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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 10 Aug, 2010 7:04 pm    Post subject: polearms question         Reply with quote

hi everyone its been a while since i last wrote on this site.

ok i have a question about polearms haft structural integracy. if there is six riveted languets does it affect the structural integracy of the haft in a manner of being too fragile?

i have a design i'm working with a friend and it has six languets and i would like to know if it would be ok to make it that way to have it the most plausible way.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Aug, 2010 7:12 pm    Post subject: Wood structure         Reply with quote

Hi Etienne

I am presuming this is six langets coming down the haft from the head. This could be quite a few holes drilled if one where to put large rivets through the wood. It probably would affect certain aspects of integrity.

The answer maybe to do as it was more often done in period and use tapering nails that curl over when they hit the far side of the langets. This creates a J shaped hook in the wood. This may well be stronger if the nails are thin enough.

Even with a six sided haft I might think about reducing the langets to four or go the other way and create a tubular socket for the haft. This was done in period and makes the haft quit strong.

I have noticed over the years that we tend to make langets and especially rivets to large and heavy today compared to period pieces.

Best
Craig
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Tue 10 Aug, 2010 7:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i'm supposed to make the drawing this weekend if all goes right.

the plan was to make a fantastic halberd made by the elves and the dwarves (not very common but if you knew the story of this weapon you would understand)

each of the languets represent an element the water,fire, earth, wind, light and darkness in the fantastic world i speak about
there is six elements and each of these elements will be disposed in a way that the perpendicular languets ( in a + pattern) will be the contrary of the other so thats why i wanted six languets.

every languets will be with a writing showing elements like ''united by fire, united by water, etc'' well you get the idea but the big ''features'' of these languets will be the language . two language to unite two race clans : elven (tolkien elven language) and dwarven (runes)

oh by the way the haft would be hexagonal to remind the dwarven culture.

edit: i forgot to add that the rivets wouldn't be through the wood it would be 1/4'' into the wood
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Aug, 2010 8:01 pm    Post subject: Cool         Reply with quote

Etienne,

If I might presume to suggest a few options open to you. If you are using tacks it will work better for the attachment. Keep them small in the shaft heads can be any size. One aspect most miss on originals is the head to shaft ratio on rivets and tacks is not the same as today.


As for langet placement. Sounds as if you need six so I would use light straps. They could be as thin as 16 gauge and work quite well.

Another option would be to have four straight up and down the haft and two twisting around in a descending swirl. Just thinking out loud.

Sounds like a fun project.

Best
Craig
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Aug, 2010 8:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing to consider--using rivets the way most of us do when mounting pollaxes, etc. requires removal of wood by drilling, while the thin, tapering nails Craig describes just push wood out of the way. I would guess that the latter method is less likely to compromise the haft. Some late pollhammers have rivets, but it seems to have been more common in earlier periods to use those slender nails with large heads. Good luck finding some, though. The alternative is to use common nails cut short and quickly tapered on a grinder or perhaps by a long slanting chisel chop along the shaft.

Waldman describes a neat trick that involves driving the nail all the way through the haft and out the opposite langet, where it is clinched and concealed under the opposing head of the nail coming the other direction. This wasn't necessarily common, but was one method he has noticed (fascinating haft x-rays in that book, by the way).

I know you have special reasons for the extra langets, but it also seems to have been common to use tacks driven into the bare wood between the langets as a way to defend the haft without the extra weight/construction problems of additional langets.

-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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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
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PostPosted: Tue 10 Aug, 2010 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

the 16 gauge idea is good but would it be enough to have made at an angle like the custom partisan of jean thibodeau?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 12:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't overdo the number of nails/rivets and alternate/stagger their placements so that they don't all end up weakening the same section of the haft.

Pre-drill the holes small enough that the nails will have to still push some of the wood aside and put a bit of 5 minute epoxy on each nail and in the holes before hammering in: I think that should keep the nails from falling out should your pre-drilled holes be a little too wide in diameter and the epoxy should not only keep the nails in the wood but glue the wood to the nail and fill any micro splitting of the wood grain.

Not period authentic assembly but just the way I would do it.

If the steel languettes are inletted into the wood or even if just on top of the wood epoxying them to the wood should make the whole assembly stronger.

Any epoxy on the surface that you want to remove ( slop coming out of holes or just surplus epoxy being squeezed out ) can be wiped away using a baby wipe saturated with rubbing alcohol before it sets.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Thomas R.




