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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
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PostPosted: Fri 01 May, 2015 5:12 am    Post subject: Howlett Axe-Hammer         Reply with quote

I was recently commissioned to make this unusual 6th century Anglo-Saxon axe.... the 'Howlett axe' which was discovered in a high-status grave in England and now resides in the British Museum. My customer was able to get accurate dimensions from the curator so I had a good basis for making an accurate copy. My take on it is a forged and eye-punched piece of wrought iron with a 1095 laminate edge. The inlays are copper and bronze. The haft is a beautiful piece of Lake Superior diver-salvaged black oak.

Here is the original:





















In the pictures you can also see a small pattern welded spear point made from a portion of a spatha billet I'm working on. I will have some photos of this sword soon.. very excited about it.

Looking forward to comments and feedback on this weapon.

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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Aaron Hoard




Location: Seattle, WA
Joined: 01 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Fri 01 May, 2015 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a stunning piece of work - good job!

Is the blade on your piece a similar thickness as the original? The picture makes the original look thicker, but my eye may be just thrown-off by the rust/etc.
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
Joined: 27 Jan 2011

Posts: 452

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PostPosted: Fri 01 May, 2015 6:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Hoard wrote:
That's a stunning piece of work - good job!

Is the blade on your piece a similar thickness as the original? The picture makes the original look thicker, but my eye may be just thrown-off by the rust/etc.


Thank you Aaron!

To be honest.. I guess I didn't consider the original blade thickness in too much depth. You are right.. the rust and corrosion obscure a lot of what is going on there. I must admit to my own bias to thin bladed axes.. I love them fast and light! But I could see how something like this having a heavier edge geometry than a normal fighting axe. So... ???

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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Aaron Hoard




Location: Seattle, WA
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PostPosted: Sat 02 May, 2015 7:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree - I like thin-bladed axes, as well.
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
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PostPosted: Sat 02 May, 2015 8:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It turned out very nicely, Scott! Thanks for sharing a bit of the construction process, as well. I'm right there with you on thin blades being trick - imagine what it would be like to have that thing slammed between your shoulder blades. Eek!

-Gregory
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Scott Roush
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Location: Washburn, WI
Joined: 27 Jan 2011

Posts: 452

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PostPosted: Sat 02 May, 2015 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory J. Liebau wrote:
It turned out very nicely, Scott! Thanks for sharing a bit of the construction process, as well. I'm right there with you on thin blades being trick - imagine what it would be like to have that thing slammed between your shoulder blades. Eek!

-Gregory


Oh yes. This weapon gives me the same disconcerting feeling that a long hafted, thin bladed tomahawk gives me. It feels *purposeful* and the purpose is death. :-)

I wonder about the hammer side though. During this time period I don't see much of a use for blunt trauma. Maybe smashing in helmets over top of a shield wall?? :-)

http://www.bigrockforge.com
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
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PostPosted: Sat 02 May, 2015 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It may also serve as a counterweight to the blade side, providing better handling characteristics. I've swung fewer axes than you have, surely, but in my experience it's nice to have weight distributed on both sides of the haft.

-Gregory
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