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Dustin Faulkner




Location: BOERNE, TX
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: How were poleaxe heads made?         Reply with quote

Hello:

Is there a step-by-step video showing how a poleaxe head is made? I am referring to poleaxes like the two famous ones at the Wallace Collection.

Having made a war hammer from a pall-pien hammer, I can only guess at the assembly. The hammer part is placed over the end of the haft. Then metal wedges are "nailed" into the end to secure the hammer in place. The top spike/langets part is then placed over the hammer and riveted into position.

However, how are the components made? How do you make a hammer head with one side being an axe blade and the other side is blunt with a "waffle iron" pattern? How is the top spike attached to the langets? I can see, based on my thinking, how the langets begin as a narrow rectangular piece of metal. This piece gets bent in two places to form an inverted "U" with very long legs. The two bends form the center square section where the top spike gets attached. But how?

Or ... does the top spike/langets part somehow begin as one piece that is made into the top spike and langets. Is one end of a block of steel split to form two langets, and the other end is hammered into a top spike?

I suspect a blacksmtih began with two rectangular blocks of metal. One becomes the hammer part and the other becomes the top spike/langets part.

I humbly request somebody post a video of this process on youtube if you know how to do it. I am simply curious. I am not try to become anyone's competitor in the replica market. This is simply a question I am tired of dealing with. Please give me relief.

Thank you! Danke!

DUSTIN FAULKNER
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D. Phillip Caron




Location: Arcadia, FL
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 8:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I offer this as a possibility. There is a casting process called "lost wax". ( I saw this on BBC) The item to be cast is carved from bee's wax. It is then placed inside a healthy cover of clay mixed with cow dung. This is allowed to dry. It is placed in fire hot enough to burn off the dung which leaves air space for the wax to melt. The end product is a mold which then is used to cast the object.
Bronze age people developed the process, and it is still use for casting a number of things today.
That explanation may not be exactly correct, but it gives you the idea.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jan, 2012 9:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. Phillip Caron wrote:
I offer this as a possibility. There is a casting process called "lost wax". ( I saw this on BBC) The item to be cast is carved from bee's wax. It is then placed inside a healthy cover of clay mixed with cow dung. This is allowed to dry. It is placed in fire hot enough to burn off the dung which leaves air space for the wax to melt. The end product is a mold which then is used to cast the object.
Bronze age people developed the process, and it is still use for casting a number of things today.
That explanation may not be exactly correct, but it gives you the idea.


Speculation, while sometimes fun, doesn't help us. We need to discuss facts. Medieval and renaissance poleaxes such as the one the original poster is asking about were not cast.

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

FWIW, I know of only one such visual explanation, and it's for a Tudor bill. It's in a detailed chapter of Weapons of Warre: The Armaments of the Mary Rose (vol II). In fact, I can't think of anything quite like it for any weapon type. Waldman's polearm book has x-rays and illuminating discussion of manufacture for halberds but not much about poleaxes of the type that interests you. The short answer is that they were forged, forge-welded, ground, filed and polished using the same techniques used for other polearm forms and weapons. They just tend to be finely-finished high-status weapons. You can see typical construction in A&A's wonderful example.


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Einar Drønnesund





Joined: 14 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Mon 09 Jan, 2012 8:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Found these images from Dictionnaire raisonné du mobilier français de l'époque carlovingienne à la renaissance, by Viollet-le-Duc

http://www.fantasy-workshop.com/faw/image-files/pole-axe-3.png

http://www.fantasy-workshop.com/faw/image-files/pole-axe-4.png
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Fabrice Cognot
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Location: Dijon
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PostPosted: Sun 15 Jan, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I tried to explain the construction of poleaxes in several articles I wrote - one yet to be published (though I have less and less hope for that as years pass by) based on my lecture a the 2nd I.A.A.C. in Vienna in 2005...

But I also give hints to this in the description of a poleaxe I made and posted here a while ago :
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ht=poleaxe
..and making this one took 5 different pieces of metal (two for the head, trhree for the spike block) - not couting the side lugs (or side bands on the haft).

Poleaxe making was a complicated process. Lots of welding, fitting, filing. High level of skill implied at every step.
They were not the crude weapons one might think of - not speaking of this forum's users of course Wink.

Cheers

Fab

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Matt Easton




Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK.
Joined: 30 Jun 2004

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PostPosted: Mon 30 Jan, 2012 4:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In addition to what Fab said, it's probably worth also mentioning that there were different ways of putting pollaxes together. The two examples in the Wallace Collection differ quite a lot, one of them being put together somewhat like Talhoffer's 1459 drawings:



Regards,
Matt

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