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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Dec, 2013 4:47 pm    Post subject: Windlass Greek Spear Head.         Reply with quote

I recently purchased the Windlass Greek Spear head and the Greek Spear Buttcap from Kult of Athena to mount as a short spear, my objective wasn't to recreate a historical spear but rather to experiment with what would be a short spear good for close quarter work: The results in short are that It's very fast in handling spear, about 62" in total length and the reinforced point very strong probably due to the fact that the Greek pattern was probably first used in Bronze with a very thick mid-ridge.

Weight of spear 6 pounds.
Shaft maximum diameter 1 1/2"
Total length 62"
POB: Dead centre of the whole spear.

This length would be ideal for a boarding spear/pike, a home defence or tight quarters fighting in narrow medieval streets or narrow places when fighting at very close quarters, still long enough to outreach anything but a very long two-handed sword, and would be difficult for an opponent to get past the point and get away with it like when fighting against a much longer spear: The other end coming into play or even the middle of the shaft used in defence or counter attacks.

It could also work very well one handed with a shield and even work as a very close range javelin: At close to 6 lb. it's far from light but this gives it a lot of authority in a thrust with point or butt spike. The butt spike would also work well for strikes with the side of the butt spike and very mace-like.

This Topic is in part a review of the Greek Spear head and also a DIY Topic about how I made and assembled the spear.

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...Spear+Head

http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=600036

The spear head is very robust and in hand sharpening first with a file and finishing with a diamond hone one can estimate that the steel is in the high 40 R.C. range or in the low 50 R.C. range in hardness and seems to be well heat treated as the file does bite into the steel but not too easily as it can easily skate off the surface without cutting into the steel if one doesn't apply enough pressure.


Now getting into the DIY part of the post: I found a long shovel handle made out of some good hardwood, probably Ash or Oak with very strait and dense grain at a tool and lumber supply store, the shaft is thickest about 1/3 from the top and tapers in both directions. The shaft as purchase does swell back up in diameter at the rounded butt end of the shaft but I cut off this part off before fitting for the butt spike.

The taper on which one would normally put on a shovel head fit perfectly into the Greek Spear socket without needing any fitting.

I also purchase a couple of long pieces of cold rolled steel 1/2" wide by 1/8" thick to use for the making of languettes.

I inletted the the shaft on both sides so that the steel languettes would be flush with the sides of the shaft and epoxied the steel languettes into the cut slots, I later drilled 9 holes in each languette staggered so as to not have the nails too close to each other.

Inletting was first done by defining the outside dimensions of the cut with a small narrow " V " gouge and then using a narrow chisel to remove the material between the cuts, and then using the very sharp edge of the chisel vertically as a scraper to smooth and even out the bottom of the cut. The steel languettes where bent slightly by hand to conform with the curved profile of the shaft.

After tapering the butt end of the shaft, nailing the languettes I just epoxied the head and but into place as well as secured them with heavier nails.

The pics should be more or less self-explanatory.

Great customer service from KoA as usual.



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Very robust reinforced tip.

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The steel for the languettes, the shovel handle/shaft for the spear, the Greek Spear Head and Butt.

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Dec, 2013 5:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More pics of the assembly and the finished spear.

At this point the oil finish was on it's first applications and the finish with BLO is an ongoing process with the wood grain being nicely featured.

I'm also still slowly hand sharpening the edges to at least paper cutting sharp.

The point because of it reinforced tip will never be that sharp but it's meant to be able to pierce with little likelihood of bending or breaking off.



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Languette just placed in slot to check on fit.

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Close up of fit.

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Inletting.

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A&A Poleaxe, Greek Spear, Bardiche shown together for scale.

For some reason the pic is shown on it's side ?


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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Dec, 2013 5:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And the last few pics of the finished short spear.


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Languette with nails.

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Holding ther spear to give scale.

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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Dec, 2013 5:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks nasty. Nice job.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Dec, 2013 11:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I made one very similar from a Windlass long bladed hewing spear and flattened buttcap. I find its relative shortness to be a boost to performance......mine is about 5'-5"....and I stand a mere 5'-7". The spear is lightning fast and very maneuverable. Now, seeing your cool langettes, I may have to disassemble and try again. Big Grin Very good job!.........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Julian Reynolds




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 30 Mar 2008

Posts: 271

PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean,

Nice work. These Windlass spear heads are great value for money and surprisingly good quality. I've used them to make boar spears, pikes and even used the Greek spearhead like yours to make an 'elephant spear' using an antique 7ft bamboo lance pole (after re-profiling and antiquing the head) as below. It adorns my 'man cave' along with various ethnic weapons!

