ash handle that seems pretty tough, but it has rivets in the langets instead of screws, a different but cap and no cord on the handle. I like the piece.
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