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Scott Roush
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Aug, 2013 5:06 pm    Post subject: Boar-Spear of Cedric the Saxon.. in progress         Reply with quote

As I struggle with how to finish the bloomery langseax collaboration I've been slowly working on.. I decided to finally put to the anvil a project I've had floating around for the last couple of years. Something fun and easy... Cedric the Saxon's boar-spear. The book ‘Ivanhoe’ by Sir Walter Scott is one of those books that I grew up with and it probably had the greatest influence on my love of the Middle Ages. One character that always fired my imagination was Cedric the Saxon.. that surly old remnant of an ancient time. Cedric always had his boar-spear with him: “A short boar-spear, with a broad and bright steel head, also reclined against the back of his chair, which served him, when he walked abroad, for the purposes of a staff or of a weapon, as chance might require.” Ever since I’ve gotten into the smithing of blades I’ve wanted to recreate Cedric’s boar-spear. Not so much from a historical perspective.. but more how I imagined it growing up. My perception of it has certainly changed due to my increased knowledge of this time period.. but I still see it in a particular way: A short, heavy oaken haft dark and polished with use.. and long, broad bright blade. I’ve always imagined Cedric as a very practical fellow.. and not one to be caught up in airs so I’ve imagined the spear as well built.. but not necessarily fancy and ornate. A weapon and tool of USE.. something that you can depend on to do the deeds required of the situation. Something that creates a sense of wrongness when it is missing or not at hand. And oak was always in my head as the haft material.

The spear is forged from 5/8″ thick Aldo 1075. I plan to fully finish the blade and I'm hoping to get most of the socket seam welded and blended in for the final piece. The oak haft will be unadorned except for some kind of cap for the end (to allow Cedric to walk with it without eroding the shaft). I will probably also pin the spear to the haft with a long piece of iron to serve as a 'blade stop'..... for hunting purposes.

Anyway.. this project started when I was making firewood over the weekend. I came across a stout oaken branch in the wood pile.













Looking forward to hearing your impressions. And.. this project is looking for a benefactor. :-)

More pictures as I prepare the blade for grinding and heat treat...

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Aug, 2013 6:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ha... I'm trying my best to blend as much of the socket seam as I can though forging on a mandrel.. but I just saw this image of Anglo-Saxon spear heads and they show the seam and the split at the base. I might be able to blend most of the seam.. but I will certainly end up with the split:


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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug, 2013 12:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That looks awesome. As a coincidence I have been researching boar spears for the past couple of weeks after reading up on the inventory of Henry VIII. -The armory lists around 261 of them

And I would not worry too much about having a split seam. It is featured on many originals, and with proper pinning (as you plan to do) will keep the head securely on the shaft.

Now I wonder how much hassle it would be to have something like that shipped to Sweden.. Wink

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug, 2013 4:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Bjorn...

And thank you about the seam. I try not to always use history as a standard for craftsmanship... but spears are still rather new for me and I will just strive to improve with every one!

As to shipping to Sweden.. I ship to Europe all the time and have never really had issues. But it has mostly been knives and axes. Let me know if you want to research this in more depth!

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Scott Roush
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug, 2013 6:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I ground the blade today and had to put back in forge to make some corrections. But it is now normalized and ready for heat treat in the morning.. I'm using my sword forge to make sure that the neck gets nice and hard. I already have one soft necked spear sitting around the shop.

I will most likely continue the center grind line more towards the socket. I had to grind things flat enough so that I could get my mark on there...

Will be a very thin aggressive blade...



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Josh S





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PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug, 2013 7:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a beautiful blade. The proportions are perfect.
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Gregg Sobocinski




PostPosted: Tue 20 Aug, 2013 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm following this with great interest. I love the back story, progress, and historical images, and look forward to the finished product.
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Scott Roush
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Aug, 2013 6:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you folks!

The blade is now hardened and tempered. A word of caution for those who will heat treat socketed spears. The oil in the socket will shoot out! I'm okay. :-)

Here I am testing the temper of the blade:



And some work on the shaft. I really want to capture a naturally aged look.. without using dies and stains. First I had to fill the drying checks in the wood. I mixed charred bone with auto epoxy and filled the spaces. I will then use a 2 part resin to cover that mixture. When it comes to finishing wood I'm interested in an idea put forth by a world class architectural blacksmith friend of mine. He talks about how historical finishes on items of utility were often accomplished differently than the modern way. He talks of how items were less finished in their new state.. and the look that we come to love over time is accomplished through the wear of use.. and love and care along the way. To get this look I will use no sandpaper... only the use of scrapers. And I will seal with natural beeswax (from my hives!) and then burnish heavily for that 'polished with use' look.





More later today....

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Scott Roush
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Aug, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is the blade with machine finish to 400:



And a hand finish to 220. I could see a hamon (heat treat pattern) showing through the finish so I etched it out of curiosity. This low manganese 1075 produces beautiful auto-hamons when the heat treat is nailed. I'm not planning on having an antique or etched finish on this blade.. so the hamon will only be visible in the correct lighting.