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 12:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Jean,

would the glueing have been done with birch tar in period? I wonder, because I am reading ever so often here about glueing knife shafts and ofter things with epoxy. I never worked with birch tar or hide glue until now, but I plan to do so (the latest pictures of by-knifes inspired me into forging my own knifes.)

Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Luke Zechman




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a thought... If a haft has langets, then isn't the strength of the haft the langets themselves. I mean does it matter if the wood is weakened, when there are slats of metal running the length. In other words, the langets are what you wouldn't want to break, the haft is just a way to secure them. The haft is the continuation from the business end to the end that is held. I would be willing to bet you could even saw the haft through, and rivet on either side of that cut, and the piece would still be functional. Now with that said. You would not want to weaken the haft where the langets end, because this would be a weak point. I hope this makes sense.

Cheers
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

so if i understand correctly i could probably rivet it a way that it would ressemble like a ''diamond pattern'' (sorry if it's not clear i have a hard time describing it) and leaving a three inches part with no rivets at the end of the langets?
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luke Zechman wrote:
Here is a thought... If a haft has langets, then isn't the strength of the haft the langets themselves. I mean does it matter if the wood is weakened, when there are slats of metal running the length. In other words, the langets are what you wouldn't want to break, the haft is just a way to secure them. The haft is the continuation from the business end to the end that is held. I would be willing to bet you could even saw the haft through, and rivet on either side of that cut, and the piece would still be functional. Now with that said. You would not want to weaken the haft where the langets end, because this would be a weak point. I hope this makes sense.

Cheers


FWIW: Here's a detail of that famous Urs Graf drawing depicting the aftermath of a battle (see full image here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...s_1521.jpg ). Shows all kinds of mayhem, and at the center is a halberd head, sans haft, with sprung langets. Something bad happened to that weapon, mainly the haft. Graf served as a mercenary, so he knew the business of war and can probably be counted on for an authentic view. On a related note, I just saw somewhere a halberd or axe with what clearly is a rivet through the topmost hole beneath the head and nails on the langets. Seems like a logical way to ensure that the head won't depart even if the nails let go.



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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 1:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Etienne Hamel wrote:
so if i understand correctly i could probably rivet it a way that it would ressemble like a ''diamond pattern'' (sorry if it's not clear i have a hard time describing it) and leaving a three inches part with no rivets at the end of the langets?


I just meant that if you have six languettes surrounding the haft you don't want the nails of each languettes to all be at equal intervals so that you have six nails all meeting together: In other words, let say your first set of nails are all at 3" below the base of the socket of the spear/polearm head, your second set are all 6" below this and each following set 6" belong the previous set until you run out of languettes.

I'm suggesting a pattern where the nails or each languette is going to be staggered by some amount so that there is as much distance as possible between the nails of all the languettes.

There is a problem of figuring out a pattern that will work with 6 languettes as even a minimum of nails per languette may " crowd " the half with a lot of closely space nails in total.

At the ends of the languettes there could be a circular band of steel holding all the ends down but using only one rivet.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas R. wrote:
Hi Jean,

would the glueing have been done with birch tar in period? I wonder, because I am reading ever so often here about glueing knife shafts and ofter things with epoxy. I never worked with birch tar or hide glue until now, but I plan to do so (the latest pictures of by-knifes inspired me into forging my own knifes.)

Thomas


I really don't know if some sort of glue was used in period and my suggestions are just for " modern " practical reasons and should be invisible to the eye if well cleaned up ( no visible glue left on the gaps between the languettes ).

Depends if period materials and assembly are important to you even if not visible ? A bit like wearing modern underwear under period costume/armour: Some would care because they feel more " real " with period underwear, other wouldn't care as long as nobody could tell by just looking at their visible external kit. Wink Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
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PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i made a concept drawing of the head and buttcap just to have an approximation of what i want, of course it is 2D drawing so i don't have th other side view.

i'm finishing the buttcap and i'll post it.
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Etienne Hamel




Location: Granby (QC) canada
Joined: 09 Sep 2006

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Wed 11 Aug, 2010 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ok here is the draft for the unificator (the halberd's name)

i'don't know if you can see it well but anyway tell me what you think.

by the way i don't know why but on the scan of the image it looks like one of the languets doesn't show very well...



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