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Best ash poles to buy?
6'
33%
 33%  [ 6 ]
7'
33%
 33%  [ 6 ]
8'
11%
 11%  [ 2 ]
10'
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
12'
22%
 22%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 18

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Benjamin Floyd II





Joined: 13 Dec 2008

Posts: 82

PostPosted: Mon 14 Feb, 2011 11:14 am    Post subject: Pole weapon lengths         Reply with quote

What is the most common ash pole lengths needed for pole weapons?

I might have sourced a place to buy from, but it has to be in bulk. I'm looking for the best length to buy, resell, and use myself. Example, I could buy 12' poles and cut them into 2x 6' foot sections, 1 7' and 1 5', etc. Or, I could just buy 6' sections if it's the most common by far.

The options offered are 6, 7, 8, 10, 12. Which to buy and why?

Also, what are the most common lengths of pole weapons in period?
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Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Feb, 2011 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Also, what are the most common lengths of pole weapons in period?


This completely depends on which weapons and which period.

Anyway, I guess that for your purposes, 12' would be indeed the best.

If they're uniform and good quality, you can make even longest hafts, (maybe save "true" pikes), or just cut it to mount shorter ones on it.
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Benjamin Floyd II





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PostPosted: Mon 14 Feb, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bartek Strojek wrote:
Quote:
Also, what are the most common lengths of pole weapons in period?


This completely depends on which weapons and which period.


I'll amend to say 'the most common lengths for all weapons and periods which used ash?'.
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Chris Kelson





Joined: 19 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Feb, 2011 12:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For all sorts of halberds I start with 8' poles and end up with a length of more or less 7' and a half once a head is added. But that's what I have found fitting for my height and strength. Starting at 8' and reducing gives a bit a leeway when constructing and tuning the length to suit my preference.

Also fits in the car at that length Razz
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Simon G.




Location: Lyons, France
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Feb, 2011 1:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The good length for a pole weapon is when it reaches the enemy! Razz

Seriously: it also depends on what kind of pole weapon we're talking about. You don't need the same pole length when you want to mount a shortish 20-30cm spear head, or a 60-70cm long halberd head. That's a 1 foot difference right there...

Regarding best length "in period", well, the Italian masters of the Bolognese school recommand the whole weapon to be as high as the user can reach with one arm (standing upright of course). So about 2m10 or 2m20 I reckon. At a cursory glance, the halberds in Meyer looked about the same total length to me. But again, depends on what you're mounting ; if a long halberd head, a 1m80 (ca. 6 feet) staff can be enough.

On the other hand, if you want a pike, then you need 12 feet staves and even longer.

PS : I'd be interested to hear more about this source of yours, even if I doubt I'll be able to use it. Been searching for a good place to buy hafts for a good long while...
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Feb, 2011 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is also the practical issues of being able to carefully handle the polearm in one's home without " gouging " the ceiling. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool

A 6' stave + an 18" head is just about the longest I can have in the house.

Ideal length of polearms depend on the polearm type, the style of fighting and if one prefers reach or one prefers getting closer in with a shorter and more maneuverable.

Heavier heads on shorter staves can also work better than an overly heavy head on a really long stave ..... there is a range here where good design involves tradeoffs.

With an 18' pike one might have to open the back door to get it into the house. Wink Laughing Out Loud ( Well, exaggerating a little to make a point unless one lives in a trailer park. Wink Razz ).

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


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Tue 15 Feb, 2011 10:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Feb, 2011 10:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

IIRC, Silver's "perfect" length for a polearm is as high as you can reach plus two hands. That's around eight feet +/-, and in my experience a 7' length is a good start. Uncut, it'll put the head at the right height. Cutting it to around 5 will give you a good length for a poleaxe.

Section is almost as important as length. Try to get square if possible. Rounds are less useful for historically accurate mountings.

-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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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Feb, 2011 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Silver:
"To know the perfect length of your short staff, or half pike, forest bill, partisan, or glaive, or such like weapons of vantage and perfect lengths, you shall stand upright, holding the staff upright close by your body, with your left hand, reaching with your right hand your staff as high as you can, and then allow to that length a space to set both your hands, when you come to fight, wherein you may conveniently strike, thrust, and ward, & that is the just length to be made according to your stature. And this note, that these lengths will commonly fall out to be eight or nine foot long, and will fit, although not just, the statures of all men without any hindrance at all unto them in their fight, because in any weapon wherein the hands may be removed, and at liberty, to make the weapon longer of shorter in fight at his pleasure, a foot of the staff being behind the backmost hand does no harm. And wherefore these weapons ought to be of the lengths aforesaid, and no shorter, these are the reasons: If they should be shorter, then the long staff, morris pike, and such like weapons over and above the perfect length, should have great advantage over them, because he may come boldly and safe without any guard or ward, to the place where he may thrust home, and at every thrust put him in danger of his life, then can the long staff, the morris pike, or any longer weapon lie nowhere within the compass of the true cross, to cross and uncross, whereby he may safely pass home to the place, where he may strike or thrust him that has the long weapon, in the head, face, or body at his pleasure.

Of the lengths of the battle axe, halberd, or black bill, or such like weapons of weight, appertaining unto guard or battle.

20

In any of these weapons there needs no just length, but commonly they are, or ought to be five or six foot long, & may not well be used much longer, because of their weights, and being weapons for the wars and battle, when men are joined close together, may thrust, & strike sound blows, with great force both strong and quick. And finally for the just lengths of all other shorter or longer weapons to be governed with both hands, there is none. Neither is their any certain lengths in any manner of weapons to be used with one hand, over or under the just length of the single sword. Thus ends the length of weapons.

-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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Larry Bohnham





Joined: 20 May 2010

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PostPosted: Fri 18 Feb, 2011 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just thinking out loud here, but I would go for the 12 footers then you could cut to size for any project you desired. ie you could do a 12 foot lance or several maces, or a couple of Dane axes and so on. My basic rule when i can afford it is to buy in bulk and get the biggest size available if the material can be cut down.
"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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