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Chad Hanson




Location: Winona, MN
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Aug, 2013 11:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is one seriously beautiful spear! I love the proportions- and the Ivanhoe inspiration is a nice touch, too. Happy
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Tim Mathews




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Aug, 2013 4:42 am    Post subject: Cedric`s Boar Spear         Reply with quote

That is a lovely piece ... Is it for sale ?
If so I would be interested ... Please shoot me a PM if that is the case ... Either way - Congrats !
Best
Tim

Tim Mathews
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Fri 23 Aug, 2013 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Roush wrote:

And some work on the shaft. I really want to capture a naturally aged look.. without using dies and stains. First I had to fill the drying checks in the wood. I mixed charred bone with auto epoxy and filled the spaces. I will then use a 2 part resin to cover that mixture. When it comes to finishing wood I'm interested in an idea put forth by a world class architectural blacksmith friend of mine. He talks about how historical finishes on items of utility were often accomplished differently than the modern way. He talks of how items were less finished in their new state.. and the look that we come to love over time is accomplished through the wear of use.. and love and care along the way. To get this look I will use no sandpaper... only the use of scrapers. And I will seal with natural beeswax (from my hives!) and then burnish heavily for that 'polished with use' look.



With a long and narrow checks or cracks I like to use some gap-filling super glue.

For finishing a lot of burnishing with smooth steel and then hand rubbing in boiled linseed oil: Wipe on/wipe off, do daily for weeks not leaving any excess oil on the wood ..... eventually using some wax.

Occasional refreshing the finish with oil.

Over time the colour deepens and may turn a little yellowish, but I like the look and feel of a natural oil finish a lot better than a modern hard coat finish that makes the wood feel dead with a plastic look and feel.

Nice boar spear. Big Grin Cool

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Scott Roush
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Aug, 2013 6:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for you suggestions Jean. I didn't mention.. the first thing I did with that piece of wood was squirt a thinner superglue into the checks. I like to use a thinner consistency so that it gets all the way in there. And then I added the bone char mix.

As to the finish.. I think I'm going to take the approach of 'setting it up' for a natural worn finish to develop over time... rather than force it now. I rubbed in some thin, quick drying jack pine resin that I make myself from trees on my property and then rubbed in the beeswax with heat and burnishing. I think this will be a finish that will simply improve with time and subsequent oiling down the line.

And yes... I love oil and/or natural varnish finishes. I HATE polyurethane. I'm starting to collect propolis from my beehives that I will start adding to my jack pine varnish... hoping to somebody get something like the legendary Strativarius varnishes!

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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Aug, 2013 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is turning to a true work of art. I can't wait to see the end results. Ironically, I just got a Windlass long-bladed hewing spearhead and a Windlass flattened spear buttcap. I put them together on a short hardwood shaft and fell in love with it. I said to myself---"This is a spear....It should be longer!"...........NO. I love the way this short spear handles and moves. The balance is perfect, and it's fast as hell. I can only imagine that yours is even better than mine.....I know it is. Good job....Keep on hammerin"................McM
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Scott Roush
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Aug, 2013 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the comments Mark. I wasn't familiar with the term 'hewing spear'... but it sure is appropriate. This thing would work wonderfully in that regard.

I had to touch up the point as I was in fear of it being too thin and weak. So I've now made it into more of an awl point.. but I'm still able to retain what will essentially be a knife-like edge in the cutting part of the blade.

And.. I'm glad you are feeling the same thing about the shorter haft. It really does make for a formidable.. and convenient.. weapon! Like you said... so fast on point ... but stout enough to thrust deeply into.. whatever your target may be.

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Scott Roush
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Aug, 2013 3:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And here is the butt cap. A simple, rustic affair.


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Scott Hanson




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Aug, 2013 7:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Beautiful, beautiful piece. Really like how it's coming together.
Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Aug, 2013 1:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Love the buttcap treatment ! A perfect end to a perfect spear. Enjoy !.........McM
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Aug, 2013 2:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I forgot to add...To make it a real boar-spear....it should have some kind of 'stop' on it....to keep the boar/deer/enemy from running up the blade. Mine will have a piece of deer antler leather-bound around the socket of the spearhead....functional....and it looks cool as hell. My wife wants my spear...bad. Awwww.....Hell No!........... WTF?! Laughing Out Loud ....McM
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Matthew G.M. Korenkiewicz




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Aug, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As usual, SR, I always enjoy seeing the evolution of one of your works, and
of course the excellent photography ! While I, for one, might not enjoy seeing
a porker done-in by said item, all that's missing here is a shot with you, the
spear, and said tusker -- perhaps a tame one ? or previously done-in and
taxidermied one ? You could put your arm around the fellow, and title the
shot " No Hard Feelings. " ...

Sidenote : Keep hoping that " far east " item will show-up in a similar thread !

B-)
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