As for the langets, when I've done them using similar methods to yours, I have actually continued them under spear socket for an inch or so, and riveted the spear head through the langets and haft, to anchor both in place.

Julian



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Greg E




Location: Nebraska
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 11:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice spears Gentlemen. This gives me some inspiration for future projects.
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Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would have mounted it with the haft the other way around. That is, with the thickest part towards the butt.
"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 9:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
I would have mounted it with the haft the other way around. That is, with the thickest part towards the butt.


If there wasn't a very heavy butt spike I might have mounted it in reverse, but it feels good in hand and in a thrust the increasing diameter helps keeping a firm grip on the haft.

Aesthetically I like it better the way I did it for me, but one could make a case for the reverse.

The balance point is dead centre making it fast and easy to use either end of the spear and both ends are almost equal in effectiveness I think with the butt end also very mace like and I would use that end against someone in full armour and use the bladed head for less armoured opponent where cutting with the head would be a practical option.

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,160

PostPosted: Sun 08 Dec, 2013 9:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Julian Reynolds wrote:
Jean,

Nice work. These Windlass spear heads are great value for money and surprisingly good quality. I've used them to make boar spears, pikes and even used the Greek spearhead like yours to make an 'elephant spear' using an antique 7ft bamboo lance pole (after re-profiling and antiquing the head) as below. It adorns my 'man cave' along with various ethnic weapons!

As for the langets, when I've done them using similar methods to yours, I have actually continued them under spear socket for an inch or so, and riveted the spear head through the langets and haft, to anchor both in place.

Julian


Thanks for the nice words.

I understand what you mean about the languettes being made to go an inch or more into the socket and riveting socket and languettes together might make the assembly a bit stronger.

Oh, the languettes do go into the socket by a few millimetres so they don't leave a gap where the head might be cut off which is probably the most important thing.

These languettes are only there to give another 11" of protected shaft but any extra strength given to the haft is only a small theoretical increase.

Some other polearms have very short sockets so that the languettes, when integral with the socket, also serve an important function in holding the head onto it's shaft.

Having the languettes going into the socket for a few inches is still a good idea but maybe not essential in this case.
( I could have done it that way, but didn't think of doing it that way at the time I made this spear, but I might do it that way on a future spear project ).

I also like your spear agreat deal. Cool

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Ken Speed





Joined: 09 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 09 Dec, 2013 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just a super job on the spear! Especially the really good job you did inletting the languets.

I really had to laugh at your comment about fastening the languetes, the shaft and the head together by running the languette more deeply under the shaft. Only you would feel the need to make a spear stronger than that one! LOL!
I don't think the spear point could handle it but I think you could use the shaft to lever up one wheel on a small car as long as you were careful of the wood grain!

I can really visualize it as a close quarter weapon and I'm sure it's very quick and I agree with the other writer who said that it was NASTY!

I'd opt for some kind of cross bar two inches long or so on each side of the socket to catch an opponents weapon but you made it, I didn't and I'm sure you did it the way you wanted it.
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Dec, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

On my long bladed hewing spear, I just used a small deer antler piece tied around the socket at its narrowest point, tied with leather lacing. It will spin around, but it does not move up or down. Great boar spear! I love it....One of the sweetest weapons I own. Big Grin ......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Mon 09 Dec, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark told us, "On my long bladed hewing spear, I just used a small deer antler piece tied around the socket at its narrowest point, tied with leather lacing. It will spin around, but it does not move up or down. Great boar spear! I love it....One of the sweetest weapons I own."

That's an interesting idea! I can see how it would look very appropriate as a hunting weapon that way. I noticed one of the professionals made their interpretation of Cedric the Saxon's Boar Spear from Ivanhoe and it had a pretty rustic somewhat twisted spear shaft that was clearly a debarked and dried sapling. Somewhat the same concept.

I imagine the socket would be soft enough to drill.and one could drawbore a hole through the sides of the socket and through the shaft so that a steel pin would serve to pull the shaft into the socket and essentially lock the whole thing together with the help of a drop or two of epoxy.

Wouldn't that be a beastly weapon? ( pun intended!)
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