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Phil D.




Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Mar, 2014 8:46 pm    Post subject: Hammer re-hafting         Reply with quote

Hi All,
I have an original Arms and Armor Dragon War Hammer that I purchased at the Tx. Ren Fest back in the 90s. I am looking to have it re-hafted with a longer handle (approx 42"). Does any one know of any skilled vendors/wood workers that can do this type of work at a reasonable price...before you post, "contact Arms and Armor"...I did and the price quoted was $200.00. Unfortunately that seemed a bit high for my experience...so any assistance is greatly appreciated.

"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Mar, 2014 2:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well you want a skilled worker with a decent shop and an eye for detail and good finishing abilities.

It looks to be a fair few hours work, what's an hourly rate for a decent craftsperson over there? That would give you a ball park budget that you could approach people with.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Mar, 2014 4:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Phil, this is just a suggestion on my part: Lots of high schools have wood-working shops. You might contact the woodshop teacher at a local school and see if they would let a student do it for a grade. You might be surprised at the talent that's out there. As I said....just a suggestion. Big Grin ...........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Mar, 2014 6:13 am    Post subject: Re: Hammer re-hafting         Reply with quote

Phil D. wrote:
Hi All,
I have an original Arms and Armor Dragon War Hammer that I purchased at the Tx. Ren Fest back in the 90s. I am looking to have it re-hafted with a longer handle (approx 42"). Does any one know of any skilled vendors/wood workers that can do this type of work at a reasonable price...before you post, "contact Arms and Armor"...I did and the price quoted was $200.00. Unfortunately that seemed a bit high for my experience...so any assistance is greatly appreciated.


Well, on the plus side having A&A doing the work means that it is still all " an original " made by A&A and might have better collectors value should you ever want to sell it. ( Unique piece with greater resell value than a DIY job reducing it's collector's value ? ).

They can probably check and repair any small blemishes in the finish as well if needed.

My other suggestion is to find a quality woodlot that sells Ash in square section and then fit it yourself to the square or rectangular hammer socket ..... assuming that you have any woodworking skills this should be fairly easy since the haft seems to be basically square or rectangular with rebated corners.

Finding a nice piece of Ash with nice strait grain is the challenge if you don't have a local woodlot selling wood for furniture or crafts making as opposed to a construction grade plain lumber.

If it was me I could easily do this kind of work of shaping/fitting and tapering for the socket but getting quality work from a good craftsman at less than $20 / $40 an hour might be difficult.

The school shop option might be "possible" but you also have to trust adolescents to not " bugger up " the hammer head by drilling a hole in it to fix it in place, or do something really stupid with it like seeing if they can break up concrete blocks ...... ??? Well, if there is a responsible shop teacher involved those negatives may not be a problem.

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




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 11 Mar, 2014 6:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my opinion as an amateur woodworker--

$200 is just a tad high but absolutely reasonable.

First you have to find the wood. The original there is probably ash but looks almost like tiger maple or some such decorative variety of hardwood. If you wanted to save costs, you could go with ash. This is a little harder to obtain than, say, red oak, which is generally readily available at most hardware stores. That means going to a lumber yard.

Then for the hammer haft it has to be at least 1", perhaps 2" thick. This means purchasing a fairly thick piece of wood. You could try to get away with gluing two standard nominal 3/4" boards together, but there are structural concerns with that, especially for something with as much impact force as a hammer. So, a thick piece of wood, which would most likely be priced by the board foot-- thickness times width times length divided by 12 (something like that).

Oh, and you have to make sure it's nice and straight grained too, with the end-grain direction running the way you want it... so it can't be just any piece of thick ash.

So you've picked your piece of wood, which may have taken a few hours because let's be real, you're not going to go all the way out to the lumber yard just to pick out one little piece of wood. If you live next door that's one thing but most people don't. You're gonna buy a bunch of wood because you've got other needs and requirements for your work, whatever it is.

Once you're ready to get down to business on this specific piece...

--Cut the approximate outline out

--Most probably use a draw-knife or similar tool (spokeshave, perhaps, or you could just use a coarse belt sander) to rough out the general shape

--Then take the time to fit the haft to the head. This is much more difficult with your particular hammer than it is with most others, as the haft has to fit into a long tube of steel. This means measuring the tube exactly, then shaving the wood down to dimension, likely rubbing it with some kind of carbon and then sticking it in and pulling it out to see where it's too large (the carbon rubs off), further re-shaping... You don't want it to be too loose but you don't want to compress the wood fibers and possibly stress the metal by jamming in a piece that's too thick. You want a very exact, snug fit.

--Once that's finished you can proceed to the fine shaping of the haft.

--Finally you have to apply some sort of finish (linseed oil, wax, what have you) and secure the head to the haft. I suspect this is done with a number of rivets through the haft and the steel tube. It appears that they are polished flush after riveting.

So, it might seem like a simple operation-- and to be honest, none of the steps are particularly difficult. It is, however, time consuming. And that's where the money goes.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Mar, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

60'x2x2 ash replacement wheelbarrow handle from Lowe's, etc. These are under $20.

See the details of this thread: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ht=pollaxe

Your project would be VERY easy to do compared to something with langets. Certainly worth an attempt given the low cost of the wood.

-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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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 11 Mar, 2014 9:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
60'x2x2 ash replacement wheelbarrow handle from Lowe's, etc. These are under $20.

See the details of this thread: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ht=pollaxe

Your project would be VERY easy to do compared to something with langets. Certainly worth an attempt given the low cost of the wood.


Of course, doing something like this oneself is quite another story cost-wise... I should've noted that.

The only issue with using a wheelbarrow handle is a.) making certain it's actually ash-- some aren't. Check the source. If it's from China or India, question it. If it's American or Canadian, it probably is. Then b.), being willing or having the skills to modify it into a useful haft. Not all have the inclination or the time to do so themselves.

It is a cheaper solution than the lumber yard, though, and quite rewarding if that's how you roll.
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Phil D.




Location: Texas
Joined: 23 Sep 2003
Reading list: 56 books

Posts: 590

PostPosted: Tue 11 Mar, 2014 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Sean !!!

I had completely forgotten about your hammer project. And the prices on the handles are fantastic.I will have to buy a couple.

http://www.lowes.com/Search=wheelbarrow+handl...w+handle#!

Thanks again

"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
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