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Robert W. Betten




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2004 6:25 am    Post subject: A&A 12th Century Spear         Reply with quote

Does anyone own this piece? and what are your impressions with it?

I've heard from many that A&A ( www.arms-n-armor.com ) are the best when it comes to historical reproductions and I want a good quality spear as a treat for myself since I havnt bought any swords or weapons in a while. Also where it says that it comes with a Ash shaft do they ship it in a PVC tube or something? I'd hate for it to be damaged coming half way round the world...

thanks guys.

*!*
"If the people we love are taken from us,
the way they live on is to never stop loving
them. Buildings burn, people die, but real
love is forever."
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Gary Grzybek




Location: Stillwater N.J.
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 559

PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2004 6:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure about that one but my wife ordered the Friedrich IV Spear for me. If all goes well It will arrive by Christmas Big Grin l'll post my impressions if it helps at all.

The A&A pieces I've handled and owned are of exceptional quality.

Gary Grzybek
ARMA Northern N.J.
www.armastudy.org
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Robert W. Betten




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

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Posts: 150

PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2004 7:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

that will help ALOT! I will be ordering after christmas with money from family so it'll be a late christmas present...is the one you ordered going to be sharp or a blunt? I was wanting sharp and hopefully there isnt too much of a price tag adding that detail on?

Do they usually keep a stock of spears or is there a waiting period?

sorry for all the questions, I get antsy when ordering off a company I've never dealt with...I have owned one A&A piece, but it wasnt gained via A&A (second hand) plus it was an early piece from them.

*!*
"If the people we love are taken from us,
the way they live on is to never stop loving
them. Buildings burn, people die, but real
love is forever."
- Sarah 'The Crow'
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2004 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have one. it's a good piece for the money. The head is cast and is screwed onto the shaft. I'd like to get an accurate spear of the same type with a forged head, but the A&A is pretty good for what it is.
"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2004 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert;

I have the 12th century spear and am very pleased with it, also customer service was very good with most E-Mails answered withing a couple of days: I did have to resend a couple of times when the reply took a little too much time, but they were very busy at the time and explainned that they were a bit behind in answering their E-Mail.

Mine came what I would call semi- sharp as I did not ask them for a sharper than their standard edge: A little work with a diamond hone got it to "Close" to paper cutting sharp. (It could be sharpened more if I put in the effort.)

The normal hardness of the spear heads is in the low 40r.c. which is historically correct according to Craig Johnson (All my deallings and discussions for the order were with him and he was very open to make minor modifications to the standard specifications.) I wanted a harder edge that could take a keener edge while avoiding making it brittle: His solution, that I opted for, was to do an edge hardening at 50r.c. while keeping the socket and center at the lower hardness. (This for an extra $25 over the normal price.)

There were some minor grind or tool marks on the spear that I easily eliminated by doing a little bit of antiquing using toilet paper soaker in lemon juice and leaving to dry on the spear head for 8 to 19 hours: This gave a dark gray patina that I polished off leaving a patterned texture (From the toilet paper) and very light pitting completely hidding the grind marks that looked a little to much like modern tool marks. (If I wanted to keep the patina I would have oiled the surface and very lightly polished with the least abrasive stuff I could find: Jewelers' rouge on an oil soaked note pad paper. Note you can repeat this process again if you go too far with the polishing, I brought mine back to a soft light gray sheen.)

I did have to wait a couple of months for it, but it did arrive earlier by a month than originally promised. They seem to make things to order although you can always ask if they have it in stock.

I also ordered the large Viking spear at the same time and got a combined price for shipping that was less than having them shipped individually. They came in a strong square section and LONG box: No damage or dings due to handling, very well padded with bubble pack and/or news papers if I remember right.

Recently received their Pole Axe and am very Happy with it also. As to dealing with a supplier for the first time I can recommend A&A highly.

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




Location: Stillwater N.J.
Joined: 25 Aug 2003

Posts: 559

PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2004 8:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert W. Betten wrote:
that will help ALOT! I will be ordering after christmas with money from family so it'll be a late christmas present...is the one you ordered going to be sharp or a blunt? I was wanting sharp and hopefully there isnt too much of a price tag adding that detail on?

Do they usually keep a stock of spears or is there a waiting period?

sorry for all the questions, I get antsy when ordering off a company I've never dealt with...I have owned one A&A piece, but it wasnt gained via A&A (second hand) plus it was an early piece from them.



I requested sharp but can't quote the price difference since my Wife placed the order for me. They said they didn't have one in stock but had the materials to make one. It's hard to say what they will carry but Craig mentioned once that they try to keep at least one in stock. Give them a call, they're really great guys.

Gary Grzybek
ARMA Northern N.J.
www.armastudy.org
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Eric Myers




Location: Sacramento, CA
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 214

PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2004 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also have one and like it alot. I would have liked to have it on a 7' shaft rather than a 6' one, though.
Eric Myers
Sacramento Sword School
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2004 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also have one and I rather like it but I have a question. Only the very tip of mine is sharp- did historical spears have sharp edges also or just the points?

I have long wondered this- in any case the edges of the head are WAY to thick to even think about sharpening.

Thanks, Jeremy
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec, 2004 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy;

I would think that this kind of spear does not need to be razor sharp or even paper cutting sharp but it should feel like a thin edge (Bites a bit into a thumb nail and feels sharp touching it with a finger.). If you remember that whole thread a while back about how sharp a sword should be.

I have put a razor sharp edge on the false edge of some of my combat knives that where originally 1.5mm to 3 mm thick using diamond hones like a Lansky tool using extra coarse to fine grit. Well, it did take many hours of work every day for a week. (Worst case!). Now getting an apple seed type edge means finishing using a sponge type abrasive so as to round out the bevel.

Some U.S. states have laws against sharpened double edge blades and the makers will default to unsharpened false edges to keep those markets. (Not an issue in Canada so I usually sharpen whatever should normally be sharpened.)

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




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Sun 19 Dec, 2004 12:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks alot guys for your replies, I contacted A&A and I'll wait for a reply...I'm in no rush but I've been practicing quarter staff technique and wanted to progress onto a spear form. IMO one of the most underrated weapons amongst us collectors, well maybe not here but other forums i've been on swords take precidence over a spear.

Cheers guys,
Robert W. Betten

*!*
"If the people we love are taken from us,
the way they live on is to never stop loving
them. Buildings burn, people die, but real
love is forever."
- Sarah 'The Crow'
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Dec, 2004 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey there Jean,
Well the deal with my A&A spear (bought maybe 4 and a half years ago) is that it's head structure is in no way condusive to a sharp edge of any kind. The edges have a gentle rouded shape that thins down to a very stury diamond section. If an edge could be made it would have such a steep secondary bevel as to be kind of weird. I giess with an enormous ammout of effort an apple seed edge could be attained but it does not like the spear head was cast as a blunt that needs to be sharpened but as a highly reinforced diamond section with a sharp point and only a point. Only a thrusting weapon is what I'm saying. Is there something abnormal with the structure of my spear? Just wondering, Jeremy
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Dec, 2004 8:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy;

I agree that the 12th century spear is mostly a thrusting weapon and the bevel is fairly steep but mine does have a possibly thinner edge than yours. (Hard to tell without a direct comparison.)

An obtuse bevel can be technically sharp but won't slice as well as an acute one.

The spine running down the center of this spear is very thick and strong, in comparison my A&A Viking spear could be made sharper and would have some slashing capability. I do think that most spears are not meant to be much good as slashing weapons and any sharpening is meant to help improve penetration.

The exception might be with very long and wide spear heads that could almost have the caracteristic of Halberds against the lighter armour used before plate armour came into wide use.

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




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Sun 19 Dec, 2004 11:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig got onto me today, getting the shaft here is impossible...the cost would be more then a custom sword but he can send a head at a cheaper price which would make shipping quite good on my part. I can get any type of wood to make my own...

Is Ash the usual wood used? and when selecting the wood would you pick the grain like you would the haft of an axe? in other words what way related to the head should the grain be?

cheers,
Rob

*!*
"If the people we love are taken from us,
the way they live on is to never stop loving
them. Buildings burn, people die, but real
love is forever."
- Sarah 'The Crow'
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David R. Glier





Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Posts: 146

PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2004 12:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

*I* certainly do. I also make sure the grain is straight and I don't get grain runout halfway down the haft. (I broke more handles before I figured that out...)

Also, don't be afraid of laminating -stacking and gluing- to get the piece of wood to the size you want. Done well, a laminated piece can actualy be much stronger than the alternative.
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Robert W. Betten




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Dec, 2004 1:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip, sounds exactly like the way I select an axe haft then...I'm VERY picky with the wood I use for axes, so it'll be the same for this spear. I was thinking a 7' shaft for this one, I want the shaft to be taller then I am and me standing at 6'6" I'd need it I think.

Is there any historical evidence to support they would have banded with thin leather the shaft? sure a spear isnt always a glamourous weapon but I'd like to keep it historical but set it out from the rest aesthetically.

*!*
"If the people we love are taken from us,
the way they live on is to never stop loving
them. Buildings burn, people die, but real
love is forever."
- Sarah 'The Crow'
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Robert W. Betten




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 150

PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2004 12:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Big Grin Hi Guys after talking with Craig regarding minor details I've ordered my first A&A Spear Cool once its all mounted up I'll post pictures and a review...

Thanks for all the advice! Cool

*!*
"If the people we love are taken from us,
the way they live on is to never stop loving
them. Buildings burn, people die, but real
love is forever."
- Sarah 'The Crow'
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