Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Polearm haft shapes Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Wed 30 Sep, 2015 4:18 pm    Post subject: Polearm haft shapes         Reply with quote

Hello all,

I've been looking over the various haft styles in use on modern pole arm replicas and I'm curious as to how common varying haft shapes were on historical arms. I've seen round shafts used mostly on piercing weapons - like spears or long pointed godendags.

On halberd a and pollaxes I've seen mostly square hafts, but a few rectangular hafts...and this is perhaps where my question lies - were rectangular hafts common on historical halberds? For example, a pollaxe with 1.25" x 1.5" cross section. Thoughts?
View user's profile Send private message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,493

PostPosted: Wed 30 Sep, 2015 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rectangular and flattened octagonal (i.e., rectangular with the corners planed off) were very common. A big advantage of rectangular vs square is that you get a lot more strength in the striking plane without adding as much weight, or making the haft uncomfortably thick. Also, edge alignment.

Both strength and edge alignment are also benefits of oval section vs round. Oval sections are common on East Asian cutting polearms (sword-on-stick dao, naginata, ge).

Cornered sections (rectangular, octagonal, square) vs smooth sections (oval, round) give more resistance to the haft twisting in the hands, but are a little heavier for the same strength and (IMO) can be less versatile in terms of grip.

For twisting resistance along, square or symmetric octagonal vs round are used. For edge alignment alone, you can use a round haft with a raised ridge (often called "teardrop" section).

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Thu 01 Oct, 2015 5:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Timo. I've already done some test cutting with some shorter blanks to see which I prefer, and I can honestly say that both seem to feel fine in my hand, and that I can't decide on which one to use. At first I was concerned that a 1.25" handle might be too small and risk breaking, but after reading much on this site about the properties of Ash, I'm not too worried.
View user's profile Send private message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,493

PostPosted: Thu 01 Oct, 2015 5:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can always start with rectangular, and shave off corners later. Harder to go the other way.
"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Thu 01 Oct, 2015 5:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I made a blank out of poplar just for handling purposes to see how it feels (and the poplar boards were cheap). 1.5" by 1.25" with a .25" bevel on the corners. It's feeling really good! I have bigger hands, so the grip is good, and the handle feels very solid. 1.25" square with bevel is nice too, but doesn't feel quite as good in the hands, for me anyway. And ultimately, both are historically accurate and that's a major factor too.
View user's profile Send private message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,493

PostPosted: Fri 02 Oct, 2015 9:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I notice in Waldman that oval section is known in halberds, as a minority among the square/rectangular/octagonal majority (later halberds, that is - early ones were often round hafted).

Your haft size and section looks good.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sat 03 Oct, 2015 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks again for your input and expertise. I'll be using epoxy as well as peened rivets. Any recommendations on a good epoxy for attaching wood to metal? I've had experience with JB Weld and Gorilla two part epoxy, but not sure if this community, or you, have any better recommendations.
View user's profile Send private message
Timo Nieminen




Location: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 08 May 2009
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 1,493

PostPosted: Sat 03 Oct, 2015 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't have any epoxy recommendations. Epoxy in the socket, to get the ultimate close fit? I don't think it matters too much what you use there - it will work more as a filler than a glue.
"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jonathan Hodge




Location: East Tennessee
Joined: 18 Sep 2015

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sat 03 Oct, 2015 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Definitely planning on an epoxy of some kind in the head socket. I had also planned on putting epoxy down the langets and even in the rivet holes.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Polearm haft shapes
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum